Sunday, March 7, 2010

Etsy Thoughts: Why Google Rules

After being featured in the Etsy Finds daily shopping email twice in 3 days, I've been all caught up on my orders for a while now and life (at least the Etsy part of it) is going back to a more sensitive version of normal. I've learned a few things and am now able to look back at the avalanche of orders and see just how and why I was able to get more than an average month's worth of orders in 4 days. This little rehashing of the events illustrates why Google and its many free functions make life better for small business owners like me (and maybe like you!).

Here is where Google Analytics kicks butt in the stats department. Here is a snip from the site views option, with my added details:

That's a lot of extra traffic! More impressive, that's a lot of traffic that actually converted into a lot of sales (percentage-wise, above average conversion!). Taking a closer look, the view below shows what a huge chunk of that came traffic from the email features, which shows up in the "other" pie slice. I'm happy to see real diversity in this pie chart because it means I'm doing pretty well in all sectors... I'm getting features that are sending people to my site (referring sites), I'm getting notice within the Etsy community via treasuries and front page features (direct traffic), my items are showing up and being clicked on in Google searches (search engines) and I've got a little going on with email here. Very nice...


I also like to check what sites are referring traffic... sometime you find out about a feature you didn't know about (like the one at toysblog.it). The snip here lists the top referring sites. Clearly I had a mini heart attack to see RegrEtsy on this list, but since my overall views are pretty low (meaning I don't get a ton of features relative to visits from Facebook, etc) and nothing of mine is to be found anywhere on RegrEtsy (Thank you, God!), I am assuming this traffic is from people I know in real life who read both RegrEtsy and check my shop. If it's you, knock it off... you're killing me!


But when I do find a feature, like the one at http://www.toysblog.it,/ I go check out how much traffic it gets, even if it's in Italian. Google ranks websites based on traffic, and there are many websites that you can use to look up the rank of any given website. I use PR Checker, if only because it was the first one I found.


Google assigns its ranking within a range of 0-10 and it's exponential (like the Richter Scale)... every increase in number means a tenfold (or more) increase in site popularity/traffic. I was happy to see that the toysblog.it feature was on a website that has a 6. To compare, this blog (Domestic Bliss) is ranked as a 2 (last time I checked it was a 0, so I'm happy about that!), my Etsy store is a 4, Etsy.com and MarthaStewart.com are both 7s, Yahoo.com and NYTimes.com are both 9s, and the only full blown 10 I've ever seen was Google itself (seems fair). Page rank checkers are also useful for the increasingly frequent occasions when blog writers solicit you for items for a giveaway or a product review... if their site get a ranking equal or lower than this blog, I assume they are just looking for freebies. I have yet to check a soliciting blog and find actual readership, so I do not send samples anywhere at this point. Incidentally, if anyone wants a free review of a product on a low-ranked, barely-read blog, feel free to send me stuff :)