Success Stories

Etsy Success Story with Marmalead – Kara

Featured this week

Our Etsy Success Story with Marmalead for this week is with the one and only Kara from ACakeToRemember! Kara is an Etsy veteran who has joined us in Jams and is a huge part of our Marmalead community. She has taken her Etsy shop to the next level and loves solving Etsy SEO puzzles! And bonus, she’s passionate about helping other sellers get ahead of the SEO curve as well! Kara has truly pushed through seasons of change with Etsy and has found an incredible amount of Etsy shop success!

Details on the Success Stories

These Etsy success stories highlight the shops and experiences of Etsy sellers and creatives who have their boots on the ground. These folks are creating their way to success. It is people like these that make Etsy what it is and make Marmalead possible. This is why we feel it’s so important to shed a little light on those who are forging their way and making their business a true success.

Each story is unique, and it’s our goal to encourage your success by sharing the success of others. We hope you enjoyed this installment of Success Stories. There’s more to come! More than anything we hope these stories remind you that Etsy success is the ultimate handmade product!

P.S. Let us know in the comments how much you loved this story!


Need help getting your products found on Etsy?

Marmalead takes the guesswork out of getting found by using real shopper keywords.

Get Marmalead


4 replies on “Etsy Success Story with Marmalead – Kara”

Hi! I’ve used & loved marmalead in the past, and now with my newer second shop I’m excited to be again using it for growth, however I cannot seem to get any of my listings to score an A. All of the pieces of the new Etsy SEO puzzle just don’t seem to be coming together like they used to & now Etsy tells me to lower my shipping to increase my visibility. Any suggestions?

Hi Carrie,
Thanks for reaching out! Etsy is telling you to lower your shipping costs because it’s now a part of what they’re looking for in terms of where a listing is prioritized in search. This is because they’ve found that shipping costs are an impediment to buyers and often times buyers will forgo the listing they really want for the one that has the lowest shipping cost. Essentially, they’re looking for you to build shipping into the cost of your products to help shoppers over that mental barrier. Now, with regard to the rest of your question, I will lay out some information below on how the pieces work together now and hope it’s helpful for you. But if you have more questions or need more clarity, please reach out to us at

Okay, so first, the way you go about researching keywords isn’t very different now than it was before. Just now, you’re looking to be more specific or niche with the keywords you apply and focus on. So instead of using broader searches you’d work to get more specific or niche with your focus keywords and your tags. *With that said, if something is already working for you, let it keep working. You always want to start with your lowest performing listings first and work out from there.
Now a lot of times when you get more niche with your keywords, your search and engagement numbers will go down because by definition, a niche keyword is targeting a smaller group of people. But those people in that niche are more primed to buy (since they’re looking for something specific) which is why Etsy is encouraging you to use niche keywords because they want your items in front of shoppers who are actually clicking and buying instead of in front of shoppers who are doing very broad searches and not exactly sure what they want yet.

So which do you want more? Long tail or good search and engagement? Remember that you’re looking for a balance. Try not to bottom out the search and engagement meters and try also not to top out the competition meters. Ideally, these keywords will be long tail also so you’re targeting shoppers that are ready to buy. But remember that balance is key!

Now let’s work to define some the terms in case that’s a point of contention.

Long Tail: 

Long tail keywords aren’t just about making keywords long. It’s about using keywords that target a niche and have a certain amount of specificity. So that means there is no cut and dry definition for what a long tail keyword will look like. Marmalead uses machine learning to study keywords and decide if they’re a long tail keyword or not. The machine learning generates a model based on multiple factors like what the Etsy market looks like for that keyword, what the search landscape looks like for that keyword, and what the keyword phrase itself looks like. But ultimately, it’s a lot more complicated than how many words make up a keyword.  A good example is “Gift for her”, that’s a three-word search phrase but it’s definitely not long tail because it isn’t specific at all and it isn’t targeting a niche. The results of that search would include hundreds of different kinds of items. So now that you have a better idea about what long tail is, now let’s look at what a focus keyword is.

Focus Keywords:

Focus keywords are tags that are in your title, and any keywords in your title that can be recreated by combining two of your tags. So for example:
Say a listing is titled “Large Coffee Mug with Stirrers”. And let’s say the tags are “large coffee mug”and “mug with stirrers”.
Its Focus Keywords are going to be “large coffee mug with stirrers”, “large coffee mug”, and “mug with stirrers”. Those are all long tail keywords on their own so it’s going to have a high score in our Long tail Focus Keyword metric.

Long Tail Tags:
So now you’ve got a few long tail focus keywords and you’ve matched them exactly in your tags. But Etsy gives you 13 tag opportunities, so you want to do your best to be diverse with those tags and target as many different relevant tags as possible…and you also want to make sure that you make as many of those remaining tags as you can long tail. 

So overall let’s look at how scoring works:

The way scoring works is we look at all of your focus keywords – tags that appear in your title. Those focus keywords get scored on whether or not they’re long tail like Etsy suggests they should be. If half of them are long tail, you’ll score 50% for “Long Tail Focus Keywords.” If all of them are long tail (great!) you’ll score 100% for “Long Tail Focus Keywords.” The REST of your tags which do not match your title are scored under “Long Tail Tags.” This way each of your keywords is scored exactly once. The focus keywords are worth more of your overall grade than tags since those are the ones your listing is targeting more than others.

Hope this helps, and again, reach out to if you have more questions or need anything clarified 🙂

Leave a Reply