Friday, 17 September 2010

Etsy Talk Notes 2 - SEO & Pitching To The Press

I've had a lazy, lazy day today, and we are now waiting for the arrival of Chinese - naughty I know, but their lemon chicken is just to die for, what's your favourite take-away? I wish we had more Mexican outlets round here, I'm a sucker for nachos...

So now I'm going to continue my write up of the talk I attended on Tuesday (see here for Part 1) run by Etsy's marketing man Matt and organised by lovely Amity who is the UK Etsy blogger. This part is a little more technical and will focus on optimizing your shop and listings for search engine results, as well as how to pitch to magazines. I hope you find it useful. As usual, I'm always grateful to read comments, especially if you have found the post interesting, or have any additional tips to add. Reading comments makes writing the post worthwhile!

Okay, so Matt talked about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which I hadn't heard of before, or if I had I don't think that I expected it to apply to me. But it does, and to you too!

The idea is to make your listing higher up in Google (or generic search engine of your choice). The more links you have coming IN to your shop, the higher it will appear. Therefore, it is excellent to try and get your shop and item links mentioned where ever you can, not just by yourself, but by others. Matt talked about featuring your competitors in your blog, and linking to their shops, as the whole community has a karmic atmosphere and we have to support each other as artists. So if you feature other people on your blog, you will be adding to their links going in to their shop. Spread the love!

Another point of the talk was to use searchable terms. One example he used was to name your pictures with searchable words. For example, no one is going to be searching Google images for 'new pic 1' but they might search for 'star necklace' or 'yellow sock monkey'. He did say this wasn't relevant in terms of loading your pictures onto Etsy because of the way they store them, but might help with other sites.

Using searchable terms came across as essential. Because we are attempting to market our shops outside of Etsy, we need to be using strong searchable terms in our titles and item descriptions. Not only that, but people searching Etsy are going to need to be guided towards your shop. This means giving your jewellery a sweet name like 'Delilah' might look adorable, but isn't going to help you show up in searches. You'll see that successful Etsy sellers use keywords in their titles that would be the kind of thing a buyer might search for.

Keywords are useful in :
  • Item titles
  • Shop Description
  • Item Description
  • Image filename

A keyword is a word the describes your item. I usually create my keywords (and, incidentally, tags) by thinking of what I would type into Etsy's search box if I was looking for a similar item. "Silver Wire-Wrapped Amethyst Necklace" contains more words that might be used in a search than simply 'Purple Necklace' or any kind of sweet name you might give it.

Based on this information I have changed my shop description recently from "Hi, how are you? Welcome to my shop, please have a look around etc etc etc..." to this:

Sweet, fun jewellery, Girly Accessories, Cute Unique Pieces.

You can read more about me, my craft fairs, young family and other fun stuff at my blog,

Pitching The Press...

I really liked this section of the talk and felt genuinely inspired to try some of the tips that Matt suggested. The idea of getting my handmade products into a magazine seemed so much more feasible! Here is the plan:

  1. Find a relevant publication - Referring back to the profile of your target customer, find magazines or blogs that you want to be featured in
  2. Make a contact - With blogs, usually just one person writes and it's quite easy to find out their name, but with a magazine you might need to work a little harder. Find out the name of the person who writes the section. There was a cheeky tip for this. If you can find out the email format for the company (usually someone will have an email address listed at the very beginning of the mag) and the persons name, you should be able to email them. i.e if their name is John Smith, and the editors email address is, it's not hard to figure out what John's email address is - great tip, Matt!
  3. Be prepared to send out a press kit with a few free samples, but ask the recipient first, and follow up your package with a friendly email.
  4. If you are featured, thank them. They might think of you again
  5. Big publications run two months in advance - now if a great time to get yourself included in Christmas Gift Guides but you'll have to act quickly!
  6. A tip from a journalist in the group was to try and provide hi-res images with a pure white background. There are lots of tutorials for doing this all over the web. Attaching some examples in this format to your email, making sure to include a separate list of prices for the items, means you are seriously cutting down the work someone has to do to include you in a last-minute vacant spot.

So that's pretty much what I learnt...except for a few random Etsy facts, which I'll share with you now...

- 30% of Etsy business comes from outside the USA -

- 22 items is the magic amount to have in your shop (at least!) -

- Etsy provide grants for groups of three or more people wanting to put on a handmade event. -

Again, I truely hope that some readers have found these posts useful, please do let me know - although I obviously can't take credit for the infomation, thank you Matt and Amity!

Katie x


Lemonade and Lamingtons said...

OOh off I go to list another 11 items in my Etsy shop!!

Thanks for that - it's brill!

Lisa x

PS - my word verification is "burrep" - quite close to burrito...which is Mexican food...hungry?

(also close to burp!)

Unique Beaded Gems said...

Fantastic blog! There are some really useful tips here. Thanks! Jo x

AmyandPia said...

Thanks Katie! Very useful post, great for those of us who weren't able to go in person.

createdbycarole said...

Thank you for sharing - very enlightening! I have some work to do!

Carole x

Boo's Jewellery said...

Thanks for taking the time to share the information. I was doing a lot of work on my own site yesterday and saw the value of the image text myself.

If you do a Google search for "honey opal earrings" [the front splash page of] my site comes about half way down the first page. The only place that text appears on that page is as the ALT text to an image I use, so every little nook and cranny you can legitimately squeeze some pertinent words into has value.

Jacob said...

I have found good information, will be expecting more such blogs from you, I will tell my friends to visit your blog - Web Design London

FABRICatedby said...

Really useful thanks alot. I'm fairly up on SEO, I got a book out the library with tips in, I'll share some on my blog when I get time! Interesting about the 22 items, I'm new to Etsy and Folksy and haven't got up to that number yet. I'll have to make some little things quick!
Hope you enjoyed your Chinese.
Jen x

LittleBear said...

Very useful post, thanks! :)

SimJaTa said...

Another great informative post, thank you for all your work there. Hubby does the SEO stuff, think he needs to be working a bit harder on my site though, must go give him a kick.


Jocale Design said...

That's really helpful info. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Looks like I've got a lot of work to do.....

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