Etsy How-to

Using the Best Etsy Keywords to Keep Your Listings On Point

Do you really know if your Etsy listings are on point? For starters, if your traffic is suffering and your sales are slipping then it’s time for a change. But where in the world should you start? If you want a quick boost to meaningful traffic that increases your conversions, it all starts with using the best Etsy keywords for your listings. Follow our blueprint for success to learn how to find the best keywords for Etsy.

Don’t spend months hoping your Etsy keywords will boost your sales

You can spend all day searching and adding new Etsy keywords to your listings. And then you can spend the next two months hoping that those keywords will boost sales in your Etsy shop.

But what happens when your Etsy traffic doesn’t increase and your sales remain unchanged? Is it your keyword’s fault? Maybe it’s because your title and description aren’t optimized for the keywords you’re targeting?

How in the world do you know if the Etsy keywords you’re using actually work? Well, it’s actually pretty easy to find out.

There’s only ONE way to know if your Etsy keywords are actually working. And it’s not by asking your social media followers where your listing shows up in search.

Whether you use Etsy’s predictive search suggestions, you pull your keywords out of thin air, or you use an Etsy keyword tool like Marmalead, there’s only one way to really know if your Etsy keywords are actually working for your listings.

And it’s by looking at your Etsy shop stats.

Use your shop stats to know if your Etsy keywords are actually working

Inside your Etsy shops stats, you can see the exact keywords shoppers use to find your listings. So don’t sleep on these stats! Before you make any keyword changes on your Etsy listings, make sure you dig through these stats and take note of your buyer search terms.

etsy keywords - snapshot of buyer search terms from etsy shop stats

When is the last time you analyzed your Etsy keywords inside your shop stats?

If it’s been a while since you’ve looked in your Etsy shop stats, you need to make this a routine habit as soon as possible! Like we said, that’s the only way to know if your current keywords are performing well for your listings.

If you need help looking through your shop stats, watch the video below to learn how to find the real shopper search terms buyers are using to find your products.

Compare your search terms with your Etsy keywords

Now that you know which keywords buyers are using to find your products, compare this list with the actual keywords, phrases, and tags included in your Etsy listings.

Look through your titles, descriptions, and of course your Etsy tags. You may notice that there’s room for improvement on your listings, with a couple (or a bunch) of Etsy keywords that are just not bringing any traffic at all.

How do you know if a keyword is underperforming?

If you’re targeting certain types of Etsy keywords that are nowhere to be found in your buyer search terms, then shoppers are finding your listings for another set of keywords entirely!

It’s unlikely that your search terms will be extremely different than the keywords you’re targeting in your listing, but your search terms could reveal an entirely new set of keywords you didn’t even think to target before.

etsy keywords - jumbled scrabble tiles

What does it mean to “target” keywords in your Etsy shop?

When we talk about Etsy keywords that you’re targeting in your listings, we mean the keywords you’re currently using in your tags, titles, and descriptions. These are the keywords you want to rank for on Etsy, so these are the keywords you want to sprinkle throughout your listing.

This let’s the Etsy algorithm know that your listing is relevant to a buyer searching with those same keyword phrases on Etsy.

What should you do if your target keywords aren’t working?

If your target keywords aren’t working, get rid of them. If any of your Etsy keywords are just taking up space on your listings, it’s time for them to go! After all, you only get 13 Etsy tags to choose from, so you want to choose the 13 best keywords that are out there for your product and your target audience.

And the reality is that throughout the year, you’re bound to experience a handful of underperforming keywords taking up space as one of your 13 Etsy tags. Keywords won’t always perform great for your listings 100% of the time.

When it comes to your Etsy keywords, you can’t simply set it and forget it. Keyword trends, seasonality, and forecasts all change over time.

Know how to replace your underperforming keywords

After you get rid of your underperforming keywords, it’s time to figure out which keywords to replace them with.

That’s where Marmalead comes in.

Once you know which Etsy keywords are actually bringing you traffic, use Marmalead to optimize your listings to bring even more traffic!

But optimizing your Etsy listing can get confusing. With so many moving parts for every listing, it can be easy to forget a step. That’s why we created our blueprint for success to help you keep your listings on point!

Unlock your free copy of our blueprint for success and use it to follow along with the rest of this article.

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Using Marmalead to find the best Etsy keywords

Marmalead is an Etsy keyword tool designed to help you choose the absolute best keywords for your listings. For a more in-depth look at how Marmalead helps you find effective keywords, check out our Etsy SEO tutorial for using Marmalead’s search tool.

Once you know how Marmalead works, you’ll be able to find the best Etsy keywords for every listing in your shop.

Marmalead will help you refine your Etsy SEO, even during seasonal trends and the ever changing landscape of keyword popularity. Keep our blueprint for success in mind anytime you plan to update your Etsy listings.

Revisit your Etsy shop stats at least once a month to make sure your Etsy keywords are continuing to outperform your expectations. And if anything needs to be tweaked, follow our blueprint to stay focused and keep your Etsy listings on point.

