So you’re ready to sit down and get your Etsy keywords all buttoned up. But should you use Marmalead or a source for Google SEO, like Google Keyword Planner? Stick around, while we talk about the purposes of both in this episode of The Jam!
What we’re diving into today
Today we’re talking all about Marmalead vs Google Keyword Planner! What they both do, how they both work, but most importantly, how they’re different from one another.
What IS Google Keyword Planner
For those of you who haven’t used Google Keyword Planner before, it’s a way to help content creators, advertisers and marketers to find the best keywords for the content they’re creating online. It’s a global arching set of keywords that people search for inside of Google with a good sense of how often keywords come up, so that you can know which ones are the most popular to be used across the entire internet.
In comparison, Marmalead helps handmade and vintage online sellers find the best keywords for their products on Etsy specifically.
Top places people search
Google is definitely the top search for content across the board. If it’s text based or researched based, Google is definitely where people head to find answers. If people are trying to find out how to do something specific, YouTube is their go to. Want to know how to change a tire? YouTube. Want to install a ceiling fan in place of a light fixture? YouTube. The number one place people search for commodities like paper towels or anything that comes from a “big box” would be Amazon. And of course, the place people go to for something special, unique, handmade or vintage is Etsy!
Honestly, this is pretty mind-blowing, because most of the time, people have their computers set up to land them on Google before anything else. So the fact that Amazon, YouTube, and Etsy can hold number one spots for certain searches means that folks are bypassing Google and going straight to Amazon or straight to Etsy for what they’re looking for. Especially now that so many people search straight from their phones, a lot of times their opening the YouTube or Etsy app and never even going to their internet browser.
So how are Marmalead and GKP the same?
Both are going to give a sense of how many people have searched for a specific keyword. Both will give a sense of how much competition there is for a specific keyword. But remember, the competition each are showing are definitely for their own worlds. They both provide ideas for other keywords to consider.
If you’re familiar with Marmalead and GKP it might be easy to fall into the trap of thinking, “Well, I go here, I put in a keyword and it shows me information on both of these platforms. They’re showing me the same thing. They’re both showing me search numbers and competition…it seems they’re just the same!” But this really isn’t the case.
Some important differences between Marmalead and GKP
The first is that they really are for different platforms. When you’re looking on GKP you’re literally talking about the entire internet. When you’re talking about Marmalead, it’s specific to Etsy and the searches, engagement and competition that are happening only on the Etsy platform.
Three different categories
Now, there are three different categories that a Google search can fall into. 1. You could be searching for information which would be a knowledge based search. 2. You could be searching for navigation, like how to get somewhere or the location of a business. And 3, you could be searching for an action, like where to watch a specific movie online or where to buy something if it isn’t already obvious to you (like buying from Amazon vs Etsy).
But even in that subset of action based searches (roughly a third of the searches that come into Google), you’re still looking at purchasing a handmade or vintage item as a subset of that! The number of searches that Google sees in a day, the percentage of people that are looking to purchase a handmade or vintage item is SUPER small. It’s really not what people are going there for to begin with. So when you’re looking at keyword data from that source it’s not going to be specific to that purpose. When people are searching a keyword on Google, it’s not necessarily because they want to go make a purchase based on that keyword.
There’s just a TON of noise on Google. And often times, Google is the starting point that will get you to a place like Etsy where you start to do much more specific searches.
The Bird House Example
When you’re searching for a birdhouse on Google, Google doesn’t know what you’re doing. Are you trying to make a bird house? Maybe you’re trying to DIY it and so you’re looking for some birdhouse plans? Are you trying to figure out what kinds of birds in your region will live in a birdhouse? Or are you just looking up Tony Hawks Bird House brand of skateboards? That’s a lot of different noise.
The Competition Score in GKP
The competition score in GKP is almost completely irrelevant to you as an Etsy shop owner. If you’re trying to figure out how competitive a market is or how competitive a certain keyword is on Etsy, that competition score you’re seeing in GKP is more misleading than helpful to you. This is because it’s based on the number of people that are taking out ads against that keyword. It’s not even based on the amount of content out there targeting that keyword. Google doesn’t look and say, “Oh this blog is targeting this keyword over here,” and then that counts as part of the competition score for that keyword. They’re just looking at how many people are paying to target that keyword. How much competition is there for advertising for that keyword.
