Tips for Selling Vintage on Etsy

One of my very longtime clients has been selling on Etsy now for a few years and has had success. This is in addition to her own website and blog. I asked her if she would be kind enough to share some of her tips for success with selling vintage on Etsy.

Perhaps these tips will help you find your sweet spot of success selling on Etsy!

Mary Ann Kennedy owns The Gatherings Antique Vintage. She specializes in antique and vintage clothing, table linens, bed linens, fabric, home decor, sewing tools, quilts, and toys from yesteryear. She has been our client for more than 10 years and I feel quite confident in saying that Mary Ann knows more than a thing or two about selling antique and vintage treasures!

The Gatherings Antique Vintage

She notes that since vintage is essentially one of a kind unique items, there are very few repeat buyers. However, when an item sells, if she has a similar item, she lists that. Generally it sells quickly. So, listing similar items does generate sales.

Keeping it fresh is huge. As with any search engine, keeping your content fresh encourages the spiders and bots to revisit your shop or website. She advises that you list something in your shop every day or as often as possible. By doing this, you keep your store “fresh” and this does increase views. Visibility is huge, and results in sales.

Do your due diligence and list your products in the categories that are more popular. Do research to identify these Etsy categories that generate more sales, because these categories are where the buyers are going and looking.

When you get a review, thank the customer for taking the time to write their review. That’s just good customer service and makes the buyer feel appreciated for taking time out of their day to write you a nice review.

Utilize the Etsy Thank You Coupon. This encourages 2nd and 3rd time buyers and sales.

Connect to your buyers with a well written detailed description of each item, including the era of the item. This is especially important with vintage and antique items. Not only does it give you credibility with the buyer that you know what you are talking about, but if well written, it can make the buyer feel that they just have to purchase that particular item no matter what!

Another thing we do outside of Etsy is blog her products. Every month Mary Ann will send me a list of 15 items that she puts in her New Arrivals section of her Etsy shop. We do staggered blog posts for the month in her blog. Each blog post contains a link back to the item in her website store, another link back to the item in her Etsy shop, and yet another link back to her newsletter sign up form.

All of Mary Ann’s tips are in keeping with good SEO (search engine optimization) best practices for search engine visibility. Which has been a topic over the years that we have discussed many times in order to get her the best possible results.

Visit The Gatherings Antique Vintage website, blog and Etsy shop to see some of the beautiful items Mary Ann has to offer!

We are Etsy SEO consultants and can help you take your Etsy shop to the next level of success along with your website and blog. Call or text us at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

Acupuncture Website Design

Are you an acupuncture professional? Need a custom themed acupuncture website to showcase your holistic or medical practice? We design affordable websites on WordPress and Squarespace just for acupuncturists complete with appointment booking capabilities and so much more.

Acupuncture Holistic Healing

Each website we design is custom designed just for you and the needs of your acupuncture business, showcasing conditions you treat and treatments you specialize in.

We also do website design makeovers, taking your current website and kicking it up a notch or two with a new fresh design.

In addition after the launch of your acupuncture website we also offer affordable website maintenance, social media marketing, search engine optimization - otherwise known as SEO, blogging, business cards, brochures and more.

Call or text us at 201.753.1677 to discuss your website design and development needs.

Total Branding Project for As Your Baby Grows Gift Boutique

As Your Baby Grows Gift Boutique has been our client for a very long time. Initially I noticed my client, Sue, was very creative when decorating her house for family birthday parties. Very outside the box creative.

So I encouraged her to expand upon that in whatever way she was comfortable. Creativity like that needs to stand up and be counted.

Well, Sue did exactly that. As time went on, she went from custom made diaper cakes and gift baskets to custom made party decor, cake toppers and baby shower and party centerpieces. Today, she handles a few drop ship items but not that many. She is focusing on what makes her happy and successful, which is custom made party and baby shower pieces.

Over the years as well we came up with a branding image she liked. Her website incorporated that nicely but it needed kicking up a notch or six. It was nice, but not perfect and it was not consistent across all venues and all social media.

Recently we decided to raise the bar and move her to a more cost effective shopping cart, but before doing so, she wanted her branding to be perfect. And Sue is a perfectionist.

So, we put our heads together and came up with a look that she loved and put it out there on her website, blog, Etsy shop, Amazon Handmade, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

She put a lot of work into choosing fonts. Which we of course whittled down to one that we loved once we saw the mockup. The others may have looked nice on black and white but didn’t cut it when put up on her artwork.

As Your Baby Grows Gift Boutique

It was a great deal of fun for us, as a website design and graphic arts design agency to put together her artwork. Her branding now has the consistent, across the board look we love and that people will identify her product, brand and company with. It was an honor for Maureen McCullough LLC to work on this project for our client.

Sue is totally happy with her branding. Now, we are focusing on moving her to a more cost effective and search engine effective shopping cart to increase her sales and search engine visibility.

This is how we treat our clients. Each one, with total care for their business and their success. Call or text us at 201.753.1677 to get started on your perfect branding and search engine optimization project!

