Saturday, May 12, 2012

Should You Pay For Etsy Marketing?

Trying to get more traffic to our Etsy shops is an ongoing struggle. Face it, without traffic there are no sales, and with the thousands upon thousands of Etsy shop owners, and all the Etsy and google changes regarding SEO and relevancy it can become an incredibly frustrating task. So, many of us look to others to try to bring that traffic to our sites, and frankly I don't believe that's always the wisest investment.

I'm sure there are many companies that legitimately do help, but my experience with one that I found on one of the sites that many Etsy users depend upon, was a total waste of money.

Back in December 2011, I decided to really make an effort to increase sales by marketing my store. I'm quite computer savvy but SEO is like Swahili, so when I saw an ad for marketing Etsy shops to increase traffic I was intrigued.  There was a holiday half-price special for $25.00, good only if purchased within the next few days. I have since learned that that particular "offer" is actually year round, but I got suckered into buying the package without checking first to see if people indeed had benefited from it.  I stupidly fell for the few recommendations claiming they had received a huge increase in views, which of course mean nothing, and paid the fee.

The woman promises to get the reports to you within a few days, but  it took almost week before I received anything and that was after several emails with no response. Granted it was the holidays, but not responding to inquiries is not good business.  At that time I probably should have asked for a refund, since she claims she gives a 30 day money back guarantee, but I really wanted that increase in views and thought I would give it a chance. By the time I wrote saying how disappointed I was, it was over the 30 days, and I never did hear back from. Again, not good customer service.

I have received absolutely no increase in views, in spite of working on my SEO and tagging. I'm not even convinced she did the work, in spite of sending me a list of all the search engines I was supposedly submitted to.  In essence, I paid $25.00 for a list of search engines many of which I had never heard of and which I could probably have googled for.  She does link you to what turned out to be a poorly written, misspelled article, and a short e-book on Etsy SEO (which was somewhat useful), but one lives and learns. 

Before you turn to one of these companies that promises to sell you something they can't deliver, you should probably do a google search or a forum search on Etsy. Most people have had the same totally useless experience as I had.  I can't find the particular thread, but I recall reading about one woman who was frantic about her shop after she paid someone that turned out to be using a link farm.

What I paid $25.00 for I could probably have researched on my own. Google is a tremendous resource.  You can also look at how those who sell the most on Etsy are titling and tagging their items. You might also want to start a blog for backlinks to  your own shop.

I really have no idea whether this 'marketing person' actually did anything that she promised, all I know is that my views did not increase at all.

Here's a nice forum article on Etsy regarding SEO link building, and it's free.

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