Friday, September 16, 2011

Fighting for every Click?

As mentioned before, I have been playing around with new descriptive (and very unaesthetic) titles owing to the new search mode on Etsy (relevancy search). I can't say yet how it affects our sales - they've been fewer than before the summer, but then, summer is not exactly knitting time and we were on holiday and didn't put any work into the shop, so there might be several reasons for fewer sales. I have noticed some things, though: 

1. The views rate is down, and very much so. I was used to about 15 to 25 views shortly after listing an item and posting it on Facebook and Twitter. Then, after a short leave of absence due to health reasons, that suddenly didn't work anymore. There were only very few clicks and I thought it had something to do with Facebook or Twitter, or maybe our fans and followers felt I posted too much and didn't click anymore. When I read about the new search mode, it slowly dawned on me that it might have something to do with that. I'm not completely sure because I noticed the news quite late and don't know when the search mode was changed, but I think it seems plausible to link the fewer views to exactly that.

2. The hearts/views ratio has definetely gone up! Maybe it's just luck and my latest creations are generally popular - but maybe it's because the new search mode is actually a good thing and the people who click are the people who have looked for something like the item in question. So who needs "empty" clicks when we can get exactly the people who are interested in our creations?

3. I still don't get the new titles. I changed some (not all, yet), but they are not necessarily the ones that pop up first in the search. It's still a mystery to me, but then I haven't read all the info yet because I've been writing on my thesis like mad - about eight hours a day during the last few days, and then some additional work on the shop...

What do you think? How have the changes been affecting you, have you found a good way around the problems yet? I'd really like to hear from others experiencing the same difficulties!

Since my husband will be on leave for the next two weeks I have decided to take some leave, too. Not entirely, but I won'd do anything to stress me. If I feel like writing on my thesis, I will do so, but if I don't I won't feel bad. I will put some work into the shop, though, because I really want to :-) So, hopefully I'll also have some time to read my way through the guides and infos about the relevancy search and maybe I can tweak the titles some more. Oh - and I hope to post some pictures, it's been quiet on the blog lately.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Etsy Search Relevancy

If you're on Etsy, you've probably heard they changed the search sorting to relevancy rather than listing time. This might seem good and resonable at first sight, and I think it might actually be good and resonable for shoppers, and that's what counts. For shop owners, there are some huge changes to be kept in mind, though.

Titles are more important than they used to be, and I get the feeling that tags are not that important anymore. I've read that you should focus on the first 2-3 words of your title and kind of optimize it for the search. In our case, this means we shouldn't use our title format any longer, since it consisted of  
[Name of the yarn] - Handspun Art yarn [with whatever it contains]. The name is irrelevant for the search in many cases, so there should be a description instead.

I am currently trying to play around with the titles, and I've also peeked into the Etsy forums a little, to see what titles are supposed to work best. To be honest, I think they are now absolutely appaling. I like clear format and words, I hate to put the tags in the title, and that's exactly what it seems like. Now, a yarn that I'd usually have listed under "Polyjuice Potion - Handspun Harry Potter Art yarn" looks like this: "Harry Potter Art Yarn POLYJUICE POTION. Handspun, Halloween, Blue, Turquoise, Purple, Dusky Pink, Merino, Hand Dyed Silk, Upcycled Sari Silk". Sorry, but I think that's really very close to disgusting.
Maybe I didn't get it right, I will definitively have to find out more and play around a little more. I will try this because I need to sell my creations, but I will keep an eye on how good this works. If I don't think it makes much difference, I will go back to clear titles without a string of rather incoherent words.

What do you think about the changes? Good or bad? Any strategies? Have I even got it right? Still adjusting, here...  Thanks for your input :-)


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