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Etsy SEO – Long Tail Keywords or High Views?

As an Etsy shop owner trying to decide on keywords for your listing titles and tags, I am not sure there is anything more confusing than figuring out if you should go long tail or for keywords with high view potential. Here are my best tips & ideas for Etsy marketing efforts!

Etsy SEO - Long Tail or High Views?

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What Are Long Tail Keywords?

In this post about Google SEO, I talk a lot about what long tail keywords are in “regular” SEO, but it is a little different when we are talking about Etsy.

That is because Etsy users are already on the site with intent to buy whatever they are searching for, while on Google they could be searching for how to make something instead of just to buy it. That said, it never hurts to check Google SEO when you are doing your research for long tail keywords.

So what are Etsy Long Tail Keywords?

I think we need to back up a little bit and talk about what Etsy SEO keywords are! Because “word” is in there, many sellers are thinking about it one word at a time. But keywords are actually words OR phrases.

Here goes some that should help this make more sense…

  • Jewelry – main keyword by itself (24,372,761 Results) – yep over 24 MILLION results
  • Womens Jewelry – still a main keyword (10,595,668 Results)
  • Boho Womens Jewelry – still a main keyword because it is a category of jewelry (2,818,817 Results)
  • Boho Womens Silver Jewelry – STILL not long tail (1,646,245 Results) … I am checking in Marmalead, this wicked cool program that helps with Etsy SEO
Marmalead Search Results For Jewelry

If you were doing searches like this and came upon a phrase like this that seems like it should be long tail, you might get seriously frustrated and think, “how many damn words do I have to get in there before it is long term?”

But let's think about which words we were using… “womens silver jewelry” is pretty darn broad all by itself (5,674,420 Results). Let's face it, there isn't anyone who is going to go through a FIVE MILLION results looking for your product!

And really who is searching for “jewelry” in general… ahhh that was a problem to begin with that could have screwed us up bad!

Not to say that we shouldn't have it somewhere in the tags, but I for sure would not have it in my title!

So let's do another one!

  • Gifts (29,098,874 Results)
  • Gifts for Men (5,790,342 Results)
  • Unique Gifts for Men (380,254 Results)

So if you are selling a super cool shaving kit and can't show up in the top 300,000 for gifts for men, should you give up?

Nope, but you have to think about how people search!

Say you are looking for a present for a Dad for Father's Day. You might search for “unique fathers day gifts” (70,394 Results) .. getting better! And then see a whole bunch of options. At this level of search you are going to be looking at LOTS of pages of results until you find something cool you think your dad will like.

THEN you will switch to long tails!

I got to page 4 before I saw something that I thought my husband might like from my kids… a “personalized wood phone st”…

Now I had seen “docking stations” before this but they were not as “dad-ish” as this one was!

Also, as a buyer I didn't really differentiate between ads or regular products… I don't care! I just want to find a gift for my husband!

So now… I would swing back up search and see all the “Personalized Wood Phone Stand” (2,136 Results) which is a MUCH easier to rank for than “unique fathers day gifts”.

So there is a big overview of long tail keywords… hopefully that is easy to understand!

What About Etsy Search Views?

All of that is well and good, but what about views? What good does it do to rank for a term that gets less than 25 searches a month? According to Marmalead “unique fathers day gifts” is not a long tail keyword and only gets 36 searches a month and “personalized wood phone stand” is a long tail phrase that get less than 25 search views per month!

Marmalead comparison search results
(I like using the “Comparison” feature in Marmalead so I can check a bunch of phrases all at once!)

While both of these phrases have REALLY low views, it is pretty obvious that “personalized wood phone stand” is a better choice because it has less competition!

Etsy Search Analytics

Etsy has a feature that shows you search volumes for your keywords (among other things that we will talk about!) It is under Marketing > Search Analytics.

As you can see my listings got found through 22.8 THOUSAND queries in the last month. 22 THOUSAND different queries based on about 350 listings… dang!

That tells us the same thing that many of us from the Google SEO world already know… every day 15% of all Google searches are brand new, never been searched phrases… wait, what? Yep, brand new, no one ever asked about information in that exact way before!

Interesting note, in that same time frame my digital products store had only 7,471 queries on 53 products. Probably because it is all the same thing (worksheets and planners) and this is not a big time of year for me, while my vintage store has a hodge podge of everything!

Sorting my digital products by conversion rates (views versus sales) we can see that ranking for high volume is good and for long tail is good too!

Etsy search queries

Now, this is a little janky, but walk through this with me!

As you can see, “poshmark list” has less than 25 searches a month for that exact phrase, I rank #4 and I only got 3 visits for the month, but one person bought so it has a 33.33% conversion rate… yee haw!

