Etsy SEO: How to Use “Compare Keywords”


Reading time: 12 minutes

Need help with how to title Etsy listings? How to do Etsy tags? Etsy SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in part relies on how good our tags and titles are. To keep my Etsy SEO and listing titles sharp, I use “Compare Keywords” every day. Whether creating a new listing, or renewing an expired listing, it’s in my Top 3 eRank tools.

For Etsy (and for Google), the search phrase we choose for the start of our title is important. This is especially so for shoppers on mobile devices. Here’s what Etsy advises:

“… make it easy for shoppers who are scanning a busy search results page to see what you’re selling. Lead with the keywords that best describe what your item is …”

Etsy Seller Handbook article “Keywords 101: Everything You Need to Know

Today, let’s do a step-by-step walk-through of how to use eRank’s Compare Keywords tool. In this demo, I’ll show you how I use it to title my Etsy listings and do my Etsy tags.

First: a quick word about Etsy SEO

“Search Engine Optimization” is how shoppers searching for what you sell are able to find your listing. They type what they’re looking for into Etsy’s search bar. Using words that match theirs helps your item to appear in their search results.

Is it as simple as that? No, not quite. Other factors come into play. One is how broad their search query was. Let’s say they typed “ring” into Etsy’s search today. They would get 4,109,147 results. Yep: over 4 million. Yikes.

If I were renewing a listing today that had an exceptional history on Etsy, that would help. For example: if thousands of shoppers had clicked on my ring when they saw it in their search results? And then purchased it? And if a high percentage of those buyers had left me 5-star reviews for this ring? That’s the kind of history which could help get my ring into the top pages of 4 million search results.  

But what if I have a one-of-a-kind ring with no selling history? A listing that I’ve renewed several times, and it still hasn’t sold. What then? Is it hopeless?

To rank for a broad keyword like ring? Frankly, it would take a miracle. And this is where long tail keywords come in.

What are long tail keywords?

Image explaining in detail what long tail keywords are, with examples

To compete in a crowded field, I need good long tail keywords for my title and tags. What makes them good? They need to have these characteristics:

  • specific
  • low search volume
  • lower competition
  • higher conversion rate

Conversion rate reflects how many Etsy shoppers who clicked on a listing with this keyword wound up buying. We can infer information about this by viewing a keyword’s click and click-through rate (CTR).

Wondering how low search volume could be a good thing? It’s because a shopper’s use of a really specific keyword indicates purchase intent. That is, they already know what they want, and therefore are likely closer to making a purchase.

How to title Etsy listings using eRank’s Compare Keywords tool

Whether listing a new product or renewing an expired one, I begin the same way. With the first five or six words of the title. Why? For one thing, because Etsy advises it. And because these first few words are all that show of an Etsy listing title in search engine thumbnail previews.

Of those first five or six words, one usually must be a broad keyword: what it is.

For this demo, I’ll be renewing an expired listing for a ring. Specifically, a one-of-a-kind women’s size 9 beadwoven ring with a Rose de France amethyst accented in 14K Gold Filled.

You might ask: isn’t that plenty specific already? So why can’t that be my title? Because in our title’s first search phrase, we need ring (what it is) + keywords shoppers are using now to find a ring like this one.

And this is where eRank’s Compare Keywords tool shines.

Comparing Keywords

Let’s take my “working” title:

One of A Kind Women’s Size 9 Beadwoven Ring with Rose De France Amethyst Accented in 14K Gold Filled

And let’s start entering it bit by bit into Compare Keywords. This tool allows us to compare two, three, or four search terms at a time, head to head. Remember: at this point I’m only choosing my title’s first 5-6 words. And one of them must be “ring.” So, I need up to five other words that:

  • specifically describe what this ring is, and
  • shoppers are using now to find a ring like this, and
  • show adequate click and click-through rates, and
  • preferably have lower competition.

Focus on the first 5-6 words of your Etsy listing title

Let’s begin with these four keywords from our working title:

  • one of a kind ring
  • beadwoven ring
  • women’s size 9 ring
  • rose de france amethyst

As we can see here, all of these get the green light for being long tail keywords. And one even has low competition (very rare in the jewelry category). But none of these will work for the beginning of our title. Why not?

While they do describe this ring, there are fewer than 20 searches per month. And not enough clicks or click-through rate (CTR) to even register.

