5 Things You Need to Know about Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are 3 or more word keyword phrases that help you appear in search results because they are specific and therefore have less competition.#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.

Ready to take your SEO to the next level?

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.

Top 6 Tips for Constructing the Perfect Etsy Title

Top 6 Tips for Constructing the Perfect Etsy Title

Etsy Product Titles

Etsy titles serve so many purposes.  They are absolutely vital to Etsy SEO, they tell the buyer what it is they are looking at and they are a buyer’s first look at your writing.  First impressions are important so crafting the perfect Etsy title should be a priority for your Etsy shop.

Trying to create a title that fits the bill for all of these purposes can be really daunting.  There’s a fine line between pleasing the search engine and your buyers.  When I first started my Etsy store in April of 2016 my titles were so short and just horrible.  I had no clue what I was doing and didn’t get many sales.  Updating my titles (as well as tags) has been one of the most helpful things I’ve done to get the sales I needed to quit my corporate job and focus on my handmade shop full time.

Tip # 1:  Use up as much space within your Etsy title as possible

Etsy allows up to 140 characters for your title.  As I mentioned in my Etsy SEO post you want to include as many keywords as possible in your title so this means using up as many of those 140 characters as you can.  I can get a little too obsessive and see it as a challenge.  Below the title bar Etsy shows a little countdown of how many characters are remaining to help you out.

Tip # 2: Use keyword phrases and separate them for readability

Etsy SEO relies on your title to determine which keyword phrases you should rank for.  This means you want to fill your title with as many keywords as possible.  You want to make sure they are readable, though.  One way to do this is to separate keyword phrases with commas, dashes, slashes or the pipe symbol.  I personally prefer dashes with a space before and after the dash.  Here is an example of my Uncork & Unwind sign’s title:

Wine Sign – Christmas Gift – Uncork and Unwind – Wedding Gift – Birthday Gift – Wine Lover – Rustic – Kitchen Decor – Bar Sign – 18″ x 2.5″

Tip # 3: Use title case in your title for a professional look

I’ve seen a lot of Etsy titles with all caps or all lowercase letters. While I think that can have its place I really love the look of title case within a title.  I’m not great at explaining grammar but click here to read more about what title case is and how to use it.

Tip # 4: Put your strongest keywords at the front of the title

Etsy SEO will consider the keywords at the front of the title as the most important.  Also, only the first few words appear to buyers when they view your listing in the search results.  When creating a title I always make a list of every keyword phrase I want to rank for and then put them in the order I would consider most important.  This is the order that I place them in the title.  Your first 2-3 words should be the number 1 keyword phrase that you would like to rank for.  To learn about implementing these keyword phrases which are called long tail keywords check out this blog post.

Tip # 5: Vary your Etsy titles

There are a few reasons that your titles should be different from product to product.  The first one is that while you are trying to rank within Etsy, you also want to keep Google happy because buyers are going to find you through Google.  Google doesn’t like exact duplicates and may penalize you for having two products with the exact same wording.  This applies to descriptions as well.

Another reason your titles should be different is that you don’t want to compete against yourself.  As a general rule, Etsy only displays one of your listings per page for each search result.  If you have the same keyword phrase at the beginning of each title Etsy sees that you want to rank highly for that keyword.  Since you can only appear once per page you are competing against yourself.  I have a lot of listings that are similar but I try to make the titles different so that I appear in different search results.

Tip # 6: Don’t use keyword phrases that are too competitive

Think of your Etsy product as a fish.  You can either stand out in a little pond or get lost in a big pond.  When you are starting out with a listing, you want to choose keyword phrases that don’t have a high level of products competing for them.  As your product gains momentum you can try to use keywords that are more competitive but when starting out I recommend sticking to keyword phrases that have 2,000 or fewer products competing.  To check how many products are competing for a keyword phrase, type your keyword phrase into the search bar within Etsy and you will see the number of results that appear.  If the number is over 2,000 you should keep searching for keyword phrases that aren’t as popular.  You’ll have a much better chance at appearing higher in the search results for low competition keywords.

Bonus Tip!: Your Etsy title should include the same keyword phrases as your tags

I’ve saved the best one for last.  As I explained in my Etsy SEO post, you want to include the same keyword phrases in your titles and in your tags.  This is the number one key to appearing in search results.  You want the words to be in the same order whenever possible as well.  You’ll never match them up perfectly but get as close as you can.  Make sure your most important keywords match up and this will help ensure you appear in the search results for those phrases.

