Audience Growth Strategy: Search (with Tiffany Whipps)
- [Megan] So you may recognize Tiffany because she has been a very familiar audience member in a number of CreativeLive classes, which is awesome because I think a lot of people have seen your business evolve from someone who was sitting right there where they were to now really having a very successful business. Why don't you tell everyone a little bit more about what you do? - [Tiffany] I am a jewelry designer, metalsmith. I have grown my business over the course of probably six years. I think I started in 2012, fulltime, 2010 as a hobby. And I've built my business on search. I've also used a lot of the other tactics that Megan has implemented here. It's definitely a multi-strategy approach. But, yeah, I think today, we're going to talk a little bit about how I did that search part. - Perfect. Yeah. So just to remind you, guys, where you're thinking about this, search is really just about getting your products found. And Tiffany is going to go into that so much more. And since this i...
s not in my wheelhouse, this is definitely Tiffany's area of expertise. I'm going to sit down and let her take it away. - All right. So I'm going to start by asking you guys, what do you think of when you hear the term SEO? And just shout them out. - [Together] Keywords. - Keywords? Okay. Google, yup. Those are definitely all parts of search or things that we use in search. We search everything. There are over 3.5 billion searches on Google every day. We search where we're going to go to dinner, where we buy jewelry, how we get from point A to point B. I know that definitely as a maker, I'm sitting in my studio, I'm alone a lot, and I'm asking myself questions. So I'm asking Google those questions. So let's talk a little bit about what SEO is. SEO is helping your ideal customers, sorry. SEO is helping ideal customers, find the products they're looking for using their language. So we're not using jargon here. We're not using your terms as how to make something, we're going to use your customer's language in SEO, because the more you can speak in your customer's language, the better grasp you're going to have on fulfilling their needs, and the more effective you're going to be in reaching them. SEO is a way of saving you time and money by putting your marketing efforts on autopilot. So November, I moved from California back to Oregon. I opened a new shop. I was in the middle of my busiest season ever. I decided to do a pop-up shop in the middle of all of that. I had the busiest holiday season I've ever had, and that's totally because I already had everything all implemented and searched. I didn't have to constantly email my email list, don't tell Megan that. I didn't have to constantly go on social media and talk to my customers. I had already implemented a way for them to find me. They knew how to search what they were looking for and come to my website. I had the biggest sales ever. I'm not saying always do that, I'm saying if you need to put on autopilot that's great. SEO helps you create a more user friendly experience for your customer. If you're speaking your customer's language, you're talking to them directly, they're coming to your website, they know that your product is already for them. So let's talk a little bit about what SEO is not because there's that, too. It's not a quick fix marketing solution. This might take you a week, a month, a year to see results from your efforts. It's a long-term strategy. It's not stuffing a bunch of keywords into your items, titles, or descriptions. Have you been on Etsy and seen that? Have you gone like, "Oh, gold ring. Women's jewelry, jewelry ring. Gemstone ring." And you're like, "What is that?" And you literally have to look at the picture like, "I don't know what you're selling me." And so SEO is not scary or something you need a programmer to do. I think a lot of people get really bogged down in the details. This is a class about simple. It's a class about strategy that you guys can implement right now. So we're going to talk about some ways you can use search and implement this into your everyday life. And hopefully it's going to feel like second nature instead of a chore. So you're on Pinterest. You come across this image. Somebody did a bad job with their SEO and their keywords. They didn't title this picture. It doesn't have a description. And you click through, the link is broken. You have no idea how to get to this thing. What are you going to do? You really, really, really, really, really want this ring. You're like, "I have to have this ring." What are you going to do next? - [Female 1] Google. - [Female 2] Google it. - You're going to Google it, or you're going to search it. You're going to go in some search term and try to search this ring. So if we can have that, we're going to talk about some search terms here. We're going to figure out how we're going to find this ring, right? What do we know about this ring? - It's blue. - It's blue. No, that's great, right? The ring is blue. - Dainty. - Dainty. - Stone. - Gold. - Ross gold. - It's gold. - Yeah. - Or twisted band? - Twisted band. It has a twisted band. Sure. - Chrome bezel. - Braided. - Braided bezel. Maybe it's a gemstone ring. - Raw stone. - It's a raw stone ring. It's a natural stone ring. Okay. Raw, natural. Right. So these are all descriptive terms. Now, we didn't really just say ring, did we? That's great because if you search ring on Google and that's the first thing that you search, what do you think you're going to find? - A million of them. - A million pages of rings. You might even come up with like ringing in the ear or things that have nothing to do with this ring, right? So the first time you go through this, you're probably not going to be like, okay, ring, and land on this, and at least stop with your search results. So that's great. So this is going to bring us to long-tail versus short-tail