Etsy SEO Tutorial – How To Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner
Let’s take a second to state the obvious. SEO, regardless of if it’s for Etsy, Pinterest or blogging, remains a bit of a mystery to many. Even those of us who study it sometimes find ourselves scratching our heads.
If you’re looking to remove the veil of mystery and pinpoint traffic rich keywords, enticing buying customers to your door, it’s time to launch into one of my favorite free Google tools – Adwords.
Originally designed to help you manage your paid Google campaigns, this puppy unlocks a wealth of knowledge in deciphering popular terms and pulling the duds from your product descriptions.
Opening A Google Adwords Account
Bottom line, no one explains this better than Google. If you haven’t opened an account, check out their amazing tutorial here.
While they will encourage you to run different Adwords campaigns (aka – advertise on Google), know you don’t have to spend any money or buy any ads to open the account. You can just ignore all the noise around launching campaigns or signs saying you don’t have any campaigns running.
One important note, make sure you are in a country that uses your currency of choice or you select your current currency. I set up my account while in Thailand, which means my currency is permanently set to Baht. Until I close this account and launch a new one, I’ll continually be evaluating bids in the Thai ฿ (baht). *Sigh*
Exploring Potential Etsy SEO Keywords
Depending on where you land when opening Adwords, you might need to navigate to the Keyword Planner tool. On the toolbar, scroll over to “Tools” then down to “Keyword Planner.”
Once in the planner tool, will find a multitude of choices. Start with the “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category” tab.
You can explore based on specific keyword(s), a specific landing page or by category. If don’t have a set list of different terms to search, start by adding a few terms or descriptors for your products in the “Your product or service” section.
Over time, you will want to go in and refine your search results (that’s the second half of the form below). This will be when you have a better idea of your target market, demographics and possibly search terms that you want to eliminate.
If you’re an English-speaking business based in the US, most likely your default settings are fine for this first round of exploring. The 12-month timeframe gives you a good baseline to work with, unless you’re exploring timely topics. The main information we are after is volume, competition, and related keywords.
Inspired by the incredible work of Simply Pallets, I decided to search for “pallet, pallet art, pallet sign.”
A lot of my search results revolved around buying pallets. Unless a store sells the entire pallets, that’s not going to help very much. I refined to “pallet art, pallet sign.” This proved to be much more beneficial for a shop featuring pallet products. If my store sold a variety of different pallet and wooden signs, these are good words to have on hand. I made a note to include in the second phase of keyword searching.
At this point, you’ll want to continue refining to discover keywords that help you narrow in on your specific industry. Once you key in on those terms, and narrow in on a strong report full of useful keywords – download the results in an Excel CVS file.
Searching Relevant Terms
With my initial search results tucked away in my downloaded excel, I continued my search. This time I pulled from the other relevant search terms, such as “wooden signs” and “custom wood signs.” Words like “rustic,” “personalized,” and “reclaimed wood sign” popped in the results. Again, I downloaded and continued.
You can rinse and repeat as many times as necessary.
Make sure to refine and try out different sub categories. This will give you a better idea of what people are searching for in your specific product areas. It all brings in parallel products and cross categories since Google brings in “relevant” terms.
When talking about pallet signs, weddings are a big part of the industry. This added terms such as “chalkboard” to the mix.
By now you get the idea. You keep sorting through different terms looking for additional relevant keywords. Refine, download results, rinse and repeat.
Combining Your Results for the Best Etsy SEO Keywords
Now that you have overloaded your downloads with a few hundred keywords, it’s time to combine and sort. Luckily a quick copy and paste creates a single master list.
Most likely, you will have a lot of duplicated terms.
This is one of those moments that I love engineers. Microsoft has a way to delete duplicated results in the sorting process. Because versions vary, as well as discrepancies between Mac and PC users, here is the Microsoft tutorial to sorting your spreadsheets. If that doesn’t match your computer or your version, do a Google search for “remove duplicate values in Excel (insert version) on a (insert Mac or PC).”
If that doesn’t match your computer or your version, do a Google search for “remove duplicate values in Excel (insert version) on a (insert Mac or PC).” Luckily you’ll only have to do that once.
Finding the Best SEO Keyword Opportunities
The true sweet spot is high traffic and low competition. Will your industry be chock full these SEO gems? Unlikely. But the goal here is to find as many as possible.
So in your Excel spreadsheet (once you eliminate duplicates and then delete extra columns you don’t need), you’ll want to sort based on competition and search volume. I like to set up a two tier system that it sorts first based on volume, and then by competition. I do this (on my Mac) through the “Data” on the toolbar, then “Sort.”
Then the menu will pop up. The default is to give you a single sorting method. You choose the column, then choose how you want to sort, such as A-Z or highest to lowest. What I did was add a second sorting tab by clicking the + button in the left hand corner. This creates a second sorting filter.
So what on earth did all that mean? Because it was a lot of heavy Excel talk (you can thank my engineer husband for corrupting me on Excel and swaying me to all the amazing things the platform does).
It means that my excel spreadsheet first sorted all my data by search traffic. Then it took all the data within that segment, and ranked it according to competition. Now I can see how competitive the high traffic keywords are. Out of the 800+ keywords I had in my master Excel spreadsheet, here are the keywords with the most volume ranked by competition. To better highlight, I broke the segmented areas into outlined sections and then highlighted the lower competition terms in green.
These are strong keywords thank you can build into your descriptions to start boosting SEO. I also recommend looking through the other volume tiers to also spot potential opportunities. If you find a keyword a “100-1k” monthly volume and little to no competition, that sounds a lot better than fighting for a small piece of the “1k-100k” monthly traffic with high competition.
Remember though, your keywords needs to actually represent your products and make sense for your demographic. If you’re making a cute pallet sign for a wedding flower girl, arbitrarily dropping “funny bar sign” and “pallet house” will only drive traffic that leaves your store quickly. Over time, driving the wrong type of traffic hurts you. It also doesn’t mean that you should exclude high traffic words all together. Just know that you’ll be competing against more search results.
What Are Your Google Keyword Tricks?
Do you use Google’s Keyword Planner to help plan out your SEO keywords? Are you thinking of trying it and have different questions? Anything I missed?
I would love to hear from you if this is helpful and how you are using Google’s free tools for boosting your SEO rankings in the comments!