I am about to make keyword research and Etsy SEO super easy for you!
If you’ve been around eRank’s Facebook group or YouTube channel much at all, you’ll have noticed my mentioning keyword research more than a few times. There’s a reason: keyword research is one of the most important factors in growing an Etsy shop. And not just on Etsy: keyword research is super important anywhere on the internet, because it means you are looking for the exact search terms that customers, shoppers, or viewers are using to find you and your items — and you’re comparing that to the competition, so you’re looking at what customers want and you’re looking at what other sellers are providing, and you’re seeing if there’s a little niche somewhere in there that you could break into and do super well.
To do keyword research effectively, you have to be pretty scientific about it. You want to first identify a big chunk of these keywords, then decide how you’re going to use them, and then create listings around those keywords. And later, come back and check on how your results are doing.
Until now, in order to do this properly I had Excel spreadsheets, stacks of notebooks, piles of paper, and sticky notes stuck here, there, and everywhere – I had data all over the place; frankly, I was in quite a bit of a mess! But eRank has just come out with a new feature that– well, people say “game-changer” a lot but this tool really is a game changer! This will replace all my stacks of notebooks, all my loose sheets of paper, all my Excel spreadsheets, and put everything into one place.
This feature is Keyword Lists. You can find this new tool in eRank’s Main Menu under Tools. This takes you to your roster of Keyword Lists, where all your keywords are for all your Keyword Lists.
Let’s just create a new Keyword List together now, and then I’ll get into showing you how to use it. Above, I have already clicked the orange “Create New List” button to begin a Keyword List for my new digital art shop, Mia’s Paw Prints. Because I know it’s best to do some solid keyword research before I start making any listings for it.
Once I’ve created that new list, I have options to change the title here by clicking the little pencil icon. The Marketplace field indicates the marketplace (Etsy, Amazon, Google Shopping, or Pinterest) for which I want to optimize this listing.
Where the magic is
“Mia’s Paw Prints” is a digital art shop, so let’s have a look at the results when I type “digital dog drawing” into eRank’s Keyword Explorer. Down in the lower left of the screen you will see your dark blue Keywords List widget. This is showing me that MiasPawPrints is the active list just now.
When I click on the Keyword List widget it opens up and from the drop-down menu under “Current List” I can choose any of my other Keyword Lists.
The Keyword List widget floats in the lower left of every eRank keyword-research page. You can click to minimize it, or click and drag to move it up or down out of the way on the page as you work. When the widget is open you can see three orange buttons along the bottom left, giving you the option to view this list; create a new list; or edit your Keyword Lists from here.
And don’t forget: if you ever get stuck at any point, we have a Help file. Look for the little green Help button here in the lower right of the Keyword List widget, or on any eRank page in the upper right corner just under Settings. (The Help file for Keyword Lists is especially good; Anthony wrote it 🙂
Okay, so I’ve looked into “digital dog drawing” Keyword Explorer results and although this sounds like the exact thing I wanted to rank for, it appears that there’s not much search data here.
But what I can do here is scroll down to the Related Searches area.
While I wouldn’t recommend that you use single words by themselves in your listing tags, it can be a good idea to keep an eye on these by adding them to your Keyword List. You might combine a couple single words in a listing tag; or keep these just in your Keyword Lists to monitor trends in general — in my case, whether people are searching more or less often for “dog.” So, I click their stars to select “dog” and “digital” as well as “custom dog.” Notice how the stars change to gold; this indicates these have been added to the Keyword List.
Search terms with “Personalized” have been on the decline from a high back in July 2019, but whoa! I see from the little trend graphs beside each term here that it looks like there’s a bit of an increase in people searching for custom things just now. I see that “dog portrait custom” might be a potential term. It’s odd how people search for things sometimes, have you noticed? I would say “custom dog portrait” but Keyword Explorer results are based on actual Etsy shopper searches. They type “dog portrait” into Etsy’s search bar, and then perhaps say to themselves, “I think I want this custom.” We’ve seen this often enough to know that’s just how people search. So, I add that phrase as-is to my Keyword List.
Next, I look at “custom dog painting.” This has lower competition, which is promising, but my items are digital, and I think that might be pushing it. Just beneath it though, I see “custom dog pillow.” Can my digital drawing be put on a pillow? It actually can, so there’s an idea. I add “custom dog art” too – note that at this point I’m not refining anything. I’m just looking for what are potentially reasonable ones that I might want to look at more closely in a bit.
As I click on the grey stars beside these ones I’m adding and they turn yellow, notice that my numbers in my little Keyword List button here increases by one, and when I uncollapse the widget, all these new tags now appear here. I could remove them again at any point by clicking on the wee X’s beside them (shown circled in red in the screenshot below). And just a click on the X in the upper right collapses the widget again.
“Custom dog sketch:” there’s a potential keyword. Just look at that 79% Click Through Rate! I look at “custom dog drawing” next. Interesting that these entries have a fair bit of competition but no one’s searching for them even though it’s the exact thing they want … Hmmm: looks like I’ve not found any super superstar keywords here.
