In last month’s post, we started a step-by-step approach to getting your Etsy business off the ground. Now let’s look at choosing a name for your shop.
What you call your business is important, so take time to think it through. For starters, it helps to consider the playing field on Etsy. It’s enormous, and that’s because of how shoppers find things on Etsy.
What does that mean? This is kind of abstract, but stick with me—it will make sense.
Most shoppers find products on Etsy through the site’s search engine and Google. These are not the only ways, but in general, they’re the top traffic producers. From a shopper’s perspective, your shop and mine are tossed in a big mixing bowl with all other sellers on Etsy and all other sellers, potentially, on the Internet.
To misquote Elvis, “Look at that playing field…it’s huge!”
The good news is there’s a lot we can do to build traffic. Every business decision we make—including our shop names—can support this.
As the Internet expands every day with more and more “content,” marketers have begun to lean toward simplicity of design and wording. Graphic designers are abandoning fancy fonts and glitzy images in favor of large, simple types that are easy on the eyes, even peaceful and soothing.
These trends are also relevant to business naming.
There are many ways to apply simplicity and directness to a shop name. One is to build the name around exactly what’s being sold. Think Jiffy Lube and Toys R Us. This is called descriptive naming. On Etsy, you might name your shop “Mary’s Homemade Fudge” or “Perfect Custom Dresses.”
“Boring!” You may wail. “I want my name to stand out!”
It’s true…these names are a little boring. But they’re arguably more effective than “creative” ones like “Wooden Spoon Fantasies” for a fudge shop or “The Big Sew and Sew” for a dressmaker. Names like that are very common on Etsy, but they don’t say a whole lot.
Such non-specific names might work in a mall where people stroll by and see the products. But Etsy isn’t a mall and we don’t have a captive audience. At first, our shops are more like sheds in the middle of a cornfield—they’re more or less invisible. A name that says what we sell can help draw traffic our way.
Another reason to consider a descriptive name has to do with search engine optimization (SEO). SEO means attaching relevant “keywords” to anything written about your shop so people using search engines can find you. If I’m shopping online for yummy sweets, I might Google “homemade fudge.” I will not search on “Wooden Spoon Creations” unless I know that shop already. “Mary’s Homemade Fudge” has a better chance of being found because the search words are built into the name.
I should point out that some marketers don’t like descriptive names because they can limit a business’s future growth. If Mary wants to expand into pizza kits, “Mary’s Homemade Fudge” will seem like a limiting name. But they’re a good choice for many shops. And it helps that Etsy allows sellers to change shop names once.
Here are some other good resources on shop names.