Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Most Valuable Keywords for Etsy Items

Last week, Etsy introduced dynamically-priced search ads that allow sellers to place their items at the top of related search result pages. As part of this new system, Etsy has published a list of about 6,000 keywords that can be used to promote items with these ads, along with the cost per thousand impressions for each keyword.

The cost of each keyword is related partly to its popularity in Etsy searches, however Etsy adds:
Etsy’s search technology sets keywords and prices based on Etsy sellers’ use and historical search data. One of those points is the popularity of the search, but others have to do with how many searches lead to purchases, average pricing of those purchases, etc. So it’s not as simple as which searches are most popular in terms of keyword pricing.
This is valuable information. Etsy is actually giving sellers a little peek behind the curtain and providing some data on the value of various keywords. Even for sellers who are not using search ads, this list can provide some guidance when choosing titles and tags for their items.

So what are the most valuable keywords? Not surprisingly, perhaps, brand names like Versace, Givenchy, Hermes and Louis Vuitton are in the top tier. Football teams like the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts are apparently popular search subjects at Etsy.

There are some surprises, too. "Hanky" and "grandpa" are valuable keywords. So is "file cabinet." Some valuable terms are obviously seasonal, like "pumpkin hat" and "macabre."

At the bottom of the list are keywords like "scrapbooking,""invitation," and "soap." These general words are still important for identifying an item, but not terribly powerful as search keywords because they are so common.

A seller who is choosing tags and titles for her items can use this information to compare the quality of certain keywords. For example, a cake decoration for a baby's birthday cake might be tagged "cake decoration" or "baby birthday." Checking Etsy's search ads keyword list shows that "baby birthday" is in the top tier of keywords and is one of the most valuable keywords. "Cake decoration," however, is one of the least valuable.

The importance of using two-word phrases when appropriate is clear from Etsy's list of keywords. "Necklace" is not a very valuable keyword, but "starfish necklace," "elephant necklace" and "acorn necklace" are among the more valuable. "Dress" is a cheap keyword; "1950s dress" is of a higher quality.

Here is the list of 6,026 current search ad keywords sorted first by cost per thousand, then alphabetically, as of October 4, 2011. The keywords and their costs will change over time

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Would you buy stock in Etsy? You already can...

...if you can afford it. Etsy is a private company, which means it has not issued stock publicly for anyone to buy. Etsy stock is held privately by the founders, employees and investors.

In recent years, a secondary market has arisen to "buy and sell" this private stock. Owners of the private stock make an agreement to sell their shares to a buyer once the company goes public. Not surprisingly, Facebook makes up a big chunk of this secondary trading. One company that facilitates this trading, Second Market, reported that Facebook made up 39% of the trades through their service, the highest single source. LinkedIn was second at 7% of trades.

Etsy was the third most traded private company at 5% of trades.

Second Market quarterly report (pdf)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tracking Your Newsletter Traffic

If you have followed my instructions to set up an automatic e-mail newsletter for your Etsy shop, you will want to start tagging the links in the e-mails so you can track the traffic you get from them. Here's how:

From your Feedburner account, click on the feed for your Etsy shop e-mail.

Click the Analyze tab. This will show you some basic stats for your feed.

In the menu on the right, click Configure Stats.

Check the box next to Item Link Clicks the box for tracking clicks in Google Analytics should also check automatically.

Save your settings.

Links to your items that appear in your e-mail will now be tagged with the medium Feedburner and the source email. You will see them appear under these terms in your traffic report. Your feed will also now appear as a separate campaign in your campaign report.

5 Essentials for Etsy Analytics in 2011

This is a good time to look over your Etsy Analytics and make sure you are set up to get the most useful information in the upcoming year. Here are X essential things you can do now to help you target your customers and effectively track your Etsy shop in 2011.

1. Exclude your own traffic: Probably the most effective way is to create a cookie on your browser that you can filter out of your Google Analytics reports.

2. Set up Site Search: Etsy has activated the Site Search function so we can tell which search terms within Etsy are leading people to our shops.If you haven't already, set up Site Search, and start checking the report regularly to see how visitors are finding your items.

3. Start tagging your links: Get in the habit of tagging your links wherever you place them outside Etsy. If you run advertising through Project Wonderful or other ad services, tagging your links will allow you to see in one report how much traffic these ads are generating and to design effective ad campaigns.

4. Create an automatic e-mail newsletter: You can use Etsy's RSS feeds and Google's Feedburner service to create an automatic opt-in e-mail list that will let your customers follow your shop without getting spammed. Be sure to set up your feed to tag the links so you can see the traffic your newsletter brings in!

5. Get the Ref Codes and learn how to use them. Etsy uses codes in the links to your items so they can track how people find what they're looking for. You can do the same thing.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tag Watch: Valentines Listings On The Rise

The tag Heart has climbed into the top 100 tags in recent days as Etsy sellers begin looking ahead to the next big holiday sales season. Meanwhile, the tag Christmas has dropped a notch and will probably soon drop out of the top 25.