Tip! Don’t be discouraged by results like these. Rather, expect them! Especially if you are a maker. What we call our own items, how we describe them, is often not what a shopper types into Etsy search. Which is why these keyword-research tools are so helpful! They show us what works and what won’t work. Both are good to know, right?

Still focusing on those first 5-6 words of our Etsy listing title, let’s try some other keywords that describe this ring:

  • beaded ring
  • amethyst ring
  • unique ring
  • birthstone ring

(Amethyst is February’s birthstone)

gif of a line chart displaying how Etsy search volume of these four keywords changed month to month over the past year

Now, this is more like it! Here we see the past 12 months’ history of the search volume for each of these four keywords. Amethyst ring is clearly doing the best now. It’s the amber line, and the only one of these four heading upwards most recently.

So far then, that keyword is the best candidate of these four to start our title. Let’s scroll down the page to have a closer look at more data.

Chart for 4 Etsy listing title keywords, with stats on Etsy search volume, average clicks, CTR, Etsy competition, Etsy search trends graphs, and Google search volume, competition and CPC. And whether these keywords are long tail keywords

Amethyst ring and birthstone ring have the greatest search volume, clicks, and click-through rate.

Don’t overlook the Search Trend graphs and Google stats!

I always pay close attention to the little Search Trend bar graphs. (In fact, I live for these, lol.) Look for the blue bars on them: these show this past month’s data.

Tip: when you look at these Search Trend bar graphs, be sure to hover over the bars. Doing so, you’ll get a series of pop-ups with the data for that month. These help you tell whether trends are related to seasons, or birthstone months, or holidays.

We can see that of these four keywords, the two doing the best most recently are amethyst ring and unique ring.

Don’t overlook the data in the Google stats! There we can see that the greatest Google search volume goes to birthstone ring. But wait! Another telling stat is Google CPC (Cost Per Click). CPC indicates how much advertisers are willing to pay to appear at the top of Google search results for these keywords.

If Google advertisers are prepared to pay a high CPC, that indicates the keywords likely have good purchase intent. As we just talked about, we want to choose keywords that show purchase intent. A motivated buyer, close to making a purchase.

Unique ring is a clear winner there, followed by birthstone ring, then amethyst ring, with beaded ring a distant fourth. Weighting our choice, we see that in the Long Tail Keywords column, eRank tells us that unique ring qualifies.

Let’s combine them then, shall we? I’ll start my Etsy listing title with “Unique Amethyst Ring.”

Should you include size in your title? Color? Who it’s for?

Should we have our ring size information placed next? That’s tricky, actually. Etsy includes information about size, who it’s for, color, style, materials in attributes. Quoting from the Etsy Seller Handbook again:

“Keywords in your title can help you match with a shopper’s query, but they’re just one of the factors Etsy search looks at. Etsy search looks at all the information you add, including your categories and attributes, to find keywords that match a shopper’s search.”

Etsy Seller Handbook article “Keywords 101: Everything You Need to Know

Then why waste our precious title space on those? One reason is that Google has no access to attributes or what categories we’ve selected. Nor can Google see our tags.

What I do in this situation varies. In my Compare Keywords results, I look at those fields related to Google. If they indicate Google interest, I do put what Google needs somewhere in the title. I save my tags for the keywords trending better on Etsy, and that aren’t already in any attribute field. Remember: to match a shopper’s search, our listing title is just one of the factors Etsy search looks at. Etsy’s algorithm can use it all, including the categories and attributes we choose.

When it comes to selecting keywords for that prime real estate at the start of my title though? I always give the greatest weight to what I see here in Compare Keywords. It is perfect for choosing between keywords because its data is drawn from actual Etsy shopper searches.

So far we’ve got Unique Amethyst Ring.

As our next candidates that will fit in that vital search-preview window, let’s try some other relevant keywords, like these:  

  • ring for women
  • natural gemstone
  • dainty ring
  • statement ring
Line graph and chart for 4 Etsy listing title keywords, with stats on Etsy search volume, average clicks, CTR, Etsy competition, Etsy search trends graphs, and Google search volume, competition and CPC. And whether these keywords are long tail keywords

Google likes ring for women. 49,500 Google Searches – that’s substantial. Cost Per Click (CPC) is 1.42. And it also qualifies as a long tail keyword. Let’s go with ring for women then, and leave dainty ring and statement ring for when we do our Etsy tags.

So for those first crucial 5-6 words of our title, we have Unique Amethyst Ring for Women.

Weighing keyword factors

Next, I like to give the shopper a bit more information about the ring. Its materials and what technique I used to make it.

