How To Choose the Right Keywords For Etsy Listings

No matter what type of products you sell on Etsy, chances are that you have a lot of competition. After all, there are nearly six million total sellers on Etsy and only a limited number of product categories. At the same time, Etsy sellers have a huge variety of products for sale, regardless of which language they use or what country they’re from.

Ultimately, all Etsy sellers need to ensure that their products are visible to the shopping public. Ideally, products should be on the first page of results for each keyword since those products will get the largest amount of organic traffic. For this reason, choosing the right keywords for each of your Etsy Listings is critical to success. Luckily, there are several ways that Etsy sellers can pick the best keywords to showcase their products.

Let’s dive in.

How to use keywords on Etsy

Before we talk about keyword selection, it’s important to know how keywords work on Etsy. That’s because the platform handles keywords somewhat differently from other search-based platforms. Furthermore, different uses of the keyword allow you to employ more of them than you would if keywords only appeared in the item listing title.

Here’s the thing — Etsy uses both the headline and the entire body of your listing to help determine search ranking. Therefore, by using keywords in more than one place, you will increase your chances for success.


You might also call this the headline because it’s the first thing that everybody sees. It should also include your primary keyword. To maximize your chances of success, consider using a long-tail keyword. Marketers use this term to refer to a more specific keyword phrase as opposed to a shorter one, called a short tail keyword. As an example, the term “pink yarn” would be a short-tail keyword. This term would return a lot of results, many of which would not be relevant to the potential customer.

By contrast, a long-tail keyword for the same yarn might be “worsted weight pink wool yarn.” This keyword is actually quite specific — somebody who is a knitter or croak share would understand exactly what kind of yarn you’re trying to sell. Certainly, there is still a lot of potential variation — pink can refer to many different shades — but the keyword would give your shopper a short enough list of results to potentially find what they want. 

Attributes and product descriptions

On Etsy, an attribute is an extra detail about your product that isn’t obvious right away. For instance, you can include something that customers may not look for in the initial search but that they’d find important to know. For example, in the vintage products space, there are often technical terms for various items that your customer may or may not know. So, you might choose to use a less technical term in the listing headline. Later, you can add those specific technical terms to the attributes section or the product description.

Let’s go back to our yarn example. Varieties of pink can include rose, magenta, hot pink, fuchsia, baby pink, and more. Adding the appropriate shade to the attributes or the product description for that ball of yarn could help somebody who needs something specific find the yarn faster. At the same time, there would be fewer balls of yarn being displayed in the search results.

Choosing your keywords

As you can see, picking the right keywords for each Etsy product may not be as easy as it sounds. Not only is there a lot of room for specification, but you must account for your competitors. Similarly, it’s critical that each keyword you choose is an accurate representation of your product. Otherwise, your listing will act more like spam and be penalized accordingly by Etsy.

Fortunately, are several ways in which you can pick the best keywords for Etsy products.

Consider how customers search

By far, the most important consideration for an Etsy product keyword is whether or not it describes your product. In this case, you’re mostly interested in how a potential customer would search for your product. Specifically, you want to think about the search terms that they may use since this is the most important aspect of Etsy SEO.

Seems obvious, right? Well, not quite. Part of the problem that we face when choosing the right keywords on Etsy is that customers might use different terms for our products than we do. As an example, if you have a balsa wood model kit, not everyone will think of the term “balsa wood.” Instead, they might say, “thin and light,” “plyboard,” or even “raft wood.” While the usual term in North America is balsa wood, you might consider adding the others in your tags. Or, if you live in a region where the other terms are more common, use that one in the title.

Use the Etsy search bar

A wonderful (and totally free) technique for choosing keywords is the Etsy search bar. This works because when you start to type a term into the search bar, you’ll get several suggestions. Those suggestions can give you ideas that you haven’t thought of yet, such as alternative terms. You can also get long-tail keywords this way.

Here’s another way the search bar can help: association. When keywords are associated with each other, you may find that both keywords apply to your product at the same time. “Wool yarn” might be a good example because, in some countries, the term “wool” is associated with yarn, even if it’s a different fiber.

Leverage keyword research tools

Like most other platforms, there are some Etsy-specific keyword research tools. For instance, there’s some functionality in your Etsy seller account. You can use your seller account to look at where your traffic is coming from, allowing you to make adjustments.

However, the best keyword research tools are from third-party vendors. In particular, you should use some keyword research tools, as well as Google Analytics. Etsy lets you pair your account with Google Analytics, which helps you see why people arrive on your page, including the keywords used. Then, you can look for related keywords that also apply to your products and see how much traffic they generate.

Ensure everything is relevant

Once you’ve chosen keywords that appear to match your products, make sure that they’re appropriate. Few things are more frustrating to consumers than typing in a search term and getting a bunch of irrelevant listings. While you’ll get more eyeballs in the short term, people are unlikely to buy something that doesn’t match their intent.

Guess what? Etsy will also reduce your product position over time. Like other search algorithms, Etsy search always tries to give searchers the most relevant results possible. Therefore, only items that match the keyword descriptions are likely to stay on the first page.

Keep an eye on the competition

No matter how well you choose keywords, it’s always important to know what your competitors are doing. Not only can you challenge them with better product descriptions, but you can also compete with them directly on hot products.

Unfortunately, it takes time to find out what the best products are. At least, it does with manual searching. At Toolsy, we take the guesswork out of building your product line and growing your business. With better information delivered faster, you’ll have more time to do other Etsy-related tasks – like answering customer questions and shipping a larger number of orders.

Best of all, you’ll see many of the keywords you should use for your products, old and new.

Show CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment