eRank’s Keyword Lists: A Demo

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. 

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 Keyword 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 painting custom” might be a potential term. It’s odd how people search for things sometimes, have you noticed? I would say “custom dog painting but Keyword Explorer results are based on actual Etsy shopper searches. They type “dog painting” 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. Next, I add “ custom dog painting from photo” – 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 expand 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. And just a click on the X in the upper right collapses the widget again.

“Dog portrait custom painting:” there’s a potential keyword. Just look at that 113% Click Through Rate! I look at “dog portraits custom painting” next. Interesting that this one has a fair bit of competition but no one’s searching for them even though it’s the exact thing they want…

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 painting 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! 1,088 Average Searches; 108% Click Through Rate. True, the Search Trend graph shows that it’s not looking popular in 2023 so far but these things can pick up again. 

Let’s scroll down the page to Related Searches. The more popular related search terms have significant 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). “custom dog oil 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 and owner custom painting:” 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 painting of dog:” 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 painting of dog” gets big in early fall. So, this might be an idea for me to remember in my planning for fall. 

Under Related Searches, we see many of the terms we’ve discussed earlier. 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. 

But hey, we’ve got some ideas, so far! 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. So, I expand the Keyword List widget and select View List.

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.

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 eight 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? “Digital,” for instance, the second one (by the way, the default sort for Keyword Lists is alphabetical by keyword). “Digital” 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 “dog portrait custom painting.” Plenty of monthly searches and clicks, as well as an excellent click-through rate. A fair amount of competition, but nothing crazy. I’m assigning it our first full-on green for Go. 

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? Let’s imagine we’re going to make a custom digital dog drawing. Yes, I want that in the title of my Etsy listing. In fact, “digital dog drawing” is the exact keyword that I want to rank for, so having it near 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. I don’t want to repeat the title in the tags, since that’s unnecessary and redundant. I can hit the orange Add button just on the right of each term, 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.

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 oil painting” has the lowest competition, so yes, why not give that a go. “Dog painting custom from photo” — looks like another winner, with its 97% click-through rate.

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, what eRank is doing is splitting these up for you. When you wish to move over to continue building this listing on Etsy, you just hit the little clipboard icon 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  change your flags to reflect how the listing has performed over time, or use the flags to show, yes these are ones that I’ve tested. 

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.