Common Sense Tips for Start Ups

Is your small business a start up? If you are in business one year or less then your business is considered a start up and there are common sense things that you need to know and understand before you rush off into the sunset thinking because you sell it or offer the service that the people will just come. Because, they won’t.

Before you even think about a website you need to do this first:

Understand that you actually have no idea what you are doing. Face up to this fact and seek help and guidance from those advisers who have the business experience. 

Hire a business coach. Retaining a business mentor should absolutely be your very first expense / investment in your business. Do a phone interview with several business coaches before settling on one. Make sure the fit is right for your business needs. Each business coach that you interview should give you some free initial consultation time on the phone. Be respectful of their time limit. 15 minutes, 20 minutes. Listen for a business coach who expresses genuine interest in your business and who is willing to treat your business and you like the unique entities that you are. 

Decide whether your current idea of your product is fulfilling a need or want that prospective clients have. Do some market research, do internet research. With tangible products explore selling at craft or trade shows or local marketplaces. Gauge the interest, or not. You may have to tweak your product several times in order to find the sweet spot that gets you customers.

With services, determine who your local / main competitors are and analyze how they do what they do and use it to your advantage. Learn from the ones that instinctively grab your interest. You too will have to go through the tweaking stage more than once to find your sweet spot that nets you clients as well. 

When you see that your product or service is viable, this is the time to create a flexible business plan that can grow and evolve with you. 

If you are going to need a payroll service such as ADP go directly to them yourself. Do not use a middleman. In fact, do not use middlemen for anything for your business. Go direct or go nowhere – the commission fees will bleed you dry and when money is slow to come in you will find yourself still having to pay the higher price because of the middleman. 

Be motivated when cold calling on businesses if you offer a service. Don’t hand them a flyer and expect that they will call you. They won’t. You have to get in there, meet the owner or manager, give them a reason to want your service. Your market analysis of competitors should have been done by this point and you and your business coach should have come up with a plan that sets you apart from the rest. 

This legwork is necessary before you spend good money on a website. Putting up the website first is like putting the cart before the horse. You don’t even have a game plan at that point. 

Hiring the right website designer is crucial. Again, you should touch base with several website designers, doing the phone interview bit. If they don’t offer a free 15 or 20 minute consultation they are not right for you, right off the bat. Each website designer should be asked about what they can do for you. Just like the business coach, the website designer should express a genuine interest in your business, and be able to tell you briefly what they can do for you clearly and in understandable terms. If their services include marketing after website launch they need to be able to tell you what they will do to get your business out there. 

If you are a start up and you have found this article helpful, give us a call to find out more about our comprehensive business services such as business coaching, business mentoring, website design and marketing. Call today 201.753.1677

So Your Google My Business Listing Got Suspended What’s Next?

So one day you go into your Google My Business account to perhaps make a post or make an adjustment to your hours and what do you see? Your Google My Business listing has been suspended!! End of the world, right? Not so much. Keep reading.

Google My Business Listing Suspended

Google My Business gives you a free listing for your business complete with a spot on the map, categories for your business, the ability to post pictures and to actually post posts about your business. It’s a free service. Sounds great! 

Enter today’s spammers and scammers who make fake addresses, fake listings, hand out fake damaging reviews to legitimate businesses, and take down legitimate business listings by reporting them as duplicates, or out of business when they are not. Not sounding so great now………..

Google encourages “edits” to listings in the effort to make them hopefully more relevant and accurate. Which opens a door to the scammer, spammer and competition to use this editing power for harm instead of good. 

If your business does NOT see customers at your location, such as a consultant who goes out to meet with clients, or an at home internet business who sells and ships from the home but does not have a physical brick and mortar retail store, you are generally encouraged to clear your address on your Google My Business listing so that your home address isn’t out there for all to see. 

If you operate more than one business from your location, say your home, such as a husband operating one business and the wife operating another, you cannot have both businesses listed on Google My Business. So what’s the point of even listing your businesses on Google My Business?

These two types of scenarios, the one where you clear your address and the operating of more than one business from your home location is what Google has been targeting and suspending lately. 

You’re not dishonest, you’re running a legitimate business, but you are getting your listing suspended. Yes, you can contact Google and ask for it to be reinstated. There is no guarantee they will do so, and there is no guarantee they will constructively interact with you. 

So what’s a small business owner to do? The listing is suspended, you don’t know when or if it’s ever going to be brought back to life. And meanwhile like a fairly normal person you are kind of freaking out. 

It all boils down to doing things the old fashioned way, boys and girls. Good old fashioned search engine optimization done the way we did it quite a few years ago, before Google My Business was ever even a thought or a conception. Google My Business started in 2014. We’ve been doing search engine optimization long before that, since 2000. 

And how did we get our clients all over the Internet like splat back then? Good old honest search engine optimization with geo targeting and precisely constructed landing pages. All white hat, all transparent and all targeted at your desired target audience. No black hat seo BS. 

Honest, creative search engine optimization with geo targeting and carefully constructed landing pages has survived the test of time. It has survived innumerable Google algorithm changes, it has survived all of the trendy techniques of times past, and it survives today alive and well. 

So, if your Google My Business page has been suspended never fear. There is life after suspension. Plenty of life. And plenty of business that you can acquire just by making the move towards geo targeted SEO and carefully crafted landing pages. 

