TPT sellers frustrated by TPT search. Hi. Listen, if you are looking to optimize the SEO of your product titles and listings to better support the teachers who are searching Teachers Pay Teachers, you need to know what teachers are actually searching for! Learn about an easy tool that will help you be sure that the resources you are creating are meeting the current needs of teachers right now.
But first a little background…or skip to the good part.
Oh and a disclaimer – I do not work for TPT and Erintegration LLC has no affiliation with, sponsorship by, or endorsement by them. I sell my resources on the TPT site.
What is SEO and How Does SEO Relate to My TPT Store?
Do you sell educational resources on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT)? If so, then optimizing your store’s search engine visibility can be an effective way to get the word out about your products and attract new customers. While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) might sound intimidating, it doesn’t have to be! SEO is short for “Search Engine Optimization.” It is a technique that can be used on a website to improve its position in search engine results pages. It can be very tricky to weed through all of the advice floating around and many will position themselves as having all the answers…but I have a secret for you.
Good SEO strategy is NOT complicated and there is NO secret. *Ok so I said “I have a secret for you” in the above paragraph and actually the secret is there is NO secret…I realized this while editing this post to publish haha. But you get what I mean (I hope).
Think about it a minute…a teacher visits TPT and types terms into the search bar in the hopes to find a resource that meets their needs at that moment. TPT uses an algorithm that then takes those terms and via set of complex “calculations” or rules (that are not shared with the public) spits out a set of resources they have predicted will best meet that need.
Most search algorithms are complex and are driven by AI that are able to perform and analyze data much faster and at levels we cannot complete with. So don’t. Don’t worry about the rank or hacking the search algorithm or get caught up in tricks that are supposed to boost your ranking and relevance.
Instead, focus on the area that you can learn about and understand…the people that are searching, what they are searching for, and why they are searching.
That’s right, the best SEO is focused on people and understanding their needs. If you only remember one thing about SEO for TPT:
The best SEO strategy is only about meeting the needs of the teachers who are searching the site and the students who will benefit from the high quality & engaging resources you are creating.-Me
If you keep that top of mind for every step of creating to listing and marketing your products, you have most of it figured out. So it’s easy but it’s also difficult because we are often stuck in our own heads of what we like, we need for ourselves, and what works best for us. It would be so helpful if we could see what other teachers need too, right?
Getting Your High Quality and Engaging TPT Resources Into the Hands of Teachers Who Need Them
So you have these awesome resources, now you just need to know if teachers need them right? Or more importantly, you want to know what teachers are looking for right now for their classrooms so you can be sure your resources are solving their problems.
Remember the search box I mentioned earlier? TPT uses an “autocomplete” service that suggests terms as you type. Typically, these suggestions are predictions based on the most popular search terms related to what is being typed in the search box. This means that technically you can see what teachers are actually searching for RIGHT NOW every time you use that TPT search box.
I’m writing this article in December in the United States so that means “Christmas” and “Hanukkah” are keywords that are being suggested in addition to what I type. For example, if I type “task cards,” I am suggested “Christmas task cards” along with a handful of other terms that TPT is predicting I would be interested in based on my initial search.
While you could type your keywords into the box on TPT and make note of each result individually, this is time consuming and it can be difficult to get a big picture view of trends when you are only viewing individual searches.
So I created a TPT search “emulator” on Google Sheets that can search and display up to 20 keyword results at once per sheet to help make this process easier and faster!
Get it here! Or keep reading to see how it works!
How to Use My TPT Search Keyword Tool
You type your search terms into column A, and the suggested keywords will automatically pop up in Column B. It really is that simple!
The results you see are in real time! That means, the words you are suggested are the same as if you went to TPT and typed the word into TPT’s search box. But you have it all right in the sheet in one glance – no need to search one by one and record.
When Are the Keywords Updated?
It is pulling the data from TPT in real time. So that means that the suggested keywords will change over time too. As I mentioned before, I’m seeing Christmas and Hanukkah all over in my suggested keywords because it’s December. I can expect this to change as teachers start to search for resources to use for the New Year or test prep.
While I do not have insider info on how often TPT “changes” their suggested search terms, most e-commerce sites use a service that does it automatically…so each term is logged as it is searched.
The actual Google Sheet will update as you add words. If you have already typed all your terms into the sheet, you just have to hit the refresh button to see current results!
Suggestions for Use:
- Research current trends in real-time by seeing what words & phrases teachers are using RIGHT NOW.
- Get ideas for product creation by learning what resources teachers are looking for RIGHT NOW.
- View seasonal trends.
- Improve product titles and/or descriptions to better reflect what a teacher might call your resource.
- Brainstorm ways to better support teachers by seeing what teachers need and are looking for. Can be used to inspire blog post topics, social media posts, etc.
Searching for More Than 20 Keywords – A Recommendation:
At the moment I have it set up with spots to search and display results for 20 keywords. I just picked that number because it fits well on one page on the sheet. This helps to see everything at once – especially if you choose to print. However, I definitely use it to search more than 20 terms by making multiple copies of the sheet and naming them for each search “theme” to stay organed.
That way I have grouped all my search terms together and can really see patterns and get ideas for that particular subject area. You can group your terms by:
- product line
- grade level
How NOT to Use this TPT Search Tool
For evil! Seriously, this is not meant for you to “keyword stuff” and add trending terms into your titles and product descriptions.
Not just because I said so but because it’s a terrible strategy. For one, while there is a chance your keyword stuffed product will show initially, it won’t convert if it isn’t truly related to those terms you are using. If people don’t buy it, it isn’t going to keep being shown high in search. If you do manage to “trick” people to buy it, they won’t be happy and will leave bad reviews.
And honestly, keyword stuffing just wastes everyone’s time. Remember your “buyer” is a teacher who is already pressed for time and has a limited budget.
Stress That Your Resources Are Not “On Trend”
Another thing to remember is not to get discouraged if the keywords you type have no results or do not match trends. No one was searching for Pixel Art when I dropped my Google Sheets Pixel Art on the world; you can drive traffic in other ways and create a search term over time, too!
Learn Your Rank or Hack Personalized Search
Finally, it’s very important to remember that you can’t try to extrapolate anything about search results or ranking with this tool. This resource has nothing to do with what products show up where.
Focus on what you can control – creating products teachers need and describing them accurately. This tool helps with the latter.
So TPT sellers are you ready to surface the latest search results in real time and get valuable insight into what is trending? Optimize the SEO of your product titles and listings to better support the teachers who are searching for specific items for their classrooms with this handy & super simple to use Google Sheet! No subscription required.