Monday, July 25, 2011

SEO - Simple Elementary Observations!

On the 23rd June I sold an item from my Etsy shop which is always very pleasing. So after a week and not another sale I just thought "Oh well it's the time of year". After 2 weeks I was getting restless and wondered what was going on, my sales had just died. I am not very good when it comes to things like Google analytics, SEO and whatever other technical related sites that give data but I had to either give up and watch my shop go down the plug or do something about it. My first thought was to look back on last years sales and see what they were like. I realised that it couldn't be the time of year as last year I had 14 sales from early in July. Mmh so what was causing me all this grief?

I went to google shopping and found 45 of my items and 100 items  were missing. Of the 45 that were showing they were all showing as used items; someone is really going to buy a used button ring or a used lavender sachet!!

I  will use this item as an example as the wonderful Sandie from the Sassy Team helped me see where I was going wrong. The Title I had used was this "French Vintage Linen Lavender Sachet"
So this was then changed to:
"French Linen Lavender Sachet - Pillow Handmade from Vintage Fabric and Buttons Cream & Taupe Stripes"

Then came the tag stuffing! I had never heard of it but was doing it all the time and it is basically using more than one word in each of your tags, which is frowned upon.  Sandie to the rescue again.

"Watch your tags. You are doing what is called tag "stuffing" (using multiple unrelated words in one tag). Tags should be SINGLE words that describe the item. The only time you may use two words is if they are an acceptable 2 word phrase like, "sterling silver", "hot pink", "baby blue" etc. I'd fix these a.s.a.p. - tag stuffing is against Etsy rules and can get your shop shut down.

So I think I have fixed most of my tags and have changed most of my item titles. One or two may have perhaps escaped and if so, I will hunt them down, but the net result is this, after 24 hours google now shows all of my items (not as used) and the best bit - in less than 24 hours I had one sale, then one custom order for two items, and this morning 4 sales. So all in all 7 sales resulted for my talk with Sandie ( I am indebted to her for her caring to help me). So if this post helps even one person then I will be delighted and I want to blow a raspberry at a friend who said it could be a fluke, fluke or not a sale is a sale!

Search Engine Optimization.

You HAVE to have it:
The shop title is searchable on the net. Fill it with keywords about what you make/sell.

The announcement is searchable... fiill the first paragraph with keywords about what you make/sell- expand on the title keywords. Keep the sentences to 12-16 words... search engines don't like run-on sentences.

If you can make the announcement 300 words long it will be indexed by google. You can talk about what makes your items unique, where you get your inspiration, etc. That is better than just a short paragraph, which gets crawled, but not indexed.

The titles: the title should be what a person would Google to find the item. 54-56 characters are pulled by search engines, anything over that gets truncated. The first 3 words are the most important. In those first three words put what the item is : pearl necklace, sterling dangle earrings, blue toile fabric... then expand on it with additional keywords...

You need to add keywords that a person would type in to find the item. The job of a search engine is to match what the person types in with what a listing has as a title.

Reuse the keywords from the title in the first 1-2 sentences of the listing to show the search engine that the keywords of the title were relevent. That what the title said is what the actual item is.

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