Etsy Keywords Explained – Get ultimate SEO exposure

Etsy Keywords Explained. Let me help you get the ultimate SEO exposure by understanding the basics of selling on Etsy. If you don’t take the time to understand Etsy keywords, you’ll never really be seen. You will either be talking to nobody by using keywords that people are not searching for or be using keywords that everyone is using and it will be nearly impossible to rank for them.

This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if qualifying purchases are made, at no extra cost to you.

How important are keywords?

When I first started out, I knew that when it came to keywords it wasn’t going to be a part of the process that I could just skip over, work on the other areas, and hope to come out somewhere In the middle.

A lot of sellers who are new to Etsy hear “keywords” and think of it as a generalized word that describes what they are selling. Something like “Gold Ring”. Repeat it a few times and wait for the buyers to show up. (Girl, they’re still waiting).

Grab a drink, a notepad, or better yet join the club below and grab your own free Etsy keyword checklist, and let's dive right in.

There are actually a few different types of keywords to focus on

Broad keywords, focus keywords, descriptive keywords, long tail focus keywords, additional supporting keywords, and super targeted keywords.

Let’s talk about the main types of keywords, which to use, and which to avoid

Broad keywords – Broad keywords are one or two words, super generic, and very competitive. They get a lot of engagement but not so many sales. Think of “Mug” or even “coffee mug”. That could be anything right? Think of all the unanswered questions about this item. What colour is it? Is it for a mom or a dad? Is it a travel mug? Does it have a funny saying on it? You get it. Very broad and not targeting anyone specifically.

Focus keywords – Focus keywords start to paint the picture of what you’re offering. “Clear coffee mug”. Now everyone who’s looking for a black coffee mug isn’t going to land on your listing, leave right away, and mess up your conversion rates. You start targeting down the right shoppers when you are being more specific in your listings. We are still targeting a coffee mug, only we just eliminated a whole lot of guesswork as to what kind.

Descriptive keywords – I wanted to add this in because they are important to think of when brainstorming. Some examples could be “dainty”, “tiny”, or “personalized”. These words generally don’t make much sense as their own keywords, but they help describe your item and you’re going to want to pair them with your focus keywords.

now for The secret sauce to getting found on Etsy

Long-tail focus keyword – Usually 3-4 combined keywords. Needs to be descriptive. “Personalized clear coffee mug”. These are the kind of keywords that are going to pair you with actual buyers. If someone types in “coffee mug” in the search, they might not even know what they are looking for yet. Even if they did land on your shop with a term like that, it’s a total gamble for you both. BUT if someone types in “personalized clear coffee mug”, and you have optimized your listing for SEO correctly (see that post here if you missed it), then you have a VERY good chance you are getting that sale.

This will ultimately help your conversion rates go up and as long as you are following all the other best practices, there’s a good chance Etsy will start boosting this listing in front of others searching for this or something very similar.

Additional supporting keywords – Once you figure out your focus and long tail focus keywords, those will be the main ones for your listing. However, you still need to sprinkle some other words in there to reach more shoppers. Plus you get 13 tags and you need to be using them all. This could be a “personalized coffee mug” maybe this particular buyer doesn’t know they are looking for clear specifically. “Glass coffee mug”, “Clear Mug”, “16 oz mug”.

Additional keywords that still represent what you are selling very closely, but give you a chance to reach more search results. They can be more broad, so you don’t want to start your listing title with them but they are still a great addition to your tags and if they are a match to your item.

Super targeted keywords – Very specific. Could be low search volume and low competition, but a high click-through rate. Not every niche is going to focus on these but if you find a gap in the market or know you have a very specific product that people are looking for, then this is going to generate great sales. These words are not necessarily long tail, but they are not so competitive. Keyword tools really come in handy for this kind of research.

Think like a buyer when it comes to using Etsy keywords

You might have a collection of fun and beautiful names you call your products and launches over on the gram, but it’s no use on Etsy. If you fill your title and listing description with something like “flower child denim” because you made a super cute jean jacket that you covered with floral, nobody is going to be typing that in search.