Here’s how to use our blueprint for success to find the best Etsy keywords for your listings:

Step 1: Identify your listings that need work

etsy keywords - woman writing in black notebook

First things first, you need to figure out which listing you want to work on.

We always recommend you start by optimizing your lowest-performing listings. This will give you the most room for improvement and you’ll have nothing to lose!

Dig through your Etsy shop stats and look for the listing that is bringing in significantly less traffic than the rest. Start here.

Step 2: Figure out which Etsy keywords you want to replace

Now that you know which listing you want to work on, you need to identify the Etsy keywords you want to replace.

These should be specific keywords that aren’t bringing in very much traffic to that listing, or keywords that have lost their luster over time.

Figure out which keywords you want to replace by looking through your buyer search terms for that listing inside your Etsy shop stats. Then compare these buyer search terms with the actual keywords used in your Etsy listings.

Between your buyer search terms and the existing Etsy keywords used on your listing, put all of these keywords through a search in Marmalead. Marmalead will show you the real-world statistics for these keywords, like the number of searches and visits it’s expected to generate within the next 30 days.

These statistics are part of the “Marma-meters” we show you for every keyword lookup you perform inside of Marmalead.

Pay close attention to each keyword’s level of search, engagement, and competition.

etsy keywords - using marmalead for etsy keyword research

Which Etsy keyword stats should you pay attention to?

If any keyword is falling below the yellow Marma-meter and into orange or red, you may want to consider ditching these Etsy keywords for better ones.

Pro tip: Don’t go changing all the keywords on every listing all at once. Not only can this have negative consequences to your listing’s keyword credibility, but you also run the risk of making a positive change and having no idea which part of your updates actually worked!

Step 3: Find the best keywords for your Etsy listing

If you’re following along with our blueprint for success, use these six brainstorming methods to find the absolute best Etsy keywords for your listings.

If you don’t have the blueprint yet, do your Etsy listings a favor and get it today!

Receive your free copy of our blueprint for a successful Etsy listing!

How to brainstorm and find the BEST Etsy keywords

1. Use Marmalead’s Storm Tool

Marmalead’s Storm tool is designed to rain down keyword suggestions into your Etsy shop. Learn more about using Storm for your Etsy keyword research with this handy tutorial.

2. Use Marmalead to find “similar shopper searches”

Marmalead’s Keyword Search Tool is an all-in-one Etsy SEO research tool. It’s like the swiss army knife of Etsy keyword research. Use this tool to find similar shopper searches while researching Etsy keywords.

marmalead similar shopper searches for ancient greek jewelry
3. Ask yourself who your listing is for

Is your Etsy lising the perfect Valentine’s Day gift from a loving husband to his wife? Or is it the ideal bridesmaid gift set from the bride-to-be to her ride-or-die besties?

4. Know your materials and techniques

To create your listing, do you use certain materials or techniques? “Handmade shoes” is one way to describe your product, but you can do better than that! Try using descriptive words like handcrafted leather, Italian inspired, oiled leather, and so on.

5. Think about the shopping occasion

What’s the ideal shopping occasion for buyers of your product? Will shoppers be looking for your product during Christmas or Hanukkah? Or is your product better suited for a birthday present or anniversary gift?

6. Know your style and size

Don’t forget to think about the style and/or size of your product. Is it a women’s tank top fit for athletic wear? Or a chunky oversized sweater meant to be worn baggy?

Step 4: Figure out how good your keywords actually are

Now that you’ve brainstormed a bunch of Etsy keyword ideas to fit your listing, it’s time to use Marmalead to find out which keywords will outperform the rest.

This is how we recommend you evaluate your Etsy keywords:

Is it a long tail keyword?

Long tail keywords are great at upping your conversion rate. We recommend you use as many long tail keywords as you can for your Etsy listings. If you’re not sure what a long tail keyword is, Richie and Gordon help explain it in this hilarious game show.

What’s the Engagement level of your keyword?

Ideally, your keywords should be better than orange on the Marma-meter. So it should be either in the yellow or green. The level of engagement is a stat that helps you understand how many shoppers are clicking through listings that include this specific keyword.

A long tail keyword with high engagement is a killer combination.

What’s the Competition level of your keyword?

Again, this should be better than orange, so either yellow or green. If the competition level is high, then this keyword is in a highly saturated market with tons of other Etsy sellers targeting the same keyword. It’s very likely that your listing will be lost in search if you try to target too many high-competition keywords.

At the end of the day, Etsy keywords with high competition are difficult to rank for.

What does the keyword forecast look like?

Look at the forecast for the next 2-3 months. If your keyword isn’t expected to bring your listing any traffic in the immediate future, what’s the point of using it? Check Marmalead to make sure the engagement Marma-meter isn’t forecasted to dip anytime soon.

