Welcome to the next post in our series of ‘Shop Front’ articles containing practical tips and advice for makers and crafters. These artices will help you improve the appearance and online visibility of your Folksy shop front (and hopefully help you to sell more lovely handmade items!). Thanks to Leanne from Folksy shop See the Woods, for last weeks excellent article on driving traffic to your shop with image SEO, it was a real eye opener for lots of our members.
We’re looking at shop descriptions this week and once again we want to focus on keywords. Shop descriptions are the announcements that appear below your shop banner.
The Search Test!
Using one of the big search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo, type in your shop name and search for your shop among the results (we have concentrated on Google for the purposes of this article). Take a good look at the snippet that people see as they scan through the results to choose which links to click. It may be a surprise to see how your description is rendered in this important snippet from google. Filling the first line with *******************UPDATE******************* can be a big mistake.
Chantal from Folksy shop ‘Hotdogandme‘ very kindly agreed to help us explain more about Folksy shop descriptions, by allowing us to use her own as an example!
Chantal’s shop description reads –
***Hotdog ships Internationally*** Meet Hotdog and his sock puppy friends. He hopes that you can give some of them a loving new home as it’s becoming a bit crowded here. Don’t forget to visit his blog and send in photos of all the fun you have with your new family member. http://www.hotdogandmerock.blogspot.com/
We’ve highlighted the text that appears in google’s snippet in red, it’s approximately 150 characters. You only have a tiny amount of time to attract a reader scanning through google search results, so the text that appears here is extremely important!
It’s great and just as it should be that the Hotdogandme Folksy shop is second after twitter in a google search for ‘hotdogandme’. This is good for customers who already know about these cute sock dogs but what about those that don’t. As an example we have chosen the term ‘sock dog’ to explain further. Choose various terms for your search tests which realistically represent what a buyer may search for and test where your shop appears. Also note how Google edits the snippet.
Google has taken just the first sentence of the description and included some text from item titles in the shop, showing how important your product titles are too! Google uses ‘Keywords in Context’ so it shows the parts of the page where the keywords you have searched for show up. The first mention of Chantal’s Hotdogandme shop appears in the 3rd page. Although on first inspection this shop description looks fab, it could be tweaked in order to help get ‘hotdogandme’ ranking a little higher. Competition is stiff in the world of sock pups, so it’s great to see that Chantal’s Folksy shop as well as her own website have been a success already!
What to do next!
It’s keyword time again! Just like with your item descriptions, and when naming your images, keywords are vital in your shop description and having the same keywords appearing frequently in titles, item descriptions and your shop description will improve your shops visibility on the web.
Take a look at the free keyword finder from Google adwords for inspiration on keyword searches your potential customers may be using. It can be a bit confusing at first but there are a number of good help areas to get a better understanding of the results.
Rewriting your description
We tweaked Chantals shop description to include more keywords. Many search engines will look to the whole page to produce the most relevant results, so your shop keywords need to appear more than just in your description to improve your rankings. You can amend your shop description easily by clicking on ‘Your Account’ followed by ‘Edit Appearance and Settings’ under the ‘Your Shop’ heading (http://folksy.com/shops/shopname/edit) Unlike your profile and item descriptions you cannot use html tags to format this text so any hyperlinks added will not be clickable.
Hot Dog and Me Sock Dogs! Soft plushie dogs and sock toys, cute huggable gifts for kids and dog lovers. Have you met Hotdog and his sock puppy friends? He hopes that you can give some of them a loving new home. Don’t forget to visit his blog and send in photos of all the fun you have with your new best friend! http://www.hotdogandmerock.blogspot.com/ *Hot Dog ships internationally*
Make them want More!
As well as keywords we added a question into the first line in order to make peope more inclined to click when they see this snippet in their search results page. You only get 150 characters (maximum) in these google snippets, so it’s important to really try hard to engage someone who may see your link whilst searching through the listings. Changing Chantal’s description from ‘Meet Hotdog and his sock Puppy friends’ to the question ‘Have you Met Hotdog and his Sock Puppy friends?’ may just entice a few more clicks. Take a look at this interesting article from Google to see just how quickly people scan a search page.
Welcome to my Shop
Your shop description is the first text that a buyer (or journalist) will see when they land directly on your home page. It should be friendly and professional as well as having those important keywords. Rambling, poor spelling and bad grammar will be an instant turn off. Think about your target audience and set the tone of your text accordingly. We have a really active and friendly community of buyers and sellers over in the Folksy forums, so if in doubt post a new thread and ask for a second opinion or two (or seven!)