The Jam

Help! Choosing Between Similar Etsy Keywords

Would you rather be covered in fur or covered in scales? Every now and then, you find yourself in a position where you need to pick between two similar Etsy keywords. So stick around as we compare several pairs of keywords and show why we would pick one over the other in this episode of The Jam. 

Would you rather?

Today, we’re playing a game of “Would You Rather?” When doing your Etsy keyword research in Marmalead and you come across two keywords that are pretty similar, you may find yourself thinking, “Man, looking at these numbers, I’m really not quite sure which one would be the better one to try out in my shop.” So today, we’ve got four sets of different keywords/combinations to compare. Using Marmalead’s Etsy tools for SEO, we’ll be discussing what things you should be looking at that might be good indicators that one keyword would be a better one to try instead of a different keyword.

Similar Etsy Keywords: Adult Onesie vs. ABDL Onesie

Similar Etsy Keywords: Adult Onesie vs. ABDL Onesie

The first pair of similar Etsy keywords to compare are… Would you rather use “Adult Onesie” or “ABDL Onesie?” We’ll be honest; we weren’t sure what ABDL stood for at first. So yes, we did have to look it up! Etsy is always full of surprises, and this didn’t disappoint. It stands for Adult Baby Diaper Lovers. This is where adults like to put on diapers to pretend they’re babies and treat each other like babies.

Breaking it down

So looking at the specs above, we can see that adult onesie is not a long tail keyword, while ABDL Onesie is. Searches are similar between the two, with adult onesie having just a hair more. Same thing for engagement. There’s a bit more engagement there too, but there’s also a whole lot more competition. However, it’s still green. There are almost 10,000, so it shouldn’t scare you away at that point from using that keyword.

Our thoughts

When we look at these two keywords, we’re thinking first that we like the long tail. We like that it is definitely a more niche market. The competition is lower, but it’s still green. Too much lower, and we’d be a little concerned that there’s not enough variety. But given the searches and engagement as long tail, we think ABDL onesie is the one we would pick between them because it’s more niche. We feel like Adult Onesie can still get more niched down. 

Pay attention

This is a good example of why it’s important to pay attention to those long tail keywords. People out there shopping for keywords that aren’t long tail aren’t necessarily ready to make the purchase yet. So if you target things that are more long tail, you’re going to have a better chance of people finding you when they’re ready to make their purchase. That’s when you want to be found. So we’re going with ABDL Onesie on this. 

Similar Etsy Keywords: Astronomy Jewelry vs. Astronomy Gifts

Similar Etsy Keywords: Astronomy Jewelry vs. Astronomy Gifts

The next pair we’ve got is “Astronomy Jewelry” or “Astronomy Gifts;” which would you rather use? When we found this one and while we looked at astronomy gifts, we thought, “surely this can’t be long tail, right?” It seems pretty vague. It says gifts in its name, but apparently, this is still a pretty niche thing. Astronomy gifts must be a niche area inside of Etsy. These are both long tail!

Again, the searches are pretty similar, with astronomy gifts having 100 more searches than Astronomy Jewelry. Engagement, however, is much stronger on Astronomy Gifts. So you’re looking at 1,200 versus 300 for engagement. But along with that comes almost double the competition.

Our thoughts

So how do we feel about this? Should we target the one that has a huge amount of engagement, or would that level of competition kind of scare us away? 

That kind of depends on our shop and where we’re at sales-wise right now. If we were just getting started, we would definitely go with astronomy jewelry and stick more niched-down with less competition. We’re thinking that we’d have more shots at top spots in search getting started because of the lower competition. 

It’s so enticing

But that engagement is really enticing. The engagement is three times the number of searches, so people are going there and they’re clicking around. But if we’re buried because of the competition and because we don’t really have a sales track record for that kind of keyword, then it doesn’t matter, we’re never going to be seen. So if we have a strong shop with strong sales, strong conversion rates, and we think we’re going to get found in search and top spots for Astronomy Gifts, we’re going with that because we want that engagement. 

Keep this in mind

This is something that all sellers might not be aware of and we think it’s important to remember. When you look at that relationship between those two numbers (search and engagement) if search and engagement are roughly the same, it’s telling you that when someone makes a search, they’re clicking maybe one listing. Then they’re leaving. 

Engagement is important

Sometimes you’re going to have less engagement than searches, and that’s even worse, because then you see people are searching and then usually they’re not even clicking on a listing. They’re making a different search or filtering or something like that. You really want to see something where the engagement is twice that of searches. That’s awesome when you see that sort of thing going on because it means people are clicking at least two listings at that point. 