Takeaways for Etsy Titles:

  • Use all 140 characters within your title or get as close as you can
  • Separate your keyword phrases for readability.  I recommend dashes with a space before and after each one.
  • Use title case for a professional look
  • Put your MVP keywords at the front of the title
  • Vary your product titles from product to product
  • Avoid keyword phrases that have more than 2,000 products competing for them
  • Match up your keyword phrases in your titles and your tags

P.S. – I know all of this can seem overwhelming and overly complicated.  Take it one step at a time and just work on a few listings per day.  Also, check out this post where I explain why Etsy SEO is so complicated and the factors that impact the search ranking.

Ready to take your Etsy SEO to the next level?

 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.


Etsy SEO: What Is It and Why Is It so Important?

Etsy SEO

What is Etsy SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  Search engines, such as the product search within Etsy return results based on the keyword phrases users enter into the search bar. Etsy SEO refers to any of the work that you do to help improve where your products appear in the Etsy search results.  Where your products appear in the search is often called search ranking.

How does SEO work within Etsy?

Your title and tags within each Etsy product listing are the main two pieces of info that Etsy uses to determine which search results your listings will appear in and where they will appear.  When your product appears in the search results for a particular keyword phrase that is referred to as ranking for that keyword phrase.  To optimize your Etsy SEO, you will want to look at each product listing and determine which keywords your buyers are most likely to use when searching.  These are the words that you will use in your title and your tags.

Setting up your Etsy Title

Each product title can have up to 140 characters within it which includes spaces.  This space is extremely valuable, so you want to fill it with as many keywords as possible.  To help make the title readable you can also separate your keyword phrases with hyphens, commas, dashes or the pipe symbol.  I prefer hyphens.

Another important point is to make sure you use keywords that describe your product.  Showing up for the wrong search terms won’t generate sales, and you’ll be wasting valuable keyword space.

Here’s an example of the title for my But First, Coffee sign where I’ve used every character:

But First Coffee Sign – Christmas Gift – Rustic Wood – Kitchen Decor – Gift for Mom – Housewarming Gift – Birthday Gift for Her – Coffee Bar

You want to put your best keywords at the front of your title.  Etsy considers the keywords at the front of your title to be most important and you’ll get a boost in the search ranking for those keywords.  I recommend putting the top keyword phrase someone might use to search for your product at the very beginning of your title.  You also want to focus on finding good quality long tail keywords.  Click here to read a post all about what they are and how to select them.

Setting up your Etsy Tags

Tags are what Etsy calls the keywords for each listing.  You can have up to 13 tags for each of your products.  Each tag can have up to 20 characters including spaces.  Create your tags using the keyword phrases that you added in your title.  Also, if your keyword phrase is too long to fit in one tag break it up into two tags.

Here are the tags that I used for the But First, Coffee listing:

but first coffee, Coffee sign, coffee bar, coffee kitchen sign, housewarming gift, coffee gift, coffee, kitchen decor, birthday gift, gift for her, just because gift, christmas gift, gift for mom

I wanted to create a tag with the words “But First, Coffee Sign” but it wouldn’t fit so I split it into two (“But First, Coffee” and “Coffee Sign”).

Using Titles and Tags Together to Optimize SEO

To optimize your SEO, you need to make sure that you have as many of the same keywords in your titles and your tags as possible.  While it can be tricky because of the character limitations, try to match as many as you can.  If a keyword appears in both, it raises your chances of ranking for that keyword.

Are there other things that impact SEO?

Yes.  Etsy has a complicated algorithm that they use to determine the order that product listings appear in the search results.  Some of these are last renewed date, the number of favorites and sales, reviews, your profile and whether you have any open cases against your shop.  All of this can be overwhelming.  When starting out, focus on making sure that you’ve used your entire title space and all of your tags.  Check out this post to learn about all the factors that impact your ranking in the Etsy search results.

Takeaways for Etsy SEO:

  • Etsy SEO is the key to making sure your listings appear when buyers search within Etsy
  • Fill your title up with keywords, placing the most important ones toward the front
  • Use all 13 tags for each listing
  • Use as many of the same keywords in your titles and tags as you can

 Ready to take your Etsy SEO to the next level?

Disclaimer:  The above info is what has worked 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.

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