Sunday, February 19, 2017

Etsy Listings, Renew or Copy?

Which is more beneficial, renewing or copying our expiring Etsy listings?
Renew or copy expiring Etsy listings?
Copy our expired listings or just renew?

This is an interesting question. We must take two or three facts into consideration.

Renewing gives your expiring item a bump while keeping any social media links active.

Let's say that your item has been on over a year and it doesn't have a lot of action. It falls to the bottom of search. (I call this the “stale item effect”). Renewing will bump it up, making it more relevant. However, it again takes a rankings dip.

In that case, I would consider copying the listing. As long as it is not getting hits from social media.

How do you know if your listed items are being found via social media?
1. If you're not doing it, that is unlikely but not impossible.
2. Look at your individual items stats, a poorly understood stats feature of Etsy. Here's how.

Etsy stats can be hard to figure out when determining the level of social media activity. Here is why.
How to evaluate expiring Etsy listings
Can you tell which items are ranking poorly?

Testing for item placement used to be easy, but now it is not.

The only other factor I can think of is your shop updates. You will lose the shop updates for items that you copy rather than renew. I do not view that as a major issue. (I have well over 100. Here is more information on shop updates, including 40 ideas for vintage sellers.)

To recap, if you are doing social media, use care when choosing to copy your Etsy listing rather than renewing it. However, if the item is "stale," then copying rather than renewing it may result in it ranking higher in search over a longer period. May. For now.

Any beneficial effect of copying rather than renewing is only temporary.

The whole subject is really about how Etsy's algorithm is working. That is a closely guarded secret. And the algorithm always changes. Here is Etsy's latest information on search.

What do your listing stats tell you? Renew or copy?

Stay tuned for more help with running your Etsy shop.

(On a related topic, is it better to renew an item for 20 cents, or pay for a promoted listing campaign?)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Promoted Listings: Improve your Click Ratio

Etsy's promoted listings provide benefits beyond the ads. The extra statistical data provided can be a powerful tool to improve your listings. Do not be intimidated. It is not difficult.

What is your overall click ratio?

Pull up your promoted listings dashboard. Select a time period longer than a week. Here is a view of my stats:
calculating click ratio
Compare your impression with your clicks. That is your overall click ratio. The lower that is the better.

Mine as shown was 138. That means that for every 138 times someone was presented with one of my items, they clicked on it once to view the item.

Is this good or bad? I don't know. However, I can track this number over time.  I will take steps to reduce it.

listed by number of impressions

Individual listings click ratio

Now that I have a number, I can use that as a baseline. Open your ad states and settings table. Select the Impressions column and click it. That will put this column into order from most to least. (If that did not happen, try clicking it again to reverse it and once more to order it.)

Now that you have your very most impressions, compare that number against the number of clicks for each advertised item going down the chart. For starters, just note how widely click rates vary. Some items are much better than others. Here are mine visible from the above chart:

1326 impressions, 12 clicks
1095 impressions, 16 clicks
931 impressions, 8 clicks
868 impressions, 10 clicks
861 impressions, 1 click

Does one of these ratios stick out to you? Yes, the last one. It was visible 861 times with only one click. It is way higher than my shop average of 138. Why is that?

Investigating listing issues

Some detective work is necessary. But you will be rewarded if you can determine what is going on. Here are some questions to ask about the listing:

1. Is the first photo of high quality? The first photo needs to grab peoples' attention. 

2. Does it have a powerful title? Be sure it has keywords and phrases that buyers will use when searching. Keep the best search terms at the beginning of the listing to maximize their importance in search.

3. Are you making the most of your tags? Use all 13 tag slots. Employ a blend of multiple-word phrases repeated from your title and description. Use terms that buyers will use to search for this item.

4. Is there market demand for the item? Are similar items selling online?

5. How is your pricing compared to similar available items?

6. Is your item in the best category?

Actions to take

After you have analyzed your listing in view of the above six points, take action. Retake photos. Tweak titles and tags. Adjust the price and category. Perhaps yard sale the item and move on.

In my example item the issue was tags; I had published the item without changing the tags. That is a serious mistake which I have fixed. However, I only found it after doing a statistical analysis using the data obtained from Promoted Listings.

Here is another example of why an item has a low click rate. Take a look at the data from this listing:

The top performing search term for this listing is "hall tree." These hooks can be used for a hall tree. This is not a hall tree, but rather just the vintage hooks for one.

I checked to make sure my item is in the fixtures category and not furniture. That's good.

Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where the tag stays. It will drag down my overall click rate. I know why and am good with it the way it is.

Clicks per order

In a recent time period I had 14 orders and 1229 clicks. When you do the math, 1229 clicks/14 orders = 88 clicks/order. That is another ratio to track over time. I don't have enough data to reach any conclusions yet.

My non-ad rate was 134 clicks/order for the same time period. Now that I have baselines, my next goal is to improve the ratios.

Low overall impressions

If an item gets ridiculously low impressions, the issue could be SEO. This is often the case if an item gets almost all of its clicks from ads hardly any from regular searches.

Etsy uses the same relevancy information for ads that it does to determine how your items show up in general in searches. In that case it is necessary to tweak titles and tags.

More information from Etsy.

What is your click ratio? How many clicks per order does your shop average? How can you improve your numbers?

Thanks for joining me in looking at the extra statistical data you receive as a part of Etsy's Promoted Listings!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Promoted Listings: Tweaking and Experimenting

Your Promoted Listings campaign is up and running. Is it going well? Are you ready to make some adjustments?

There are at least four aspects to your ads to consider when experimenting:
Etsy Seller tips

  • What items are you promoting? Everything? Older items? Certain categories? Just a few higher priced items?
  • How much per bid? Automated bids, custom bids, or a mix? Have penny bids worked?
  • How much per day? What time each day do you reach it? Have you raised that on peak days?
  • Are you only promoting at times? Only during some months? Just certain days of the week, say weekends only? Or do you let your budget run out every day, so you are not advertising late in the evening?

Because of so many variables, it is wise to tweak only one aspect of your advertising campaign at a time. Whatever you adjust, keep the other three factors the same. That way you can isolate those changes when evaluating results. 

When experimenting, be sure to allow enough time. A day or two do not provide enough statistical data to make important decisions. Allow at least two weeks for evaluation, perhaps as long as a couple of months. It might take that long by the time you tweak what you are promoting, how much per bid, how much per day and when you are advertising your items.

Reports from sellers vary from losing money to making back over ten times what they put in. The average seller I polled makes about four to five times what they spent.

Cost vs revenue of Etsy Paid Ads
At a cost of $35.66, there was revenue of $188.99

Yes, you must work hard for such a return. Vintage sellers must buy, research, list, pack and ship vintage items. However, making back four or five times what you spent might be worthwhile.

Here is some more information from Etsy.

Plus, there are benefits beyond the ads. Are ads working well for your shop? Can you make them work even better?

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