Etsy Keyword Research Tips to Boost Sales

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So you’ve got an awesome talent, you’re making handmade awesomeness and you’re totally ready to become an Etsy star. What’s your next step? If you didn’t say Etsy keyword research, then your path to Etsy sales and success may be harder than it has to be.

Just like a traditional e-commerce business, when it comes to figuring out how to get more sales on Etsy, it all comes down to Etsy SEO. SEO (search engine optimization) can feel really daunting, especially if you’re new to the e-commerce game.

But Etsy keyword research doesn’t have to be hard. Keep reading for my best super simple Etsy keyword research tips that you can start using right away to get your products seen by people who want to buy it.

What is Etsy keyword research?

At a basic level, keyword research is the work you do as a seller to determine what people are searching for on Etsy to find products like yours. While it can be fun to come up with a clever product name, it won’t do you - or your potential customers - any good if no one is online searching for that.

It’s so important to know how people are talking about products like yours online and the phrases they’re using to find the products they want. Once you have this information, you can incorporate these words and phrases into your own listings and BOOM - you’re well on your way to getting more eyes (and more sales).

While there are many Etsy keyword research tools out there (both paid ones and free ones), there’s also plenty of super simple ways to improve your seo for Etsy without messing around with third-party software or websites.

Super simple Etsy keyword research tips to start using now

1. Etsy drop-down search.


You read that correctly. One of the most powerful strategies for finding the best Etsy keywords for your listings is Etsy search itself. If you’ve ever searched for a product on Etsy, then you know that once you start typing Etsy predicts the words you might type next, bringing up a dropdown list of possible search queries to choose from.

But did you know that those queries are based on what other Etsy shoppers are actually searching for? You can use this tool to determine how other shoppers are searching for products like yours and rest assured that these are terms actually being used on Etsy every day.

This is a great way to find additional descriptive words you can pair with your primary product name. I like to start my search query fairly vague, and then play around with adding additional keywords to see what Etsy suggests.

For example, if I was creating an Etsy listing for a sterling silver necklace with an amethyst stone, I’d start by typing “sterling silver.” I’d check out the drop-down of suggested search terms and choose a few of the most relevant to add to my list (in this case, some search terms that came up for me were: sterling silver necklace, sterling silver hoop earrings, sterling silver bracelet, and so on.

Then I’d get a bit more specific by typing “sterling silver necklace” into the search bar. The more words you type yourself, the more specific and descriptive your Etsy suggest search results become.

2. Pinterest drop-down search.

Just like Etsy has a predictive search feature, Pinterest does, too! You can use Pinterest drop-down search in the same way you used Etsy’s search feature above. So why would you use both? Because shoppers use each platform differently.

When shoppers get to Etsy, they’re usually ready to buy. When shoppers get to Pinterest, they’re usually in the research phase. And because of this difference, the search terms shoppers use on each platform can differ too.

Exploring search terms on Pinterest is a great way to get additional ideas for your listings that can reach customers at all phases of buying.


3. Look at your own statistics.


This tip really only works if you’ve had an Etsy shop for some time and have some analytics you can review. This is great for anyone who has been getting some views and maybe even some sales, but still need to grow your shop further.

Take a look at your own Etsy analytics and review the search terms that are already working for you. Within your analytics, there’s a category called “search terms.” This is a list of terms that shoppers have used to navigate to your products.

Sometimes these search terms may be keywords you’re already optimizing your listings around. But other times they may be keywords - or versions of keywords - you haven’t used in your product titles, tags or descriptions yet. If these terms are working to drive traffic to your listings already, why not use them across your relevant listings?

4. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes.

Too often when we start thinking about SEO, we think about search bots and do what we can to appeal to their robot brains. But while algorithms and bots may have a lot of control over search rankings, they’ll never be as important as the *humans* you’re trying to reach.

The best way to reach humans searching for products on Etsy? Think like one! Luckily, this should be pretty easy for you. Think about the way you’d search for your product if you were the shopper. Would you focus on the materials an item is made of? The style of construction? An occasion or event you’d use the product for?

Think about the way you’d phrase your search, too. Fun fact: as humans we tend to use plural words vs. singular words in our searches (think “custom dog beds” vs. “custom dog bed”), so keep this in mind when selecting your keywords.

5. Don’t be afraid to get specific.

One of the biggest mistakes Etsy shop owners make when it comes to improving Etsy SEO is only using broad keywords. It’s a tempting move to make. After all, if we’re selling a sterling silver necklace, wouldn’t we want to reach *everyone* in the market for a sterling silver necklace?

Yes, and no. While I recommend using some of these broader keywords in your listings, titles and tags, don’t be afraid to get specific. It’s more important to reach the 10 customers who want exactly what you’re selling than to reach 100 who aren’t really looking for your offering.

Don’t stop at sterling silver necklace. Think more about what makes your product unique. What kind of chain does it have? Are there any other materials used? Are there gemstones or other specific design elements? Add these details to a broader search term to create specific long-tail keywords that will attract customers looking for exactly what you’re selling (think: “sterling silver amethyst necklace” or “sterling silver box chain necklace”).

Getting Started with Etsy Keyword Research

Ready to get started with Etsy keyword research and boost your search rankings (and sales!). Be sure to set up a solid system in advance to track your keywords. I like to create a Google Sheets document with tabs for each category of product, with columns for listings and the keywords and long-tail keywords you plan to use for each listing.

It may take some trial-and-error to figure out a system for organizing and tracking Etsy keywords that work best for you. Just keep it simple!

Stay tuned for more Etsy SEO tips here on the blog, and for an even bigger announcement for Etsy shop owners in the next few months. I’m working on a super secret project to help any Etsy shop owner, whether you’ve been in business for 5 minutes or 5 years.