But what I find interesting too is that I rank #61 for “real estate” had way more visits and made more revenue on that search phrase!

Marmalead search results for poshmark list and real estate

Should You Try To Rank Etsy Long Tail or Higher Views?

So what is the answer? Long tail or high views?

With SEO there is no one answer, because we are not making a binary decision (this or that).

You should try to rank for long tail keywords that accurately describe your product in a couple of different distinct ways AND try to get some of that high views goodness too!

Let's do one last product… ephemera.

etsy search for ephemera

I KNOW, we all want to ignore the ads, but shoppers don't care whether it is an ad or not!

So looking at this search we have almost 200K results, there are printables and real ephemera. I am not going to to be doing downloads so I want to start trying to hone in on good search terms for packs of ephemera. Starting with just these “winners” (they came up first for me) I will be checking…

Ephemera search on marmalead

Honestly, when I started this I thought that I didn't have any chance with this as many people as have this listed (especially the digital downloads) but seeing this gives me hope!

For sure I will be using all these phrases in my listings to try and get the “high view” keywords that have lots of searches and engagement AND the long tail ones.

It is too easy to get frantic and try to find all high traffic, low competition keywords, but those are really unicorns, there are a few but they will not be the ones that will get you the most sales.

When we are talking about having 22K different queries a month like my vintage store does, I can't figure it all out! I just have to find the best keywords I can do and then refine them as I go along.

Okay, a couple of things about the ads.

First off, ads only show up for keywords related to ones you have in your listings! So those are valid listings, even if it makes me cranky (except when they are my ads… hahaha).

Second, buyers are interested in the ads too! I know we want to ignore that they are there, but it is important to understand that the shoppers don't care if they are finding ads or “regular” listings so we need to compete with them too!

A Formula For Your Listings

Okay, if you are the kind of person who wants a formula for EXACTLY how to do your SEO research, here is one that should work for you!

  • 2 Strong Long Tail Keyword Phrases
  • 3-5 High Volume Keywords That Match Your Listings
  • Fill In The Rest With Synonyms And Related Keywords

I know this is not the most satisfactory answer for people who just WANT AN ANSWER, but SEO is funky and not straightforward!

Etsy SEO Keywords FAQs

SEO for your Etsy store is confusing so I am sure that you have some more questions… here are a few answers that I have given recently!

Should You Still Be Focusing on Titles and Tags?

I had a gal ask me yesterday in the Facebook group about whether she should still be focused on titles and tags… here is what I told her!

The title and tags are what they use for rankings (NOT the item description!) So for sure you need to use those as much as possible.

I have been doing regular SEO since 1999 and I have found that you use what the platform wants to get views, so YES I would focus on tags and titles.

Marmalead is amazing… it is like having secret access to keywords are working right now. When I found that as an Etsy seller it just made me even more bummed that Google didn't have that for real websites!!!!

How Should You Split Up Your Keywords?

So the best keyword… say “gold starfish earrings” is the first thing in the title AND in the tags. After that you should put the best keywords in the title and other ones in the 13 tags!

Now, the funny thing about Etsy is that the “tags” are not exactly tags, they are just ways to add keywords you might want to use.

For example “gold starfish earrings” might not fit in one tag so you could do “gold starfish” and “starfish earrings” to split it up. OR you could do “gold starfish jewelry” and then “starfish earrings” getting one more keyword into your tags.

Functionally you want to use all the characters Etsy gives you!

Should You Change Your Etsy SEO Strategy?

There is ALWAYS something going on with Etsy… they are raising the shipping price, changing the Etsy listing fees or some other catastrophe!

And every Tom, Dick and Harry has an idea of how you should do Etsy SEO, how are you supposed to know what is right?

If you have a strong title and tags in your product listings, you do a little finagling if you see a keyword or two isn't helping with your search rankings, but you won't have to change everything every time you go into your shop manager.

Do your keyword research using the Etsy search bar, Marmalead, Google and even Amazon, and then let it sit and in month or so look at your results!

Should You Change The SEO On Your Top Listings?

I would have a list of my top 20 listings for a big shop and top 10 for a little shop and only change the SEO for those if you notice sales declining (other than for seasonal reasons!)

If you have serious DUD keywords in your top listings that NEVER get searched, go ahead and swap those out but do it slowly, like once a week.

Should You Change The SEO of ALL Your Listings At Once?

One last thing… I hear some sellers who find a new Etsy SEO “tip” or “hack” who then go on to change ALL of their listings all at once to match whatever they think is the new hot thing.

Don't do that!

Test things out… if you did some research and found a long tail keyword that you think is great, add it to a listing, but don't change everything or you won't know if your changes made sense.

Do a listing or two and then wait a bit to see if your sales go up!

Etsy SEO - Long Tail or High Views?