Folksy Listing Review – ‘Hand-Knitted Striped Cushion Cover’ by Knitted Up North
Writing a great listing is essential if you want your products to get seen and sold. In our new video series, we take a real-life product on Folksy.com and, using the expertise of creative copywriter Martha Moger aka The Stitch Writer, suggest how the listing could be improved, to make a customer more likely to press that ‘buy’ button!
The idea behind this series is to show you, using concrete examples, how you can write more effective titles, descriptions and tags, and create better listings in your own online shop.
Press the play button below to watch Folksy Listing No. 2…
Episode 2. Hand-Knitted Striped Cushion Cover
In this second Folksy Listing Review, the product we’re considering is a lovely stripy cushion cover by Helen Stuart from Knitted Up North. You can watch the full listing review in the video above – or click here to watch it on the new Folksy YouTube channel. In this blog post we’re going to guide you through what we did and suggest some links for further reading, but we recommend you watch the video first.
What we did…
This cushion was initially listed with the title “Hand-Knitted Striped Cushion Cover” and looked like this:
One of the things that stood out to us when we got our hands on the cushion itself was that it’s beautifully made, really vibrant and demonstrates lots of skill, but we didn’t feel the listing (or the photos) reflected that. It soon became clear that branding and styling could play a big part here, and that strong branding and product photography might make more of an impact on this listing than just looking at keywords alone.
One of the reasons for this is that there’s so much knitted homeware out there now that it’s going to be hard for a product or even a shop to do well on Google searches. A quick look on Google Trends shows that knitting has been continually growing in popularity since the beginning of the craft boom circa 2005, which is both good and bad: good in that there are lots of people interested in knitting so potentially lots of customers for your products; bad in that it’s a very saturated market with lots of competition.
As Martha explains in the video, when you work in a very competitive market like knitting, the products that are most likely to be seen and shared are those with fantastic photography, trend-led colour and design and the overall feeling of ‘brand’.
Start by identifying opportunities in a crowded field
Given the number of products vying for attention, a good approach is to first work out what people are actually searching for in relation to knitting and then identifying the right products or opportunities within that field. Working this way round may be more successful than making a product and then trying to sell it. That isn’t to say you should simply follow trends or that you should stop making things you love and enjoy; just that it’s going to be harder to sell something if there isn’t a market for what you’re making.
It’s better to find the right product or opportunity in the area of knitting than to start with the product you want to make and then trying to work out how to sell it afterwards.
Admittedly, many artists and makers don’t want to work this way and many purposefully create objects and art independent of trends. So what do you do when you have a product that you’ve made and want to sell, like this cushion, but the market is so competitive that you’re struggling to get seen.
Find out what people are actually looking for
Well, the first step we took was to try to identify the most popular words and phrases related to knitting, using Google and Ubersuggest, to give us ideas about what people are looking for in this field. It’s that search for clues that we talked about in Listing Review No. 1. Again, you need to consider ‘searcher intent’ and find work out what people actually want when they type a phrase into a search engine, and then determining which of those phrases (or keywords) are most relevant to your product, and have a high search volume but low competition. Those are the ones to target in your listing.
One word that kept coming up again and again in our research was ‘chunky’, and a quick search for ‘purple cushion’ also revealed that lots of people actually search for ‘purple and grey cushion’, as well as specific knitting stitches. This gave us a starting point for the listing, and working from here we could compile a list of keywords to work into the title, description, tags and inspiration section.
Title, description and tags
We decided on the title ‘Chunky Hand Knit Cushion – Purple and Grey Stripes’ because it included the main keywords but as you’ll see in the video it was just one of the options we discussed and there is no sure-fire ‘best’ title that is set in stone forever. We were also aware that the cushion might not be exactly what people considered ‘chunky knitting’ but felt it would still appeal to people looking for a chunky hand-knitted cushion, so it was worth using those popular search terms. However, what people are searching for changes over time, as do trends, and it’s worth experimenting with different variations of titles based on your research to see which ones get the most views.
We rewrote the description so it would feel more aspirational and on trend, and added a new Inspiration section, both sprinkled with those key words and phrases we identified earlier.
