In last week’s 5 step overview on optimizing your Etsy SEO we talked about keyword research, but this week we’re going to dive a little deeper into niche keyword research. What are niche keywords exactly? They are highly specific phrases relating to a narrow industry. Basically, using long tail keywords to get very clear-cut about what you offer and who it’s for.

Now to be able to search for and find the most valuable niche keywords, you need to first figure out what your niche is! Without it, you won’t be able to find those keywords that will push you to the top. What do you offer? Who is your target customer? What problem do you solve for them? On Etsy, this may even vary from product to product in your shop, giving you multiple niche keyword opportunities.

Why use niche keywords?

Long tail keywords are where it’s at. Think about when you yourself are shopping online. If you were looking to update your wardrobe and wanted to see what was out there, you might search for generic terms like “women’s jacket”. You are browsing and getting an idea of what you might want to buy. But if you already have in mind you want a specific item, you might search for something like “women’s dark wash denim jacket”. You are ready to buy a jacket if you find the right one, because you’ve already decided it’s what you want. This is what makes niche keywords so valuable. It also makes it easier to rank for that specific keyword – less competition means you have a better chance of rising to the top of the search results.

How can I find the niche keywords for my products? First you want to decide on your focus keywords. Let’s say you’re selling the denim jacket in the example above. Starting with the focus keyword “denim jacket”, you want to build off the keyword to build out your niche keyword list. You can utilize a few of the following tools to help you discover and expand your list:

  1. Etsy Shop Stats and Listing Stats Look at your overall shop stats as well as your listing stats to see what people have typed in to find you so far! This is so valuable, as Etsy is telling you exactly how shoppers come across your shop.
  2. Type your focus keywords into the Etsy search box to see what comes up.
  3. Utilize Google! Search for the term and then scroll down to the “Searches related” section at the bottom to see what popular searches related to the item have been. When I type in “denim jacket”, “black denim jacket” “levi’s denim jacket women’s” “oversize denim jacket” and “distressed denim jacket” all pop up. You can also use Google Keyword Planner to build out your list.
  4. Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest! Pinterest is essentially a search engine, and one that is under utilized for keyword research. When you search for something, Pinterest will give you a list of additional popular keywords people have been combining with that search term in little colored bubbles below the search bar. Look through and see if there are any that pertain specifically to your product. For this example, “outfit” “cropped” “oversized” “custom” and “men” came up as ideas.
  5. Etsy specific keyword research tools (such as Marmalead) can be really valuable as they help you compare keywords, discover new ones, see what competitors are using and rank keywords by search volume in Etsy specifically as you go along.

So how do I use niche keywords on Etsy exactly?

Selling on Etsy means you have the opportunity to utilize your titles, tags, attributes and categories to test and combine multiple keywords – and you should be making the most of all of them. The trick is to find the right balance between using both broad, popular terms that will get your listing rotated into the mix, and specific enough niche keywords that you also connect with that smaller group of shoppers ready to buy. You don’t want to narrow down so much that you don’t have enough people searching for what you are offering, so it’s important to try and find the mix.

Remember that you want to place your most important keywords at the very beginning of your title, and repeat in the tags. With the 20 character limit for tags on Etsy, it can be hard to fit all the long tail keywords you want into one single tag. Etsy will use a combination of your keywords to match what the customer is searching for, but keep in mind that exact phrase matches are stronger than matches on individual words. For example, they will combine a “candle” tag with an “essential oil” tag, but would give preference to the tag “essential oil candle”.

Add variety throughout your listings! Use your research and test different niche keywords across your listings – don’t make every listing the same. I recently worked with a client who was running a very successful Etsy shop, but all his listings used the same keywords in the titles and tags – it was hard to differentiate between his products quickly. After doing all of the above and editing his listings, he us up 75% year over year in revenue at $73k in just one of his shops!

Finally, don’t just list an item and forget about it. Keep a running keyword bank to test and evaluate as you move forward. If you do your research, test a variety of niche keywords and adjust as you go along, you’ll certainly be on track to meet your business goals in no time!