Thursday, April 23, 2009

Listing your 1000 Markets Items in Google Base (an unofficial guide)

Google maintains a huge list of products in its Google Base system. These products are fully searchable and sometimes even appear among regular Google searches. You can upload products to Google Base at no charge - you just need a free Google account - and the listings are linked directly to your own item listing.

1000 Markets provides sellers with an easy way to format their items for Google's product listings in Google Base. Setting up the process takes a little fiddling with settings, but once it is in place, any changes in your shops can be automatically sent to Google Base. You won't have to update it when you sell an item or add a new listing - it will happen automatically. Free and low maintenance - the perfect combination.

Nota Bene If you already have a googlebase feed set up for another site, like Etsy, you cannot add your 1000 Markets feed using the same Google account. You will either need to choose one or the other, or set up a separate Google account for each. Also, 1000 Markets has not officially "released" the shop item feed. They may make changes that might require adjustments in the future.

1. If you haven't already, Sign up for Google Base

2. From the Google Base starting page, click on the Data Feed link inside the box at the right:

3. At the top of the page, select the Settings tab. Fill out the top portion of the page like this:

- in the Display Name field, type your shop name

- in the Description field type a short description of your shop or products

- in the Website URL field, type the address of your shop page. Important: This should be the "raw" URL that ends in your user number.

With this complete, you can also indicate your time one and e-mail preferences, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save Changes button.

4. Next, click the My Items tab and then the Data Feeds link, then the New Data Feed button.

5. You are now on the page to register your feed. There are three steps:

Step 1 - Target Country: United States

Step 2 - Item Type: Products and then Type of Feed: googlebase

Step 3 - Data Feed File Name: Type an .xml file name such as 1Klistings.xml

Click the Register Data Feed button at the bottom of the page.

6. You should now see your feed file name in your list of Data Feeds. Click on the edit link next to the name.

7. Change the settings so they match the ones in the picture below. The encoding should be set to UTF-8. Save Changes

8. Almost done! Next select the create link next to the Schedule section in your data feed list.

9. Select an upload schedule. You can choose daily, weekly or monthly. For now, choose daily and set the time to the nearest hour. Be sure your time zone matches.

In the URL field, put the address of your RSS feed. This address will have this form:

Click the Schedule button.

OK! Now you wait until the time you set for Google to fetch your feed and go back and check. It may take several minutes after the scheduled time for the feed to appear, so be patient. Once it does, you will see a green Success indicator in your list of data feeds. If your upload fails, double check all the settings above and try again. Google can be finicky.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Etsy Adds Advanced Search

Etsy has rolled out an advanced search function, introducing some useful new ways to search the millions of listings. In many ways the new advanced feature resembles the one Etsy had before it's major site overhaul in 2006, allowing the user to search categories, indicate the fields to be searched, and enter a price range. Etsy has also extended the phrase matching capability to all search types, which was limited just to title/tag searches previously.

Etsy has also changed the way it reports site searches to Google Analytics, however, meaning some changes to the way in which sellers can determine what search types are being used to find their items. Watch this blog for more information on these changes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

1000 Markets teams with on Ad Campaign

1000 Markets slowly slipped out of "Sneak Preview" mode this past week and quickly announced a partnership with in a targeted e-mail campaign. Some of the ads, which are running currently, are centered around Earth Day on April 22 and feature eco-friendly crafts and shops. 1000 Markets has created specific landing pages for each of the ads.

In addition to promoting 1000 Markets, the ads prominently mention Amazon Payments,'s online payment gateway, which is presently the only method of payment accepted through 1000 Markets.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Do you use Project Wonderful?

Project Wonderful is a great and fairly inexpensive way to advertise your handmade shop. Publishers place ad boxes on their pages, and then advertisers bid to have their ads included in the ad boxes.

Project Wonderful has a pretty basic tracking system that tells you how many times your ads have been displayed and how many clicks you've received, but when you're looking at your shop stats from Google Analytics, it's difficult to see which visits came through your Project Wonderful ads because the visits are shown as coming directly from the page where the ad box was displayed. If you're bidding on several different pages at once automatically, you might not recognize some of the referring sites, and when you visit them to find out how you were linked, your ad may no longer be there (if you have been outbid, for instance.)

One way to track your ad performance is to include a reference code in the URL that you enter when you set up a Project Wonderful ad. You can then see exactly which visits came through your Project Wonderful ad campaign.

To add a reference code, you just need to add a question mark followed by the code. For example:

You enter this URL in the "What URL..." box when you are creating a new ad:

(note - if you want to add the ref code to an existing ad, you'll have to cancel all active bids first before you can make changes.)

Your code can be whatever you like, but be sure not to duplicate one of Etsy's existing codes or you'll have your data mixed up. If you are running more than one ad, you might want to have separate codes for each one.

To look at your visits from Project Wonderful ads, you can then follow instructions from other posts at this blog to create custom reports or set goals that will filter these visits from your content reports and show you the results.