You will want to stick to something more like “Embroidered Denim Jacket” or “Kids Denim Jacket”. You have to always be thinking of SEO and what the customer will be typing in on their end and how you can get Etsy to put you in front of them.

The best practice for Etsy keywords

Make a list of 10 to 20 possible keywords that you think best describe your product and are words someone would use when looking for that item. Then research them. It seems like a lot of thinking and searching, and it can be. It will get easier as you make more listings and sometimes you might just have to change your main long-tail focus keyword, but many of the other focus keywords might still apply. (You don’t want to make all your listings the same though because it’s all about expanding your reach)

Still feeling a little lost?

Don’t worry. There are lots of resources to help you do research and find keywords that will be right for you. The best part of doing research is that a lot of times you come across good keywords that you might have never come up with on your own!

Etsy Keyword research tools & resources

ETSY SEARCH BAR – I wouldn’t call this a “research tool” because It isn’t going to give you any data for keywords. However, sometimes it might be a good starting point if your new to Etsy or have a new product you are adding to your shop. You can start typing what you think your product is called and trending/recent searches will populate. After typing a few different things you might come to the conclusion that there is a more accurate name for what you are selling. Then you could take that information as a starting point to begin your own keyword research.

KEYWORDS EVERYWHERE – you can get a chrome or Firefox add on making this super easy to use. It will tell you things like search volume, competition, and trend data. A lot of people who use this will still use something like Erank or Marmalead too.

FACEBOOK GROUPS Many Etsy sellers belong to Facebook groups (or maybe another social group you are a part of) You can simply post a picture and ask the other members to let you know what they would search if they were looking for this item. It helps to get an idea outside your own head sometimes.

MARMALEAD – Many of serious Etsy sellers use this tool. They have a free trial period you can play around with before you purchase a plan which can be helpful if you just want to sit down and get a few good ideas going. Lots of very valuable data, trends, comparisons, and more. This is the kind of tool that is going to show you lot’s of other relevant keywords when you search, which helps with coming up with those additional words for tags. Beginner-friendly and lots of online support to help if you need it.

ERANK – Very similar to Marmalead. Different versions of both free and paid accounts. I’d start (I did start), with one of these right off the bat. I cannot imagine trying to guess my keywords without it. You will see the monthly search volume on the keyword, click-through rate, competition, all that good stuff. Erank and Marmalead will both have seasonal trending sections, areas to save keyword lists and much more.

Where to put all these amazing Etsy keywords now that you have them? Simply put, everywhere.

Listing Title – This is one of, if not the most important focus areas of your carefully selected keywords.

Description – Etsy may not query match with this area but it matters for SEO with outside sources like google for the first 160 characters.

Tags – Almost as important as your title. Make sure you use all 13!

Shop Title – The 55 characters become your shop preview on Google.

Shop Sections – This is a lot of extra “opportunity space” to sprinkle keywords that relate to your business all over in the section write-ups.

If you’re still here I’m seriously so excited that you want to learn how to actually make money on Etsy. If I can do it so can you.

Remember you can have good keywords all over your shop but don’t forget when it comes to overall SEO and ranking on the Etsy platform, there is more to it than just having the best long-tail focus keywords.

These kinds of posts are always so much longer than I plan, but I really want to help you understand Etsy keywords so you can implement them in your own shop. They will truly make or break your shop when it comes to generating consistent sales. I really hope this breakdown can help you make sense of keywords. It’s time to actually get excited about driving traffic you your new or existing shop!

Good luck!


Hey Creative, you must be ready to get serious with your Etsy SEO. I’m glad you’re here because I’m about to break down Etsy SEO for beginners in a way that’s easy to understand so you can start ranking on Etsy. It’s time to increase your traffic, start ranking on Etsy and start hearing that lovely little Etsy “Cha-ching”.