It’s worth reiterating at this point that the competition in this sector is so high that one cushion is unlikely to show up in Google searches. Google is much more likely to return a page with lots of results than a single product page. So we narrowed our target here to optimise the listing for searches within Folksy, rather than the whole web.
We also updated the tags with the intention of enabling the cushion to show up in more searches within Folksy and rank higher within those searches. We pulled in keywords from our research to use as a mix of one-word and multiple-word tags. We also moved ‘purple’ from the Tags into Colours to free up another space.
TIP: Read more about clickable tags and how to use them here – https://blog.folksy.com/2016/11/22/how-to-use-tags
The importance of good product photographs
If you wanted to rank on Google (or the other search engines) for hand-knitted homeware, you would need to be seen as an expert in that niche, with lots of links to your shop or products and lots of mentions on other valued and related sites. In this case that would probably mean being featured on some of the big knitting sites, with additional links in from craft or interior magazines and blogs. This is where branding comes in. Being featured in these places is much more likely if you have a strong brand with beautiful, shareable photos.
As so often, great product photography is the key. If you have good photos, you’re more likely to be able to build a following on social media, which means you’re more likely to get spotted by bloggers, journalists and influencers, and you’re more likely to get featured and shared, and build those connections.
We took Helen’s lovely cushion and tried styling it in a few different ways to see what worked. We set the camera to square mode, put together some props and experimented with various backdrops. The idea was to take a range of photos that…
- conveyed the vibrancy and colour of the cushion
- expressed ‘cosiness’ as well as feeling on trend and modern
- highlighted the basket weave stitch
- showed that it’s handmade and beautifully made
- emphasised that it’s reversible and the back is as lovely as the front
- showed the wooden buttons and Helen’s attention to detail
- included at least one ‘Pinnable’ image
- would stand out out (‘pop’) in internal searches on Folksy, making the customer more likely to click
We made sure we included a portait format (tall) ‘pinnable’ image because Pinterest can be a great way to get your products seen. Not only do people use Pinterest as a visual search engine, but Pinterest boards also do well in Google searches. So if your cushion is pinned on a popular board of hand-knitted cushions, it increases its chance being seen.
The revised listing: ‘Chunky Hand Knit Cushion – Purple and Grey Stripes’
Here you can see the revised listing with the updated photos and the changes to the title, description, tags and inspiration section. To see it in more detail click here > Chunky Hand Knit Cushion – Purple and Grey Stripes
We really think Helen’s shop could fly with the right photos and branding. Her products are absolutely beautiful!
Our next step would be to suggest a product shoot with a professional photographer to give her a set of high-quality photos to use in her shop, on social media and to send to the bloggers, magazines and websites that are so valuable in terms of building her brand, presence and reputation.
How to build a strong brand – https://blog.folksy.com/2014/06/09/how-to-build-a-strong-brand
Learn how to build a strong brand identity – https://blog.folksy.com/2015/01/21/how-to-build-a-strong-brand-identity
The importance of being niche – how to find yours – https://blog.folksy.com/2015/09/14/how-to-find-your-niche
Harness the power of hashtags on Instagram to grow your brand https://blog.folksy.com/2017/05/23/power-of-instagram-hashtags
What is influencer marketing and how to work with influencers https://blog.folksy.com/2018/02/13/influencer-marketing
How to get more press coverage for your products – https://blog.folksy.com/2015/08/18/get-more-press-coverage-for-your-crafts-and-designs
SEO basics for Designers and Makers – https://blog.folksy.com/2018/07/03/seo-basics-designers-makers
Learn how to write a listing that gets seen in search results – https://blog.folksy.com/2017/02/23/how-search-works
How to use tags on Folksy – https://blog.folksy.com/2016/11/22/how-to-use-tags
Would you like your listing reviewed?
We’re looking for more brave souls prepared to put their shop under the microscope. So if you’d like to volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and in the meantime, we’d love to get your feedback on this episode. As this is the first one, we know it’s not perfect (I also had a cold, so please accept my sincere apologies for all the sniffing!). We’ve already got some ideas on how we can makes it better, but it would be useful to know if there’s anything you’d like us to focus on next time or explain in more detail.
You can enlist Martha’s services on your own product descriptions, blog posts and social media content here – https://www.thestitchwriter.com/copywriter-services