*If you’re looking for Bonus Episode 12, it was so popular that I spoke about it again on this season on the podcast! You’ll find all the updated and important information here.
Remember when Etsy decided to grant sellers five additional image spaces in listings?? I do!!
This happened over the summer, and while the topic of today’s episode was inspired by the Etsy additional images feature and the community’s reaction, the ideas I’m going to lay out here can apply to any website or selling platform.
In July, Etsy availed five additional photo spots for sellers to use in their listings. As you likely know, there were five image slots already so this made the grand total ten available image spots.
At first, that sounded like that was awesome. Everybody got so excited.
And then people got concerned.
There was a period of concern immediately following the excitement as sellers began to consider how this would impact their shop.
‘if I don’t use these five additional spots, is that bad?’
‘if I don’t use all 10 images now, will that impact my SEO?’
And the answer to that is no! The amount of image spaces you fill does not impact your SEO.
The number of images you use in a listing has never had anything really to do with your Etsy relevancy other than the fact that images are there to support the buyer in making their purchase decision. Ultimately that would support your relevancy.
what do we do with the extra space
The issue with the Etsy additional images feature then transitioned to what to do with these five additional photos. If you have already maxed out the standard top, bottom texture, detail shots etc, what is left?
Sellers began brainstorming ways of using those five additional images and one of the most popular suggestions was to use one or more of the spaces to promote your social channels (Instagram, Facebook, etc) or email list/ opt in coupon.
I don’t want anybody to feel bad if they did this, but this is not a good strategy.
It’s not wise to do this. This concept can apply to any platform. This is not specific to Etsy. As I said earlier, this is something that came about because of Etsy but many platforms already offer more than ten image spaces. You want to always be mindful of what you are including in listings. Don’t just use space because it’s there. Use space wisely.
If someone discovers your listing (yay!) and they click into it (yay!), they explore some of the info (yay!), scrolli through some of your images (yay!) that is all exactly what you want!! If someone has gotten that far into your listing, and is that deep into looking at your product, why on earth would we want to distract them with a graphic that indicates they should stop what they are doing on the listing and leave the page to do something else?
If you put a social media handles or opt-in coupon image in your listing, you are interrupting the buying process.
If someone has gotten through image one, image two, image three, image four, image five, image six, image seven – if they are that far into your listing, if they have gone into your listing that deep, it is your responsibility and opportunity to convert that person to make a purchase! Your listing’s purpose is to convert sales, not to grow your social media following.
The absolute one hundred percent only purpose of your listings is to be discovered and make sales.
You can see then how to interrupt the customer journey through your listing with this graphic that directs them elsewhere is a roadblock. It basically says ‘hey, you were thinking about buying something, but here’s some other stuff you could do instead that involves leaving my listing.’ Not a good idea.
lowering user experience
Further: obviously in an image, the link to social or email opt-in, is not clickable. Someone would have to go and manually enter those URLS. The number of people who actually follow through on looking up those social handles has to be incredibly low. (I’ll remind you we also discourage opt in coupons anyway!)
Why risk it? If someone has gotten all the way through image one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight, they are very interested in your product. It is your job and your opportunity to convert them, give them information that will close that sale. Don’t just give them things to look at because you have space for it.
The point of your listing is to make a sale and the point of that graphic is to direct people away from the listing – these are completely at odds.
You’re the boss. You get to do what you want. But for me, this makes no sense. If you have graphics like this in your shop, and you feel the same way I do, then just go ahead and take them down. Don’t feel bad that you had them there. Just go ahead and take them down, OK?
What is the goal of your listing
If you aren’t convinced yet, ask yourself what ultimately is the goal of your listing and does everything in that listing support that goal without being a detriment to the other parts of the listing that support that goal?
If you sell off-Etsy, this thought process still applies. No matter what website you’re on, if you have 40 superfluous images that don’t contribute to inspiring or closing the sale of that item, you want to take them down.
That’s what that’s the thought I want to leave you with today: don’t lose sight of the purpose of your listing!
If you enjoyed today’s episode, ‘Etsy additional images’ on the Meriweather Council Podcast, hop on the party bus to learn more for free, we make stops each week in your inbox to help you grow your handmade business.
*This post is written and published by The Merriweather Council. The Merriweather Council is not affiliated with Etsy Inc. Etsy is a trademark of Etsy Inc. We write about Etsy, from our own experiences, not for Etsy.