This is a great place for us to use the bird house example as well. Let’s say you were selling bird houses and they are a lower cost and lower profit margin. Then you have Tony Hawk selling skateboards at a higher price with a higher margin for the same keyword “bird house”. You might be sitting there thinking, HOW is someone paying this much per click with ad words to sell bird houses? They’re not selling bird houses. They’re selling skateboards. But this is completely irrelevant to you because you’re comparing apples and oranges.
When you’re looking for help in the Etsy SEO space, a lot of the information that’s out there that will help you with SEO in general, is NOT specific to how Etsy SEO works. If you’re following the advice of people that say “Ok here’s how you use GKP, you want to look at these numbers and do these things.” That advice is really geared towards what GKP is intending to help you with. Which is advertising, marketing and content creation for the grand scheme of the internet, not your specific handmade or vintage shop.
So, about Marmalead…
Marmalead will show you how many searches a keyword is expected to generate on Etsy in the next thirty days. It’s not the last thirty days or ninety days or even the last year just divided and averaged to be the same every month. It’s actually based on a forecast for next month, no matter what month you’re in. This goes hand in hand with the seasonality that we show inside of Marmalead as well. When you’re looking at almost any keyword that you’re going to do a search for in Marmalead, there’s going to be highs and lows throughout the year. It’s very rare to find a keyword that’s consistent across the board for how many searches it has in every single month. So looking at an average searches per month or average engagement per month number, isn’t going to help you as much.
This is simply because the keyword has ups and downs. If you’re using the average, sometimes it will be close, other times it’s going to be way off. It might be way higher than the average or way lower than the average. So, by using Marmalead you’re seeing exactly what we’re anticipating that keyword will do in the next thirty days, which is exactly what you want to know when you’re applying a keyword to your listing. You don’t only want to know how it did last month (which you can see in the Engagement Over Time chart), you also want to know how it’s expected to perform in the coming month.
A great example of how this works is dressing for the weather. You’re not going to dress and prepare for yesterday’s weather. You’re going to want to know today’s forecast. You want to know what’s going on ahead of you. This is a great example because just like with keywords, it’s not consistent and isn’t always the same from month to month.
So, do you use both Marmalead & GKP?
We would definitely say it’s both at different times and it totally depends on what you’re trying to do. If you’re trying to find keywords for your listings on Etsy, we think Marmalead is a much better choice for that. If you’re writing a blog and you’re trying to find popular keywords that you can be targeting to get more people to discover your blog organically through search on Google, then we think GKP is a good choice. We wouldn’t recommend going to Marmalead for that specific need. For content on a global scale, definitely choosing GKP is the best option.
Another time you’d want to use GKP is if you’re purchasing ad word ads for your Etsy, Shopify, or your Amazon shop. This is the definitive answer of what you’d want to be using GKP for and is what it was designed for.
When to use Marmalead
When you’re wanting to find keywords that shoppers are using for handmade or vintage listings, that would be where Marmalead comes in. If you’re looking for keyword ideas for your handmade or vintage products, that’s Marmalead’s jam as well! If you want to know how many people are engaging with listings after performing a search for a specific keyword on Etsy, again, go to Marmalead!
Engagement is a huge component of this as you can’t find an engagement number on GKP for how many people are actually engaging with handmade and vintage listings online. They don’t even show you how many people are engaging with the content provided once people perform searches for keywords. It’s strictly search and competition and then they show an average price for an ad against one of those keywords. It’s really important to understand engagement and we have a whole episode you can check dedicated to search vs engagement.
We hope that what we talked about today cleared up for you how Marmalead and GKP are similar and different. Something to keep in mind is that the competition data for GKP is irrelevant for Etsy sellers and they don’t have engagement data. They mainly have search and even that data contains a lot of noise. For Etsy related keyword planning and market research, Marmalead is definitely the better choice because so much of what you’re getting in GKP is irrelevant for you.
Google is trying to build a good, quality, free tool that people can use to find information about ad words and which keywords to target to get started with ad words campaigns. That’s their goal, and everything they do is to that end. They’re not trying to make the best handmade/vintage e-commerce tool for finding keywords out there. So your bottom line take away here is that Marmalead and GKP are have completely different goals. And Marmalead’s goal is to help you find Etsy shop success!
Happy selling, everyone!