Trying to choose the right keywords for your Etsy shop can feel like a bit of a daunting task, and keyword research tools like eRank are built to help. 

etsy listing

The eRank keyword tool has been growing in popularity among Etsy sellers, so I decided to investigate and see what all the fuss was about. Here’s what I discovered.

The Etsy Challenge: 120 Million Products for Sale

As a frequent user of SEO and PPC tools, I was excited to give this Etsy-specific keyword tool a shot. 

I’ll caveat that I don’t have more than a small, old Etsy store myself, but with the holidays, wedding planning, and my fiancee’s recent obsession with 3D printers, Etsy has been a hot topic in my household. 

As recently as yesterday, I was looking for a wedding officiant gift. Something personalized, small, and thoughtful. But I really didn’t know what I was looking for. 

A wine label? Card? Picture frame? Mug?

There were endless options with an endless scroll. 

After a few minutes, my fiancee said, 

“Let me know when you need me to pull you out.”

I guess I’m not the only one getting lost in the depths of cool Etsy things.

As someone who spends an unusually large amount of time managing paid and organic listings on Google, it was funny to me that I never get lost in the sea of search results.

On TikTok, sure, but Google?  

We know that only 0.78% of people will click through on the second page of Google.

Imagine how many of those same people will click on the 100th+ listing on Etsy.

So, if you are one of those people who makes cool things on Etsy yourself, how the heck do you get in front of potential customers considering there are 7.4 million sellers around the world and over 120 million products for sale?

eRank etsy seo tool

Your Etsy Hack: Keyword Research

Now, some of you may argue that you just need to post on social media more often, and you will get more sales. 

But, going back to my Google example here, we know that Google search drives 1,000% more traffic to your website than social media. 

After all, online sales is really a volume (and timing) game.

etsy promotes google seo

Etsy itself even promotes Google SEO as recently as November 7, 2022, as seen in this blog post.

The Easy Formula

Based on a quick search, the average Etsy conversion rate hovers somewhere around 3%

So if you want to make 5 sales this month, you would need to have 166 monthly store visitors

etsy listing

Let’s say you’re one of these wedding officiant gift sellers, and your average sale is $16 for one of these personalized mugs. 

At a 3% conversion rate from 166 site visitors, you would make $80 for 5 sales. 

But you don’t want to spend hours of your weekends for a crummy $80. 

So, if you would be happy with, say, $500 for the month, that would equate to roughly:

31 sales of $16 mugs for $500 in revenue

To get 31 sales at an average conversion rate of 3%, that would mean you would need about 1,033 monthly store visits

etsy search results

Considering there are 4,734 search results for “wedding officiant gift,” chances are that your potential customers might get “pulled out” of the Etsy depths before they find your shop. 

This is where Etsy SEO comes in with tools like eRank and Marmalead for keyword research. 

Just like plain-old SEO, the goal is to show up on top when your customers are searching (without paying for ads).

My First Impression

I have used standard keyword research tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Google Keyword Planner for years. 

Considering these have been around for quite some time, I’ll say that my expectations are a bit high for these kinds of tools. 

But Etsy itself lists eRank (as well as Marmalead) as a native integration for Etsy SEO. 

eRank integration with etsy

After entering the eRank platform, my first impression was that it may feel a bit overwhelming for Etsy sellers new to keyword research. 

I find that a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners feel that way about standard SEO tools, though, so nothing too concerning there. 

eRank dashboard

eRank: Top 100 Keyword List

The first section I was interested to see was the top 100 Etsy keyword list since I’m sure it’s a popular view. 

I’ll admit, there was nothing particularly groundbreaking here, considering it is the holiday season at the time of this writing. 

You could find the same information on the Etsy homepage. 

eRank: Keyword Tool

Moving on to the keyword research tool, I stuck to our mug theme from our wedding officiant gift to give it a try. 

I figured there would be more data on a broader “mug” keyword than a long-tail wedding officiant term, so I entered it into eRank’s Keyword Explorer. 

Considering one of the primary uses of any keyword research tool is to find search volume, I wanted to compare eRank’s keyword stats to my other tools for accuracy.

According to eRank, in the US, “mug” has 35.8k monthly searches on Etsy

For comparison, I searched “etsy mug,” and there was not enough search volume to estimate for Google. 

Comparison[mug] on Etsy[etsy mug] on Google
eRank35.8kNot enough search volume
Google1k-10k
Ahrefs350

Since eRank claims to provide search volume for Etsy alone when other platforms like Ahrefs and Google do not, it is difficult to piece the numbers together for a real comparison.

