Your Etsy Shop Reinvented for the Holidays - Day 2 Revamp

In yesterday's post we looked at all the elements of your shop, and preparing them from your customers point of view. Today it's time to take a critical look at your items, photos, titles, descriptions, and tags.

This is a big topic. So, throughout this post I will be sharing several links with additional information and suggestions, check them out as you go along.

To get started, download and print out this handy form for listing the changes you want to make.

Click here to download

Your Items
To start this process go through each item in your shop:
Does the style still reflect your brand?
Is it a good design?
Does it have challenges?
How is it selling? (You can now see stats for each item in your shop on the listing manager page)
Is it time to retire it for a new item?
Can you add new versions or colors?
Has it been favorited a lot? In a lot of treasuries?

Having your shop look cohesive and reflect your brand is important for keeping the customers engaged and looking at all the items in your shop. If you have styles that you don't think are working it's time to let them go, and start adding new pieces.

Your Photos
Your photos are a very important part of your shop. This is the first thing people see when they are searching and your photos are usually the deciding factor to whether they are going to click to your shop to see what you offer.

It's time to look critically at your photos.
Do your photos represent the quality of items you sell in your shop?
Do they look good when the picture is small or large?
Do they look like the photos found on the first page of Etsy?

I have found several tips for taking good photos and below there are links so you can explore this topic further.

• You don't have to have an expensive camera to take good photos. Get to know the setting on the camera you have and use what you need for a good shot. Here is a link for What to look for in a digital camera.

• Lighting is one of the biggest challenges to taking great photos. Never use the flash on your camera. Use natural light or sunlight whenever possible, or use a light box if your shooting indoors.
Here are some links for creating a light box, shooting in natural sunlight and shooting pictures inside without a light box.

• Cropping your photos is an important step in creating great photos. You want to make sure you take out any unnecessary background so the focus is on the item in the image. This is where an editing program is important. If you don't have an editing program on your computer here are a couple of free options: Picasa.google.com and Gimp.com

• Always use all 5 views to show your item from every angle. This is often overlooked, and when you use all those views your customer gets a true sense of what your item looks like.

Want more info on taking better pictures here are some links to check out:
Product Photography for Beginners (video)
Etsy Shop Photography
How to style your Photos
3 Essential Tips on Product Photography
Photographing for success

Your Titles
Your titles are more important than ever for being found in searches. The first three words need to represent what people are searching for.

So if you are selling a dress for a little girl you would want your title to be Girls Dress Pink...  or Pink Girls Dress... not Pretty Pink Dress... or Fun Girly Dress... Think like your customer, if you were looking for a dress for a little girl what would you type in the search box?

Now go through all your titles and check out those first three words, are they words your customers would type in the search box?

If you want your items to come up in the first few pages of a search make sure those first three words on your items is relevant.

Here are links with additional information:
Etsy's New Focus on Relevancy and How it Effects your Etsy Shop
Putting Your Shop on Top

Your Descriptions
The most important thing to remember about your descriptions is to write them as if there were no pictures.

You want to be as detailed as possible, including size, color, shape, measurements, materials, textures, and scents. Think like a customer, what information would you want to know.

If you have long descriptions, remember to add white space. Separate out a lot of text into paragraphs or use bullet points. You want people to find the information they need even if they just skim the information.

Review your descriptions.
Do they have all the information they need?
If you did not include a photo would they know what the item is?
Is your description easy to read?
Can the customer get the info they need quickly?

The first paragraph is the most important for getting found in searches on Etsy and on search engines. Make sure that paragraph has your most important key words.

Not sure how to add keywords to your descriptions check out this link.

Your Tags
When you are listing an item you are able to add 13 tags to help that item get found in searches. According to Etsy's policy you can use relevant phrases to describe your items. That means instead of using just necklace you can do long necklace, chain necklace, beaded necklace, etc...  Having the options to use more relevant phrases lets you get found more often. Make sure you are using phrases people would be searching, so keep them general.

Now review your tags. How can you alter them so they are more relevant? 

Making a list of all the tags you could possibly use for the items in your shop is very helpful when you are stuck for ideas. Not sure what tags to use, check out other shop that carry your type of items and jot down the tags they use that are relevant to your items. Keep your list handy when you are adding new items, it will help make the listing your new items faster.

Helpful links about titles, descriptions, and tags
Relevancy and how it effects your shop
Titles, Descriptions, and Tags
How to get found in searches
Writing item descriptions

This is a lot of information, so give yourself some time to thoroughly go through your shop and list all the changes you need to work on, and make any adjustments necessary. Now download your Etsy Item Critique form and get started!

Don't miss tomorrows post, I have an inspiring interview with Lisa Jacobs from the Energy Shop, MarketYourCreativity.com and Handmadeology. She is sharing a little of her story of success and tips you can apply to your business.

What do you find most challenging, photos, titles, tags, or descriptions? Why?

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  1. Thanks Valerie! This is invaluable!
    Getting good light for photos and tagging keep being my main challenges...

    1. Thanks Duni! Getting good photos seems to be an issue for a lot of us. As we all know it's mostly practice makes perfect.

  2. Thanks Valerie! I'm taking the time this week to take a g o o d look at all my items and probably re do a few pictures. Yup some of the designs at my shop certainly don't go with the brand that I started out on. Perhaps I should let go and give put them on a discount. Big challenges out there and I'm so glad you've started this!

    1. Going through your items can be challenging. I know I had many designs that I loved but turned out to be big duds. Recognizing that you have items that don't work anymore is the first step to having a shop you love.

  3. Shooting jewelry is sooooo hard. I"m hoping to have better luck with the new camera. My biggest complaint w/ Etsy is that I have to resize them. It's very time consuming to get them down to what Etsy wants.

    1. Taking good pictures of jewelry is very challenging. I have been doing it for years, and even thou they are 10x better then they used to be, they could still be better. Try loading your photos in Etsy again, when I do my photos they automatically resize them for me.

  4. Another great post! Photos and descriptions are my biggest challenges. Don't think I will find time to critique all the items in my shop before the holidays, but I will definitely try to do so during the post-holiday lull.

    1. Descriptions are a challenge for me too, I never know what to say. I guess the more you do it the easier it will get :)

  5. I find photos most challenging. The pieces always looks better in person. The camera doesn't capture enough!

    1. Photos are a challenge, I agree. Luckily there is so much info out there about taking good pictures, with lots of tips and ideas.

  6. Oh, item critiques too!!! I'm going to need to get this done as well. This is a great week you've got for us, Valerie.
    Photos are the worst part for me - taking them, editing, and then listing...It all takes so much time.

    1. Listing items in your Etsy shop is so time consuming. I wish there was an easy way to get those tasks done. I find that if I block out an afternoon and do as many as I can, it's not as bad as listing items throughout the week.

  7. Ah man. Ya got me. :)

    This is something I know I need to work on. I've been relisting older items lately that I can still make, but I haven't yet updated all of my descriptions. And I know that since the layout changed recently, some of the formatting is wonky. Ugh. Always more to do! :)

    I love your brainstorming sheets, thanks for doing this Valerie!

    1. There is always something to do in your Etsy shop. It is a never ending project, but it's worth all the work in the end.

  8. "If you have styles that you don't think are working it's time to let them go, and start adding new pieces." This is what I need to concentrate on in my shop. Thanks for the great tips, keep them coming!
    Lori in Atlanta

    1. That is always a challenge. I try to go through my shop and get rid of piece that are not selling that well often, so I don't waste money renewing.


Your thoughts and ideas are an important part of the conversation, thanks for sharing!