Keywords are the foundation of Etsy search, and they are essential to reach the millions of shoppers who come to Etsy looking for that special item.
If you don’t have keywords buyers are searching for, you won’t get traffic from Etsy, no matter how hard you try.
That’s why we wrote this ultimate guide. It teaches you a proven keyword research framework that you can easily adapt to your Etsy shop and goals. We used the same framework to grow our shop traffic from 0 to over 40.000 monthly search visits in just a year.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to find and identify the right keywords for your listing, and how your title, tags, categories, and attributes help your listings appear in relevant Etsy searches.
We’re going to look at:
- Etsy keyword research basics
- How to find keywords for your listing
- Picking the right keywords
- Implementing keywords in your listings
Etsy Keyword Research Basics
First, before we dive deep into the nuances of Etsy keyword research, let’s make sure we understand the basics.
What are keywords?
Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines. They’re also known as search queries. On Etsy, a keyword is the search term a shopper enters when they are looking for that special item.
What is Etsy keyword research?
Etsy Keyword research is the process of understanding the language shoppers use when searching for your products on Etsy. It helps you find search terms that have high demand, and low competition, making it easier to rank and drive traffic to your listings. The process involves analyzing, comparing, and prioritizing the best keyword opportunities.
Why is Etsy keyword research important?
Keyword Research is important because it helps you get found by shoppers on Etsy.
Every time a shopper enters a search term on Etsy, the search algorithm gathers all the listings that have keywords matching the shopper’s query. If your listing is a match, it has the potential to appear in the search results. You can learn more about how Etsy search works here.
By conducting keyword research, you can figure out what search terms buyers are typing into Etsy and use these in your listings in order to get visitors to your products.
It also helps with answering questions like:
- How hard is it to rank for this keyword?
- How much traffic can I get from this keyword?
Finding keywords for your listing
To get started with finding keyword ideas for your listing, you should think about how potential customers might search for your product. You can then use various methods to expand on those ideas and find more keywords.
In this section, we’ll go through four methods you can apply to discover potentially winning keywords for your shop:
- Finding “seed” keywords
- Using Etsy Suggests
- Seeing what keywords competitors use
- Using Keyword Research tools
Finding “seed” keywords
Before we can start talking about keyword research, you need to understand the concept of “seed keyword.”
These keywords are a starting point of every research process. Only once you find seed keywords, you can expand on them, and find more specific ones that will allow you to optimize your listings.
The best way to explain seed keywords is through an example. Let’s say that you’re selling moonstone rings. While you’ll use the exact phrase “moonstone rings” as a keyword, you need to expand on it. In this case, your seed keywords will be:
- Silver rings
While these keywords on their own aren’t worth targeting, they will help you find other, more specific keywords that will attract shoppers looking for similar products.
Use Etsy Suggests
When you begin to enter a search query, Etsy suggests products other shoppers frequently search for.
This is a free Etsy keyword tool in its own right, and a great strategy because it gives you insights into what buyers are searching for on Etsy.
You can expand the list Etsy provides by entering your seed keyword followed by different letters of the alphabet. For example, entering “gold ring a” provides a whole new list of potential keywords.
This should give you a strong list of initial keywords to build on.
See what keywords competitors are using
Checking out similar listings to the one you are selling is usually a great keyword research strategy. But first, you need to identify those competitors. That’s where your brainstormed list of keywords comes in handy. Just search Etsy for one of your seed keywords and see who ranks on the front page.
Finding competitors with the “Bestseller” tag can be a great place to start. Take note of which keywords these listings are using in their title. The word at the beginning of Etsy titles has a particularly strong influence on Etsy’s search algorithm. This means that the first 2 -3 words are often the main keyword a listing is targeting and ranking for.
Identifying which keywords bestsellers are using is a great strategy because these keywords have high demand. They have a proven track record of sales history which means that we already know that customers on Etsy are searching for these keywords.
On Etsy, you used to be able to scroll down to the bottom of a listing to see which tags it was using. However, Etsy has removed this feature in later years. If you want to know which tags a listing is using now, you will need to use a third-party tool like the Alura extension.
It enables you to see the tags a seller added to their listing. This can be a great source of inspiration, especially in the case of bestseller products.