This is a long one, but it’s jam-packed with what you need to know!

If you are serious about your shop, you need a good understanding of Etsy SEO, trust me when I say it makes ALL the difference in your sales game!

This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if qualifying purchases are made, at no extra cost to you.

Here are my proven Etsy SEO tips and tricks that will help you get noticed on Etsy and increase your shop sales!

Etsy SEO for beginners, where do I start?

What does Etsy SEO mean and why is it so important?

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – Simply put, it is the optimizing of your shop, listings, website etc. that makes you rank higher in search engine results. When done right, this process can greatly improve the visibility of your shop listings coming up in search engine results.

Etsy SEO Is how the Etsy platform knows what shoppers are looking for when they are searching keywords and sentences in the search bar.

As the seller, it’s a way of writing about your product so that it will get the attention from the search engine and ideally put you in front of your soon-to-be buyer. (That’s where Etsy SEO for beginners is really going to help you shine!)

When done right, proper Etsy SEO will help your shop pop up on the first few pages of the Etsy platform. Proper SEO will go beyond the Etsy platform and also cause your shop to generate in search results on sites like Google.

You can dive deep into learning all about Etsy SEO, really deep. But honestly, as a beginner, it just doesn’t have to be that complicated. Yes, SEO plays a major role in online business, but you don’t want to get stuck in an SEO research spiral, overwhelm yourself, and avoid it altogether.


I wanted to make money on Etsy, actual money. I didn’t have a former marketing or SEO background, and I wondered if it was even possible. Was I just too late to the game? (Spoiler alert, I wasn’t too late and that’s why I’m able to share what really works with you now!)


  • Drove lot’s of traffic right from within Etsy
  • Shows my listings (multiple) on the first pages of Etsy search for my focus keywords
  • Appear in google search
  • Made sales within a week of opening my shop
  • Make multiple sales a day (consistently)
  • Made 1000 sales in just over 4 months
  • Made over 5000 sales in my first year
  • Multiple best sellers
  • Steadily increased views, visits, and sales
  • Generating over $3000 in a 30 day period at the one year open mark


With a better understanding that you need to use SEO so that Etsy can put your listings in front of the people who are looking for what you offer.. let’s quickly go over why it’s important that you don’t just “wing it” when it comes to choosing keywords.

There are over 80 million buyers on Etsy.

In the first quarter of 2021, there were over 4.6 million sellers on Etsy. That’s a big number. I’m not trying to scare you. It’s just to let you know that ya, there are a lot of people selling on Etsy so you need to take things seriously if you want to be seen. Writing a listing description and filling out your tags and title without doing any research, is going to leave you with the sounds of crickets, and not happy little cha-chings.

The good news is, there are a lot of people on the platform that treat their shop as a hobby and lots of sellers don’t take the time to figure out the importance of Etsy SEO. You’re already ahead of many just for taking the time to read this and show initiative.

I’ve put as much time into being found on Etsy as working on my products themselves. But because of that, I know it’s possible to be a new shop and get found. That’s why I can speak to the importance of Etsy SEO for beginners.

how do I start ranking on Etsy?

The whole purpose of the Etsy platform is to match buyers with the right sellers to make it a good customer experience so they return to Etsy time and time again. Like any business, right? Etsy SEO isn’t designed to be a big tricky secret. They want happy shoppers which takes educated sellers and they are pretty good at sharing how their algorithms and SEO works in addition to lots of other helpful information that they shares with us.


Shoppers search and Etsy pairs. Query matching is based on specific factors in your listing that then boost your ranking towards a shoppers search query. SEO doing its job.


This is where everything you have added to your listing comes together in hopes to make your listing one that Etsy suggests to the buyer. Behind the scenes, Etsy gathers all the listings that match the shopper’s query, views the information they have about each listing and shop and then ranks them for the best fit. Which lets them be able to show the shopper the listings they think they are most likely to purchase.


