You probably know by now that keywords and tags are basically the driving force behind getting your listings seen on Etsy. I’ve done a few experiments using Marmalead implementing Longtail Keywords, and I made some discoveries.
What, exactly, are we doing?
We're going to look at combining high-scoring tags within Marmalead to make niche and high-engagement long tail keywords. We're also going to review how Etsy processes your tags and titles.
If you're on Etsy, you want to sell stuff. Right? Understanding the different pieces of the puzzle will help you do just that! Etsy SEO is arguably the most important part of optimally positioning your shop to get sales.
What is a long tail keyword?
A long tail keyword is a series of words that describe a product. These words together create a phrase with high specificity. Many Etsy gurus talk about how shops that describe their product the most accurately within their tags and keywords get more sales. This makes sense!
Think about it, if you're searching for something very specific, and the product you're looking for comes up right away, that's a great user experience and will often lead to sale! Basically Etsy wants people to find what they are looking for and rewards shops that facilitate the experience.
a review of etsy tags and title
Before we get too far in, let’s review how the tags and titles work. If you want a more in-depth review, check Etsy’s Seller’s Guide.
- Can be combined when using them in your listing title to make long tail keywords
- Always match your tags to your title
- Spaces are OK
- Max of 20 Characters
- The order of tags within the tag section does not matter
- Max of 140 characters
- Use up as much of those 140 characters as you can with your tags
- The tags in the front of the title are the most important
- The order of tags in your title does matter. We will cover this below.
A note about personalized titles
A thoughtful/personal title is great, but since the title of a listing is the driving force behind where you listing shows up in search, the value of a personalized title diminishes greatly. If you can work your keywords in your title in a way that is descriptive and thoughtful, that is the ideal.
In my research, most shoppers on Etsy will click on listings based on the photography and often don't factor in the title in their decision to purchase.
Find High Performing Tags First
You’re probably used to finding high performing 1-3 word combinations in Marmalead. Keep doing that! Now, you can take this a step a little further and experiment with combining those phrases with others to make long tail keywords.
Let’s say you have these three tags: “Chrono Trigger” “Shadow Box” “Art.” It doesn’t matter the order when you’re entering in the individual tags. However, what does matter, is the order of the words in the title.
This title could look something like this:
Chrono Trigger Shadow Box Art
Let’s check the strength of these tags by themselves first.
“Chrono Trigger” is looking pretty good. I generally don’t use keywords with lower than Moderate engagement. “Very low” competition is what I want.
UPDATE: Etsy has removed the category page (for now) making the Category Page risk not as important of a score to factor into your strategy.
“Shadow Box” I knew would be a broad word to use and sure enough, the competition is high. However engagement is high as well, so that indicates the health of the keyword as a whole. While that’s good to know, I want to see if I can combine “Shadow Box” with “Shadow Box Art” to see if I have a better chance of ranking.
What Does “Ranking” Mean?
The way I understand it, if you have a listing that is “ranking,” it’s on the first or second page of search results for that tag/keyword.
In other words, when someone types in “Shadow Box” into Etsy’s search bar, if your listing comes up on the first page, then you are “ranking” for that keyword. The reason this is important is that studies show that consumers on Etsy’s platform will seldom paginate to the next pages of results. They will more often refine their search.
“Shadow Box Art” cut the competition nearly in half, but the word has “very low” engagement. I definitely don’t want that so I’ll try to think of another keyword to put on the end.
I know from my research that the keyword, “SNES” does pretty well. The new keyword will be “Shadow Box Art SNES.” Let’s try it!
“Shadow Box SNES” seems to be an excellent long tail keyword! “Very low” competition and very high engagement. This is as close to a perfect long tail keyword phrase as it gets. Now, we’re going to see what all the words look like together as one gigantic long tail keyword.
“chrono trigger shadow box art SNES”
Now, we have an excellent long tail keyword that has individual tag strength as well! Now, to last part: how to implement it.
Apply the Long Tail Keyword
It’s quite simple. Copy and paste the long tail keyword, in our case, “Chrono Trigger Shadow Box Art” into your title. Let’s take dissect what’s going on with this title.
How Etsy Sees the Title
In the title, each word by itself has a computed value or “weight” in Etsy’s algorithm. It's important to keep this in mind when crafting your keywords and SEO strategy.
The breakdown of the title: “Chrono Trigger Shadow Box Art SNES” looks like this to Etsy’s search algorithm.
Every single word has their own rank.
Adjacent Word Pairs
Every word coupling has their own rank.
“Box Art SNES”
Adjacent Word Groups
Every word grouping has their own rank.
“Chrono Trigger Shadow”
“Trigger Shadow Box”
Longtail Keyword Weight vs. Individual Keyword Weight
As a whole, this longtail keyword does pretty well! This isn’t the whole picture though. When you’re coming up with phrases, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind.
Recommendation: I saw a rank decrease when I used low performing individual tags to achieve one higher-performing long tail keyword. I would suggest not sacrificing the quality of your single tags for the one perfect long tail keyword phrase.
Some tags do poorly by themselves but do really well when you add a word
Pay attention to how each tag breaks down in the tags section. For example: If you broke up the tags like this, the individual tags would not rank well by themselves. For example:
The single tag “Box Art” has “very low” engagement.
However, when you add “SNES” to “Box Art," you have an excellent tag with high engagement and low competition!
There’s always something new to learn about Etsy SEO. I’ve used these techniques to increase my views and rank! Here’s a quick recap:
- Make sure to always use the same words from your tags in your title!
- Combine tag keywords in your title to make high performing long tail keywords
- Pay attention to each keyword. Make sure they perform well by themselves before using them for title long tail keywords