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sara $badge


Posted On: Feb 9, 2010 at 4:15pm MST

At its core, keyword research is the investigation into how people search. Millions of people use search engines every day; they search to find information, they search to find products, they search to find answers to their questions. Researching how people search is the first and most important step in writing good titles and content. If you know the questions that people have, you can give them the answer. If you know what products people are searching for, you can make an effective sales pitch.

Keyword searches are typically broken down into three categories called: short-tail, mid-tail, and long-tail. Short-tail keyword searches are for 1-2 keywords, they are usually common words, and they are very competitive. Mid-tail searches are usually between 2-3 keywords that are commonly associated. Ranking for mid-tail searches is much less competitive than short tail but still difficult for an individual item.

Long-tail searches typically have three or more keywords and are much less competitive than short and mid-tail searches. While there is much less search traffic to any one particular long-tail search, taken in aggregate long-tail search traffic usually makes up between 40-70% of a sites search traffic. I can tell you that, for the month of September there were over 150,000 keywords that brought visitors to ArtFire, the vast majority of those keywords were long-tail searches that returned an item as a result. Long-tail is where many of you will see your best results. If you have 100 products listed and each of them bring in, on average, 0.5 Google searchers per week, that's 50 new people every week visiting your studio. The great part about this type of traffic is that it is highly convertible and can lead to people looking at and buying other products you offer. If you optimize your titles well enough and list enough products, there's no limit the amount of steady traffic you will see from Google Search and Google Shopping.

Tools for Keyword Research

The Google AdWord Keyword Tool is by far the most popular keyword research tool. When you're using this tool keep in mind that if a term you search for is popular and competitive, it will be very difficult to rank for that term alone (but it still might be a good term to include in your title). Incorporating terms that people are comfortable searching with along with unique identifiers for your product should help optimize your listings for long tail traffic.

The best use of the AdWord Keyword tool is to get an idea of the general way that people are comfortable searching for your type of product. In this example, there were 5400 U.S. searches in August that exactly matched the keywords, "Swarovski crystal earrings."Exact match the number of times that Google users searched for that exact phrase last month; Broad matches include a wider variety of searches for similar phrases. I like to look at both when researching keywords.

From this example, I learned that people are fairly comfortable searching for the keyword as I researched it. It would be difficult, however, to rank an item for that term even if I used the exact title "Swarovski crystal earrings," as I'd be competing against Swarovski.com and other large sites. What it does mean is if I include that phrase in the title and go into more detail about the style/colors of the earrings, I'd stand a good chance to get long-tail search traffic from Google.

The information you get from Wordtracker is not as in-depth as the Google AdWords tool, but it can give you and idea of what is/isn't being searched for. My advice would be to play around with both of these keyword tools to find the one which works best for your needs.

Try to keep one thing in mind when using these tools, the data they use is from the past. Google claims that between 20-25% of searches are unique and have not been searched before on Google; this means people are comfortable asking a search engine for exactly what their looking for using detailed queries. Keep this in mind when you are writing the title for your listing, as well as using keywords in your descriptions and tags.

Looking for More? Check Out these out SEO Guides:

Holiday SEO Guide

ArtFire Blogs SEO

Introduction to SEO

How to Improve your SEO on ArtFire

SEO Tips for Facebook

SEO Tools for Keyword Research

This post was edited by sara On: Sep 15, 2010 at 4:00pm MST  

BrizelSupplies $badge

POSTS: 1086

Posted On: May 26, 2010 at 6:45pm MST

Excellent write up !
Thanks so much :)
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DesignedByAudrey $badge

POSTS: 1083

Posted On: May 29, 2010 at 9:55am MST

Thanks.  There is so much I have to get up to speed on. 

AbsintheDragonfly $badge

POSTS: 1642

Posted On: Sep 10, 2010 at 9:35am MST

Thanks again for these informative articles to give us help!

Javagoth $badge


Posted On: Sep 11, 2010 at 12:22am MST

Thank you for this - this relates to a discussion I was having with my partner just tonight. I think I see some title editing in my future.

Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by how much there is to learn but I'm so grateful I know I can find so much good advice here!!
"At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can." - from 'Frida'

So many beads - so little time!

dorkorama99 $badge


Posted On: Sep 11, 2010 at 7:51pm MST

This was info that I already kinda knew, but the way you broke it down it sank in a lot more. Well done. Really a great example of why and how to be descriptive.
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Dichroicdazzle $badge

POSTS: 387

Posted On: Sep 13, 2010 at 1:15pm MST

It makes you think about how important a good description and title is. Thanks

Cre8ivekorner $badge


Posted On: Sep 19, 2010 at 12:12am MST

Food for thought. Thank you for this. It is appreciated.

ForgetMeNotSoapShop $badge

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Fire Mentor Artisan  
Posted On: Sep 19, 2010 at 2:52pm MST

Thank you, wonderful info..

PrairieDogPaperCo $badge


Posted On: Sep 20, 2010 at 7:35am MST

Thank you for this post! I've got work to do.

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