The Buckets Strategy

Yes, we’ve talked about it a lot. We mention it in different groups, in blogs, in our emails, and even in our webinars! What is this buckets strategy all about and how do you use it?

Think of keywords as markets. Every search is really a market. I like to take it a step further and think of markets as buckets. It has a specific set of listings that return and the shopper is somewhere in the Customer Journey.

It goes like this: Keywords are buckets. Listings go in these buckets. 

Here’s an example:

starfish jewelry

Pretend that I sell different kinds of starfish jewelry.

It’s going to take an awful lot of time and effort if I were to come up with a unique set of keywords for every listing I own. For Etsy sellers that sell hundreds of different items, this just isn’t feasible.

This is the type of scenario where the buckets strategy comes in handy.

I’m going to make several buckets for my listings.

  1. Starfish Necklace
  2. Starfish Bracelet
  3. Starfish Ring
  4. Starfish Earring
  5. Starfish Jewelry
  6. Silver Starfish
  7. Gold Starfish
  8. Gold Starfish Ring

buckets strategy

My first listing is a starfish bracelet.

starfish bracelet

It fits under the Starfish Bracelet bucket, but it’s also a Starfish Jewelry and a Silver Starfish so you can put them in there as well. It’s not a Gold Starfish or a Starfish Ring so save those buckets for later.

How do you title/tag this listing? [starfish bracelet] [starfish bangle] [silver starfish] [starfish jewelry] … [bridesmaid gift] [gift for her]

Note how I put my strongest keywords in the front for stronger relevancy in search.

Second one is a starfish ring.

starfish ring

It’s obviously not a Silver Starfish though, but it’s a Starfish Jewelry, a Gold Starfish, and a Starfish Ring. Those are the buckets where they would fit.

How do you title/tag this listing? [gold starfish ring] [starfish ring] [gold star ring] [starfish jewelry] [sea star ring] … [gold jewelry] [beach ring]

Note that I tend to put only 3 of my best targeted keywords per listing (3 buckets/listing). Since you have to have the keyword in your title, after 3 is probably too weak to target strongly. This is no reason not to use up all 13 of your tags though.

Third one is a starfish necklace.

starfish necklace

Same rules like last time. It does NOT fit under Gold Starfish, Gold Starfish Ring, Starfish Earring, Starfish Ring, and Starfish Bracelet. But it can fit under Starfish Necklace, Starfish Jewelry, and Silver Starfish.

How do you title/tag this listing? [starfish necklace] [starfish pendant] [silver starfish] [sea star necklace] [silver sea star] [starfish jewelry] [starfish charm] [seaside pendant] [sterling silver] [silver pendant] [sea star charm] [sea life jewelry] [sea star jewelry]

Note: Take a look at that example. Sometimes you have more than 3 targeted keywords for a listing. It’s a waste not to use them but it’s also a waste stuffing them in a single listing. One cool hack Richie discovered is to make a copy of your listing and put in your other best keywords to target a different market.

This ‘new’ listing is made specifically to spread out and target more keywords. Yes, you are allowed to do this as long as you have enough quantity to sell.

When I say ‘targeted keywords’ or ‘best keywords’; these are the strongest words that:

a. Best fits your listing; and

b. Keywords/markets you’re trying to target.

Essentially, I have covered 3 of my listings just by cleverly putting them in buckets. You can continue to do this with more keywords, starting from broad ones to super specific – that way you cover each stage of the customer journey.

It’s okay to repeat the same keyword (starfish in this case) multiple times in your listing. Not only you are reinforcing your relevancy in search, but you’re also covering multiple ways people might use to find your item.

And that’s the bucket strategy!

Over to you:

I’d love to keep the conversation flowing in the comments. What do you think of this strategy? Do you have your own techniques you are willing to share? Or maybe you’ve already seen improvements since you’ve used the system? Let us know!

If you know someone who you think would benefit from this article, share it with them!

Etsy SEO Tip! How to maximize your best tags with the Buckets Strategy!

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4 Elements of an Excellent Product Photo

Product Photo

Selling online has become very popular as a way to market everything from yard sale treasures to family collections. There is nothing that will make or break a sale faster than the product photo you list with it. This is the only look your prospective customer will have at your product and an out of focus, blurred or badly lit picture is a good way to lose a sale. Don’t worry; we have some simple tips that will help you. It is all about making the product look appealing. A few easy steps can ensure you have a much better chance at selling your wares.

1. Lighting

It is important to have a lot of natural light if possible. Use your windows or white wall space to get a good shot. Pay attention to shadows. You do not want to place your product where the shadow is obvious. You may consider taking the picture outside if it is a nice day. Use the white balance on your camera and edit your picture before you post it.

(Pay attention to the shadows)
Shooting against the light underexposes your photo

2. Flash

Avoid using the flash on smaller items; especially if the item is something that sparkles, like jewelry. The flash will create a glare. If you have to, tape a bit of tissue over the flash. You may need the flash on larger items or items that are dark. Play with the lighting and backgrounds to get the best look. Using a box as a shadow box sometimes softens the picture.

coffeeoverexposed
Do not overexpose your shots

Related: How to Write a Great Product Description

3. Background

One of the biggest mistakes people make when taking photographs of things they are listing, is not paying attention to the background. If your table is a mess, place a pretty cloth over it. Use simple backgrounds. Books, soft cloth, paper, lace and wood can make lovely backgrounds. Simply crop the picture to cut out any clutter around it. If you are selling something like a handbag, take a picture of it sitting on a table and also hanging from something like a purse hook, or even a door knob. People want to see how the bag will look on their arm. If you can take a picture with someone holding the bag, that is even better. Ask a cute friend to model a sweater or necklace and take several shots at different angles. Something like earrings may be too personal to photograph in someone else’s ears. In that case, a picture of the earrings on a black cloth or in the earring case is better.

coffeebackground
Pay attention to your background

4. Honesty

If there is a flaw in the item, make sure you list the flaw and do your best to show the flaw in at least one photograph. As long as you disclose the information in a clear and honest way so that the customer knows exactly what they are buying, you will still make the sale. The problem comes in when you do not explain the nick or scratch or show it in the photograph. Honesty is the best policy.