So, let’s dive deeper! Your Keyword List is going to remember everything you’ve got here, so we can move on. In this demo example we’ve got going here, we said “dog portrait custom” is really pretty accurate for what we’re making. If I click on it now, it will take me to the Keyword Explorer page for this term.
And we can see there’s a bit more of a result! 970 Average Searches; 65% Click Through Rate. True, the Search Trend graph shows that it’s not looking popular in 2020 so far but these things can pick up again. It’s certainly a better term than “digital dog drawing” was. So, what else is there here?
Let’s scroll down the page to Related Searches. Well, “custom pet portrait,” there’s an idea. All of these: “dog portrait,” “custom dog portrait,” and “dog portrait custom”: again, all four are high competition — but sometimes it’s worth aiming high if the risk’s worth it. We see there’s a good number of people searching and the ones that do, like to click on it: definitely good. We’ll skip “custom dog portrait watercolor” (I’m not doing watercolor). “Dog portrait custom painting” hasn’t been getting as many searches as the top four but the Click Through Rate (CTR) is great and the competition isn’t high so that’s maybe one to aim for. “Dog portrait custom memorial:” yes, could be … although a glance at its trend graph tells us that looks like a one-off single-month spike.
Further along, we’re getting some more ideas. “Custom pet portrait:” let’s dig deeper into this one.
Super easy: just click on that keyword, it opens a Keyword Explorer page full of results, and we get in to see new things. Now, we can see “custom pet portrait” gets big at Christmas (circled in red in the screenshot just below). So, this might be an idea for me to remember in my planning for the holidays. I should make a Holiday Planning Keyword List! 😉
Under Related Searches, we see “pet portrait:” super good term there. “Pet portrait custom:” again, really popular. “Custom pet portrait painting” let’s give that a star; “custom pet” and “custom pet portraits,” too. “Custom pet portrait digital” — that one’s ok. Again, it’s slightly lower competition so it might be something my brand-new shop could rank for. “Custom pet painting:” yeah; “custom pet portrait on a mug:” yep, that’s something I can certainly consider making. We’ve got space for fifty entries on each Keyword List; we don’t need to use them all, but we’ve got the space and it’s a doable idea. Now, this is an interesting one: “pet portrait drawing.” Its search data indicates that when people do search, they’re very likely to click and it’s not got a great lot of competition, so let’s take that one as well.
So, we’ve got some ideas! You can spend half the day doing this – and note that at any point you can switch out between different lists if you see a word you want to put in a different list.
Our first Keyword List
Let’s go have a look at the Keyword List we’re growing here for my new Etsy shop MiasPawPrints.
Just by clicking there in the upper left title field, I can change the title if I want. I can add a little description there just below the title; we have up to 240 characters to play with.
And just below that, I could also change the marketplace if I was wanting to use this for, say, Pinterest. For the same set of keywords we’ve got here, it would find the search data for Pinterest for me. Brilliant.
What I want to do here next is have a look for myself and decide which of these keywords could be interesting for me to have a go at ranking for on Etsy. Notice the flags column? I have the option to assign color-coded flags. You can use these flags any way you find helpful. There are seven colors available to use as a quick visual reference. Since they range from green for go through caution amber down to full-stop red, I use them that way.
I can decide, is this keyword a good one? is this a bad one? I can color code these to anything I want so I’m just going to look at each one and ask, is it something I really want to rank for now? “Custom dog,” for instance, the first one (by the way, the default sort for Keyword Lists is alphabetical by keyword). “Custom dog” has got a good search volume but it’s also got high competition, so I won’t go all the way up to full-on green, but maybe an Amber just now.
Next, let’s look at “custom dog art.” Again, I think this is kind of less important because it’s still high competition but look, it’s getting much fewer views than custom dog, so let’s give it closer to caution orange. “Custom dog drawing:” it’s not in a great number of searches but it does have much lower competition so I’ve got a better chance of ranking for it. Overall then, it’s good but not great. I give it a weak green. “Custom dog pillow:” again, this one looks like a good term to think about — should I be making custom dog pillows? I’m assigning it our first full-on green for Go. And “custom dog portrait:” again, looks fairly promising. Lots of competition but also lots of search volume and a strong Click Through Rate: I’ll give it a lighter green.
What this flagging process gives me is a quick visual reference of what I’m going to do with them. And over in the notes field on the right, for each entry I have up to 240 characters to say maybe what listing I’ve used them in; what listing I’m thinking about using them in; or to record how they worked.
Also super cool: the Listing Builder
Say, if I’m wanting to create a listing today: which are the keywords that I really want to “gain authority” (ranking strength) for? I mentioned this “custom dog pillow.” Let’s imagine we’re going to make a custom dog pillow. Yes, I want that in the title of my Etsy listing. In fact, “custom dog pillow” is the exact keyword that I want to rank for, so having it right at the beginning of my title is best. Because 1) it’s an exact match for a term that I want to rank for, so putting it at the start of my title enhances my chances of ranking for it; and 2) it’s descriptive of what I want to rank for with this new shop.
