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Question About Website With Off Site Shopping Cart

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#1 zweetpeaz


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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:27 AM

I have a client that has a very successful business on Etsy. She points her domain to her shop, but we don't "promote" her domain, we promote the individual product listings in her Etsy shop. She also has a blog to drive traffic to her Etsy shop.
When looking at her keyword rankings, and analyzing backlinks to her site, it is very difficult. It seems that all of the work that we do not only helps to position her, it also helps to position Etsy as a whole. This is not necessarily bad, but if she were to ever leave Etsy, ( or God forbid they shut down her shop) all of the work we have done will be gone.

Here is my idea-
I thought it would be beneficial to her business to use her domain (that currently points to her shop) to build a website. We could then have her blog on her site to feed fresh content, and start promoting the actual domain- to hopefully give her a more permanent place on the www.

BUT I am not sure how I should go about integrating her Etsy shop into a website. Etsy is now blocking Iframes, so that option is out.

I could just have a "shop now" text link in the menu that opens in a new window for shopping.

I could create the separate categories on the website, and have images of the products link to the products in the Esty shop.

I'm just kind of perplexed about the best way to go about this for full SEO benefit to her.

What do you guys think, or do you have any other suggestions?

#2 nethy


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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:54 AM

Hi zweatpeaz,

It sounds like a good idea but this isn't a purely SEO decision, it's a general business decision. Depending on how far you travel, this road probably leads to a different kind of business for your client. One where your she has several channels for online sales including Etsy and her own site. In any case, I think if she is finding success with her products on Etsy and wants to grow, it makes sense to take this route where she will have more control and more options. For me, I would prefer to be investing in developing my own site, one that can become an asset. It's also (as you pointed out) safer to diversify.

The first option I woud investigate is similar to the one you describe: a directory-like site where instead of "add to cart" you have "buy this on Etsy". Any more "integration" will probably not lead to a smoother experience since ultimately they will still need to make the transaction on Etsy. My preference would be to do this through an online shop backend with the shopping cart elements removed. The front end result would be very similar. But, you'd be left with 2 or 3 important advantages (and a few less important ones):
  • You get a back-end system that is designed to display products within categories. It will probably be easier for to maintain that a static site or customized CMS.
  • You are ready to transition to an on-site online shop very easily
  • The site will look like an online shop. This sends subtle signals to casual visitors that they can buy the things they see.
If you are working on & advising your client about this issue then hopefully you have a good relationship and can talk through the implications of different options and which one suits her online goals. The primary purpose of the site might not need to be displaying products. Maybe it needs to be a hub for her social media presence instead. Maybe every product needs a site. It's probably a good idea to discuss some wider issues. Try asking (preferably in person) things like:

1 - Sometime in the next 3 years do you see yourself selling:
  • on your own site?
  • on ebay?
  • in retail locations?
  • wholesale?
2 - What promotional channels do you think might be relevant:
  • PPC
  • SEO
  • Affiliates
  • Social Media
  • TV/Radio
  • print media
  • mailouts
  • conventions/fairs/tradeshows
  • etc.

3 - Are hundreds of products a possibility? Thousands?

Even if they don't turn out to be directly relevant, getting answers to these sorts of questions will probably help you understand her needs better and plan more confidently. If you don't have that kind of relationship, entrepreneurs love talking about their goals so its a good place to start the conversation.

I hope that helps. Good luck

Edited by nethy, 26 July 2012 - 11:00 AM.

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#3 zweetpeaz


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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:24 PM

Thank you SO much for replying. I will have that conversation with her- and get her headed in the right direction:)

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