In 20 years of business there has been plenty of change and we have always successfully reinvented ourselves and our clients so we can roll with the punches and move ahead. We can help you do that too. 

Call or text us today at 201.753.1677 to find out more.

Be Aware of Google Maps Hackers

Yes, I know this article was written back in 2014…….. yet it still holds the same relevance today as it did then unfortunately. With the rising rates of fraudulent transactions and mean spirited behaviors among people, when a competitor wants to shut you down there’s a very easy way to do it. On Google Maps. They can take your Google My Business listing down in a virtual heartbeat. 

All the stories in the article I’m about to link to have either taken down the business completely or caused enough grief to the business owner to cause real financial hardship. Community edits are a main source of trouble, as are the infamous map hackers and those who change the business hours and flood the business with fake reviews.

Read original article here

The point is no one checks their Google My Business listing every day. I check it about every two weeks on my phone or iPad with the app. All has been well with my Google My Business listing for a long time. No issues.

I checked it today whilst doing social media because I thought how neat would it be to copy my Instagram post which immediately is shared on Facebook to my Google My Business listing. Lo and behold I was listed as a duplicate listing which could NOT be removed because someone else had become the manager. Which was not true because when I looked up Users it was only my account managing it. 

I had no ability to change anything and I could not obtain permission to transfer it to another account. Then I noticed 2 other listings had been tampered with as well. Bottom line after 2 hours of trying everything in the book, I copied my reviews, and finally was able to delete all listings. Then I created a new listing which was immediately suspended. I was not allowed to use LLC after my name. 

I created yet another listing and now am waiting for that pesky verification postcard. 

It really is imperative that you stay on top of your Google My Business listing because you never ever know when that evil individual who is your competitor or a hacker will strike. Sad world we live in. But one must remain vigilant. 

Getting Your Business to Show Up on Google Local Near Me Searches

It makes perfect sense for any business to be able to show up on Google when potential clients search for a local business near them. However, many businesses do NOT show up when potential customers or clients search. The typical search would be “jewelry store near me” or “dwi lawyer near me” or “general contractor near me”.

The landscape has changed in regards to the demise of Google+, sometimes referred to as Google Plus, which I personally considered pretty lame. However, the upside of this is the new and improved Google My Business. Which I am actually impressed with. And I’ll tell you why. It really enables the business owner to control their presence and to connect with their audience and potential clients.

The quick and dirty procedure to get your business to show up on the local near me listings is the following:

Google Maps Ranking Factors – fill out your entire business listing completely and comprehensively and you will see the rewards with better exposure.

1) It always pays to verify your Google My Business Information – so make sure you do this.

2) Encourage your current clients / customers to leave you reviews on Google.

3) Take the time to properly categorize your business – the more careful you are to target your niche, the easier it will be for people to find your business.

4) Optimize your listing description – this is all done under the INFO tab on the left. Categories, service areas, your hours, phone, website, appointment url (even if that is just your contact us page), description, and any photos you might want to add.

5) Using a local telephone number is preferable to using an 800 number. Many 800 or 888 numbers are robo call numbers or spam numbers. If you want to come up in local searches, use a local phone number. This also shows Google you really are a local business.

6) Embedding a Google Map on your website is further proof of credibility and legitimacy.

How to embed a Google Map on your website? Google My Business makes this super easy for you. From the dashboard of your listing, click on INFO in the left hand menu. Then, all the way to your right click on View on Maps. Next, on your maps view, look in the left hand column for the three bar menu icon at the top left of the page. Click on that and scroll down to where it says Share or Embed a Map. Click on that.

A small screen pops up that says Share. You have two choices – Send a Link or Embed a Map. Choose Embed a Map. You can choose the map size. Then click on Copy HTML and add that to your contact us page or your website footer widget or send to your website manager to do this for you.

The next step is to create posts with pictures. This is a mission critical step. Going back to your dashboard page, see Posts in the left menu. Click on that. Create a post complete with relevant hashtags, and a relevant image. Your post doesn’t have to be the Great American Novel. Keep it short and sweet.

Since we are always posting about a service we offer or a web design product that we offer, we choose What’s New. At the very bottom you can Add a Button. We always choose Learn More and put the link to the service or product in there. When done, hit Publish.

Be advised that all Google posts expire after 7 days with the exception of Event posts. So be sure to post on a consistent basis of every 3 or 4 days to serve up fresh content. Monitor your insights and watch the traffic to your listing go up. And watch your search engine visibility grow. And listen to the phone ring. It takes some time, as do all good things, but you will have done your business a great service by following these steps and maximizing your Google My Business listing.

***HINT: To make your posting easier and a more streamlined process, we create our original post in our business Instagram Account with all of the appropriate hashtags. We then share it from Instagram directly to our business Facebook page. From there, we copy the content to our Google My Business post. Upload the picture, and we are done. 5 minutes. Literally. And painless.

Maureen McCullough LLC is your Bergen County New Jersey website design, SEO and marketing agency. We care about your business and want you to succeed. Give us a call today at 201.753.1677 for a free 20 minute consultation.

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