For my highest earning Etsy store, I haven’t used any kind of promotion to drive traffic as of yet.
This store is heavily reliant on search engine optimization (SEO) and listing images to keep the sales going.
I sell mostly print on demand and digital products, so the store runs itself on autopilot and I never have to go on vacation mode.
All I have to do is answer customer messages and keep creating new listings.
Click here to see how I set up an Etsy print on demand store.
In this article, I will be discussing my Etsy SEO methods, and showing you my step-by-step research method I use to find keywords that sell.
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The Etsy research tool I would recommend is SaleSamurai.
I’ll be showing you how to use it in this article.
It helps me find keywords with low competition and high demand as well as tracking competitors and helping optimize listings on Etsy, for a very affordable price.
It is officially approved for use by Etsy.
On top of that, there’s a 3 day FREE TRIAL so you can follow along with me through this tutorial risk-free.
Make sure to sign up using the button above, and you can get a 20% lifetime discount with my code “tia20” at checkout.
While it is possible to get sales doing research manually like this, I only really got lucky a few times stabbing in the dark.
But with this tool I’ve since started selling in several new profitable niches that I would never have found before.
There are tutorials inside the tool for how to use each feature, so I won’t go over every part.
This article will cover how I use certain features to complete the 3 key steps in creating a successful listing: research, listing and SEO.
To see pretty much all the features (except the uploader) in use, watch the video.
Once you sign up, you can log in through the website. Install the chrome extension as indicated, and log into that as well.
The chrome extension is what sets Sale Samurai apart from other tools like eRank and Marmalead.
You can see live search data in Etsy itself.
The extension allows you to find the search volume per month and competition for popular keywords and keywords related to any words you type in the search bar.
Step 1: Choosing a lead keyword(s)
This can be any word to describe what you want to sell e.g. cat shirt, dog shirt.
This tool allows you to sell in competitive niches, because it allows you to see competition for related and less saturated keywords e.g. “labradoodle” if you search “dog”.
It also suggests long tail keywords.
You can sell in a niche you’re interested in, or look for trending niches and topics in the Etsy trending section.
A great way to get ideas is using the events calendar built into Sale Samurai which shows you official and unofficial holidays.
Holiday related things sell very well on Etsy.
Find Movers and Shakers Using Merch Informer
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You can also use Merch Informer to find trending designs on Amazon. Sign up using the button above.
A great indicator for a trend is a sudden drop in BSR for Amazon Merch shirts.
You’ll find these in the “Movers and Shakers” section. This will help identify popular niches in the world’s #1 eCommerce marketplace.
Step 2: Finding Related Keywords
Click ‘more’ to bring up a full list of related keywords with their data. You can also use the entry fields at the top to filter by competition and search volume e.g. “I only want to see keywords with 500+ searches and less than 300 competition”.
Keep in mind when looking for long tail keywords that tags can be up to 20 characters long.
Aim to include these in your title instead, and make sure you trademark and copyright check your keywords.
You can copy the keywords that interest you onto your spreadsheet using these buttons:
How much search and competition?
I can’t give you strict numbers as every niche will have different baseline level of saturation and popularity.
If I’m selling t-shirts, I personally look for 500+ searches and less than 500 competition.
I also calculate the ratio between search volume:competition, aiming for 1:1 or more.
Finding additional keywords for your tags and title
You can use the search function on the Sale Samurai website to scout keywords.
This shows you related keywords as well as some data for the one you’re interested in. This includes CTR (click through rate) which is a key indicator of conversion, as well as competition on Google. Etsy listings also show up in Google, so this information is useful to know.
You can favorite keywords by clicking the heart, and these will show up in your favorites section. You can also see your search history.
You can organize the keywords by creating categories.
You can find and spy on the top sellers in your niche, which is great for getting ideas about how to write your listings and the images you want to use.
For other listings, you can see other people’s tags, SEO and price spread so you have an idea of what price to assign your listing.
It’s easy to lose money selling on Etsy because of all the fees.
The calculator will help you find out your profit margins, including considerations such as discounts and offsite ads.
See my full breakdown of Etsy fees here.
The ROI calculator is useful for calculating key metrics if you are using Etsy Ads.
Step 3: Spy on Other Shops
You can bookmark other shops to spy on by entering their shop name into the ‘competition tracker’ section.
I couldn’t show the data in the video as it takes a few days to update. Here’s what information you get:
If there is a sudden increase or drop in their sales, you can snoop around and see what’s up.
You can see another shop’s keyword optimization score for any keyword on a particular listing:
You can also track the competition and average price of keywords over time.
Once you’ve found a few relevant, low competition high demand keywords, put them in your tags and title. The title is the most important part of your listing for SEO – for a template on how to write titles see here.
You may only find a few great ones per search, and that’s okay.
Remember to experiment with different research methods and use your own historical sales data to inform which words to use.
Step 4: Connect Your Shop to Optimize Existing Listings
In ‘shops’ you can connect your store – for example, I’ve connected my demo account for tutorials:
You can see if any listings are missing tags or images, then go back and add them in.
This is an easy way to see an overview of your shop data in one place. There’s also a sales map to see where most of your sales are coming from.
Hopefully this walkthrough gives you a better idea of how to do keyword research on Etsy, which is vital if you are relying on SEO.
Keep in mind that the best data is still your own, and these tools aren’t a substitute for experience and experimentation.
What’s selling for you will probably sell again, whereas that might not be the case when comparing your store with other people’s or going off trends.
That being said, SaleSamurai has been extremely helpful for my Etsy store and it has my highest recommendation.
Give it a try using my discount code “tia20” for 20% off lifetime, and see for yourself!
Check out this page for other tool and resource recommendations.