This is a really easy and quick way to get ideas for new products, and get a general idea for what types of products are popular on Google (which typically means they’re popular on other platforms such as Etsy).
Follow the 5 steps below to come up with a list of new product ideas to make and sell.
1 – Start with your bestseller
Take your bestselling product. It’s important to use the name consumers use to describe it.
Let’s use a tote bag as an example.
Enter the product name into Google and hit enter.
(I’d enter “tote bag” into Google’s search bar).
2 – View the top results
When searching a product on Google, you’re typically shown images with the top results.
These are significant because Google is showing the most popular options when it comes to the product you’ve searched.
Search engines analyze millions of search queries and the behaviors of people who make those searches. If 100,000 people search “hoop earrings” each month, and the majority of those people click on results for small hoops rather than big hoops, and gold rather than silver, Google will prioritize small gold hoop earrings in the top results when someone searches “hoop earrings”.
First of all, you want to be sure the images are similar to what you’re creating.
This tells you that you and consumers are on the same page.
If your product looks nothing like the products shown in top results, it may be a sign that you’re mislabeling your product.
Second, use the results to gather ideas for improvements to make to your product, or options to offer.
Google is telling you, through the top results, what the majority of consumers want. Use that information to your advantage.
3 – Look at related searches
Next, scroll to the bottom of the first page of Google.
Here you’ll find “Related searches”. These are terms people also search when they’re searching for your product.
This will give you ideas for product options and/or other products to offer.
For example, I’ve searched “tote bag”.
Here are the results in the “Related searches” section.
Not every related search will be relevant or helpful.
“Tote bag canvas” and “tote bag for school” look like good options to explore.
If there are several good options, make a list of each related search you’d like to explore.
If there aren’t any good options, consider refining your initial search.
You may need to:
- get more specific – if the related searches shown aren’t relevant to your business, you may need to add a descriptive word or two to your search.
- go more general – if you’ve gotten too specific, it may limit how many related searches there are.
- choose a different term – it may be that there isn’t much demand for the term you’re searching. When there aren’t many searches for a term, Google doesn’t have enough data to share related search terms.
4 – Click on a related search
When you find a term in the “Related searches” section, click on it, or open another tab and search the term on Google.
Repeat the process you just went through by viewing the top results and the “Related searches” section to gather ideas.
For example, I’ll click on “tote bag for school”.
This opens a new Google search for “tote bag for school”.
I’ll view the top results to get an idea of the general direction I should go in if I decide to offer a tote bag for school.
Then I’ll scroll to the bottom of the page and view the related searches.
There are several more ideas for:
- features to include (e.g. tote bags for school with a zipper)
- different products to offer (e.g. a canvas tote bag for school)
- a potential market to target (e.g. school tote bag for teenage girl).
5 – Repeat with other products
You can repeat this process with the other products you offer to find a variety of related products to explore making.
It’s important to stay within your niche and focus on building a cohesive product line that works together.
For example, unless my entire business focused on tote bags (and no other style of bags) and I wanted to be THE tote bag destination, I wouldn’t want to offer a tote school bag and a tote beach bag.
Instead, I might focus on tote bags for school and think about other types of bags or bag accessories that might be used for school.
For example, I might start with a school tote bag and offer matching pencil bags, sunglass cases, laptop cases, and lunch bags.
“I didn’t find any helpful terms”
If the related searches section didn’t offer valuable information, try this instead.
Type your keyword into the search bar but don’t hit enter.
Move your cursor to the front of the search phrase and add one letter.
Start with “a”, view the results, then delete “a” and type “b”. Then delete “b” and type a “c”. Continue on, writing down any interesting results.
Alternatively, you could add the following words to your search term:
- tote bag for
- tote bag with
- tote bag in
Don’t hit enter and see what type of suggestions show in the drop-down.
You can then try searching any of the applicable terms you find, and view the “related searches” section.
Complete your research
Just because a product appears in a related search on Google does not mean it’s guaranteed to be a bestseller.
You must research what’s already out there to be sure you can offer something different or better.
You also want to be sure the market isn’t too competitive for the term.
The best way to check for competition (and search volume) is to use a tool such as Ahrefs (or Marmalead if you want to know approximate search volumes and competition on Etsy).
Let me know if you find this helpful! Or if you’d like more information on uncovering search volumes and competition.
Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!