I know this is long, but I’m really freaking out and could use some help. (scroll to the bottom to skip my thrashing and see how you can help if you’re in a hurry)
For years I sold many items a day.
But this past month I noticed things were not right until I realized the searched had changed. Almost over night I stopped selling my very popular ruffle bottoms, outfits and baby sets and was only selling costumes (thank goodness Halloween is upon us or I’d be totally screwed, but Halloween doesn’t last).
It used to be that in the searches as long as you listing had the words people were searching for the order things would appear would be by most recently listed at the top. Now there is some relevancy equation. It has to do with title and tags. Before many of the good things and top sellers would appear at the top of the list because as they sold things they’d relist them so naturally you had them higher. I wish I knew how they broke things down for the ranking. What I do know is that the ways I have things titled and tagged now aren’t working. They need to be way more literal so they are as close of a match to what people may type into that search bar.
And the kicker?I finally took the plunge to quit grad school (that was my original plan until I found the wonderful world of etsy) oh yeah for you friends that didn’t know, I officially did that this week a few days before I noticed the search changes.
My problem is that through years of proof in sales, views, hearts and even features I know and really etsy should know that people want my stuff. But how many times do you think a normal person says “I want a vintage inspired jumper for my baby” or “I want a cute applique outfit with ruffles that wrap all the way around to give to my friend” They don’t because my stuff is kind of original and not super typical. They used to bump into it because I’d sell, then relist and it would go back to the top. I wasn’t even renewing to bump things to the top this last year. I was relisting when things sold so I know it was at least relevant enough for people to get people to pull out their wallets.
I know I need to totally redo my titles and tags (which will make my shop and nonuniform mess) but I am not sure the best way to do that. I would love any tips on words to use and all of that. Do you have any suggestions on how to redo my titles?
But more than that, is there any hope for those of us who people don’t think to purposely search for? I know people want to buy my stuff, I know that people like it, but I don’t think they know it exists so that they can search for it. And now on Etsy it seems much harder to discover things unless you know exactly what you’re looking for.
There used to be kind of a quality control since the people who were making more/new things and selling would renew, it seemed like better quality good would show up in the top and now I really don’t see a change in “relevance”.
I understand that I need to revamp all my titles tags, but it’s not like my they are irrelevant. Plus I think my goodies aren’t what you go to the store to by they are what you see there once you’ve arrived and fall in love with. When you go to buy something for your own baby girl or a baby shower what words would you use to search for something? I can think of words to describe my items but I’m really nervous that people don’t know to search for them in the first place so I need to work things from a step up.
It’s just so frustrating because I worked my butt off to figure out the system. It’s not like it was just given to me. I worked 15 hour days on etsy most of the time. And it had paid off. Now it’s all down the drain because even though I know people want my stuff they can’t find it the way the search is set up. It used to be on etsy that every time you relisted/renewed something it would pop to the top of the search list. Many people would relist so that they would get more eyes on them. I did that early on but I wasn’t even working the system like that this last year I was renewing because people bought my stuff and I needed to put another on the shelf. So I know that people wanted it.
Even with revamping titles and tags I don’t think people know to search for the words that would be appropriate for my things but when they see them they realize that’s what they were looking for all along they just didn’t know what to call it. Of course I want to make my titles and tags work as well as they can but I’m honestly freaking out. I’m worried that a search that no longer pulls up items that used to sell so frequently had major problems. I’m worried for my livelihood but also for when I feel like buying something cute, but don’t have a specific idea in mind.
I need your help, if you could just answer one question that would be so so helpful!
If any of you have time to answer any or all of my questions or look at my shop to see any ideas I would totally appreciate it.
You can see my shop here. My costumes seem to be doing fine, it’s everything else that I used to sell tons of that seem to be non-existent. Thanks in advance.
- If you’ve ever bought my goodies or things similar, when you when shopping what search words did you use, or in your head what did you think you were looking for?
- When you buy things for a baby girl what are the first 5 words you think to type into a search box?
- Looking at one of my non-costume listings can you think of a more “relevant” way to structure the title or tags (or even order of tags)?
- It looks like people are having success with combo word tags like “toddler dress” can you think of any of these that would work for me that people might actually type? I can think of appropriate phrases but I specifically want help on words people will think of without already having say my retro rufflers or my ruffle bottom onesies sets on their radar.
- I know no-one will look up the word retro ruffler or ruffle diaper covers, what are more common terms I can rename these things so that they will correlate with terms people use to search?
edit: it seems like after a bunch of research this is going to be a huge negative hit for my business. I’m trying to be optimistic, but I’m really nervous about what things are going to look like after Halloween.
I really appreciate your kind words and suggestions. If you want to help out it seems like the most helpful thing people can do would be to “like” my items with the facebook links, post links of my goodies on facebook, pinterest, stumbleupon, your blogs etc. and just share things. I’ve done a lot of tweaking of my listings and sadly I’m not still seeing my stuff coming up in searches.