And here, it’s three times higher than searches. So on average, when the person is coming in to search for astronomy gifts, they’re not leaving to do another search. They’re clicking about three listings before they move on. That’s another good indicator (in addition to the fact that it’s long tail) that they’re interested in this space and that they’re shopping around and they’re closer to being ready to make a purchase because they’re not still in that browsing or searching phase. 

Similar Etsy Keywords: Alpaca Print vs. Alpaca Gifts

The next keywords we’re comparing are Alpaca Print and Alpaca Gifts. Again we went with the gifts theme here. These are both long tail keywords. Alpaca Gifts has about 100 more searches than Alpaca Print. We’ve also got Alpaca Gifts having 300 engagement, while Alpaca Print has 600 engagement. Perhaps a more concerning thing is that Alpaca Gifts is around 30,000 competition results, while Alpaca Print is at 6,000. 

Breaking down the Alpacas 

Similar Etsy Keywords: Alpaca Print vs. Alpaca Gifts

We’re thinking that based on these numbers (particularly the competition and the low engagement), when people are going to alpaca gifts, they will quickly bounce off of that because they realize that it was not a niche enough keyword. It wasn’t specific enough for them. There are just too many different ranges of things (we’re assuming made from alpaca) as opposed to a gift for your alpaca (both of those do have the potential for lots of categories). It could be alpaca sweaters, alpaca socks, alpaca mittens. So you search that, you see these categories, and realize, oh, that’s the one you want right there! You want alpaca socks. That’s what you’re looking for, and that’s your next one. 

Slightly confused

Alpaca print is a little bit more specific. We don’t even know what an alpaca print would be. At first, we were thinking of other animal prints, like cheetah print. But then we were like, hang on a second, does alpaca/llama print just kind of look… fuzzy? So we were kind of confused. 

Now we’re wondering if we misinterpreted that keyword and what it actually means is some kind of alpaca art… 

An important sidenote

This is a good point to think about! When you do a search in Marmalead, we’ll show you a bunch of thumbnails that come back for keywords and that would be a perfect way of figuring out what a specific keyword actually is if you’re unsure. 

When you see what comes back in those results from Etsy, hopefully it’s clear what the majority of things are and you can look at those and figure out exactly what you’re selling. Or, maybe you need to find another keyword because everyone is going to be finding art prints when they’re looking for your alpaca hoofprints.

Back to breaking down the Alpaca similar Etsy keywords

One of the key things for this comparison for us is the engagement difference between the two. Like we talked about on the last one between searches and engagement, here we’ve got an example where alpaca print has 103 searches, and that’s pretty low. It’s orange in Marmalead, and you would see that, and you’d be like, wow, that’s not a lot of searches. You might be scared to use this, but this is why you can’t just look at searches. If you’re just using searches as a metric, you’re going to have a bad time because search isn’t the same as engagement.  And obviously, engagement isn’t the same as sales, but engagement is a much better predictor of sales than searches are.  

An awesome ratio

Looking at just engagement here, 600, if we were to compare that against another keyword that had 600 searches and 600 engagement, they’re pretty much the same. There’s 600 engagement between those two things. But in this case, you’re comparing searches in there too, and you’ve got six times the number of engagement as you do for searches. You’ve got people clicking six things on average. That’s an awesome ratio. This alone is going to pull us into using Alpaca Prints. And it’s lower competition, so it’s pretty win-win. 

Similar Etsy Keywords: Octopus Print vs. Octopus Painting

Similar Etsy Keywords: Octopus Print vs. Octopus Painting

The last one we’re looking at here (we’re sticking with the print theme) is Octopus Print and Octopus Painting. Let’s dig into both of these here. Octopus Painting is a long tail, while Octopus Print is not a long tail. However, Octopus Print has 500 searches, while Octopus Painting has only 100. There’s also only 113 engagement for Octopus Painting, while there’s 984 for Octopus Print. Looking at the competition, there are about 14,000 for Octopus Print and 5000 for Octopus Painting. 

How important is the long tail difference for similar Etsy keywords?

So in this one, if you ignore the long tail, the numbers actually seem to be a whole lot better for Octopus Print. Now, the question is how important is it to me to be using long tail keywords? If I only had one spot left in my tags and I needed to target one of these two things,  which one should I go with? Do I go with the one that seems to have better numbers but isn’t long tail? Or is long tail super duper important and I should kind of take a hit on the numbers a little bit?  