keyword terms. Long-tail keywords are comprised of three to five words describing your item. And they usually receive less search results, but tend to be better targeted and receive higher conversion rates. Short-tail keyword terms, one to two words, higher search results like ring, smaller conversion rate. If you're typing in ring, you're probably not really ready to buy it. You're in your search phase of this. You're really researching what kind of ring. Now, say you typed in blue gemstone ring with a twisted band and that came up, your pocketbook's out. You're ready to get that ring. That's yours, you're done. So by focusing on a long-tail strategy especially for a small business, it usually results in a more desirable position to target the right customers. So we're going to focus on a long-tail keyword strategy. And how do we figure out where these keywords are at and where your customers are finding on what they're searching? We're going to go into the AdWords Keyword Planner Tool. Say that 10 times fast. So this is actually a strategy we're going to use because it's very multi-purpose. You can go into Etsy and do this search, you can go into Google and do a search. There's a lot of different ways, there's a lot different tools to keyword plan. AdWords Keyword Tool is going to give us a lot of information and condense it down. And it's very multi-purpose across all platforms. So that's what we're going to use today. So we already have the keywords planner up here. We're good to go. So we have a lot of descriptive words there. We're probably going to maybe put them together, right? So maybe we're going to search gold ring with a blue stone? That might be a search term we use. Gemstone ring might be an okay place to start, like gemstone with blue stone. So I'm going to type this in here. "Gemstone ring with blue stone," it doesn't yield a lot of search results. Blue topaz ring, tanzanite ring, so that's interesting. I don't tend to normally use like the descriptor word, but that blue stone ring was actually a tanzanite ring. So maybe you're going to dig a little bit deeper into...Oh, a tanzanite ring. Okay, people are searching for this. What else are they searching for? The other thing you're going to see here is you're going to see your average monthly searches. So you know how many people are actually searching for what you're making, or what you're trying to make, or what you're looking for here. And then you're going to see that in jewelry competition is almost always high. This is just a thing. It's really hard to find a keyword term that's not high-end jewelry. Great. If you had a product that you're selling where your competition is low, its average monthly searches are super-high, and then you can come up with a search term for that, you definitely want to jump on that. That's great. But in this case, we're probably going to come for the least common denominator of high searches here. So large gemstones rings, not really applicable. Blue engagement ring, that's interesting. You can go like, "I wonder if my customer is searching for engagement rings. Who is my ideal customer? Are they getting married? Is that a keyword term I want to rank for?" Maybe. Maybe it's a product you want to create. So you're going to take all these keywords. Anything that goes with what you're trying to sell here and you're going to move it over. And then there's this little like your plan over here, and it saves all your keywords for you. Blue stones in rings, that's a good one. Blue precious stones, big stone rings. So you're going to keep playing with this. It's not going to be a one and done, you're going to come back up here and you're going to be like, "Okay. Well, what happens when I do just gemstone ring? What comes up?" Gemstone engagement rings again. You're like, "Oh, okay. People really want these engagement rings. That's great." I'm going to create a bridal line. Yeah, it's a good thing to do. Gemstone jewelry might be an okay one, stone rings. So then we can go back and we're going to look at this list again. We're going to be like, "Oh, we talked about natural stone rings. I wonder how that comes up." - Are you wanting to choose the ones that are lower numbers? - You're wanting to stay in a category that's a mid-range search. So I wouldn't go under 100 monthly searches. I wouldn't do the 1 to 10. But right now, you're really just searching for your keywords. And then we're going to talk about where we want to stay in the category of average monthly searches in a bit here. So gemstone rings, that might be an interesting one to play with. We'll see what that brings up. So 10,000 or 100,000 searches, that's a really great range to stay in. What did I say? Oh, natural stone rings, that's what we were going to do next. So you can see what your customers are searching for. You can see how many people are actually searching for this. And you're going to just keep popping in ideas of your descriptive terms into this keyword search until you get a general idea of what people are searching for. This is getting you in the brain of your customers, and how people are looking for terms for jewelry. So natural gemstone jewelry, that's a high one. We're in the 100 to 1,000 search, that's pretty good. Blue stone rings, this is popular. People don't even know what they're searching for this. No, they want blue things. Real stone rings, so that's probably a good one to look at. Colored stone engagement ring, natural gemstone rings. So now, we're getting into a good category here. We've got a pretty decent list compiled over here. We're going to pick what we want as our keyword terms. This is definitely dependent on how high that search is, how high that competition is, where you want to be in that range. But what it's really going to depend upon next, is when you go over here to Google, and let's say we want to hit for natural gemstone rings. We're going to go over