Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Am I Relevant?

Recently etsy changed it's search to prioritise relevancy rather than recency when you search for a listing. I know this has been met with opposition in the forums... now I'm not interested too much in the debate... etsy have done this, now we have to adapt.

Now here's why I think the changes are a good thing... first off it's better for the shopper, they won't have to trawl thru a million listings to find what they really want. Secondly it means renewing your items doesn't guarantee you will get the top spot which levels the playing field for smaller sellers who can't afford to renew everyday.

Also the changes have made us all take a good look at how we tag our items and write our listings. I have been on etsy about 3 years now, some of my listings have been up for a long time being renewed and relisted when I sell them... it occurred to me that I hadn't read some of my listings for over a year! I saw the retagging process as a way to reconnect with my listings and revisit them all... this has taken me a little over 2 weeks. I was amazed to find how many spelling mistakes I had missed, how many dead links there were in there and how many mistaggings there were!

It's not that I am not careful about spellings etc when I list it's just sometimes we all make mistakes and over time with copying and pasting sections of listings into other listings they had multiplied unnoticed. Especially over the last year when I was working almost fulltime in another job and running my shops at the same time, too much stress makes for sloppy work... it's a fact... now I am full time self employed I can think about these things better and take the time to do it right.

The other thing I found in thinking about my tags and titles there was a shocking absence of certain words and phrases. I had a good think about how people might look for my shop... what do I make? I make needlfelted birds... how many of my listings actually had the phrase "needlefelted bird" in? About half I would say! This should be a no brainer... and yet I missed it... along with wedding cake toppers which weren't tagged, you guessed it, "wedding cake topper"!

What Etsy has done has forced me to take a closer look at my practices and I feel that this is a good thing and my shop will be better for it. I also took a good look at my pictures and I think alot of my photos need retaking as some aren't quite as good as I would like. This is a big job so I won't be doing it till after the wool weekend until I know which stock I still have.

My concern about relevancy is I don't think I am the kind of item people search out... how do you know you want a needlefelted crazy toucan until you see it? You don't... but once you see it don't you realise your life is incomplete without it? So what to do? How can I be relevant? Well, I reckon I shall need to step up my promoting and get some coverage that's what... but next month after I have recovered from Wool Weekend!

I still have my Inkmeup shop to edit... it's a daunting task and I am not looking forward to it but I know it's important and necessary... I'll be logging lots of editing time over the next few weeks! It's all about making my shops better tho so it's all good!


  1. As a shopper I think relevancy is more important that recency... when I search for something I want to get results for that, even if it's a two months old listing!

    And yeah, once you see a felt toucan... you know you NEED one! ;)

  2. I think relevancy has to be a good thing, but I know what you mean about thinking people don't know to look for your stuff until they see it... I thought exactly the same about my flowers. But I have recently discovered that people do actually search for 'artificial flowers' quite often - it had never occurred to me to use that as a tag before - doh!

  3. Maybe the trick is to have very broad tags as well as the narrow ones that precisely identify our items - just a simple 'bird' on some of yours would probably help people searchinganything bird related. I use 'scarf' quite a lot, and 'felt' as separate tags because people might search either.
    Still getting my head around this new search and tagging, though. :o) Thanks for your post.

  4. Very thought provoking, thank you. I like the concept of relevancy, hope I can sort my tags out too.

  5. Great blog post Melanie. I love your little needlefelted Robins! Well done for using the change as a chance to revisit things rather than just whinge. I've not had anything up on Etsy for ages because I don't have the time to continually add items to keep myself at the top of the list (as well as that I find posting each individual item - all of my products are OOAK - so time consuming as to be worthless. If I spend so much time on uploading items for sale, how can be producing more items? I found I would manage to just get them up online the day before a market (well, in the night, actually), then sell some of them at market making the etsy item obsolete.
    I would love to be able to upload, say, 10 items at once using, for example, a csv file. FB Payvment allows this and I'm working on having that as my shop. The negatives there is their postage costing system which doesn't allow for some of the quirks in our Australian weight/size, distance pricing system. :o\
    Keep up the good work.