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Jewelry, Accessories for Science Geeks & Nature Lovers
Jewelry, Accessories for Science Geeks & Nature Lovers


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The Latest Etsy Search Updates, Including Promoted Listings, June 2018

Etsy admin have confirmed several Etsy search changes, and have confirmed that certain other things are not factors. I go through everything here:

Did you know that your forum behaviour could affect your search ranking? What else aren't they telling us?

#Etsy #SEO #ecommerce #smallbusiness
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Confused About SEO? Here is a Short Dictionary to Help You Out

A pretty good glossary of SEO definitions:

Some are technical, but don’t let that scare you off if you don’t do coding; there are a lot of other terms defined here as well. Bookmark this so you can look up ne terms when you are doing research.

#SEO #ecommerce #smallbiztips #searchengineoptimization #smallbusiness #smallbiz
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Over 90% of Web Pages Get Zero Google Search Traffic - And What You Can Do To Be In The 9% That Do

It gets worse - the next 4.5% get fewer than 10 visits a month. So you aren’t alone! But backlinks can help you get out of this group, as can making sure your page is targeting a topic that has ample demand (i.e., don’t aim too low). “If nobody is searching for whatever you talk about on your page, you won’t get any search traffic.”
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Etsy Explains the Fee Changes, & Upcoming Plans (Including Search)

Etsy released a podcast today on the recently announced fee changes, as well as key info on why they are pushing free shipping, with CEO Josh Silverman and General Manager of Seller Services Kruti Patel Goyal:

See the full transcript here:

Here are the highlights, to save you some reading time, with my comments in [square] brackets:

Josh: "the best value doesn't always mean the rock-bottom, lowest possible price" - so they are raising fees to provide more services, including more online advertising.

Kruti: we put a lot of research into the fee increases. "We learned that many of our sellers didn't know the current fee structure which was surprising to a lot of us here." [They clearly haven't been paying enough attention, as there are constant threads asking how the fees work.]

"We also learned that what felt most fair was making a change to transaction fees rather than something like listing fees which are fixed ... because you're only paying transaction fees when you make a sale. "

"... sellers felt like they were willing to pay more to Etsy if they felt like they were getting real value for it. In particular they asked for a greater commitment to growth on Etsy."

Sellers said they wanted 3 things - Etsy to bring in more buyers/sales, better tools, & better customer support for sellers & the community.
[That rings true to me, although I know some sellers don't care much for the tools Etsy says are coming! This could be the classic case of Etsy thinking we mean one thing when we really mean something else, but it hard to say until they actually release anything new.] Sellers also want help growing their businesses beyond their current status.

Kruti "That was the key learning behind us introducing these new subscription packages. We wanted to make it clearer what tools to use at different stages of growth and we also wanted to just make it easier as you grow to know what you should use and when."
[Which, in my opinion, they have gotten completely wrong - I don't need most of the tools they are offering, even if I were busier. And some very small sellers do need better stats & other things only offered to the premium level, according to what they have said so far. But since they are so thin on details, I guess I will reserve full judgement until they actually release something new. Maybe the rest of us will get better stats and buyer data as well, even though that isn't what they have said elsewhere.]

Josh says they are doing this now as he feels Etsy is nowhere near its real potential, but the low fees held them back from doing the things everyone wants.

They also talked to buyers:

Josh: "What our buyer research says is that what’s perceived as the high cost of shipping is one of the biggest things that’s holding back the success of our sellers on Etsy. What our buyers say is while they really value the handmade, crafted, or vintage products that are sold on Etsy, they see no reason why they should pay more for shipping on Etsy than anywhere else. [emphasis added]

"And that was a bit of a surprise. There was a belief, certainly among many in the staff and I expect in the community, that people will pay more or they'll recognize that because Etsy is person-to-person that people would understand that and pay more shipping. The buyer research was definitive: They won't."

"... [Buyers] don't know the postage service rates and they don't care about what the actual cost of shipping is. ... buyers said that they were 50% less likely to buy an item if they thought that the price of shipping was even a little bit more expensive than they were used to, and they were very unlikely to ever come back."
[They might have released that research before now, if they wanted people to buy into free shipping.]

Buyers say they get free shipping more than half the time online, and they think that for items under $50 should ship for no more than $5. Etsy buyers would rather pay $60 & free shipping than $50 plus $10 shipping.

[I wonder how much of this research was done outside of the US, where shipping is often much higher? I realize that roughly 2/3 of Etsy buyers are in the US, so they are important to survey, but we may be missing some other insights here. Also, if shipping charges are "one of the biggest things that’s holding back the success of our sellers on Etsy" what are the other big things? Are there bigger things? I suspect there are. Why aren't they emphasizing them?]

Kruti: "What it comes down to is that shipping prices are a part of your overall pricing strategy and shipping is one of our sellers’ cost of goods. It's part of your operating cost structure in the same way that any supplies are and what we're hearing from buyers is that they want to see that cost incorporated differently. "

Josh: "every other marketplace has made the transaction fee cover shipping and the item cost because it creates a level playing field. It causes sellers to think about shipping as just another cost of goods sold"
"When we were charging a fee on the item cost and not charging a fee on shipping, it created an incentive for people to charge less for the item and more for shipping, which is exactly the opposite of what we wanted to do."

Summary on free shipping: they understand that shipping is not free, and that someone has to pay for it, but they say buyers don't know that, & don't care. Buyers want the same shipping they get from big etailers.