Relevancy – Comes from your tags, titles, categories, and attributes matching up throughout your listing and to the shopper’s query. If your keywords are an exact match, then chances are you will rank higher and have the potential to show up in the search results. This is why you need to do your research to see what shoppers are actually searching, not just assume they have the same thoughts as you.

New Listings – Every time you publish a new listing, it gets a small temporary boost in the Etsy search results to help the platform gather its data. To see how buyers are interacting, and develop the listings quality score. This boost can be a few hours to a few days. It’s not really something that helps us have a good idea of how the listing is performing in such a short period of time.

Listing Quality Score – Etsy wants to show a buyer something that they think is right for them so they buy it and Etsy gets the overall sale. Etsy is a massive database that is constantly taking clues from how other shoppers interact with your listings. They know how many people are landing on your listing and how many are making a purchase. This is your conversion rate. These actions will determine if they think buyers are actually interested in your listing. If they are interested, this info will boost that listings place in the search results and the overall quality score. This is why you don’t want to use irrelevant or really broad keywords because it can do you more harm than good to your listing.

Shipping Costs $ – It’s all about FREE shipping. This was introduced in the last few years but any physical seller can do it. Shoppers love the term FREE and Etsy is going to boost those listings with free shipping and put them ahead of those without. If your item is $30.00 and $15 to ship, change your price to $45 and offer free shipping.

Customer Experience – Etsy is a buyers market. They want the customer to have a great experience and they reward the shops that take the time to align with this experience. Getting good reviews is a HUGE deal on Etsy. Positive reviews are also going to help get you another boost in the ranking. It is also crucial to fill out your shop policies, your FAQ section, and the about me section. The more pride you take in your shop is not only just helpful for the customers but also to show Etsy you’re trying to make your shop a good experience. Which can also have a positive impact on your ranking. You want to respond to customer inquiries in 24-48 hours. The sooner the better.

TIP: Make sure you have the sell on Etsy app on your phone and your notifications turned on. If they send a message to multiple shops, chances are they aren’t going to wait around to get all the answers before making their decision.

This Etsy SEO for beginners outline was written to give you a clear picture of how it all comes together. You see how SEO plays such a big role, so let’s talk about implementing it.


Titles – Most important place to add Long-tail keywords, focus keywords, additional keywords

Attributes – Colour, Occasion, Holiday, etc.

Categories – Kind of like tags, help optimize for SEO

Tags – Research, Use all 13, Crucial for SEO and should pair with your title

Shop Sections – Don’t do  T I T L E S  L I K E  T H I S your wasting SEO space, be strategic

Description – *Updated May 17, 2022* In the past, Etsy has mentioned that the product description section does not factor into ranking in search results. If this seems to ring a bell, this USED to be true. It has always been a good idea to use your focus keywords in your descriptions regardless though because it is something search engines like Google pay attention to.. so you might already be in luck. As of May 2022, Etsy has now confirmed they will be scanning listing descriptions as a part of the ranking process. I strongly suggest making sure that the first 155 characters of your description contain the most important keywords that you are trying to rank for. Then, sprinkle some additional tags throughout the remainder of your write up. Form good sentences here because this is a major opportunity to sell the shopper on your listing and turn them into your customer. You don’t want to keyword stuff and sound like a robot or have them wondering additional questions. 

Are you still with me? Great! I’m so excited that you want to learn more and get serious about your business.

KEYWORDS are the foundation of your entire shop and being found by shoppers that are going to convert into sales. Make sure to read Etsy Keywords Explained for ultimate exposure so you can optimize your entire Etsy shop and start getting excited about driving more traffic.


*Always MAKE A COPY of your listings before you start changing anything. Some listings might be working and you don’t want to destroy that. Focus on ones that haven’t had any traction at all, or just make a copy, edit it, then monitor the changes in traffic.

I hope this got you thinking of some areas you could work on within your shop, or that maybe you’ve neglected altogether. If you learnt anything new I’d love to know down below.

Good luck!