Monday, December 1, 2014

Mama Bleu Designs and Southern Weddings Magazine

In the whirlwind of preparation the day I left for China, I found out that a set of my custom-made Bride and Groom hoops is featured in the Winter Edition of Southern Weddings Magazine! As you can imagine, the details of the trip took precedence so I quickly forgot about this amazing news.

Mama Bleu Designs featured in Southern Wedding Magazine

Upon return home in mid-November I sorted through my pile of mail and was delightfully reminded of this happy news when I tore open the package that contained my complimentary issue of the magazine. Oh my goodness is this publication packed full of beautiful photography or what?!!

Bride and Groom Wedding Chair Hoops by Mama Bleu Designs

Bride and Groom Wedding Props by Mama Bleu Designs

So thank you Angela from Angela Marie Events for making this possible again. You are a delight to work with! And Ashleigh Jane Photography , you always makes Mama Bleu Designs look good!!!  Thank you!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Basic Training on SEO for Etsy

Tips about getting found on Etsy using basic SEO keywords and how to place them in your Titles and Tags

I originally posted information about SEO about a year ago and although many things are the same, much of what I’ve learned on this topic has changed. I used to feel that the topic of SEO was too much for me to completely understand. Things on the internet are constantly changing and evolving but the basics of SEO on Etsy are fairly simple to manage. I don’t claim to be an expert on this topic but when I follow some basic steps when setting up listing for my shop, I tend to get found by the people who can benefit from the products and services I have to offer.

According to a training website that I often refer to, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is "the process of making improvements on and off your website in order to gain more exposure in search engine results. And more exposure in search engine results will ultimately lead to more visitors finding you for the right reasons and going to your website. At the heart of it all, search engines are just trying to find and understand all the content out there on the Internet, and then quickly deliver relevant and authoritative results based on any phrase that a user might be searching for."

First, let me say that getting found on Etsy and getting found on Google (or other search engines) are different....and the same. The method for each is to help your customers find you. Etsy is doing a great job of getting high page rankings on Google in searches for the various markets represented on their website. Since they are helping people find Etsy, then we need to do what we can to help people find our shop items on Etsy.

It’s not always easy to explain my thoughts through words and photos alone, so I put together a video for you. 




Put Yourself In Your Customer’s Shoes

Because your potential customer does not have the advantage of walking into a brick and mortar shop to see your items, your job is to use very specific descriptive words and photos in your shop listings to help them understand what you have to offer. The words you choose are your SEO keywords.


Keywords

As I see it, there are two types of keyword. The first of these is the Category: A general or broad term to describe your item. A category that I often use on Etsy is Bag/Purse/Clutch. I use these words along with a variety of descriptive words in my title and tags to form keyword phrases.

The second type is Descriptive: Words that are specific to the features of your product. More specific words are about materials, details, colors, style, dimensions, etc.

Resources

Just like Google, when you type a word into the Etsy search box, other words and phrases will “populate” to give you hints about other popular search terms. This is a great resource for you!

Secondly, if you have any history on Etsy at all, you can check the stats of your shop and view a list of words and phrases that were used to find your shop items. I often use these words and phrases as reference. 


Mix Things Up

I know that once you find a popular word phrase you’ll be tempted to use it on each of your listings, but I encourage you not to do that. To broaden your visibility you need to use a variety of search terms. If you were to ask 5 different people to describe one of your items you will find that they each use different descriptive words and phrases even though they are all looking at the same thing!

SEO is only one of the factors for getting found on Etsy and I find that going into my listings from time to time to refresh my photos, titles, tags and descriptions helps increase my shop traffic.

As I mentioned at the start, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. When they walk into a brick and mortar shop they get inspired and want to stay awhile when the front window has a beautiful display, the shop has an inviting atmosphere and there are new items to check out from time to time. These are things to consider for your Etsy shop as well and I will be exploring some ideas with you in future posts.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mama Bleu Designs and Southern Bride Magazine

I am beside myself excited to be featured in Southern Bride Magazine this month!! Thanks to Angela from Angela Marie Events!