Another trade name for Rose de France Amethyst is pink amethyst. Let’s try that. The only metal I used was 14K Gold Filled. And technique-wise, it’s handmade. Etsy will know that through the listing selections. But it might be useful for Google to know. That is, if our tool shows that handmade is trending in Google search. And I still want to convey that the ring is beaded. So let’s type those into Compare Keywords.

Line graph of search volume and chart for 4 Etsy listing title keywords, with stats on Etsy search volume, average clicks, CTR, Etsy competition, Etsy search trends graphs, and Google search volume, competition and CPC. And whether these keywords are long tail keywords

Interesting! Looks like I should click that gray star beside pink amethyst to add it to one of my eRank Keyword Lists. The gold star you do see indicates I’ve already been keeping an eye on beaded jewelry. And as you can see by the red line in the graph, it’s been a bumpy ride for that keyword. And 14K gold filled is in a slump.  So we’ll go with pink amethyst.

Unique Pink Amethyst Ring for Women

There. We have our title’s first six words. Now, Etsy tells us the order in which our keywords appear in our title has no effect on Etsy SEO. Put another way: these first keywords don’t get more weight for being at the beginning of our title. But our keyword research shows these are words shoppers are using now. Doing this work improves our chances of catching their eye as they scan their search results – especially from a mobile device. And we do it for those who only see this much of our Etsy listing title in a Google search preview.

How long should Etsy titles be?

There are arguments to be made about using up every character of your allotted Etsy title space. Even Etsy recommends we use “three or four keyword phrases.”

One exception: whether you pay for advertising can be a factor in how long your titles should be. If you are using Etsy’s off-site ads, you may want to keep your title tightly focused. And use only long tail keywords. Doing so, you won’t pay for clicks that aren’t a close match to your item.

Another exception: to “gain authority” with Etsy for a particular superstar keyword. See if your rank for that keyword improves when you keep your title targeted just on that keyword phrase.

But I don’t specialize in my shop on pink amethyst, or rings for women, or unique rings, or pink rings. And I don’t use off-site ads. So for today, let’s carry on and find at least one or two more keyword phrases. Doing so improves our chances of making that happy keyword match with a buyer’s search.

How about birthstone ring? That one didn’t make the grade for being at the beginning of our title, but its stats weren’t bad overall. So next, let’s do a head-to-head comparison with birthstone jewelry next.

Line graph of search volume and chart for 4 Etsy listing title keywords, with stats on Etsy search volume, average clicks, CTR, Etsy competition, Etsy search trends graphs, and Google search volume, competition and CPC. And whether these keywords are long tail keywords

Interesting! Well, Etsy tells us that we don’t need to repeat words in our title. Therefore, let’s go with birthstone jewelry. And for Google, we’ll slip in the size here too, plus beaded, handmade and February, amethyst’s birth month.

Unique Pink Amethyst Ring for Women Size 9, Beaded Handmade February Birthstone Jewelry

And gift. Let’s toss that in, too. And since US Mother’s Day is coming up in a month, we’ll add “for Mom.”

Unique Pink Amethyst Ring for Women Size 9, Beaded Handmade February Birthstone Jewelry Gift for Mom.

There. That’s our title then.

How to do Etsy tags

We’ve done most of the work already in researching keywords for our title. Here are my 13:

Unique ring, pink amethyst, amethyst ring, ring for women, beaded ring, handmade ring, February birthstone, birthstone ring, jewelry gift, gift for mom, mothers day gift, best friend gifts, rose de france

We could cover even more shopper searches by skipping all the repetitions. Etsy says we don’t need to repeat words in our listing tags. However, if you want to rank well for a particular keyword, that would be an exception to the rule.

We’re Here to Help!

Hope you found this walk-through on Etsy SEO, tags, and how to title Etsy listings useful! If you have questions, feel free to join our eRank community on Facebook. You’ll find lots of fellow Etsy sellers there. Quite a few are experienced veteran sellers, and everyone is happy to help.

We have members all over the world, so someone is always around to answer questions, day or night. Most Thursdays, we host a live Q&A there, too. See you around!

photograph of author
Jan Cal

eRank editor and Etsy shop owner

RESOURCES:

Our blog post about Long Tail Keywords

eRank blog posts about Etsy SEO

And eRank articles about how to do Etsy tags

For more on how to title Etsy listings, see this Seller Handbook article “Keywords 101: Everything You Need to Know”