Today I have a new creative business tip post for you guys based on questions that I have gotten recently regarding how to increase traffic and get noticed on Etsy. When you're first starting out on Etsy, it can feel like your listings are just drowning in a sea of other shops, and that can be really discouraging. Working your butt off only to see that no one is finding you can make you want to give up (DON'T!). These are 4 things that really made a difference for me when I was first getting started (and they still do today!) in terms of Etsy traffic and standing out in the crowd:
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1. Establish (& use!) at Least One Social Media Site
Social media is obviously a very big marketing tool and something that is super prevalent among businesses these days, but you would be surprised how many people still do not have any social media pages established for their business! While it may seem like a lot of work, consistently maintaining at least one social media page really isn't very difficult and it pays off big time! Also, it's better to have only one page (just Facebook, for example) and post on it consistently rather than having 5 different pages that you never use. As far as how much to post, my advice is to try to post 1-3 times per day. This amount of posts keeps people interested and aware of what's going on with your business without being bogged down and annoyed at how much they're seeing you show up on their newsfeed. You can also link up your pages, so that you reach more people on different social media without doing any more work. For example, you can easily post an Instagram photo and send it off to your Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. The social media that I have found the most useful and relevant for my business: Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.
2. Be Mindful of Keywords
SEO can be really complicated and overwhelming but it really just comes down to keywords. The easiest things to be aware of in terms of keywords are your listing title and your tags. Create these two elements of your listing based on how a potential customer would search for your product. Do not create a listing title that is irrelevant because you think it will be clever because doing this means that no one will find it. If you are selling a blue necklace, be sure that your title includes the words "blue" and "necklace". Seems simple enough, but it doesn't always happen. In terms of tags, create the tag "blue necklace" rather than "blue" and "necklace". You can still separate them if you want to, but people won't find you in a search for "blue necklace" if it isn't tagged in that way (it's the same way that hashtags work on Twitter or Instagram - have you ever seen people who hashtag each word of a phrase? #you're #doing #it #wrong). :)
3. Take Advantage of Etsy Search Ads
You can learn the ins and outs of Etsy Search Ads here, but basically you set a weekly budget to pay Etsy each week, and then Etsy makes your items show up more often when people are searching. When you're first starting out and making barely any money, it can be difficult to know if that investment will pay off, but let me just tell you...it does! Last year (2013), I spent about $250 on Etsy Search Ads that led to $1400 sales and 150,000 views. Those are the sales and views that were made directly in relation to my search ads. I don't know if it's improper to talk about money like that, but I thought that you guys would find it helpful to know the return that I had so that you can see how much it pays off.
4. Professional Looking Photos (!!!)
Hear ye, hear ye, underline, highlight, and boldface this tip: YOUR PHOTOS MUST LOOK GOOD. They don't need to be done by a professional necessarily (although if you can afford it, great!). They don't even need to be taken on a "professional" camera, but they need to be:
2. light & bright
I will be doing a separate post on this topic in the future because I know that it can be complicated / overwhelming / stress-inducing / etc. but if you can't do anything fancy, the most important thing is to make sure you have good natural lighting. Please, oh pretty please, do not take photos of your products in your apartment at night time using the lights in your house (CRINGE!). They will look horrible. How do I know this? Because I did it way back when...(cue Mitchell from Modern Family: "SHAAAAAMMMEE!!").