After some further due diligence comparing search volume across platforms, I would guess that eRank’s search volume for “mug” on Etsy is overestimated.

Combined, Ahrefs and Google estimate only around 1k+ for “etsy mug.” 

Of course, it’s not the same, but considering “mug” gets around 42k monthly searches on Google, eRank’s estimate of close to 36k for mug searches on Etsy alone seems a bit inflated.

But it’s not clear where eRank pulls its data from, and search estimates are not provided by Etsy- so I can’t confirm.

The point here is that if you’re banking on long-tail Etsy keywords from eRank, the volume accuracy could make the difference between a flip and a flop. 

eRank: Buzzing on Etsy

Additionally, eRank uses data from the month prior, so if you’re hoping to hop on trends quickly, you may find this less useful. 

eRank trending keywords

Considering it is the end of November at the time of writing, the #1 Buzzing on Etsy keyword, “Halloween,” is probably not the keyword I want to target right now.

If your primary use for eRank is keyword research, I would stick with other free and paid options for reliability.

etsy search results

Even if they don’t have Etsy-specific search volume, you can get a pretty good idea by looking at Google search volume, Etsy site search results, and Google Trends. 

eRank: Rank Tracker Tool

The last view I wanted to touch on was the Rank Tracker tool- a popular feature of any SEO keyword tool. 

At first glance, I could see how the list format could be helpful for Etsy sellers to compare rankings quickly. 

Also, I couldn’t replicate the same list view on the Etsy website or app. 

But I did notice how the top mug items were different for me on every “mug” search. 

The lack of consistency makes me wonder, are Etsy rankings, like those on tools like eRank meaningful?

Back to Google for reference, if I’m ranking #3 for “best digital notebooks,” then I can expect that any of my friends or family members can do the same search in the US and find me in the #3 spot (within the same timeframe). 

etsy rank

However, take this Twilight mug, for example, and the results are all over the place. 

Within a 5-minute time span, having looked up “mug” on different browsers, devices, privacy settings, and the Etsy app, I noted the Twilight mug SERP ranking varied from #1 to #10 and wasn’t listed in the top 100 listings for the same search in eRank. 

The eRank rank tracker, then, may be unreliable based on my search. 

But you can always pay for Etsy ads for a guaranteed top spot. 

Etsy Search Algorithm Uncovered by Etsy

It seems that Etsy itself isn’t quite sure about its search function. 

At first, I didn’t find anything helpful on the Etsy website other than a guide in their help section to improve visibility. 

It mostly covers copy and tag relevancy, seller score, and location, but a bit vague for me. 

Then, I dug deeper into their Etsy Code as Craft site for some developer jargon that read particularly convoluted. 

etsy seo

Fortunately, my time in tech advertising has made coding lingo less intimidating for me than your everyday SEO expert.

As recently as October 2022, Etsy wrote that they had moved on from their flagship personalized search model. 

“Until recently, search ranking at Etsy was powered by a gradient-boosted decision tree model. That was a model that performed well and served relevant results, and we used it to deliver Etsy’s first-ever personalized search.” 

“Over time though we saw diminishing returns… our relevancy gains slowly began to plateau.”

Interestingly, Etsy has even attempted to use the likes of BERT AI technology rolled out to Google search in 2019

“…when we scoped out the steps needed to load-test the ensemble model with live traffic, it became clear that the design of Etsy’s search application itself was a roadblock.”

“…we also experimented with…models like NNLM and BERT to represent our listings.” 

In the end, I would caution against relying too heavily on Etsy SERP rankings from tools like eRank. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, it seems that the Etsy search algorithm is still a bit of a mystery – even to Etsy itself.

As a result, relying on tools like eRank for SERP rankings may be unreliable. 

It’s better to look at other data sources, such as Google search volume and Trends, as well as overall customer engagement on your own listing rather than rely solely on rank tracker tools. 

Etsy ads are also an option if you need guaranteed visibility. Ultimately, it’s best to test out different strategies and measure their results to determine what works best for your store and products.

Before diving too deep into Etsy SEO and tools like eRank, remember that the Etsy SERP will likely vary from user to user.

Therefore, it’s important to have a holistic approach and focus on other data sources that provide more consistent results on macro search and product trends.

And if you’re selling custom wedding officiant gifts on your Etsy store, let me know… I’m still looking.

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