Next, let’s look: are there any other strong keywords I can add to my title? Because Etsy recommends putting three or four of your superstar keywords in your title. Now, I perhaps don’t want to necessarily repeat “custom” – like, to do the entire tag … but we could think to ourselves: this is digital dog art, so we type that into the title field here in the Listing Builder. And already we’ve got all sorts of searches that these two keywords could cover: a search for “custom dog art” would be included here; “digital dog pillow” — there’s all sorts of terms that can come after this, but my title is focusing mainly in on one keyword: Custom Dog Pillow. Note that this is just a quick example; in actual practice I would research this a lot more. But here in our imaginary listing, we’ve got an idea for a title.
Now we can add in tags as we go along. So: most important, we said, was “custom dog pillow.” And incidentally, if I were to know that it’s here in this Keyword List somewhere but say I had 50 keywords on this list and don’t see it right off, I could use the Filter to find it. I can type in any part of a word in the tag, so if I started to type in pillow, then that finds that keyword for me, and I can hit the orange “Add” button just on the right here, and that immediately puts that up in the Listing Builder tag field, and the orange Add button changes to a red “Remove” in case I change my mind.
So, that’s my most important one. I was already kind of focusing in on “custom dog art” so let’s add that one as well to my tags. Now, if we want, we can sort the data in lots of ways. Let’s say for my new shop, I want to look at the easier competition things. So, I click on the sort caret (the little up-down icons in the “Etsy Competition” column header): see how it turned blue to indicate that this is now the prevailing sort? Now it’s easy to quickly assess these: are there any standout terms? I like that “custom dog sketch” has the lowest competition and I see under “Average Searches” that people are searching, so yes, we’ll give that a go. “Custom pet portrait mug” – well, just now, we’re aiming for the pillow, but could this listing be for any of these things? It’s an imaginary listing we’re doing, so: on you go. Yes, the search volume and click data for “custom dog drawing” doesn’t look so great. Maybe I’ll come back to that in the future – remember that this Keyword List tool keeps all this data up to date automatically, so I can keep an eye on these keywords I like to see if their stats improve over time.
“Custom pet portrait digital:” absolutely that looks really good. There’s a lot of cool things in that one because this would also optimize me for a search for “pet portrait” and “pet portrait digital” and “custom portrait,” so yes, I quite like that as a tag.
And then you could go down and add any more until you’ve got the Listing Builder full up with the 13 tags for your listing. (Oh, and a tip: clicking the little padlock icon in the Listing Builder beside its name will unlock it so the widget can follow you down as you scroll through any long lists.)
And you can see eRank tracks the character count for you. So, if something’s too long for a tag on Etsy, as is the “custom pet portrait mug” tag, what eRank is doing is splitting these up for you. So, you’ve got “custom pet” and “portrait mug” divided into two tags. When you wish to move over to continue building this listing on Etsy, you just hit the little clipboard icon (circled in the screenshot here below in red) to copy all these listing tags and you can paste that into your Etsy listing tag field; it will automatically populate them into the individual tag fields.
What you could do at this point once you’ve created a listing is use the “Notes” field to enter the Etsy listing ID, to keep track of listings that you’ve experimented on. You can change your flags to reflect how the listing has performed, or use the flags to show, yes these are ones that I’ve tested. And then you can add to your notes in the future: say, that the listing is so many days old; is it ranking? what’s happened?
Another feature I really love: “Find My Listings”
If you click on this orange “Find My Listings” button here, it’s going to pop out a new window with your Tag Filter page on eRank. What this will do is filter through all your listings in your Etsy shop.
In my new shop here it’s showing me, for the keywords on this particular Keyword List, which of my listings I actually have optimized for these terms. It’s highlighting in green all these terms that I just put in my Keyword List. So, I can see, for that Keyword List that I just created, I’ve already got quite a few terms that I’m optimized for. It’s cool that this tool can quickly find these listings. And again here on this page, you can use the Filter to find any particular one among the tags shown there.
And another awesome thing: “Bulk Rank Checker”!
Back to the Keyword List now for another awesome thing! I love this because we want to be scientific about our data. Pop on the “Bulk Rank Checker” and this searches for all these Keyword List’s terms and sees if any of my items are ranking for them.
Both of these tools are super helpful to quickly at a glance look and say, “Yeah okay, I’ve optimized well for these terms,” and see how they are doing. And then you can go back to the Keyword List and use the note field beside each of these keywords to say, yes this is working well or this isn’t working so well for me.
It’s a way to keep all your listings on-track. And these search terms are updated daily for you, so this is so much better than keeping a spreadsheet or wrangling all your sticky notes. Because we’ve got all of them right here, updated for how they’re looking just now and as searches change over time.
So, what do you think of this new feature? Are you going to have different lists across different social media? Are you going to have different lists for your different shops? Different lists for different experiments? What do you use the flags for? To share your thoughts join us over in eRank’s Facebook group.
If you have any questions you can leave us feedback here via the Feedback button. Or bring them up at the next Q&A. Or feel free to start a thread in the group. We’d love to hear what you think.
Here’s a link to a quick YouTube video about Keyword Lists that I made for eRank: Streamline your Etsy keyword research with Keyword Lists.