Monday, July 14, 2014

Teachers Pay Teachers Conference July 2014 Session 2 Notes

Thank you so much for all of your positive feedback about my posts!  Honestly, I am learning even more as I process my notes to write these posts so it is a plus for me as well! If you missed my previous posts you can find them here:

                                                               Day 1: Keynote notes
                                                               Day 2: Session 1 Notes 

All of the presenters uploaded their session handouts to TpT for free.  You can find the handouts for this session here.

The Data Advantage: Optimize Your Store {TPT Session T09}

I wish I was able to share some great pictures with you from this session, but this was my view.  The room was packed!

I did learn a ton during this session, so I will share that with you! Ryan opened up the presentation with this really cool Mario Brothers themed app of some sort that would go off every time someone in the room made a sale.  It was really neat and I wish I could have shown it to you!  He did give us the average earnings for everyone in the room.  It was pretty amazing!

That number is $6,899 if you can't see it.

Being the "Data Ninja" Ryan gave us some helpful tips on how the search ranking works at TpT along with a few other key tidbits.


Search is personalized for each buyer based on items they have looked at and purchased.  That is one of the reasons why we don't usually see ourselves in the featured seller page (we don't buy from ourselves!).

When a person searches for a certain term, the algorithm factors in the buyer's past purchases along with the sales performance of the items. Top sellers' items might come before items that haven't sold as many.  You can see the exact details in the handouts with the (scary looking to some) page with the equations.  It is under the heading How Sorting Works.  The next page shows how items that are sold more have preference in the rankings using the conversion rate which is the # of times a product is sold divided by the # of product views multiplied times 100.  The higher percentage this is, the higher you will rank in the search.

If you don't read any other handout from the conference - read this one!

29% of users search right from the TpT website itself.

How Can I Optimize My Products For Search?

Product titles should be descriptive and simple.  Save the cute names for the covers.  For example, if you title is Dunking Time (a basketball themed division game of some sort) it might not get as many hits as a product entitled Division Review Game.

Ryan pointed out Kelley's Good Morning Work products that garner top page views when searching for good morning work.  Did you know that there are over 185,000 searches for morning work?

If you want to know what buyers are searching for, look at the top bar where you search.  If you click in this box a list of suggestions comes up.  These are the top 5 searches from the day before. I just took this screen shot as I was typing this post.  I had also peeked at it Friday night (the words were the same), so I think it would be safe to check it out weekly if you wanted to know what buyers are looking for.

He suggested putting the parts that will most likely be searched for in the front of your titles.  I already fixed  my own products Kicking It Math - I changed them to have the fact fluency in front instead of the Kicking It Math.  These products are for helping students master their math facts, and that might not be obvious from the name.

Multiplication Fact Fluency Program - Kicking It Math

He assured us that changing the name does not effect any previous links you may have had anywhere else.  What do you think of the title change?  Is it more descriptive?


As of right now, the common core standards that you click on are not included in search.  Keep clicking on them because it is coming, but you will want to list them in the product description as well if you want them to come up in the search.

Don't over tag grade levels.  Don't put K-12 on letter recognition items.  It isn't fair to the high school sellers when your item comes up and it really isn't fair to the buyers who are looking for something else entirely.  Just use the tags that truly fit your product.

Kelley Dolling - Teacher Idea Factory

Goal Setting

Next up was Kelley Dolling from the Teacher Idea Factory. She told us a little but about her story of turning lemons into lemon-aid when she was forced to take time off her teaching job because of a surgery.  During her recovery time she turned to Teachers Pay Teachers to keep her busy and keep her mind off of what she was missing at school.

Kelley is a pro at ranking high in the search engines at TpT and in tracking her data.  In the handouts are samples of the sheets she uses to track her goals.  Kelley says that she keeps these goal sheets posted on her wall near her desk to keep her on track. She can look up at it and see if there is anything she needs to tweak to meet her goals.  She says it is also helpful to be able to see the growth from quarter to quarter and year to year.  I started keeping a similar goal sheet and I have to agree it is fun to see the growth, especially on those slow days.

Some Tips:

* Track data from many sources (sales, followers, votes, Facebook, blog followers, etc.)
* Put goals where you can SEE them.
* Make changes to products where you don't rank high or areas where you aren't ranking high

As I was commenting on blogs this morning, I noticed that Jennifer White from First Grade Blue Skies has shared some notes and handouts from her presentation.  I did not get to attend her session, so I was excited to see this and wanted to share the info with you as well! Her session was on making your products pop!

I have donated items to a few giveaways going on right now, so you will want to head over and enter to win some amazing prizes.

The second is our Hot Summer Giveaway where we are giving out a ton of gift cards!  Just in time for back to school!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks so much for posting all that you learned, Kelly! I didn't go to Vegas but I've certainly enjoyed reading your posts- much appreciated! :)
    Learning to the Core


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