Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How to Benefit from Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is described in Wikipedia as “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results.”  So what does that mean to people like you and me trying to get noticed on Etsy? I did some research on this subject and though most of what I found applied to websites and more specifically to webmasters designing sites, much of what I learned could be used to help drive traffic to your product pages or your Etsy site.

The first thing  you want to keep in mind is that search engines do not look at your page the same way a human does. The next thing is to know that key words are key in getting found by a search engines. This starts with the item title when you are listing an item for your Etsy shop. Titles should not be longer than 65-75 characters as engines quit crawling after that. It should also be descriptive of what your item is and should include appropriate keywords. For example if you are listing a painted wine glass with poppies on it you would want the item title to read something like this: “Hand Painted Wine Glass With Poppies.” “Or Hand Painted Poppy Wine Glass.” It is helpful to think how you would ‘Google’ your item if you were looking for it. Ask yourself, “If I was searching for hand painted wine glasses what would I type in the search box?” Chances are what you would type is exactly what your customer who is trying to find you would type as well. 

In the description area you want to reinforce the key words from your title in the body of the text. In the Poppy wine glass example you would want your description to read something like this: “Hand painted wine glass has Poppies surrounding the 20 oz goblet. Imagine enjoying your favorite wine from this beautifully hand painted Poppy wine glass.” You do not want to get carried away with the repetition as search engines can read that as spam and will then not store or index your site for searches. Remember the first few lines of your description will be shown in the search result on Google or Bing so what you say in the first line or two is crucial to get customers to click through. 

As an experiment put your Etsy shop name in any search engine you use. See what comes up. Take note of what a potential customer’s first contact is with you.  Play around with your item titles and descriptions and watch your shop stats to see if it makes a difference. You will not notice anything over night but if you consistently use descriptive and appropriate key words in your titles and content you will get noticed in the search engines and start to move up in the search results. Will you make it to the first page, maybe not but you will increase your exposure. 

The next thing to keep in mind is that search engines look for longevity as well as how often sites or pages are updated. What this translates into for you and me is that if you have sold an item that you can reproduce and then update pictures of it is better to relist it than to create a new listing. For your shop it is good practice to add new items regularly. It not only keeps people coming back to see what is new it also keeps the search engines looking at your page. 

There is a lot of information available on this topic; try ‘Googling’ it and you will see what I mean. I have a list of the sources I used in this article below; I would encourage you to check out the links for a more in depth analysis than I have time to present here. If you have anything you would like to add please post a comment so that we may all share what we have learned to help our business grow.

Google has a great guide if you want to learn more than I have time to share here. 
Another great source is

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