According to Etsy's beginners guide, the most important thing to think about when opening your Etsy shop is Your Name.
My shop's name is Handmade + Cute.
Is it great and memorable so others can find you again?
Uh...it's easy to remember but not necessarily great so I guess the answer is "no".
Is it (a) easy to pronounce, (b) easy to spell, (c) interesting and (d) tells others about your shop's sense of style?
(a) yes (b) except for the "+" for "and" it is easy to spell (c) the "+" makes is different (d) definitely speaks about my sense of style.
Shorter tends to be better than longer.
shucks...my shop's name is on the longer side.
Avoid common words, number strings and consonant strings.
Common! I don't have number strings or consonant strings but I see my "+" symbol as a problem.
Is my shop name "Google-able"?
Now this question is tricky. I opened my Etsy shop, my blog and my Twitter accounts around the same time this year- March 2010. My Flickr has been opened quite a bit longer under another name but I use Flickr to host many of my crafty photos. When I Googled 'handmade cute', my blog, my Twitter and my Flickr accounts appeared on the first page of the 4,100,000 search results. My Etsy shop is buried away somewhere in that haystack of those million straws. I gave up scrolling for my Etsy link after page 4 of the search results. Hmmm...why is my Etsy shop nowhere to be found in my Google search?
Now, let's say someone got my name wrong and Googled 'cute handmade', I'm out of luck because none of my links showed up on the result pages and I scrolled to page 5. I'm not very familiar with tags, keywords and all that search optimization stuff but now I'm wondering if I should start describing my products as cute and handmade...?
Am I in the danger zone?
I could well be in the "danger zone". After all, I have a shop name that is quite generic, has a funny symbol, is on the longer side and is not unique. An option would be for me to open a new Etsy shop that meet the criteria but do I want to do that?
No, I do not want to open a brand new Etsy shop. I am very pleased with myself for my 7 sales, proud of the 100% positive feedback, thrilled to have 44 users who "favorite" my shop, overjoyed to have been listed in 3 user Treasuries and don't want to pay the twenty-cents listing fees again. I know others are further along and have had greater success than I have but each of these warm fuzzies mean a lot to me. Furthermore, although my Etsy shop is nowhere on the front pages of a Google search, my blog is listed number 3 out of 4,100,000 search results and that must be a wonderful thing. Someone may not be searching for my shop in particular but there is a possibility that the generic "handmade" "cute" words may bring them to my blog, Twitter or Flickr profiles and in turn, to my Etsy shop.
In short, I will keep my shop's name but make a small change to it by calling it Handmade Cute and getting rid of the "+" symbol which does nothing for the name and probably is not search engine friendly. http://handmadecute.etsy.com/ is my url address so the change will not affect my user name.
For those who have considered changing your shop's name, here is a helpful Etsy article.
And...I'd like send out a huge "T H A N K S" to those who read and follow my blog!