Reading time: 9 minutes
Retail is seasonal. And it’s never static. As a result, what sells at one time of year might not do well at another.
- Is there a way to know which keywords perform well when?
- Is there a way to spot up-and-coming keywords? Just before they begin to take off? And before your competition?
For eRank members with a Basic or PRO account, yes there is, and it might well be a game changer for you. It’s eRank’s Trend Buzz!
Etsy’s Top 100 Keywords
Trend Buzz is under Reports on eRank’s Main Menu. Its landing page shows the top 100 keywords across all of Etsy. Note that these are keywords that actual buyers have been entering into Etsy search. And recently: the default view is the most recent full month for which eRank has data.
See the little red flame icons? They indicate keywords that were popular yesterday. Use the filter box to see data for any subset of keywords. You can sort the results alphabetically or by search volume. Just click on the column headings. Reverse the sort by clicking again. Or click the little gray up-down sort carets. These will turn blue to indicate the prevailing sort order.
Each keyword has its own trend graph. These show you the number of searches each month for the past 15 months. The blue bars highlight the most recent month.
Click any category on the left side menu. That will generate a report of the Top 100 keywords for that category.
Now, a word about these results. Note that it’s your fellow Etsy sellers who choose the category for their item. This explains why you might see a search for portrait in Pet Supplies for example (more about that in a bit).
Tips for choosing which keywords to use
Let’s begin with the default “All” category. Viewing this is ideal for spotting trends related to seasonality or holidays.
For instance, below, ranking 10th, we see valentines day gift for him. When we hover over its trend graph, we see that over a year ago, back in January 2020, there were 77,683 searches using this keyword. And then in February 2020, there were 160,484. After that, as we would expect, there wasn’t enough activity to chart for the rest of the year. Until January 2021, when we see it rise again and quite a bit higher, wowing us with 237,096 searches, followed by 88,040 searches in February 2021.
Interesting! Not only that Year-on-Year, January 2020 to January 2021, this keyword soared 205%. But also, did you notice? The annual peak month changed. In 2020, search volume crested in February. This year? In January. Could people be allowing for longer mail transit times? (That would be a mercy.)
Using Trend Buzz with other eRank tools: Keyword Explorer and Keyword Lists
Do you carry items that could be Valentine’s Day gifts for him? If so, this would be a good time to create a Keyword List to collect data for next year. Have you noticed the stars just to the left of each keyword? If you click one, it turns gold. This indicates that you’ve added it to a Keyword List. Thereafter, eRank will automatically update its stats daily for you. Maybe make a note there to remind yourself that you will want to add this keyword to your listings a good two months ahead of next January. A two months’ lead gives Etsy’s search algorithm time to gather information on your shop and listings and grant you “authority” for this keyword.
Let’s click on #3-ranked rings. When we do, our view of Trend Buzz is replaced with a Keyword Explorer report on just this keyword, rings.
On the top left is the Etsy Summary, with a breakdown of data averaged over the past 12 months. We see that searches, clicks, and CTR (Click Through Rate) are all quite good. No surprise: competition for rings is high. Over on the Search Trend line graph, the blue line is 2020. It shows reasonably steady search volume for this keyword that climbed to a high in December. The red line carries into 2021 and shows that search volume has continued its climb.
What about all that competition though?
How to get around high competition: Long Tail Keywords
Let’s scroll down our Keyword Explorer page to the Related Searches chart and see if there are any good Long Tail Keywords. Long Tail Keywords are more specific searches. Therefore, they have less search volume, but can indicate greater purchase intent. (For more about that, see our recent quickie blog post about Long Tail Keywords. We’ll link it at the end of this article.)
For this next screenshot, we clicked on the Long Tail Keywords column header. This sorts all of the Related Searches chart results by that column. Then we can just skim through the Related Searches keywords to see if any describe what we could list.
Next, we have a glance at each of their little Search Trend graphs for any higher blue bars. (Remember that their blue bars always indicate the most recent full month of results.) We see one recent good climber, funky rings.
Checking the Average Searches, Clicks, CTRs: not bad! And look: much, much lower Competition from our fellow Etsians. Maybe click funky ring‘s star to add it to a product research Keyword List. (Because with so little previous search history, funky rings may be just a one-month spike rather than a sustained trend.)