Angela contacted me just after Christmas last year and by the end of January I had everything finished and sent off for her photo shoot in February. When she described the setting of the shoot at a lake house in Louisiana I just knew the photos would turn out fabulous!!! All the photos were taken by Ashleigh-Jayne-Photography.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ashleigh-Jayne-Photography/113653805371358


Originally she was going to pitch the collection of photos to a well known bridal blog but thought she'd make a last minute entry in a contest that Southern Bride Magazine was hosting. There were several of us who collaborated with Angela so we were all on pins and needles waiting to hear the news.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MamaBleuDesigns

https://www.etsy.com/listing/179124914/navy-blue-wedding-clutch-personalized?ref=shop_home_active_4&ga_search_query=navy%2Bblue

https://www.etsy.com/listing/179137853/custom-made-bridesmaid-gift-navy-blue?ref=shop_home_active_3&ga_search_query=navy%2Bblue

The very next day I received a text that said, "Are you sitting down? The shoot WILL be featured in the next issue if Southern Bride Magazine". With sealed lips we all had to wait 4 months before we could share the news!!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MamaBleuDesigns

https://www.etsy.com/listing/180452628/wedding-table-decor-unique-place-card?ref=shop_home_active_5

https://www.etsy.com/listing/180463163/table-place-card-hoop-art-table-decor?ref=shop_home_active_7

I received my issue of the magazine in the mail yesterday and saw that one of the photos from the shoot made it to the front page! Thanks Angela for knocking on Mama Bleu Designs door and giving me the opportunity to join you in this fun adventure!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Mama Bleu Designs and Cottages & Bungalows Magazine

Three weeks into January this year I was contacted by Maggie Abratte, a writer from Cottages & Bungalows magazine. Needless to say I was thrilled that she wanted to do a phone interview with me for the artist feature in their April issue.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/121587084/inspirational-words-wall-decor-bluebird?ref=shop_home_active_1

Of course, the first time I was published was probably the most exciting of all, but every time I see my Mama Bleu Designs items in a magazine I get butterflies all over again.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/mamableudesigns

https://www.etsy.com/shop/mamableudesigns

Thank you Maggie! Our conversation that January afternoon was a delight!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Etsy Science and SEO: Word Weaving

In part one and part two of this series on Etsy Science and SEO we looked at how important keywords are, and the way they are placed in your title, description and tags can improve the success of your shop. Today we're going to look at some components of our shop appearance that we may easily overlook but can become vital keys to getting found on Google. Our Shop Title, Shop Announcement and Shop Sections can be key worded too. So let's learn how to do some more word weaving.


Your Shop Title is different from your Shop Name. It is an title bar that can be personalized with 54 characters. Without the knowledge of the power of this small area of your shop you might be tempted to repeat your shop name or put something cute and non-signification here. 


I suggest that you string together some of the keywords that most identify your shop. Check out the way this shop, this shop and this shop effectively use keywords in their title to tell you what they are all about.

The next area of importance is your Shop Announcement box. We learned how to weave the words from our Item Title into our Item Description last week. Using this same technique, you want to weave your Shop Title keywords into the first 2 lines of your Announcement. The difference here is that you can have words strung together without building a paragraph to read.


One other area you need to look at is the Sections. If you have dozens to hundreds of items in your shop, organizing them into sections can help your customers find what they are looking for. It is important for you to use those same keywords here as well.  This can get a little tricky because are limited to the length of your words.


I mentioned in our first week that "getting found on Etsy and getting found on Google (or other search engines) are different....and the same. The method for each is to help your customers find you." Matching your Item Title, Item Description and Tagging keywords help you get found on Etsy. Matching your Shop Title, Shop Announcement and Shop Section keywords help you get found on Google.

When I started doing research for this training three weeks ago I was not ranking well on Google. I took my own advice and moved some keywords around so they would work more efficiently for me. To my surprise and delight, today I Googled the phrase "personalized wedding clutches" and my shop now shows up on the first page of that search!! This is definite proof to me that using this technique works!!


