Thursday, September 30, 2010

An interview with SEOWebDesign

A lot of us Artsy Crafty types have a hard time doing some of the nerdier aspects of selling on the Internet. I have been researching SEO and it makes my head explode.

After reading this Etsy forum thread from SEOWebDesign I now only have a migraine like headache.

SEOWebDesign sells a wonderful SEO guide for Etsy sellers in her shop. I have read it and I'm working to improve my shop. Sales have increased, so I think it just might be working.

Mary, before I get to your shop, could you explain what SEO is

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a web site or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. The earlier (or higher on the page), and more frequently your site appears in the search results list, the more visitors you will receive from the search engine.

Algorithms are complex formulas that the search engine programs use to determine the value of every Web page on the Internet.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work is the same for each web site or blog. There are two main elements to SEO. First the content: meta tags, on-page text and image optimization, and linking, which are clickable links leading from one web site to another or from one web page to another. The optimized content tells the search engines what each web page is about. The linking, or link popularity, propels a web site or web page up higher in the search engine rankings for the keywords that are used.
A web site that comes up high or in the top of the search engine search results for a popular and much-used search term can be very successful in terms of sales. Most people don't look past the first page of search results when they are looking for something on the Internet and most searchers start looking at the web sites one by one starting at the top.
It's very beneficial to invest the time or money in SEO and come out on the top of the search results.

Tell us a little about your shops and Websites

My Etsy shops are: - for my SEO and Web design work - for my graphic design work - for digital collage sheets

My Web sites: - my web site - my SEO Web design blog

How did you get started in this line of work?

SEO Web design is just about perfect for me. Working with both logic and design is a "Happy Place" for me. I went to art school when I was young and while I was working as a computer programmer.

Computer programming is a very demanding field. Long hours as well as around-the-clock availability are often expected. As I got older, I continued working in computer programming and systems design but didn't always have time for creative work or hobbies. This imbalance in my life really bothered me, I was very unhappy.

When the Internet came along, I started "playing" with Web design and programming. I decided to take a risk and go out on my own when I ran out of excuses for staying stuck in the job I was so unhappy with.
SEO was a nice discovery, soon after I started designing Web sites and I made a study of SEO so that I could create more successful Web sites for my clients.

Most of all, I wanted to work from home, listening to the music I love, enjoying the company of my cats and having the freedom to make my own hours. I love working alone and don't miss the noisy offices or people I used to work with at all!

What brought you to Etsy?

I had known about Etsy since 2005 or 2006 and had bought a few things now and then. I often enjoyed just browsing through Etsy to look at all the different handmade arts and crafts - something to add to my life-long love of going Arts and Crafts Fairs every summer.

One day, while browsing through Etsy, I accidentally came across graphic design listings, and thought "I can do that". I quickly opened my first Etsy shop, I wanted to do more visually creative work in addition to my designs through my Web design work. With Web design there's more time spent on program coding than on designing the look of the Web site. I really wanted to spend more time on visually creative work.

I opened my first shop, selling graphic designs over two years ago. Over time, I saw that there were many Etsy sellers creating their own web sites but most had no idea of how to make their sites successful in the search engines. This realization gave me the idea of opening a second shop just for SEO web design in December, 2008.

Etsy shop owners are very independent people with a strong Do-It-Yourself attitude and are more open to ebooks and guidebooks than to having someone do something for them. My first guidebook was about creating successful web sites and blogs. I'm in the process of revising and simplifying the Web Site and Blog Success guidebook so that even someone very new to the Internet can use and get good understandable guidance from it.

As I become more familiar with how Etsy worked as a Web site and sa
w the program code for each web page, I saw that each Etsy shop could be search engine optimized. I initially offered only custom Etsy Shop SEO and developed my Etsy Shop SEO Guidebook from my experiences with those projects. I enjoy teaching and love it when someone tells me that my SEO guidebook is understandable.

Here are some of your Tips I found Helpful

Most searches on the Internet begin with keywords or search terms. Many of these are used over and over again. For example, when someone is looking for handmade jewelry, all or part of the search term is usually "handmade jewelry." “

If your shop has your shop name or something cute in the title”...”you are missing on an opportunity to get visitors”

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo read the Web page title to see what your Web page is about and then add your Web page to all the Web sites that use to those same keywords. “

“This is also true of your
section names “... “Click on any section in your own shop and look at how the title changes to whatever words you are using in your section names”

Find keyword phrases that are very relevant to your products or services. Do not use single words like "jewelry." Words like this are so competitive on the Internet that your shop would disappear somewhere on page 500 for that word and no-one would ever find it on Google or Yahoo.”

Googles Keyword Tool can be found here:

You can also link your google analytics to the tag report is user friendly and will help you see what tags people are using to bring them to your shop. Use this to see how your new keywords are working.