to Google, and we're going to pop that in, or a search engine and pop that in. So Sundance comes up as a top contender. These are all ads. We're not really trying to hit for ads, we're trying to hit for natural search results. So natural stone ring, Etsy comes up pretty high, this Novica natural stone rings. So what you're really looking for here is that Nordstrom isn't coming up for natural gemstone rings. Some of these really high competitors that have a huge budget that you're never going to be out in search because they have such a huge presence online. You're not going to try to compete with them, you're not going to try to compete for ring. But raw stone ring on Etsy or this natural stone rings over here, A, you're not actually hitting the natural gemstone ring keyword. These people are coming up but they're probably not too hard to compete with. And then you also want to go down to the bottom of your Google search results. And then you see right here where it says, "Searches related to natural gemstone rings, those are other things that people have been searching for really recently. So you know that people are searching Etsy for natural stone rings. They want natural stone band rings. So this is another way that you can gather some of these long-term keyword searches to play with those terms too. So you could go and pop that back in the keyword planner and see if people are actually searching for those things, and how many. So this is not an exact science, you're going to want to play around with it. Nobody knows exactly how they're going to hit on your term, but this is a great way to get into everybody's minds and figure out what's being searched for. So we probably want to pick a term around natural gemstone rings. That's a pretty solid search term that you can probably compete for in Google that is getting quite a few search results, right? Let's see where they're in. Yeah, 1,000 or 10,000 a month, that's great, you want that traffic. So now that we have our keywords, let's see. I'll put my clicker. So by researching market's keyword demand, you're not only learning which terms and phrases to target but you also learn more about your customer's journey and create a better experience for them. So you just got in the mind of your customer. You know that your customer might not be searching tanzanite ring. You know they are definitely searching natural gemstone rings. You also know their next steps. Maybe they're searching for an engagement ring. Maybe they're searching for blue stone ring. So now you can create products. You can create services. You can also create keywords that target them in search. So how do we put all these keywords in the right spots? What do we do with them? This is going to be different for everyone, and this is a really hard thing to do. And some of these are going to be applicable, and some of them aren't. Because if you have your own website, you have a lot more control over how you rank in these. But you can still do this on Etsy. I think Megan showed an example earlier. I ranked number one in Google search for thin gold hoop earrings and that's actually on Etsy. But the best thing you can possibly do is have your own website and have control over all of your keywords. So you're going to put it in your title. I actually chose natural gemstone rings. I think what did I say? Same thing. So it's the first thing in my title. I don't have any other sentences, or words, or long descriptive terms, or other terms people are searching for because Google doesn't register anything over 60 characters. So you don't want big long paragraphs in your title, you want a very succinct title. I put tanzanite because it was relevant when I did a search result. People might be searching for tanzanite gemstone rings. That's also a great place to put if you want to name your jewelry. So your bored, you don't just want to say what your thing is, you want it to be the Melissa ring. Put that there. That's where you put it. But put it after your keyword term. Then I'm going to repeat it. So Google can't see the image of what is attached to this listing, it needs to read something to register it in search results. So I describe what's in the image. I put, natural gemstone ring featuring a raw tanzanite on a gold braided band. This is a sentence. It's a sentence that somebody would read. My customers would come to and they'd be like, "Oh, that's what that product is." Maybe they're on there and the picture isn't loading, but that tells them exactly what it is next. Then I write my paragraph for my customer completely. I'm selling it to a person, I'm not selling it to Google. But I'm still using keywords all throughout the paragraph listing. So it has the word gemstone ring, it has tanzanite in there. It repeats gemstone again. I'm going to speckle this throughout my whole entire copy. It's not going to be written for Google, it's going to be written for my customer. It doesn't matter exactly where you're putting it in, but we know that Google ranks you higher if they see some repeated search terms. So this is where you don't have the control if you're on a third-party site. We're going to use this, an image alts tags. Again, Google cannot see this image. It does not know what that's a picture of, so I'm going to tell it and it says it's a natural gemstone ring. So now, when somebody searches that, there's a better chance of that image coming up. And I'm super visual. So I will click on a picture, sometimes before I will click on a search term or copy, but that's another way to get found in search. Tags. People put a lot of weight on tags. They're not actually all that important. But it's good to repeat your keyword term in your tag, and then go back to that little planner tool where we just put all of those things over in a category all of those different search terms, or all of those words right there and type blue ring, dainty gold ring, twisted