Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Etsy Success Series: Get Found in Search

I have only been selling on Etsy since January and am constantly impressed with the valuable resources they continue to put forth for their sellers.  From forums to blog articles to online labs and of course all the teams who are organizing through great leadership.  I was fortunate enough to attend the first of the Etsy Success Series: Get Found in Search.  The information following is a synopsis of what was presented.

Know Your Target Audience

“Become interested in other people rather than trying to make people interested in you.”
Dixie Laite presented superb information on how to thoroughly think through whom you are trying to reach.   Her first bit of advice? “You are not Coke.”  Her point was that our audience is not like Coke’s audience. Coke’s audience is the entire population; our shops have a defined audience we are trying to reach.  To find that audience, think through these questions:

     What are their demographics? Age, sex, education, socioeconomic status, political status, etc.
     What are their psychographics? Hobbies, favorite TV shows, movies, hopes and dreams, etc.
     Where are they in real life? Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.
     Where are they in Etsy? Treasuries, search, browse, registry, etc. 
     What else can I be researching? Look at your shop stats and ask customers to provide personal feedback on your items – what do they like? What don’t they like? What do they want to see more of? 

In knowing your audience, here are some tips for social media balance:

     Be entertaining. Think of posts and pictures you enjoy; replicate those for your shop’s audience.
     Be inspirational. Use quotes or images to inspire your online community.
     Cultivate community. Ask questions and include others when posting.
     Offer exclusives. Use coupon codes or other giveaways.
     Provide information. Let your fans in on fun information about you or your shop.
     Give guidance. When someone asks for advice, be sure to provide an answer.


If you have thought about restructuring your Etsy shop or know of others who are interested in starting an Etsy shop, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

     Make sure there is space online for you.  Is the name already taken? Could you branch out into Facebook, a blog, or other venues later if you choose, or is someone already using your name?
     Cohesive package.  Be unique, relevant, easy to remember and above all - be yourself.  Erin Ozer of Knot and Bow uses her own shop name for all her products.
     Follow through with the buyer. Contact them to ensure they received the package; ask if they have any concerns or suggestions.
     Stay inspired. Attend workshops, ask for feedback on your work, and continue to enjoy what you do!

When times are slow:

     Make measured changes. Re-think your audience and brand. Go back to square one and be sure you’re reaching your target audience.
     Adjust your shop’s appearance. Update photos – consider a fresh new look.
     Use coupon codes or promos.
     Launch new products or partnerships.
     Reach out to press. Consider marketing on a blog or other media form relevant to your audience.


Some of these tips may sound simple, but they work!

     Be the shopper. Think about how you would search for your item.  Enlist a friend or family member to help you brainstorm if you are stuck.
     Use Etsy’s popular keywords. Start typing in a potential tag name into Etsy search and see what popular keywords are being used.  For example, one of my items is a drawstring backpack; when I start typing in drawstring, “drawstring bag” and “personalized drawstring backpack” pop up.  Both of those descriptions apply to my item – so I add those as tags!
     Cast a wide net.  Use different tags for similar items.  I have several drawstring backpacks but include different tags for them in hopes to bring someone in from various searches.
     Don’t replicate. There is no need to replicate tags. For example if you use “neon pink” you don’t need to use “pink” as well.
     Make shop stats work for you. Take advantage of shop stats.  What words are people using to search for your items?
     Use your shop name. Tag a few items with your shop name.  Some people don’t scroll down to select “find shop names containing” in Etsy’s search.
     Use all 13 tags! Not much else to say here.
     Finally, keep things simple. Be descriptive, relevant, and specific.


The speakers also included a few tips on how to title your products.

     Lead with crucial information. Many times the title is cut off and viewers only see the first 4-5 words of the title. Be sure those words describe your item properly and are meaningful search terms.
     Keep it relevant. Title your item appropriately.
     Please the eye. Don’t cram titles. If you want to place additional information in the title, be sure to space it out with appropriate symbols.  I include sizes in some of my titles and use “/” to separate the item title from the sizes available. 

For more tips on what to include in your title and tags, check out the Etsy blog.

Item Descriptions

The description is not necessarily how someone found your product, but it is the ideal place to tell your item’s story.  Be concise, but include pertinent information. Sprinkle in top keywords, being sure to use the tag words to boost the item in search. 

The biggest change I made since attending this online lab was to embed links to other similar items in my shop in the item description. I sell shirts and skirts separately, but they go great together as an outfit.  I link the shirt to the skirt and vice versa.  I also use shop sections to my advantage by linking back to those in every item. Lastly, I started placing a link back to my shop on every item to make it easy for viewers to stay in my shop. In the past two weeks, I have already noticed a difference by embedding these links!  Check your shop stats to see if this works for you.


Once you have updated your items’ tags, titles, and descriptions, be sure the new information is working!  Use shop stats to see how you are faring. If Google is on top, then your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is working.  If blogs are linking people to your shop, be sure to thank them. Additionally, if you use blogs for advertisements, use shop stats to see if that blog is leading people to your shop! Finally, spread the word on social media to gain viewers from those platforms.

For more information on how to use shop stats, check out the Etsy blog post here.

About the author: Dana Nowell is the shop owner of twelve2, where she crafts kid’s clothing and accessories to support missions and adoptive families.  twelve2 is more about an idea than a shop; the idea that we can be not of this world, that we don't conform to the patterns set before us in culture, but continually transform our minds (Romans 12:2). 

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