Mary's SEO Guide gives a clearer Idea of how to title your shop and sections using these keywords.

Another thing I found very interesting is how linking to your own shop and other items in your shop, within your own listings, can raise your search rankings.

I found the guide extremely useful at a reasonable price. I have worked a bit with metatags in a past life, so I am familiar with the terms used in the Guide. If you get the guide, don't be overwhelmed with the language. There is more than enough easy to understand tips and Mary will be happy to help if you do not understand some of the terms.

and you can join her on facebook

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Now that the Treasury is all East, How do we do a speedy click and how do we get our clicks to count. How frustrating!!!!!

Well there is an issue with clicks and comments (see thread) that Etsy is still trying to iron out.

I'm going to give you a few tips on speedy Treasury Tricks viewing, clicking, and working with. There are Keys on your browser that can help make working your shops and treasuries a breeze.

I'm going to start with Google Chrome, because that's what I use. Most browsers have the same applications, some might have different key shortcuts.

Clicking on a link while holding the shift key will open it in a separate window. Try it!

When I receive a notification that I am in a Treasury I press the shift key as I click on the link. When I click, I open the Treasury in it's own window (not tab) try it! If I open a link from twitter and it is a tab, I can grab the tab and yank it off the window into it's own separate window.

Clicking on an image or link while holding the control button will open it in a new Tab. Try it!

Now for clicking. If I hit the control button (cntrl) while clicking, I can click through all 16 items quickly, They each open a tab in that treasury window. I can choose to look at the items, or I can close that window and I have clicked on each of the items.

I do this to send messages to each person in MY Treasuries also. With every item open in a tab, I copy my message and quickly paste and send to each person by convo. Speedy! Done!

I love Firefox, but it heats up my laptop too much. Shift and Control work the same way. Try it!

Internet Explorer works the same way with Shift and Control, but Much Much slower. Personally, I don't know why anyone would use IE. Get out of your old habits and try something new.

Play with your browser. There is a lot they can do to speed up your life on Etsy.

Next week an interview and Tips from SEOWebDesign

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Etsy Address VS PayPal address.

There's a lot of debate on the shipping address issue. 90% of the time both addresses match and no problem. But what happens when the Etsy Address is not the same as the PayPal address?

There is no correct Answer. I'll tell you what Poppy poppyswickedgarden and I do, and the pros and cons of both.

Etsy Address Pro: #1 It has to be entered by customer and chances are it is correct. #2 Keep your customer happy.

Etsy Address Con: #1 You are not covered by PayPal insurance. #2 You might be shipping to the wrong address. #3 You can only use PayPal shipping if you manually edit the customers address.

PayPal Address Pro: #1 You are covered with PayPal protection, buyer or seller if ANYTHING happens to your product after it is shipped. #2 Easy shipping through Pay Pal

PayPal Address Con: #1 You might be shipping to the wrong address. #2 You might loose or anger a customer by contacting them about the problem. (See addendum)

So you've shipped 700 items using Etsy address and never had a problem? Here's a little story. Imagine this happened to you.

You ship to your customers Etsy address. Your package is delivered, but your customer claims they never received it. Maybe a neighbor took it, maybe it went in the neighbor's mailbox. Postal carriers never make mistakes, right? The customer contacts PayPal and they get their money refunded. PayPal takes the money from your account. You are out of the money if you shipped to a different address.

If a buyer has 2 different addresses listed, one PayPal, one Etsy, can you be sure which one they want their merchandise sent to? Not unless you contact them.

You are paying for PayPal insurance. That's right. That fee you pay? It's not just to use PayPal. You're covered by PayPal insurance as long as you ship to the PayPal address. You only need proof, even if you use another shipping service. Click to See 11.3 PayPal Protection for Sellers Eligibility Requirement So why pay for a service you are not going to use?

Here is what I do.

I post a warning on my profile, on my shipping info, and on each one of my listings, that I ship to PayPal Address ONLY. Click to See example I also state it on my sales confirmation email, but at that point the buyer has already paid.

If I notice a different address, I contact the buyer and inform them that I have to ship to the PayPal address for both of us to be insured (never a problem if they are a legitimate buyer)

There are then TWO steps to correct the problem. You need to #1 REFUND the purchase and #2 UNCHECK paid on your sale. Yes you can do this. The buyer goes back into their purchases and pays again with the correct address. The buyer can put in any address on PayPal, even another name and address as a gift. You must explain to the buyer what they have to do.

Remember PayPal insurance covers BOTH the seller AND the buyer. You are doing them a favor if you make sure they have the correct address on PayPal.

See Etsy Thread links for more on this conversation from your peers

Search Etsy Forums - Shipping Addresses - for more.

