There are some many blog and forum posts about whether Etsy or Big Cartel is better. Well I won’t rehash that conversation but if decided to land with Big Cartel here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
Big Cartel Store Description
This is a no-brainer. When you setup your shop right from the start make sure to add a descriptive, compelling description, under 128 characters, of your shop. This description, using the default theme or Sunday theme, is used on your site pages. This is the description that would be used first on search result pages. If you haven’t done it yet make sure to update this relatively new field.
From the Big Cartel announcement…
Big Cartel now automatically generates unique meta descriptions for each page in your store. For your home page, we use a brand new Description field we’ve added to the Store > Settings section of your admin area, so head over there and enter a good short description of your store. Go ahead, we’ll wait. [source]
Big Cartel Store Directory Image
It takes just a few seconds. Edit your logo or create a attention grabbing image that is 125×125 pixels and upload it now. Take advantage of being listed in this searchable directory that many people use to find interesting stores. Not like Etsy but it is pretty cool. Read more about the store directory
Use a Custom Domain on Big Cartel
If you have a domain name you purchased, make sure to use it with your shop. It is as simple as following some instructions to make sure you have a unique store url that doesn’t include bigcartel.com.
Using the Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools
Big Cartel provides statistics on product views and some other stats but you can go even further using the google analytics and webmaster tools. I would suggest setting up a google webmaster account and editing the LAYOUT page to include the meta verification tag. You can even now point the webmaster tool to the new sitemap.xml file BC is providing. From the Big Cartel Blog…
Your store now has an automatically generated XML sitemap located at http://example.bigcartel.com/sitemap.xml (replace “example” with your store’s subdomain). This is used to tell search engines about all of your store’s pages, and we now point to this sitemap from your robots.txt file. Don’t worry, if this sounds confusing just know it’s helpful and already working for your store. [source]
Build Inbound Links to Your Online Shop
This is likely the most important of all these items. Inbound links from other sites will always be better than anything you can do to your site markup. The more inbound links the better, as long as you are getting them from reputable sources. Consider linking from twitter, facebook and other social sites. Share your store url from popular forums you frequent and even getting friends in the same niche to write a blog post about your site with links in.
Building traffic is not easy. It takes time and effort. Make a decision to work on building links or improving your text one or two days a week for a month. I would say it takes a minimum of 30 days for most honest strategies to work. Don’t be fooled this can be done in a weeks time.
If you need help with your Big Cartel site I am available for hire, email@example.com