Our thoughts

It depends on what the rest of our keywords look like on this one. We don’t think we’d make a core strategy around Octopus Painting at this point, just because there’s not a lot of searches and engagement. If you have a 3% conversion rate, then you’re going to get 3 sales based on the engagement and based on the clicks, but you’d have to get 113 clicks. Given that this is over the next month for the whole keyword, it’s going to take us a while. So we’re probably looking at less than a sale a month from that.

Hitting all the marks

For Octopus Print, on the other hand, competition is still green. It’s a lighter shade of green. It’s going more towards yellow, but we’re going to assume we’ve got a shop that this is still going to be ok with and we do like that engagement. This is a really good example of not getting too caught up in making sure that you’re hitting all of the marks for all of your keywords. Obviously, we all want to strive for green and if Octopus Print came back as a long tail, that’s an awesome indicator and this is a no-brainer at that point.

Take a step back when looking at similar Etsy keywords

But, looking at this, you have to step back and say, “These other numbers are really good. I’m weighing all these things against each other,” and it depends on what other keywords you’re using on your listing and what you’ve had success targeting in the past.

However, you don’t always have to hit everything. Even though this isn’t coming in as a long tail keyword, that shouldn’t necessarily scare you away from using this one. You’re looking again at that relationship between search and engagement. You’ve almost got double the amount of engagement as you do for searches, so that’s a strong thing right there. 

A question you might ask

You might be asking (given that Octopus Print has almost double the amount of engagement related to their searches), what if the other one had four times as many engagement as searches and the engagement now is up at maybe 400 instead of 100? 

Are we looking at that relationship? It’s still less right? We’re looking at 400 engagement versus almost 1000 engagement. Is that going to sway us in that direction because it’s long tail or are we still sticking back with Octopus Print in that case?

Becoming swayed

We think we’d start becoming swayed at this point. You know the competition is a little bit lower, the number’s looking better and it is long tail. This would make it a much tougher decision about which one to go with. Ultimately, we’d try to use both, if not necessarily on that one listing. But these would both go on our list to use on either the same listing or if they’re appropriate, on another listing and use them in tandem.  

Use both similar Etsy keywords

This is the perfect way to tie things up, using both of them. Obviously, that’s kind of the lazy answer. We’re trying to pick between these keywords, but that’s the true answer in a lot of cases. You could use both and if you can’t fit them both on the same listing at the same time, use them on two different listings.

Or put them both into a keyword list, try one of them, give it a while on your listing and check your Etsy stats. See how much traffic you’re getting from that actual keyword or from combinations of that keyword to know if it’s working for you. 

Swap out similar Etsy keywords

If it is working for you, that’s fantastic. Maybe you want to leave it on there and maybe swap out a different keyword. But, if it’s not working for you, pull it off of there and put Octopus Painting on there in its place and check your stats again after a couple weeks and see how that’s working. That’s always the best thing to do is try it out and then see if it works inside of your shop.  

You need to try them out

Marmalead can do a good job of showing you which keywords are better keywords to try first so you’re not wasting your time on keywords that might not perform for you. But it’s still always best to try them out and see how well they work for your actual shop and your actual listings. Everything is different. 

Delayed gratification

Also, keep in mind that everything is not necessarily going to be immediate. So when we’re talking about a forecast, especially (which is what you’re seeing here) and you have seasonal things, you want to make sure that you don’t throw keywords on today, check it in four days and decide it’s not working.

You’re throwing in the towel before you’ve actually given the keyword a chance to ramp up. Don’t do that. You want to make sure you understand if this is a keyword that you’re expecting to be hot right now, or something that a couple weeks from now is when you’re really going to start seeing the results of that keyword. 

Final thoughts

So there ya have it! We went through a few pairs of keywords for you there. If you’ve ever been in that situation where you’ve got two keywords and you’re really kind of hemming and hawing between the two of them, this will hopefully be helpful to you in figuring out how to look at the numbers, how to make sense of them, and how to pick keywords that have a better shot at bringing your shop success.  

Happy selling, everyone! 

Subscribe to ♥ The Jam ♥ at:


Need help getting your products found on Etsy?

Improve your Etsy SEO with free Marmalead tools, designed to take your handmade business to the next level.

Get the FREE Tools

2 replies on “Help! Choosing Between Similar Etsy Keywords”

You don’t want to use either Adult Onesie or ABDL Onesie. “Onesie” is trademarked by the Gerber company and plenty of Etsy sellers have run into the repercussions of using this term.

Leave a Reply