Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mini Critique: Top 2 Shop Announcement Must Haves - Autumn & Boo

Pineapple (Welcome) Wall Stencil by Alison Huber Jewett on Etsy

Hey Team SASSY blog followers!

Today’s mini critique is for Autumn & Boo, an Etsy shop that provides unique, hand-painted wearable art, ornaments, & illustrations mainly for Autumn & Halloween, but also for other times of the year as well. I really like this shop. Their products look well made & original. Plus they’re oh so nice!

So, I will be critiquing Autumn & Boo’s shop announcement today because this is something we’ve not covered yet & it’s one of the first things customers see & read when they enter your shop.

Now to start off, I want to give you some things to keep in mind when it comes to shop announcements. If any of you follow my blog, then you’ve seen my blog series that’s going on right now called ReVAMPing Your Etsy Shop – 2011. This blog series is totally devoted to tackling each area of your shop & providing you with some great information to take with you so you can apply it. So below, I’m going to give you a crash course on what was covered in the post on shop announcements. If you want to learn more, then go check out the article on my blog!

There are 2 main purposes to your shop announcement.

1. SEO
2. Announcements

So let’s look into SEO first.

SEO or search engine optimization is how search engines rank your shop in search results among similar listings. Search engines take your shop announcement, analyze it, & rank it according to content & popularity among similar sites.

Did you hear me? I said they take all of your writing & use it to rank you. So if you only talk about an upcoming sale in your shop announcement then that’s not going to rank too well. It will probably end up way down the list near the bottom.

The reason is you’re not using consistent keywords that people use when they’re searching on search engines. You’re not talking enough about what you offer in your shop. People don’t normally search for “sale” & that’s it. They’d get a gazillion search results for the word “sale”. Most people use specific searches. Maybe something like “crocheted baby blanket sale” would be better. If you use that keyword phrase several times in your announcement, then at least you’d have more of a chance than with “sale” only.

Now you can go to any search engine, type in the name of your shop, & start looking for it in the results to see what it says. In fact, you should do that. Your listing will only show the first 140 or so characters. You’d better make them good & relevant because you’re trying to get people to click on your shop & come visit it. You want them to know what you offer, right? SEO is a real deal & if you want more views in your shop, it’s something you need to learn & pay attention to.

Next up is the announcement part.

Like I said earlier, the first 140 characters are used for SEO purposes, so fill that space up with keywords about what you offer in your shop.

The rest of the space is you’re to do what you wish with. You can talk about how you make what you make, you can talk about a current or upcoming sale, or you can direct readers to important parts of your shop like your policies or your profile. {Pssst…those links also help up your ranking on search engines too!} It’s totally up to you. As with any writing, you need to make it clear & easy to understand, format it so it’s easy to read & skim through, & check for spelling or grammatical errors. Remember to use your keywords consistently throughout your announcement so the search engines will rank you higher for those searches. SEO IS IMPORTANT!

Okay, enough with the info, let’s look at Autumn & Boo’s announcement & see what’s going on.

Here it is in the shop:

My first thought is that there aren’t enough specific keywords used throughout this entire announcement.

My second thought is that some of the information in this announcement should be somewhere else, not in the announcement. For example…the part about commissions & viewing more of her work should be in her profile bio. The payment part should be in her policies. The teams she’s apart of can be listed on her profile page if she chooses.

So, here’s an example of how I’d write this announcement if this super cute shop were mine.

Welcome to Autumn & Boo! Here you will find Autumn & Halloween inspired handmade jewelry such as cameos, broaches, pins, & pendants as well as Halloween ornaments & Halloween illustrations.

My handmade jewelry is hand-sculpted & hand-painted as are my Halloween ornaments. My Halloween illustrations are done by hand using archival quality ink, watercolor, & colored pencils. 

Any item can be custom designed to fit your needs. See my Alchemy settings here. {link}

For more information about me & my shop, see my profile {link} & my shop policies {link}.

Thank you for stopping by!

This would be my main announcement that I’d use all the time. If I decided to have a shop sale, I’d add something about that into this. If I added a new section or some other holiday items I’d talk about that briefly as well, directing customers right to that section via a link.

Here it is in a Google search:

Actually, I couldn’t find her main shop in a Google search. I searched for “autumn and boo” which brought up her blog, but no etsy shop. Then I searched the way she writes her name in her shop, “autumnandboo” & I found it, but there wasn’t a main listing – only a profile listing, sold items listing, & policy listing.

So, it looks to me that some SEO work needs to be done, & she needs to separate the words in her shop name. I think this would seriously help because she has a unique name which is easy to remember & should rank well in searches.

Final Thoughts…

All in all, I’m loving this shop! It has great products & such potential. The target market is a small one, but if you know where they’re at, you can go get ‘em! I’d seriously work on that SEO so some of your work can be done by search engines, I’d keep listing new items, I’d branch out with more product lines & I’m market my tush off! Good luck Autumn & Boo!!

Visit me at my Etsy shop: Baby Swank or at my blog:


OrigamiGirl said...

This is really useful! I have been thinking that working on SEO is something I really need to do. I don't understand it very well so any tips are useful.

Diana said...

Meagan... So much I learned in one little post. I had no idea about the 140 word thing. Also, I'm glad that you gave an example of what words would be a good SEO. Thanks for doing this!

ThisTinder said...

Great tip on separating the words in the name of your shop! I didn't even realize you could do that (thought it was an unchangeable thing like username). Thanks!

Laura said...

Diana, it's 140 CHARACTERS! Doesn't that make it scarier? Ouch. Go check yours in google and be shocked at how short that is...

ThisTinder, it is unchangeable because it is your username. Meagan was saying she should separate the words in her shop name *in her announcement* which is all text we can input and change as we wish. If she separates those words, she starts to get some SEO going for when people search "autumn & boo" which is more likely than "autumn&boo".

I actually just checked that for my shop, and the same thing is the case. Etsy does a whole heck of SEO work for you with your shop name as a username (autumn&boo). So if someone searches for that as one word, they'll get the shop, the profile, the policies, etc etc. And those will all be in the first five or so google results! Woo hoo!! But when they search for the phrase as separate words..... well now the seller needs to do some work putting together good SEO.

I just reworked my announcement to reflect this and hopefully it's a little better. I'll need to keep trying though! It's hard work!

Meagan said...

Great Diana! I'm so glad it was helpful to you!

And thank you Laura for the clarification. That is exactly what I was saying. I'm glad your changes worked for you!

Autumn and Boo said...

Thank you for reviewing my shop. Very kind words and greatly appriciated. :)

Thank you for refining my shop announcment.

One Comment, I in fact *DID* have a blurb about Alechemy in my original announcment, but unfortunately since Etsy has currently disabled Alchemy, I had to change to "convo me for special requests", until they have finished with the changes to Alchemy.

Once again, Thanks Oodles!

Meagan said...

You're so welcome!!

Red Charlotte said...

What an incredibly helpful post. Just updated my shop announcement based on your recommendations. Thanks again!

Meagan said...

Awesome Red Charlotte! You're so welcome!

Koroneczka said...

Thanks! I corrected my announcement.

David Price said...

Did the same thing, and updated my shop announcement.
Thanks everyone

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Being able to separate your shop name would be useful. Unfortunately, Etsy will not let you separate it. I wanted mine to be Critter Shoppe, but when I signed up it would only allow one word so now its CritterShoppe. I think it makes it more difficult for people to find us, but they must have their reasons.

Patrick Moriarty said...

thanks for the tips. really handy. Maybe i've stuffed my announcement wiht too many search words. I'll have to be more concise.