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.


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.


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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Soccer Games and Wedding Bags

What do soccer games and wedding bags have in common? Me....and my traveling Mama Bleu orders!

Because I have a busy life outside the door of my studio I like to make up "project kits" that I can take with me when I'm on the go. We are 3 weeks into soccer season so Saturday mornings are all about Micah's soccer games. I take a seat under the big shade tree on the field and hand stitch floral details onto monogram and personalized clutches while I watch jersey number 3 learn how to play this game!

This past Saturday I was working on a new set of bags for an October wedding. The bridesmaid are wearing purple and she loved this brand new grey and white floral for the gift clutches she will be giving each of her friends. They are listed in my shop now as a gift set of 6 or a single monogram clutch.

Bridesmaid Clutches Gift Set of 6 by Mama Bleu Designs

Grey Monogram Clutch by Mama Bleu Designs

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Apple Farm Wedding

A few weeks ago we ended our summer with a family vacation and a wedding in San Luis Obispo. The weather was perfect and the location was amazing! We enjoyed the sprawling lawns, lush greenery and of course, the beautiful "apple farm" wedding of our niece!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Story Behind the Gift

In my pursuit to find the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of my life I have collected stories.

Wonderful stories!
Romantic stories!
Heartwarming stories!

My business as a maker of personalized gifts often allows me the privilege of hearing the stories behind the gift.

Of all the stories I decided to share with you today it is the one about David and Elizabeth. In doing my research I was surprised to find out that today is their one year anniversary! Elizabeth contacted me during the summer of 2013 about creating personalized clutches for her 4 bridesmaids, but that is not the end of the story.

A couple of weeks later David sent me a message and asked about having one made especially for Elizabeth. We spoke back and forth about the specific design of it and he directed me to their wedding website so I could get more insight about their wedding logo....the one he wanted on her personalized bag. It was there that I saw what a special relationship they have and the story of his marriage proposal to her. I told him that their story is absolutely delightful!

When they first started dating, Elizabeth would read David her favorite children's book, Rose's Garden. It's about a little girl who travels the world in her fantastic teapot and collects flower seeds. After her travels she plants the seeds in an abandoned lot that she is determined to make beautiful. So she plants her garden and waits and waits and waits. Through several seasons, nothing comes of Rose's dream and the lot remains dreary and empty. But children around the city hear about her dream and begin to bring her paper flowers to fill the field. As the field fills with paper flowers, Rose's Garden finally begins to grow.

Inspired by this story, David surprised Elizabeth one afternoon in April, by driving her to an empty lot that he had beautified with 250 hand cut paper flowers that he had made. This is the place where he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.

This is the #storybehindthegift


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Etsy Science: Inhale the Future, Exhale the Past

When I joined Etsy and opened Mama Bleu Designs in September 2010 (wow, it's been 4 years already?) I had no idea what I was doing. It was through the help of treasury curating teams and the mentoring of fellow shop owners that I figured out how I might make my mark in that huge marketplace and possibly make a living.

The thrill of seeing one of my shop items on the Front Page, or better yet, being honored to have one of my own curated treasuries chosen to be posted up front was something I looked forward to each week. With the news that the "Front Page" was going away put many of us in a tail spin. And with all the recent changes on Etsy I could easily throw my hands up and get discouraged. I think we all grumbled for a few days last week and I felt a huge pause of activity on Monday and Tuesday. The timing of the new page feed release was different for everyone. Mine switched to the new format at 4pm yesterday afternoon.

inhale the future, exhale the past

I felt like I had been holding my breath for weeks as if waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square. At the strike of midnight I usually shed a tear or two about another year passing but I am also hopeful for the promise of a new year. Today, when the ball finally dropped I inhaled the future and exhaled the past. Although I am still trying to navigate my way around this new landscape it is reassuring to have fellow team members right there with me. I am embracing the change!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Good Ol' Homemade Ice Cream

I remember going back to school after my summer break and inevitably my first writing assignment was a two page essay title, "What I did for my summer vacation".  How do you unfold that story in just a few paragraphs for you? The story of my summer is long so I won't bore you with all the details today but will unpack the highlight over the next couple of weeks.

Let me first tell you that you'd never know that I had surgery on my finger the third Monday of July. There is no visible evidence. Not even a scare. I guess if I had to be really picky about it I'd say there is a residual stiffness in my top knuckle but it's very slight. I am so grateful to have all that behind me!!

As for the rest of my summer, it was full....very full! It wasn't filled with vacation memories. It was filled with the ordinary moments that sometimes became extraordinary. Much like the day that I made ice cream with my grand kids! I only wish that we still had my grandma's hand crank ice cream maker but it fell apart years ago.  Making ice cream with my grandma Williams was an all day event that started with a trip to the ice house and ended with a brain freeze from eating the frozen yumminess too fast!




The brown bagged crushed ice from the ice house may have been replaced by a commercial bag of cubes from the market but you can still get a good ol' genuine brain freeze today just like I use to get on the back step of my grandma's house!!