Use Keyword research tools
Researching your competition for keyword ideas will give you an idea of what the consumers are looking for and will give you a ton of great ideas. However, you also need to target keywords your competitors are missing out on.
For that, you need to learn how to use keyword finder tools. How do these tools work? The user puts in a seed keyword (more on that later) and the tool automatically pulls keyword ideas from its database. Some keyword finders are Etsy-specific others aren’t.
Here are some of the most popular keyword finders among Etsy sellers:
Google Keyword Planner
This is perhaps the most well-known keyword research tool out there. The good thing about Google Keyword Planner is that it’s free to use and that there are many tutorials out there that will help you hit the ground running.
First, you need to open an account. As we mentioned, it’s completely free. Then, you need to go to your Google board and find the planner tool. There, you’ll find several choices. You should start with the “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category.”
You can explore based on specific keywords, pages, or even categories. You’re not sure where to start? Then simply add a few descriptions or terms for your products in the “Your product or service” section and the tool will come up with keyword ideas for you.
The downside here is that Google Keyword Planner is meant for general SEO. It uses search volume from Google and not Etsy. If you want to rank high in Etsy search results, you need something that pulls data straight from the platform. Speaking of...
Alura Keyword Finder
Alura Keyword Finder is a free keyword research tool made specifically for Etsy. It helps you discover new keywords by offering relevant keyword suggestions based on a seed keyword and Etsy’s data. Moreover, it helps you evaluate keywords by identifying the level of demand and competition for any given keyword.
Let’s enter the seed keyword “gold ring” and see what ideas it generates.
You’ll see that Keyword Finder provides data on the specific keyword you searched for and a list of similar keywords. This might seem like an overwhelming amount of data, but don’t worry. You’ll learn how to choose the right keywords in the next section.
Another benefit of Keyword Finder is that it’s automatically integrated with Google Trends. This enables you to see how a keyword is trending over time and what keywords Google thinks are relevant for a query.
Other Keyword Research Tools
Of course, Alura Keyword Finder and Google’s Keyword Planner aren’t the only keyword research tools out there. They’re just the two most popular ones. Other noticeable Etsy-specific tools include:
This tool can help you optimize your listings and reach the number one page. Not only does it show you which keywords to pursue, but which ones to avoid as well. It offers extensive information and great support, which makes the job for first-time sellers much easier.
Erank allows users to select strong keywords and optimize their listings based on what real Etsy and Google users are searching for. Use the Etsy Seller Handbook to learn the best research tactics and form good SEO habits.
The Keyword Tool Dominator is a free app used to discover long-tail keywords. The program pulls from the Etsy database to speed up the research process by giving you good keyword suggestions.
Picking the Right Keywords
At this point, you should have a bunch of keyword ideas and the step is to figure on which ones are the best.
When doing keyword research, you should make a keyword list. The best way to keep track and evaluate your list is with a spreadsheet. Google Sheets is free to use, and we’ve conveniently prepared an Etsy Keyword Research sheet for you.
The solution to finding the best keywords is simple. Use SEO metrics to narrow down your list of keywords.
Let’s explore three keywords metrics you can use to do this:
However, before we can discuss the metrics, we need to understand what long-tail keywords are...
As with anything SEO-related, there’s a lot of confusion about what long-tail keywords actually are. The fact that they’re called “long-tail” doesn’t help, because the length of the keyword isn’t all that important. We’re aware that this may sound confusing.
To help you understand long-tail keywords, here is a small graph:
The y axis of this chart is the number of times a term is searched and the x-axis is the conversion rate for those searches. Long-tail keywords are the descriptive, multi-word terms that would appear on the right side of the graph - the one that looks like a long tail. Although they may be used less often than more popular phrases (those on the left side of the chart) they tend to convert better because they describe exactly what a shopper is looking for.
At the top of the graph, we have broad, short keywords. They have a huge search volume, however, they have a low conversion rate. That means a lot of people search for these keywords, but not a lot of them are looking to buy a product.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have long-tail keywords. Their search volume is quite low, however, conversion rates are through the roof. Naturally, targeting long-tail keywords improves your chances of making a sale by a large margin.