How to fish other Etsy categories (not just your own) to find keywords
The Top 100 searches that contain the word “vintage” eRank displays in the Vintage category. This way, we know that the shopper is indeed interested in vintage items.
Naturally, if you are a vintage seller, this is perfect for spotting trends and what’s hot right now. But don’t skip this category just because what you list isn’t vintage! For example, I make needle-felted sculptures. I list them in Art and Collectibles.
Yet I find this category really useful. When I look through Vintage, I might see searches for bunny rabbit figurine or squirrel figurine, for example. This gives me an idea of what animals might be popular just now. Super useful too is noticing that both of these searches have the word figurine. This tells me that figurine is a term shoppers are using now. Subsequently, I could pop over to eRank’s Compare Keywords tool to compare it with other words I use, like ornament and sculpture.
Given what I make, next I’d check out the Pet Supplies category. Why, when I don’t sell Pet Supplies? Because, look here, ranking #42, and #45: we see portrait and dog portrait custom painting from photo. Nice! As it happens, in my other shop I sell digital dog portraits. Seeing these searches in the Pet Supplies Top 100 indicates demand is pretty solid for my wares just now.
Getting ideas for product research
Another reason I scroll through Pet Supplies is to see which animals are popular. Of course I see dog, cat, horse because they are always popular. And ranked 27th, rat is still high. Skimming through, I spot a couple of searches containing guinea pig.
I can just type pig into the filter to see how many made the Top 100.
Hmmm: maybe I should make a guinea pig figurine; see how that does.
And how about personalized? I type that into the filter box next. Three entries, and one of those might be right up my alley: personalized pet gift. Now, that keyword might mean the shopper is looking for a gift to buy for their pet, one that can be personalized with their pet’s name. Or, might it be a search for a gift that can be personalized to feature the recipient’s pet? Can’t tell which but I will click the star beside that keyword to add it to my market-research Keyword List.
Ranked #31, I see pet loss gifts. I know how devastating that is. One of my customized pet sculptures might make a thoughtful gift for the right person. I’ll click its star, adding this one to my market-research Keyword List, too.
Filtering for custom next, I see eight entries in the Top 100. Well, custom dog is too broad (in other words, it is too unspecific), but I’ll click that star just to keep an eye on it.
And I’ll definitely be saving dog portrait custom painting from photo.
Seasonality and Keywords
Mousing over the trend graph for dog portrait custom painting from photo, I see demand for that keyword jumped considerably back in November and December. Gifts for the holidays, I’ll bet. And the little lift last month? Might have been Valentine’s Day gifts? I’ve given it a click to save it to my Keyword List. The other gold stars indicate I’ve already added those searches to a Keyword List.
Tip: If I want to know which Keyword List, the Keyword List widget floats in the lower left of my screen. Easy to check without leaving this page.
I always scroll through this category when the new month’s data is first downloaded. What I might look for is whether a particular dog or cat breed is trending, or exotic pets like bearded dragons. I have a Keyword List for tracking trends. If it lasts more than a month, I might have a go.
While the very top terms in this category might not be useful to me as a pet portrait artist, as you can see it’s well worth a look. I may not be able to rank for greyhound. But I might for personalized greyhound sculpture.
Another thing we can do is look back to this time last year to see what terms were starting to take off in early spring. Notice that Date filter box up in the top left corner? Use that to view a drop-down list of the previous 15 months. Click on any of them to see the Top 100 searches that were trending, by category or for all Etsy.
This is how we can get an idea of the up-and-coming seasonal terms. And be able to get our listings up well beforehand, and hopefully rank for them before they start to get too competitive!
Other tools and resources
Remember that like any tool, Trend Buzz is just one tool to help you out. Don’t use it as a standalone. It’s just a help for ideas. You want to use Keyword Explorer to find out if these terms are any good for you. You want to be checking in Rank Checker to see if you’re ranking for these terms. And above all, you want to be monitoring your Etsy shop stats for how customers are responding to the keywords that you’ve used. (I keep Keyword Lists for those, too.)
And do notice that off to the lower left of the Trend Buzz screen, in bright orange you’ll see a trademark warning. This is just to remind you that although these are terms that shoppers are using in Etsy search, it doesn’t mean that you have the right to list them. If you are not sure, it’s always wise to click that link to the USPTO database where you can double check.
I hope that helps! If you have any questions, we do live Q&As right in our eRank Facebook group weekly. Feel free to join us!