Step 5: Apply your new Etsy keywords to your listings

Once you’ve got a list of top-performing Etsy keywords, it’s time to apply them back into your Etsy listing. But this isn’t as easy as just copying and pasting these keywords in any order.

Keep following our blueprint for success to apply your keywords optimally in your Etsy shop.

Click here to get our free guide to success.
Start with your top-performing keywords

Your best keywords: Remember the buyer search terms you pulled from your Etsy shop stats? These are your current best-performing Etsy keywords.

Which three are bringing the most traffic to your listings?

Make sure you look these keywords up in Marmalead and make note of their Marma-meters.

Over the next three months, what’s their forecasted level of engagement? Take a look at their engagement history and jot down the best months to use these Etsy keywords for your listings.

Pro tip: You can triple down on the top-performing keywords that buyers are actually finding your products with. All you need to do is take your highest performing buyer search terms and run them through Marmalead. Take these search terms and start over on Step-3 up above. Focus most of your research in Marmalead’s Storm Tool. Then make sure you check through the simialr shopper searches for these terms.

Now lookup the new keywords you found if you haven’t already

If you haven’t already looked up the Marma-meters for the new Etsy keywords you plan to use on your listings, do this now.

Put them in order by their Engagement level. On your copy of the blueprint for success, jot down all 13 tags in order of this engagament level.

And don’t forget to keep track of the best months of the year that these keywords are expected to bring you the most engagement.

Re-optimizing your title and tags with your new Etsy keywords

Now that you have your 13 Etsy tags figured out, it’s time to come up with a new title for your listing.

Keep in mind, search results for mobile users doesn’t show more than 26 characters in your title. To see the full title, shoppers will need to tap on your listing, and the only way you’re going to get them to do that is with a strong keyword at the beginning of your listing, paired with a compelling photo.

So you want your best and/or most descriptive keywords to go first. Keywords that have a higher level of engagement are more likely to get clicks from shoppers, so we recommend you start with these.

When coming up with your listing title, you want to make sure that the title is grammatically correct and shoppers can understand it. Far too often, we see Etsy sellers keyword stuffing in their titles. Honestly, this just creates a jumbled mess of keywords that are incomprehensible to shoppers.

Don’t do this.

Our friend, Kara Buntin has a great video where she goes into detail about titling your Etsy listings, so we recommend you check that out!

Re-optimizing your Etsy listing description

Finally, all of your 13 Etsy tags are set and you have a compelling title. So now it’s time to write your listing description.

This is where you can give your Etsy keywords an opportunity to shine.

If you’re following along on our blueprint for success, we’re at the very bottom of the second page now.

When writing your description, check off the following items and make sure your description answers these questions:

  • What is your product?
  • Who is your product for?
  • When can shoppers get your product?
  • Why do shoppers even want your product in the first place?
  • Does your description tell shoppers what makes your product special?
  • What’s different about your product from your competitors?

Step 6: Publish your Etsy listing

Wait! Before you hit publish, there’s one more step.

At this point, you’re almost done optimizing your listing with your new and improved Etsy keywords.

But before you hit that publish button, make sure you double-check these important items:

  • Are you using all 13 tags? There’s no reason to leave any of these tag slots empty. Make sure they’re all filled in!
  • Are you using the most specific category for your listings? Remember, your category acts just like your tags do. Don’t settle for a category that isn’t exactly what your product is.
  • Did you complete all of the relevant attributes for your Etsy listing? Including its colors, size, weight, materials, etc.?
  • Is it easy to understand what your listing actually is? Any shopper should be able to just glance at your photos, title, or description and know exactly what it is you’re selling.
  • Are you using your BEST photo first? Remember, your photo is one of the first things shoppers will notice when looking through Etsy listings in search. An excellent listing photo will put your listing a step above the competition.
Are you ready to publish your Etsy listing?

Once you’ve checked off every item on your blueprint for success, it’s time to hit that publish button!

And remember, even after you publish your listing, you aren’t done yet. Again, that’s because Etsy SEO isn’t a set it and forget it kind of thing. You’ll need to check back in on a regular basis to make sure your new keywords are performing well for your listing.

The Etsy algorithm will notice your keyword changes right away and begin to make adjustments to your placement in search. But you may not see any meaningful changes in your Etsy shop stats until about 2-4 weeks out.

After a month has passed, check your shop stats to see how your new keywords are performing.

Over to you

Finding the best Etsy keywords for your listings is only a small part of your Etsy SEO. Yes, great keywords will help your products rank better in Etsy search, but it won’t guarantee you make a sale.

That’s because there are so many other factors to take into consideration when it comes to selling on Etsy. And once you figure out how to get your listings found on Etsy, it’s time to start taking steps to master everything else.

Grow your online business, develop your SEO, and launch your sales into the stratosphere.

Read The Squeeze each week to see what’s new with Etsy and the growing industry of eCommerce. There’s a lot of noise out there getting in the way of your success. Cut to the chase with tips and tricks you can implement in your business right now. Let The Squeeze be your guide.


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