Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tangle Tuesday & Etsy SEO

It has been a long time since I tangled! My last one was August 6 - a month ago (seems like longer). I have been caught up in a beadweaving frenzy, taking projects home every weekend and beading like a fool, and after I finished the latest one last week, I needed to get back to some metal working, which isn't really a portable project (although I tried! - but there're so many tools, and chemicals, and heavy hammers, and I just don't really have the set-up space at home. Waaah!)

So I found myself with 2 whole days with nothing creative to do (and I certainly was NOT going to clean house - that's CRAZY talk!). I decided to dive back into Zentangling.

Some of the tangles I used here include:

  • twisty-blob
  • thumbprintz
  • paradox
  • checkerboard
  • sponge
  • go 4th N multiply
  • Hollibaugh
  • betweed
  • seasick
  • aura

Zentangling is supposed to transport you to a Zen place, and I have read blogs by other tanglers, who happily report the peace they achieve through tangling.

Me? Not so much. This one, more than any of the others I have done, was a chore.

I wanted to incorporate some color (I always want color!) - even though what initially attracted me to tangling was the graphic beauty of the simple black and white designs! My mind is such a paradox.

And I failed miserably (IMO) with my color here - I see other tangles with color, and love them, but I just can't figure out the secret. Adding just one color? Coloring the whole thing? I decided for the middle road here, and don't really care for it.

I always have a thousands thoughts at once scurrying around my brain, and couldn't shut my brain down to enjoy this tangle. I just wanted to be done - and several hours later, I started falling back on familiar, space-occupying, simple tangles like Hollibaugh and SeaSick. And voila - I quickly finished.

Not sure when I will try again.

So the tangling was on Sunday - that left Monday with nothing "fun" to do, either. So I decided to tackle something I have been putting off for a long time (no, not housework!): SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in my Etsy shop.

I think I suck at SEO, even though I have read (and read, and read) articles about SEO and Etsy. Etsy SEO is different, because you want to attract searches on engines like Google, but what works for Etsy search doesn't necessarily work outside of Etsy (for instance, the tags that are so important to search on Etsy are NOT even seen by Google). So you have to play games with your titles, your descriptions, these Etsy tags, and choose your keywords wisely - and by wisely, I mean, think like a searcher - in my case, a jewelry customer.

This is WAY harder than it sounds, at least for me - I am a very technical person, and familiar with all the terminology that jewelry designers use. It's a very comfortable little "foreigh language" - foreign in the sense that words I use to describe one of my pieces are NOT necessarily the words a customer would use to search for one of them! For instance - the most popular term used to find my Etsy shop is "kumihimo necklace", and I have several of them - but the problem is, that search term is NOT converting to sales, and I discovered that the reason is while yes, they are kumihimo necklaces, the average jewelry shopper has never heard the term "kumihimo"; hell - the majority of customers in my bead shop have never heard it, and most of the ones that have heard it, don't know how to pronounce it! So why is it the number one search term in my shop? Because other beaders are using it to find ideas for making their own kumihimo designs. Hmmm.

It's kind of like the medical field - the nurses and physicians have a whole different language to describe what's going on in the lay person's body - headache becomes "cephalgia", indigestion becomes "dyspepsia" - and so on, so it boils down to the difference between a physician writing a medical article vs. a lay person writing it - which one could you understand? And my Etsy listings are basically the same - just because I describe something as an "etched Picasso Kumihimo oval blah blah blah whatever" - doesn't make it searchable on either Etsy or Google by the average jewelry consumer. The Etsy forums tell me to look at each piece "as a shopper would look at it" - and there's the rub. I only see my process, and can no longer look at it as a "regular" person (because I am highly irregular, thank you very much.) I need a regular person to wander into my life (please!) and help me think up descriptive terms for my jewelry!!

So I spent all day yesterday re-writing my titles, descriptions, and tags - I don't think I made any real improvement. But I did change quite a few things - we'll see if it translates into sales. Fingers crossed!

And during the whole shop review, I discovered quite a few pictures I need to retake. Oh, joy. Pictures can always be improved, but I just don't know the secret - but I will spend some time trying to improve the worst offenders! Fun, fun, fun!

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