Monday, August 15, 2011

S. E. O. oh!

It's nap time for the munchkin...not the same nap as my last post...that was Friday's nap, when she was fussy and feverish with teething...today's nap is a "happy but tired from playing so I think I'll just lay down and take my nap" sort of nap.

So anyway, while she's napping, I thought I'd sit down and write a little diatribe about S.E.O.  If you are at all involved with Etsy or any other online business, you should know that S.E.O. stands for "search engine optimization".  It's the use of key words that get your product found when buyers search for something, either in a search engine such as Google or Bing or Yahoo or whatever, or within a large marketplace such as Etsy. 

I'd basically ignored most of the Etsy Success newsletters talking about S.E.O., or at best given them a brief glance and then hit the delete key.  But within the last week, Etsy went live with their new product search, which gives more relevance to key words within the title of a listing.  So, if someone is searching for "clear quartz earrings" they aren't going to see my "Simplicity - Ice Water" listing anywhere near the top of the search results.  It might be 687 pages back, but are they going to look that far?  Of course not.

You might have noticed that I like silly titles on my blog posts and it's a habit that I started with my Etsy listings.  But as stubborn as I tend to be in doing exactly as I please, I got a little concerned about the panic I was reading about in the Etsy community forums.  I really do want to sell my jewelry and I realize I can't just beg my friends and family and blog readers to do all the buying (even though I do...sorry!).  So I started with the items I needed to list over the weekend (listing over the weekend had its own frustrations, since a McAfee update had caused all of my edited pictures to disappear into hidden files, but I digress). 


I couldn't bring myself to do away with the "creative" names and go with just a string of descriptive words, or even put the name of the item at the end, after the string of descriptive words (as suggested in many of the Etsy forum posts), so I compromised by using "name, space, hyphen, space, blah blah blah blah blah earrings".  Some of the names, like my Simplicity series of earrings, already had a hyphen, so I differentiated those with ellipses between the hyphenated name and the descriptive phrase. 


Once I had the new listings under my belt, I considered just waiting around to see what sort of stats I got comparing the page views of the more descriptive titles with the old name-only titles.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was just being lazy and stubborn, so I went in and edited every single listing, even tweaking some of the pictures and the longer item descriptions.  The search engine doesn't look at those full descriptions, but hopefully the customers do, so they're important once you get the buyer to the listing.  In
the descriptive titles, I included the materials (some of those gemstone names are long!) and what type of item it was, but didn't always include colors.  Since the search engine does consider the 14 tags that are allowed for each item, the colors are included there. 


Are you bored yet?  It's true, the business part of my work is pretty boring.  It's not all playing with beads and beating on wire with a hammer (I've always liked making noise!).  It's not even HALF playing with beads and beating on wire with a hammer.  So with all this title editing (and the stupid missing photo problem), I am claiming an alternative meaning for S.E.O......surmounting every obstacle! 

1 comment:

BrierPatch said...

Wow. That is a project. There is always something in a job that isn't fun. Good luck.