You'll see that my Shop Title shows up in purple and my Shop Announcement echoes the same words below. I believe that is one of the main reasons my ranking is high on the search.

With all of this said, keywords are not the only keys to getting found on Etsy and Google. Etsy likes it when you are active in your shop. Google likes it when you are active on the web. Like I said before...this SEO thing is a big nut to crack. There is a lot to it and we'll look at how our activity can increases our success too.  



Friday, February 21, 2014

Etsy Science and SEO: Building Successful Shop Listing

As I mentioned in part one of Etsy Science and SEO , keywords and key phrases are an essential part of the SEO process for Google and Etsy searches. So today I'm going to do my best to help you build a successful shop listing.


BUILDING KEYWORD PHRASES

This is something I have struggled with for a long time. And to tell you the truth, until I started to dig into it further for this training, I didn't completely understand it. I'm hoping to help you get past the fundamentals of this and get you to the point where it starts to sink in and make sense.

Let's start by playing the role of a consumer who is looking to buy a car. You sit down at your computer and type some words in the Google search box to help you with your shopping. Think about this. Would you simply type in "CAR"? Probably not. You'd probably be more specific with a Year and Model and Color. New or Used. You might type in "Used Car" or "Blue 2010 Honda Accord".

Now translate this into keywords. The words CAR or USED CAR have a lot of competition because the terms are so broad and getting to the top of those search lists would be extremely tough. And really, because those terms are so vague, I don't think that getting high ranking for those keywords would be as valuable as something more specific. When people are shopping for a car, they would likely use more specific words and phrases to describe exactly what they hope to find.

With Etsy it is the same way. Perhaps there are some people who are going to type in one word and hope to find something. But realistically, they usually have something more specific in mind and type in phrases rather than single words.

So let's translate this over to your Etsy shop. Consider one of your shop items and identify the MAIN keyword for it. Then add 1-3 of the other keywords that you identified in the exercise "stepping into your customer's shoes" from my previous post. By doing this you are narrowing your competition and helping your customers find you!

Using the example above, the main keyword may not be "car". It may need to be "Honda". That narrows the choices right there! Adding 1-3 words around that to describe the car more clearly will narrow the competition even more.

With your keyword phrase ready.....let's start building!

YOUR LISTING TITLE

In everything I've read so far, I think the jury is out as to whether you should keep your Listing Title short and to the point or if you should use as many of the 140 characters as you can. I have started experimenting with this to see if it really makes any difference. No matter how many words you decide to use in your Title, it is definitely important to put your focus on the FIRST 3-4 words. They are the FOUNDATION of your listing and where you want your keyword phrase to be!!

YOUR LISTING DESCRIPTION

Google loves repetition so it is important to scatter your foundation keywords from your Title into the first 2 lines of your item description. It is tempting to just repeat the title at that beginning of the paragraph but it is not recommended. Avoid stuffing the words into the two lines just to get them there. Google prefers that you write something that helps the customer understand your item. This will take some time but it's definitely worth it!!

Here is an example of a Listing Title:

Black Personalized Wedding Clutch, Bridesmaid Gift, Black and White Wedding, Made to Order

And the first couple of lines in the Listing Description:

With black and white trending as popular wedding colors for 2014, this simple personalized clutch is the perfect bridesmaid gift. 
 
YOUR LISTING TAGS

Even though the 13 item tags on you Etsy shop listing are not used by Google it is still important to place your keywords there as well. Each tag is limited in length so you can't stuff all 3 or 4 words together. Google doesn't like word stuffing and neither does Etsy. It is likely that you will have to break up your foundation keyword phrase into one or two word tags. That's okay. They will still work.


BENEFITS OF KEYWORDING

Shortly after you add a new listing or adjust an existing listing using these tips, you will likely see your item appear on one of the first 3 pages of the search results. I appreciate that with Etsy we don't have to wait long to see if our work has paid off.

However, the process takes much longer with Google and there are many other factors that help you increase your rankings there. These factors are outside of what happens on Etsy and I'll cover that in another Etsy Science session.