This is a guest post by Michele Gallagher from My Craft Assistant.
You know the scenario: you come up with a fabulous new item, you show the item to your friends and family and they love it, in fact some may even place an order for you to make one for them. You take pictures of the item, invest the time to write a thoughtful description and list it on Etsy. Maybe your item is one of a kind and something people have never seen before, maybe it’s something other Etsy sellers have listed in their shops and are selling for them, but either way your item just sits there… it doesn’t sell.
Many Etsy shop owners come to me and they say “my friends and family love my items, I always get compliments on them, so why aren’t they selling?” or they simply ask “why aren’t my items selling?” There are a handful of mistakes I see crafters make time and again that prevent them from making that sale. Here are a few of the most common ones I see (and how to prevent them in your shop):
Mistake #1: Your listings are not set up for the Etsy Relevancy Search. Etsy does not do a great job of telling you upfront how they rank items in their search results, you really have to do research on it to get a good understanding of how to list your items the “right” way. Many crafters believe that their item’s tags are the most important factor in getting found, but that’s not true. Your item’s titles are just as important and are a factor in where you fall in the Etsy search results. Take the time to research keywords and phrases that are relevant to your items and make sure they are prevalent in your titles AND tags. You are allowed up to 140 characters in your Etsy title – make the most of it! Use the Google Keyword Tool to help you find the right words and phrases to use. The Etsy search bar and competitors listings are also great places to find ideas. If you need more help figuring out how to structure your titles and tags I offer an Etsy Relevancy Ebook as well as custom reports to show you exactly how you can improve your titles and tags.
Mistake #2: Not paying attention to your shop title. Your shop title, located underneath your banner, right below your shop name is one of the key places the Google search engine looks when deciding whether or not your shop is relevant in a potential customers search (and in turn determines where your shop should be placed in the search results). If Google does not deem your shop relevant, your shop will appear low in the search results and will most likely not be seen. Many times I see Etsy sellers using their shop name as their shop title. Instead, use this space to describe what it is you’re selling. Use broad terms (like jewelry, art, woodwork, etc.) along with more descriptive words (like boho jewelry, children’s wall art and custom woodwork) to further target your exact customer.
Mistake #3: Many Etsy sellers have Twitter and Facebook accounts for their business but don’t fully understand how to use it to promote their items. Just sending out links to items in your Etsy shop makes people feel like they are being marketed too and can even get you removed from Twitter for spamming. Instead, engage with customers, and provide usefully information…give them a reason to want to follow you! For example, if you sell jewelry, tweet tips on how to properly clean your jewelry, suggestions on how to store your jewelry to keep it from tangling, new trends, the season’s hottest colors or even information on how to build a handmade jewelry box. When you tweet information that people can use they naturally get interested in what you do and they will visit your profile and will see the link to your Etsy shop. It is OK to tweet links to your shop once in a while, but try not to do it more than 25% of the time.
I love working with crafters to help them grow their shops. While it can be difficult to get your items seen in a sea of handmade goods on Etsy, the above tips will help you drive more relevant traffic to your shop and hopefully start getting you some more sales! If you would like further assistance or help getting started feel free to contact me and I can help you get on the right path to making sales consistently on Etsy.
Michele Gallagher has a passion for helping people grow their businesses. She has been an active member of the crafting community for many years and has open and run several successful Etsy shops. Her products have been featured in many retail stores throughout her career including Nordstrom department store in 2009. She also runs a popular Etsy Consultancy called My Craft Assistant (where she does marketing, SEO, shop setup and more!) and is author of a Etsy Relevancy Ebook.