Addendum: All that being said, I JUST had a customer who was infuriated that I insisted on shipping to the PayPal address. She gives a different address all the time on Etsy and she didn't like the inconvenience of repaying. It cost her time and money (no money lost for her). It was a $1.50 supply purchase. These are the kind of people who will have a problem with anything though. It's better to weed them out BEFORE they leave you negative feedback.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Introduction to Etsyquette 101

Etsyquette is little kindness and proper behavior on Etsy. It is Excellent Customer Service. Good Manners on Forums and Treasuries.

I will be Gleaning Forums and Twitter Posts to Find the very Best suggesions on Etsyquette And Bringing you a New Lesson Monthly. I will Start with Customer Service followed By Treasury Posts and then Forum Etsyquette. These are going to be focused on Seller Etsyquette, but may include buyer Etsyquette also.

Please convo any suggestions you have to or tweet or DM me at akacinders and let me know if you would prefer to be anonymous.

The following are some suggestions from your fellow Etsians.

CrabappleVintage: Contact your customers in some way after their order. It gives them confidence that their order didn't fall into a void and gives you an opportunity to have another positive interaction. I'll sometimes send a convo if I get an order on a Saturday and can't mail it til Monday or if I'm waiting for a pending payment. If I know I'm going to ship an item right away, then I'll simply leave feedback after shipping.

RoughMagicCreations: I find it off-putting when I convo a seller to say I've featured his or her item in a treasury, and the seller replies that, as a special "thank you," I can get a discount on a purchase from that shop.

GlassRiverJewelry: If someone makes a mistake when posting in the forum, many people feel the need to post in the thread pointing out the error that the original poster made. It would be nice if people would not continually point out the error and just let the admins do their job.

Peaseblossomstudio: How about derailing threads on purpose and constantly calling out FP makers. URRRRRGH! Those bug me more than anything!

arosha: 1. If you ask me a question, and I responded (I ALWAYS do, BTW) - then I expect some response back. Even "I read it, thank you" is sufficient. Sometimes buyers have very complex requests that require a lot of effort to answer - and then leave you with no response at all to your detailed answer.

2. Let me know if you blogged about me! I would love to leave a comment and spread the word - but I need to know it's happening.

3. Let the seller know you have some problem with your purchase before leaving a neutral or negative feedback! Most issues can be handled and solved by communicating.

Future Posts will include a wonderful interview with a seller who has taken their shop from ordinary to fantastic, with a lot of hard work,and how she accomplished it. And I will also have an insightful interview about SEO with tips on what it is and how to.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

An interview with Vintage Eye

This week we have the ever entertaining Vintage Eye telling us a little more about #SSPS on Twitter.

Tell us a little about your shops

I have 3 shops. I started out selling my art on satellitedaisy and quickly figured out that nobody wanted it. So I moved on to selling vintage which people did want to buy. I spun off VintageEye to separate the art from the vintage then opened VintageEyeFashion to contain the clothing & other wearables. It seems to work pretty well.

What is #SSPS?

#SSPS is twitterese for Shameless Self Promotion Sunday, a lame version of #follow friday!

(Read more)

How did #SSPS get started?

It started while tweeting listings with a few other Etsy sellers, including WorldVintage, who came up with the name and took off from there. A bunch of us RT anything with a #SSPS tag & ask others to do the same. It seems to work pretty well. I've been lucky enough to be featured on some fantastic blogs & had been using twitter to return the favor since I don't blog. Somehow the whole act of self promotion seems less dirty when done tongue in cheek & in large numbers!

Is it just for Etsy or can anyone play?

Anyone can join in for #SSPS. We have Etsy sellers, Ebayers, bloggers and various other shameless wonders.

I hear you got kicked off of twitter for a while. Is that true?

I have been kicked off Twitter on three separate occasions for over tweeting! The nerve! The limit is 2000 tweets per day & that # gets broken down into smaller limits. What those are exactly, well, if I knew that I wouldn't keep getting kicked off!

How much time do you spend promoting other shops?

I love to see what people are making, selling, buying, blogging, talking & or bitching about & really enjoy promoting other shops as well as my own. It's hard to say how much time I spend in the promotion game but let's say I at least RT a few items or shops every time I'm online. Sometimes it gets totally out of hand & I'll do Back Page Finds for everyone who pops up in my twitter feed. I root around in the last page of their shop & tweet an item or blog or site if that's what they have (Just did that yesterday) I've been known to plug a Blog O' The Day & do the occasional Thursday Shout Out or pimp people's treasuries. I am truly shameless when it comes to promotion. We are all trying to make a go of it so we may as well help each other out!

I did try #SMSS or Saturday Morning Shoe Shoe a few times but that went over like a fart in church & even a shameless wonder like me can't overcome total lack of interest! I guess not everyone loves shoes as much as I do.

I have met some fantabulotastic peeps on twitter & am enjoying the crap out of the whole thing!

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