[on Twitter, Ellen from BloomingOak stated "IMO saying that shipping is just like any other cost of goods sold is naïve when shipping is, for most sellers, a variable cost depending on destination."
Since I am sure that many will agree with her, let me predict Etsy's response:
1) buyers don't care, and
2) other online businesses have to deal with this as well. They price so things average out.
- which likely will anger some small sellers even more, because averaging shipping costs works best the more you ship. It's definitely a disadvantage for home-based businesses trying to compete in a changing ecommerce environment.]

They are adding shipping labels for UK & Australia, like Canada & the US so they can "pass on better rates to our sellers than any of our sellers could get individually."
[Fact check: they charge Canadians quite a bit more for the cheapest service levels than Canada Post, Paypal, Shippo etc. charge us as individuals, because Etsy isn't integrated with CP's Solutions for Small Business program, so she is full of it here. Etsy charges $7.18 for a label to the US; I currently pay $6.76 elsewhere, and will get to the lowest rate - $6.54 - by the end of the year. So if they want me to offer cheaper shipping, they need to offer me the same cheap rates everyone else does.
I am not even sure she knows she's full of it, though - they really seem clueless on this point.
If there are any price disadvantages with their USPS program, please post them in the comments below - I know less about that, obviously, but I remember people mentioning a few.]

The new subscription packages will not impact search rankings.

Josh: "... it's no longer the case that you can type in a query and know exactly what your [search] ranking is going to be every single time you type it in because it depends on several factors."
[He's not just talking about "personalized" results, which we don't really have site-wide yet, but also localization & country specific listing quality scores, plus time of day etc.]

They reiterate that most of the new advertising/marketing budget is going to online ads, especially Google. But "We're also testing in offline channels, like subway and television ads, to see what's going to be the most effective."

Josh goes through the new seller service packages, with no real new info.
[He seems to think that small-sized shops moving to the next level care most about branded packaging, shop customization & having their own URL, but it is clear to me that these "tools" are all about keeping growing sellers on Etsy through easy access to tools rather than them moving to more cost-effective entities - you can get all that for less elsewhere! Sadly, they might be successful selling that idea, because people don't want to invest time into their own sites. That's why some people are paying them for Pattern.]

Etsy Premium is for shops with employees.

And that is my summary! Please let me know if I missed anything - if you have a Google account, you can leave a comment below.

#Etsy #ecommerce #freeshipping #marketing
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Some Stats From Etsy on the Sales Tool, & Sales Search Filters

This is the transcript from an Etsy podcast last month discussing what they are doing to get new buyers. There were enough interesting tidbits on sitewide sales events that I decided to highlight the most important quotes in that area here.

They’ve noticed that long sales don’t work as well:
“we saw lifts in some of the metrics that we’ve tracked during sales events for a specific subset of days, but not the entire event. We’re testing out running shorter events going forward, so that we can inspire urgency and freshness with each different sales event happening in the future.”

It seems like most buyers aren't filtering for sales or looking at the Etsy sale page; search is still the key way people buy:
“In all of our events, we’ve seen that shoppers onsite don’t really deviate from their traditional browsing behaviors. They used search and shop home as their primary pages for discovering sale items that they wanted to buy.”
Note that means they are likely going to do more to highlight sales in search & on shop home pages.

Shoppers do very specific searches:
"We’re also seeing that when shoppers are searching, they frequently search for a very specific item and look for sale items within that. They’re not looking for broad queries. They’re really searching for something specific. And when they find the item they want, it’s an extra bonus if it’s on sale."

Note that they mention traffic but not sales here:
“One of the more interesting findings that we have, from all three of our sales events so far, is that we’ve seen a big increase in traffic to shops for sellers who participated in the sale. Sellers who had at least a listing or two on sale during the event saw a big increase in traffic. There was also an increase in traffic for sellers who didn’t participate, so a little halo effect, but it was much smaller.”

“we’ve seen that sales don’t really materially change the way our buyers are shopping, and that encompasses the items that they’re shopping for. So categories that are popular before the sale are popular during the sale.”

“we have some research that suggests that buyers are confused by sales with conditions. By a sale with conditions, I mean something like “20% off if you spend a hundred dollars.” They’re much more intrigued by simpler sales. So, 20% without any asterisk or any condition.”

But having too big a discount can also work against a seller:
"We found that very high discount messages, like 70% off, can often trigger trust issues that might impact conversion."

The latter part of that podcast was largely about Promoted Listings (PLs), and Etsy using affiliates for promotion (Including Ebates and Apartment Therapy).

#SEM #SEO #Etsy #promotions #advertising

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The BEST Piece on Google SEO Factors

Google SEO success factors, ranked by importance - there is an infographic for all of them, plus a detailed explanation of each section, including the most critical things you want to work on:

(at the bottom of this page, it links to the detailed explanation of top factors, then that page links to the next most-important section etc.)

Note that the number one factor is content that targets searcher queries - you need to do keyword research to meet that!

Also note that keyword density, meta keywords, and submitting your site to search engines are all unimportant (“the land of myths and outdated advice”), and that “overly long/complex URLs” and keyword stuffing are negative factors.

Finally: “Most of the popular web is both scannable and written at about a 7th to 8th-grade level. In fact, this is the type of text that tends to earn the most featured snippets. In many cases, it’s also the type of content that earn links and shares.”

#SEO #SearchEngineOptimization #GoogleSearch #Keywords
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Developing an online presence as a small business

Covers the minimum on building a website, starting social media & building an email list. Worth reading if you haven’t done all 3 of those things yet.

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