More information on the most popular tags at
Search Handmade : Top Tags

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tracking Your "Social Traffic" on Etsy: Part 2

As Etsy develops more social features on the site, the user profile is becoming the gateway for browsers who want to surf through their circle of friends looking for new and interesting items. Etsy has add a tag to the links from profile pages, allowing sellers to trace this surfing activity as it passes through their shops. A list of these tags follows:

ref=pr_shop - Individual items listed on your profile link in your profile. Also the link to the shop in the lefthand sidebar.

ref=pr_shop_more - the "See More" link in the shop section on your profile page

ref=pr_faveitems - Link from a profile page to an individual favorite item

ref=pr_faveitems_more - Link from the "See more" link on a profile page to the favorite items of that profile

ref=pr_faveshops - Link from a profile page to a favorite shop

ref=pr_faveshops_more - Link from the "See more" link to a profile's favorite shops

These codes have been added to the updated list of reference codes.

What do these codes mean? Well, if you see them as part of the addresses that appear in your Google Analytics reports, they indicate that someone has visited one of your pages from a profile - either your own profile, or from someone else's.

To look for these codes, go your Content report in Google Analytics.

Select Top Content

At the bottom of the list of addresses is a box that reads Filter Page. In the box, type in ref=pr

Click Go.

This will filter your content to show you all the traffic you have received through user profiles.
The first interesting number is in the summary at the top, which is the percentage of your visits that are coming through profiles (both yours and others combined.) This will give you a quick overview of how much "social" traffic you're receiving.

The filtered list will have a variety of addresses with different tags. Here's how to decode them:

ref=pr_shop If you see an item listing with this tag in the address, it means that someone visited your profile and then clicked on one of the individual items shown in the box on the upper right.

ref=pr_shop_more If you see this tag in the address for your main shop page, it means someone clicked on the link that reads "See More" in the box on your profile that shows your individual items.

ref=pr_faveitems If you see this tag in an address for one of your individual items, it means that item appeared on someone else's profile in their Favorite items section. In other words, someone visited a user profile, saw your item on that user's profile page, and clicked directly to it. If you see this tag in the address for your shop name, then someone clicked on your avatar in another user's Favorite items box.

ref=pr_faveshops Is similar to the faveitems tag. If you see it in an item address, then someone clicked directly to that item from another user's profile page. If you see it in your shop address, then your visitor clicked on your avatar on another user's profile page.

ref=pr_faveitems_more and ref=pr_faveshops_more If these appear in the address for your own favorite items or favorite shops, it means someone visited those pages using the "see more" link on your own profile."

Friday, December 17, 2010

Create an Opt-In E-mail for your Etsy Shop

E-mail is an effective marketing tool, but using it has its pitfalls. Sending unsolicited promotional e-mail, even to customers you have e-mailed in the past, is considered spam. The accepted way to market by e-mail is to have an "opt-in" e-mail list where each subscriber gives explicit permission to receive your e-mails, and where they can easily unsubscribe if they wish.

Maintaining a list of subscribers by hand is time consuming, but there are free tools that not only automatically create e-mails using your Etsy shop listings, but manage sign-up and mailing for you. This post will show you how to use your Etsy RSS feed and the online service Feedburner to create an opt-in e-mail list that notifies subscribers automatically when you list new items, and how to promote it to your Etsy customers when they make a purchase.

1. The first piece of information you need is the address of the RSS feed for your Etsy shop. This is made up of your full Etsy shop address plus /rss. For example, the address for my shop is:


2. The next thing you need is an account with Feedburner. This is a service of Google, so if you already have a Google account, you can log in with that. Go to Feedburner and sign up for an account or sign in with your Google account.

3. After signing in, you will see a window asking for the address of the feed you would like to burn. Enter your RSS feed address in the box and press Next.

4. The next box will prompt you to give your feed a title. You can leave this as it is or change it if you like. Press Next.

5. The next box will ask if you want to add various features to your feed. You can skip these for now. Click the link that reads "Skip directly to feed management."

6. There are several services offered by Feedburner which you can explore on your own. The one we need for this service is found under the Publicize tab at the top of the page. Click it.

7. In the menu on the left, click the E-Mail Subscriptions link.

8. The next window will ask you to activate the service. Click the Activate button.

9. There are options in the next box to create a sign-up widget for your blog, which you may want to do later. For our present project, we need to scroll down and find the window that has the code for a Subscription link.

The important part of this code is the link itself. It is the portion between the quotation marks that starts http://... Copy the whole link (without the quotation marks).

10. You can use this link as it is and skip ahead to Step 13, but if you'd like to shorten it, continue on to the next step.

11. There are many services online that will take long web addresses and shorten them to make them easier to insert in webpages and updates. One popular service is called bit.ly. To shorten your subscription link using bit.ly, go to bit.ly

12. Paste your subscription link into the box and click the Shorten button. Bit.ly will create a short URL that points to your subscription link. To copy it, click the Copy button. (If you have a bit.ly account, you might click the Customize button and change your short URL to something prettier, like your shop name.)

13. To publicize your new subscription link, you can put it in the e-mail message that is automatically included when a customer makes a purchase from your shop. To add it, go to Your Etsy and click the Info & Appearance link under Shop Settings.

14. Scroll down to find the message box. Paste your subscription link address as part of your message. For example:

In most e-mail programs the link will be highlighted automatically, allowing your customers to click it and go directly to the Feedburner signup page.

Once they have signed up, they will receive an e-mail once a day if you have listed something new in the previous 24 hours. Your e-mails will be sent with the required unsubscribe link so they can easily opt-out if they wish.

Explore the options in your Feedburner account to customize your e-mail with your own subject heading if you like. You can also set the time of day your e-mail goes out. You can use the widgets and the link code in your blog or website, as well.