Point out the small details
Point out the small details
There is nothing that will make or break a sale faster than the product photo you list with it. This is the only look your prospective customer will have at your product and an out of focus, blurred or badly lit picture is a good way to lose a sale.

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The Quick and Dirty Guide to Finding Great Etsy Keywords with Marmalead

** This article doesn’t contain the most recent information about Etsy search. For the most relevant info, head over to our Marmalead Help site! **


etsyplusmml

We’ve been getting a bunch of questions from our users lately asking;

“How does someone incorporate the data given by Marmalead to their shops?”

AND

“How can I use Marmalead in finding great Etsy keywords?”

Well in this article, we show you how to make Marmalead work for you.

Let’s give you an example:

Coffee Mug

Suppose this mug is one of your items.

The first thing you would want to do is to brainstorm the keywords that you’ll use for this listing.

I would start off by typing in the keyword ‘coffee mug’ to see how popular this tag is.

With 50k results, I know that tag is going to be very competitive. Let’s now look at the two tools available for us to gather more keywords.

Tag Cloud

The Tag Cloud displays the relevant keywords that other sellers use. The larger the word, the more popular it is.

 

The Other Ideas, on the other hand: pulls out search terms that people type in Bing.

You can use both of these to help you build up keywords that you can then use for your listing.

I’ve picked the words ‘best coffee mug’, ‘big coffee mug’, ‘custom coffee mug’, and ‘personalized mug’.

I suggest you to build a list of 15-20 keywords, but for simplicity let’s use those words as an example.

 

 

 

Fire them up with the Keyword Comparison tool (this will save you a lot of time).

kwcompare

Based on this data, I can safely say that it would be worthwhile to experiment with using these keywords as target or lead keywords.

I have just 4k and 2k listings to compete with. Along with a high number of views per week: 49 and 165 respectively.

For higher relevancy in search: I will put my best keywords in the front of my title and tags (hat tip to Michelle).

It should look like this:

Big coffee mug – best coffee mug – custom coffee mug – personalized mug – unique coffee mug – funny coffee mug – quote coffee mug – coffee cup – ceramic coffee mug – gift for him – gift for her – birthday gift

 

"How can I use Marmalead in finding great Etsy keywords?" We've been getting asked that question a lot. Well in this article, we will show you how to make Marmalead work for you.

Related: The Buckets Strategy

Remember, you don’t have to be the best – you only need to be better than your competitors.

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How to Write a Great Product Description

You have a great product to sell, but you don’t know how to draw buyers in. Your product description has a lot to do with how your product is presented to potential buyers, so it’s important to get it right. There are a few key elements to include in a well-written product description. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to more sales in no time!

1) Start with a strong statement of what your product is

Don’t beat around the bush. Buyers want to know exactly what your product is and what it does for them, so lay the essentials out in two or three sentences. Also, search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google only show the first one or two sentences in search results, so you have to make a strong impression within that short amount of space. Be concise and persuasive.

writer2

2) Make the rest detailed

Once you’ve got your customer’s attention, it’s time to really let them know all the amazing features of your product. Perhaps you have a knit hat for winter time that you want to sell; be specific about the product. Make sure to tell them how warm the alpaca wool is that you used to make it and that it has a special button for adjusting the hat in the back. Use good descriptors – really let your language flow. The only thing worse than no product description is a boring one.

writer1

Related: 4 Elements of an Excellent Product Photo

3) Use a first-person perspective

Your customers want to get to know you a little, so don’t be a robot. Use “I” statements that show you’re personable; it helps the customer connect with you. Talk about what your inspiration was for your product. It makes an interesting story of how the product came to be and the hard work that you put into it. Failing to show your humanity to customers will leave them feeling like you’re the cold corporate type who’s just there to make some money (although you are looking to make some money, to be fair).

writer

4) Include links to relevant products

You know that scrolling list of items on Amazon that says “Other Items You Might Like”? People will buy more products from you if you suggest complementary items to go with the one they’re purchasing. They’re buying a bar of homemade soap from you, so why not suggest a handmade loofah or rag to go with it? It’s easy to put hyperlinks to your other products in the product description, so make sure to include ones that complement one another.

Loofah-Soap-Round

5) Use keywords

Put keywords in your product descriptions not so buyers can more easily find them, but you’ll actually assure your buyers they’re looking at the right listing if you carefully place them throughout your product description. Things like “handmade dog collar” or “hypoallergenic mittens” may be what users are searching for. Take a look at your Shop Stats to see what keywords pop up the most and use those in your product descriptions to drive even more sales.
tagused

You have a great product to sell, but you don't know how to draw buyers in. Your product description has a lot to do with how your product is presented to potential buyers, so it's important to get it right.

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