What If My Keyword Has No Etsy Searches?

Reading time: 7 minutes

Today I was renewing an Etsy listing, so first I was researching its keywords. I typed the first two words of my title into eRank’s Keyword Explorer and got …

That’s a goose egg, American slang for zero. Here were the results in Keyword Explorer for pearl bracelet. (sigh)

Let’s have a closer look at just the little Search Trend graph, circled in red above.

Clicking on the tallest bar farthest to the left, I get a popup telling me that in May 2019, for just that one month there were 11,906 searches for pearl bracelet by customers shopping on Etsy. What the heck happened? Well, we can see more on the Search Trend line graph showing two years of data for pearl bracelet.

The blue line is all of 2019. We can see the peak in May that year. The red line tells the rest of the story. See how it ends at June 2020? Well, at the time of this writing, it’s now August 2020. So, the red line petering out and stopping in June tells us that there have been fewer than 20 searches in the months since. When there are fewer than 20 searches, eRank doesn’t give a number because it can’t accurately capture a result below 20. So it just gives us a goose egg, pretty much.

What now?

When I discover that a once-worthy keyword now has no searches, the next steps are the same as any other time I type a keyword into Keyword Explorer and find out that shoppers aren’t using that keyword for searches (which happens a lot). I go back to the Related Searches chart and see what else there is.

First, I quickly skim the page to see if any of the related searches have high bars on the right side of the little Search Trend graphs, indicating that shoppers have been searching recently. Look for the blue bars; they are the most recent.

Doing this tells me, at a glance, a number of things. For instance, whether searches for pearl bracelets are down in general over the past 15 months, or are people just using different keywords to search? Here are two with tall blue bars in the right place: small pearl bracelet and pearl bracelet set for bridesmaids. Look promising?

Not so fast! When we take in the whole width of the chart, we get a better picture.

Clicking on the first of the blue spikes in the Search Trend graphs tells us that small pearl bracelet had 159 searches. I start to get interested in a keyword if it has a search average per month over 250 and a CTR (Click Through Rate) over 20%. We see here in the first of the four grey columns that the 12-month search average for small pearl bracelet is under 20, and the CTR (third grey column) is an abysmal “Unknown”. Oh dear.

And pearl bracelet set for bridesmaids? Hovering over the Search Trend graph spike indicates that last month it had 207 searches. And wow! That CTR is 100%! (Still, I’ve learned to be wary of spikes in data. Because sometimes they are just that: a one-month spike. Therefore, before you plan a new product around one, research further.)

For instance, let’s not neglect the columns of the chart farther to the right. For pearl bracelet set for bridesmaids, we see (talking about goose eggs!) nothing in the columns under Google Shopping Searches, nor for Google Searches, and nothing for Google CPC (Cost Per Click: what advertisers are prepared to pay for Google ads). And nothing under Google Competition, either. As the tooltip for that heading tells us, that indicates no competition for the keyword – which may seem like a good thing, but actually, no: a one here would indicate good “purchase intent”. So, seeing nothing there is the opposite of good.

I scroll through the Related Searches again and spot one more with a nice high blue bar on the right side of the little Search Trend graph:

It’s pearl bracelet for girls. Hovering there indicates 1,622 searches last month. Wow! Substantially better. And while the Average Searches column is below my recommended 250 cut-off, check out that CTR: 99%! And the Competition (fourth grey column, showing 14,037) for that keyword is reasonable, considering that it’s jewelry and Jewelry is a super-competitive category on Etsy. The Google Searches count is disappointing: only 140. But the CPC is decent. I always consider Google’s CPC (again, that’s Cost Per Click: what advertisers are willing to pay Google for an ad click) because I find it’s a good indicator to fold into my mental calculations when assessing a keyword. Typically, good keywords in Jewelry start at around $1.00. If advertisers are prepared to pay a high CPC, that indicates the keyword has good purchase intent. That 1.00 you see is in the Google Competition column, and eRank tells us a 1 in this column is high, that is: it’s good.

So, if my pearl bracelet could be for girls, I would go with this keyword. Because let’s not ignore that green Yes in the column farthest to the right of the chart – it tells me that this is a good long-tail keyword. And anyone who’s been paying attention to eRank’s founder Anthony Wolf knows that long-tail keywords ought to be sought.


Because the more specific your keyword, the better chance that motivated shoppers with “buyer intent” will use that keyword in a search – that is, when they already know what they want to buy. (In this case, a pearl bracelet for a girl.)

What Did I Use in the End?

Lol, well, this particular bracelet I wanted to renew could not be a girl’s bracelet; it’s adult size. So, I returned to my product pics and asked myself: other than a pearl bracelet, what else is it? Is it a dainty bracelet? Did I use lots of seed beads to weave the pearls together? If so, I could go with beaded bracelet. How much metal does it have: could I go with gold filled bracelet? What about style? Is it Boho? (And is that still trending?)

Considering that pearl bracelets are clearly taking a rest for the most part on Etsy these days (pearl is the birthstone for June, and June’s over), for my own listing today, I am just going to select “pearl” in the Attributes section of the listing template, and I will mention pearl in my tags. But for that precious real estate at the start of my title, I will research some of those other keywords I just mentioned instead.

Won’t be going with statement bracelet, though. Look:

See that lonely blue blip? That’s the 484 searches statement bracelet had back in March 2019 with none before or since. It’s even worse than pearl bracelet.

So, I will start a new search in Keyword Explorer, maybe with even more of a “head keyword.” Head keywords are the opposite of long-tail. (See the head of the dinosaur in our image above.) A broad keyword, like bracelet. I’ll type that into Keyword Explorer.

See now: 52% CTR: that’s better! And next, I’ll scroll down to the Related Searches chart and see what’s cooking.

And speaking of hot, I can check eRank’s Trend Buzz > Jewelry category, too, as I do several times a month. And I can take a quick look back to what was hot on Etsy this time last year for more keywords to plug into Keyword Explorer. Since eRank makes it so easy now, even when keywords are not currently trending I store them on the most relevant of my Keyword Lists so that I can keep an eye on them every time I list or renew a similar item. Some keywords come back into favor, while others … well, I’m still waiting on those. I’ll keep you posted!

Jan Cal

Editor, eRank