“SEO” is one of those marketing buzzwords we hear all of the time, but have you stopped to really find out what it means for your business?
Whether you own an Etsy shop, run a craft blog, or sell wares from your very own branded site, SEO is a real make or break opportunity for your business.
But what is it exactly?
To put it technically, search engine optimization is how your website communicates to a search engine (think: Google) that you exist and can respond to the search the user is typing into the engine’s search bar. Keywords and phrases are little beacons of light calling search engines and searchers to your shore (or, more accurately, your store).
So how do keywords come in to play for your business? SEO coach and strategist Gary Hughes says it’s best to start start a list of search terms and phrases (aka: keywords) and make sure they’re built into your site. Then put them in heavy rotation on your blog, in your product descriptions, and when you post to social.
To help you call your search ships to shore, Gary put together a list of rules for rules for picking better keywords.
Think like a buyer. The real point is to use the same words the buyer uses, not the pros in the field. For instance, I do floral design, but brides don’t shop for “floral designers,” they shop for “wedding flowers.” By using common language you are aligning yourself with shoppers who are actually planning on buying your products, not your creative peers.
Don’t pick a fight you can’t win. Every maker has some competition so, says, Gary, “Don’t go out and pick the biggest baddest keyword.” If the traffic is high, but the competition is, too (something a keyword planning tool can help you suss out), move on to another target.
Look for the low hanging fruit. “We want the keywords no one is paying attention to,” Gary advises. You likely offer a range of designs, services, or products, so if you can write blogs, create pages, and run ads to the target keywords that no one else is competing for, you’ll probably get more traction. As Gary explains, a low competition keyword phrase with 170 searches a month, an admittedly low number, is still 170 people looking for that service.
Cast a wide net. Gary says that “people have to see you several times before they make that purchase,” so don’t hesitate to think big and try keywords for people who are searching for things related to the ones you offer. For example: optimized blogging about regional wedding venues is one way for a local floral designer to get their name in front of a couple before they are even shopping for flowers.
To integrate all of this work into social media, think about the teaser text you’ll post when you share product photos or links to blog posts. For Facebook, that’s obvious. You can post an update that includes the search term you are targeting. Similarly on Instagram, you can use that term and related ones as hashtags. When it is time to post to Pinterest don’t forget to take full advantage of that Pin description and be sure to include your target keywords. Just be sure to do it in a natural way that doesn’t come across as spammy to your customers OR the search engine. The clicks you get from those social posts fortify the work you are doing on your site and in your shop.
Are you ready to start selling your handmade craft projects?
Download our free PDF: Etsy 101: A Guide to Getting Started! This comprehensive collection of notes, worksheets, and slides from Marlo Miyashiro’s class, Etsy 101: Launch Your Handmade Shop gives you the tips and insights you need to launch a successful Etsy shop!