#1: What is a long tail keyword?
A long tail keyword is a keyword phrase that contains three or more words (although some consider 2 or more words to be long tail). This type of keyword is usually very specific and therefore often less competitive. Here are a few examples of long tail keywords: blue starfish necklace, pink striped hair bow, embroidered bear shirt
#2: Should I be using long tail keywords within my Etsy shop?
Long tail keywords are amazing for standing out amongst your competition, especially if you are just getting established. You will have a better chance at ranking (go here to learn about SEO and ranking) for a long tail keyword because they often are specific enough that you will have less competition in the search results. This is really important to ensure that your product is found and not lost in a search that is too competitive.
As your shop grows you can work toward ranking for shorter and more competitive keywords. I’ve been able to rank on the first page for really competitive keywords like housewarming gift and Christmas gift but only after my products received a lot of favorites and sales. You’ll want to stick with long tail keywords when you are starting out.
#3: How do I incorporate long tail keywords into my tags and title?
You can add your long tail keywords to your titles using the tips found in my Top 6 Tips for Constructing the Perfect Etsy Title post. Make sure that you are using keyword phrases that are appropriate for your product and make sure your title looks as professional as possible.
Long tail keywords can be a bit tricky to add to tags because they can often be longer than 20 characters which is the limit for tags. To get around this, split your keyword phrases up if needed. An example of this is ‘green striped hair bow’ which is 22 characters. You could split this into two tags, ‘green striped hair’ and ‘striped hair bow’. This helps cover the phrase even though it is too long to fit into one tag. Make sure you use the same word order that you use in your title so that Etsy recognizes that they are the same word phrases.
As mentioned in our overview about Etsy SEO you will want to make sure that you use the same keyword phrases in your title and your tags. This can be tricky because you are limited to the number of characters you can use in your title and your tags but try to match up your keywords between your title and tags as closely as possible for best results.
#4: How do I know which long tail keywords to use?
Knowing which keyword phrases to use is the trickiest part of SEO. I like to sit down with my product in front of me and write out all the words I would use to describe the product. Think of color, texture, materials used, size, shape, and so on. Then go back and add a star beside the ones that you think describe your product best. You can then combine those words into long tail keywords.
I also like to get the opinions of others to help create my long tail keyword phrases. Show people your product either online or in person and ask them which terms they would use to describe the product or find it if they were looking for it on google. Look for any trends to help you identify which keyword phrases would be best to use.
An advanced method for finding the best long tail keywords is to use an online tool such as Marmalead. This is an Etsy SEO tool that helps you discover which keywords are working for similar products. I highly recommend it and will be writing a blog post about it in the near future. Some sellers also have good luck with the Google Keyword Planner tool.
#5: How can I tell if I am ranking for my long tail keywords?
Once you make changes to your SEO you should check to see if you are ranking for your new keywords. Etsy can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks before your changes fully kick in. I like to check my keyword rankings weekly, especially for the keywords I have put at the front of my titles. You don’t want to check in your normal browser by going to Etsy.com because you will see search results based on your location and previous search history.
The easiest way to check your ranking is to use an incognito window within Google Chrome. This removes Etsy’s ability to tailor the search results to you. Click here for instructions on how to open an incognito window. Once you have the window open go to Etsy.com and search for your keyword phrase. Then scroll through the results and look for your product. Ideally, you want to appear within the first 5 pages.
Another method is to use the website Etsy Rank. You have to sign up for an account and link it to your Etsy shop. Once you do this there is a feature called Rank Checker. You can type in your keyword and it will look for any of your products within the first 500 results for that keyword. I really like using this because it tells you the location that your product appears in. Etsy Rank also has some other great features.
The final method I recommend is using Marmalead which I mentioned earlier. In addition to helping you find keyword phrases, it can also tell you where you rank for each keyword.
Takeaways for Long Tail Keywords:
- Long tail keywords are important to ensuring your products appear in the search results
- Do you research to determine which long tail keywords you should use
- Incorporate your long tail keywords into your titles and your tags
- Check regularly to see if you are ranking for your long tail keywords.
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Disclaimer: The above info is what has worked really well for me in my experience of running a successful Etsy shop. While it has worked for me, you may experience a different result. Make changes slowly and be sure to save any previous information you are replacing in case you find that your previous choices worked better for you.