For example, there’s a lot of people looking up the keyword “t-shirt” every month. However, a vast majority of them are probably just looking around and browsing shopping ideas. On the other hand, people looking up “vintage Nike t-shirt” are looking for a specific thing.
These users are much more likely to buy the first thing they find that fits their inquiry.
When doing keyword research, here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind:
Demand refers to the potential search traffic potential. It shows you how many times on average this term has been searched monthly. When using the Alura Keyword Finder, use the “Views” metric to see how much demand is there for a certain Etsy product.
You always want to target keywords with high demand, but you also need to keep in mind..
This metric shows you how many people are competing for the same keyword as you. The Alura Keyword finder measures it by calculating how many times a particular keyword has been used as a tag by Etsy sellers. Simply use the “Competition” metric to determine this.
To keep the search results fresh for consumers, Etsy reviews how recently an item has been either listed or relisted. The Keyword Finder has a “Relevancy” metric that clearly shows how relevant a keyword is.
If you want to know whether a keyword is worth pursuing or not, you can take these three metrics and input them into a sheet. This will show you a keyword score that will allow you to differentiate the good keywords from the bad ones.
Implementing Keywords in your Listing
Once you find the right keywords, you need to implement them correctly. You need to optimize your titles, tags, categories, and attributes. When users look up keywords that you’ve placed in these, there’s a good chance your products will appear in search results.
Here’s how to implement your keywords in more detail:
Keywords in Titles
A keyword in your listing title can match with shoppers’ queries exactly. However, you shouldn’t only focus on titles, because they’re just a part of the big picture.
Nonetheless, concentrate on writing clear and descriptive titles, which will let shoppers know that they’ve found what they’re looking for in busy and overcrowded search results.
If you want to make sure Etsy’s search engine recognizes your target keyword, you can use punctuation to drive attention to it.
Not sure if you can remember this? Don’t worry, here are the best practices for keywords in titles for your Etsy listings:
- Title length: The max length of your listing title is 140 characters. When it comes to capitalizing, your title may not contain more than 3 words in all capital letters. To rank, use both upper and lower case letters.
- Focus keyword in the title: Your focus keyword should be featured prominently in your title. Since most shoppers only see the first 30 to 40 characters of your title, make sure to place the focus keyword in the front.
- Repeating words: Make sure that your title makes. No need to repeat keywords in your title. You can place the focus keyword upfront and put additional keywords in the back end of the title.
Keywords in Tags
Next, we have tags. Etsy tags allow you to include up to 13 different phrases to describe the product in your listing.
The more tags you add, the more chances your product has to be discovered by a shopper. You need to spread them around to add a little bit of variety.
Here are some of the things Etsy recommends you do with your tags:
- Make sure to use all 13 tags
- Don’t be afraid to use multiple-word phrases
- Consider using synonyms and regional phrases
- Target long-tail words to attract particular shoppers
Keywords in Categories
Categories work similarly to tags, however, you should make sure to add the most specific option available for the item in the listing. By doing this, you’ll give more opportunities to match a search.
Keep in mind: when you add a specific subcategory to a listing, your items will be included in all categories the subcategory is nested within. When you tag your listing, there’s no need to repeat the keywords you already included in categories.
Keywords in Attributes
Last but not least, we have attributes. The additional details you can provide about your listing after you pick a category.
Attributes like material are pretty general. However, other ones like clothing pattern, decor room, so on and so forth, are more distinct and can bring you the attention of specific shoppers.
Each attribute the seller adds acts like a separate tag. That’s why it’s important to add as many attributes as you can imagine. Also, every listing will have its attributes.
There you have it; we hope that these tips will help you optimize your Etsy store. Keep in mind that ranking your listings takes time. Do your research, pick the right keywords, and optimize your listings, and sooner than later, your sales will go up.
To accomplish this, you need to have the right keyword finder tool in your toolbox.
Alura is specifically made for Etsy. It offers relevant keyword suggestions based on Etsy user data. Moreover, Alura reporting tools can help you identify the competition level and keyword demand. Use Alura and see how many views and sales a specific keyword generates.
If you want to rank your listings, sign up for Alura for free, and give our tool a try.