Last evening I attended the "Get Found in Search" lecture over in the Brooklyn headquarters of Etsy as part of their Success Series. It was super informative and and everyone was so welcoming. I came away with lots of notes and ideas about how to improve my tagging, titles and item descriptions in order to make my shops, Curious Portraits and The Curious Kitchen more searchable. A lot of the information I had already absorbed and implemented over the years from Etsy's fantastic blog and newsletter but it inspired me to go over my shops with a checklist and fill in some gaps. One of the new tips I acquired last night was from Erin at Knot and Bow; she recommended putting something with your brand name in every photo. I know a lot of people use watermarks on their images but I have opted not to do that so as not to spoil the look of the photo in case some enthusiastic blogger wanted to post it. Erin has one of her labels with her brand in every photo of her products and that gave me the idea of putting my shop name discreetly in the bottom corner of all my images so that it isn't distracting yet would always lead a viewer back to my shop in case the trail got cold through Pinterest or Tumblr.
She suggested we name our photos with keywords (instead of numbers as many of us do) so that they will come up in Google Image Search. This was new to a lot of people there so I think everyone found it really helpful. Erin also reminded us to keep an eye on the traffic sources and top keywords in our shop stats page to stay on top of where we are being found and how.
The most important thing I learned though was from Dixie Laite's talk about targeting your customers. She writes 15 minutes of Dame column at the DYI Business Association blog(among other things) and was an overflowing fountain of useful information. For some reason I have always shied away from pin pointing my target audience. I don't know if it seemed too overwhelming a task or if I simply didn't understand how but now, thanks to Dixie, I feel fully armed to sit down and overcome my resistance! She broke it all down into identifying who is most likely to buy from you, seeing who your competitors (or like minded sellers) target, interviewing past customers for recommendations and identifying what makes your product different, just to name a few. She urged us to be prepared to change as we collect new information and to think about what we are really selling. Not in terms of product only but in a deeper way such as comfort, protection or nostalgia. I had never before thought of it in that way. This process requires some real work but I believe it will be well worth the effort in the end. I highly recommend reading her column at DYI which goes over all of this in more detail. Don't forget to check out her blog The Lost Art of Being a Dame as well which is a must for classic movie buffs and lovers of vintage everything from the golden age of cinema.
Last but not least Julie Snyder of the Etsy team went over the importance of choosing simple and searchable keywords in your tags and clear and descriptive titles to your listings. Oh and they had a photo booth complete with chalkboard props for us to commemorate the evening which was great fun! I'd love to hear comments from anyone else who attended or any other Etsy seller with their tips for being found.