band ring, and fill your tags with those. Next again, you're only going to have this if you have your own website. Your URL should have natural gemstone rings in the URL. So it should say, product, natural gemstone rings. If you're on a third-party provider, it might say product 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10. You don't get as much control over that. So this is, again, why it's great to have your own website. Another thing is that I didn't do a slide for. But if you have your own website and you have Etsy, don't copy products from one to the other, create separate listings. Google doesn't like it when you have multiple content in it. So there are those loaders where you can take down your CVS of all of your listings and put that in another website. Don't use it. Create a different listing, find a different keyword, create different descriptions for it, make it different. Last, now that you have everything all pretty in your titles, and tags, and context, Google's a popularity contest. And you win that popularity contest with backlinks. Backlinks our other sites linking to you that have more clout than you do. So search engines give higher ranking to sites with backlinks, and the more credible and relevant to your product, the better for you. So Brigitte Lyons was coming in next. She's going to talk all about PR, which is awesome because I think the best way to get backlinks is to actually reach out to other influencers in your market to gain those. And she's going to tell you how to do that. So if you do your PR homework, do your SEO homework, it's all good. You're done. And then measure your results. So there's Google Analytics. Your websites probably going to have some way of measuring how your search is coming in traffic, what people are using for keywords, things like that, once a month because again, it's going to take a while to come full circle. So once a month, go in there and make sure people are coming to you for what you want to be searched for. You might have to switch this. You might find that something you picked and all of this wasn't exactly what people were looking to buy. So you might have to tweak and measure, and play with that a little bit. But measuring your results is going to help you play with and get more search traffic to your site. - So I actually want to ask you a question before giving it to them. Because this is a lot of new information for me, and I'm like, "Oh, look at all of these ideas." We'll do some questions and then we'll do that hot seat. - Yeah. - So when you're talking about backlinks, does Pinterest help with backlinks? Because that's a lot of linking but... - That's awesome, but it doesn't. Right. So that's why there's going to be a lot of things that you're going to get told about backlinks, there's people who will probably try to sell you backlinks, those aren't great. Again, the best way to get backlinks is from a credible source of another website that is ranking high in Google search that can help you get backlinks. Social media backlinks rank way far down. in getting found interesting. Yeah. - All right. Questions from you guys? Rochelle? - [Rochelle] You said to make the copy different from your Etsy and your website. How different? Do you need to...because the descriptions are the worst thing to have to write. - For sure. Just don't take and copy and paste from one website to the other, vary it a little bit. I would try to get hit for different keywords in each listing. So if you're on Etsy, so I might want natural gemstone ring for that listing, maybe I want raw gemstone ring in Etsy. - Oh, okay. - So try to get hit for a different keyword. - Okay. Awesome. - Like, I wouldn't put thin gold hoops on my website, personal website because I rank that high in Etsy for it. So I'm not going to knock myself out a search game. - So what do you call it on your website? Just a... - Perfect gold hoop earrings. - Oh, right. Okay. - Yeah. Yes? - When you talk about measuring afterwards, are you just measuring that by, like, "This is how many people clicked on my thing versus last month, or this is how many people bought versus last month." - You definitely want to track conversion. if these keywords aren't bringing your, you know, right customers in and converting into actual sales, then you probably don't care that you're getting ranked for those keywords, right? - Okay. - So yeah, a tracking conversion metrics are your best bet. - Actually before we go to our online questions, I have one more question for you. Okay. And I'm learning so much. So this is something that you and I talked a little bit about before we got here. But talk about how having a one-of-a-kind product. Can you talk about how that can or can't work in search? - Yeah. So it still can and there are a few ways to do that. So if you have one-of-a-kind products you can still use search as a strategy. But when you throw that product up there, it sells. If you're taking that down off your website, Megan is a great example, she puts sold-out. And it stays there for a while. If you can let your sold out products live on a static page, and it's on your personal website because I know that once Etsy something sells out, it's going to be like, "Look at all of these other sellers, millions of items." And, you know, they don't make it easy for them just to click back onto your site. So if it's a product that lives on your personal website and it's sold out, keep a link to it somewhere, maybe you're blogging about it and has a link to it. Maybe it's a similar product to something else, I would keep a link living somewhere and then I would relink it to this other product. You can still do that, but it's not helpful. - Awesome. All right. And we have a couple of online questions. So let's take a look at those. - "How often should you review your SEO for previous products?" - So as opposed to creating a new listing. I think they're asking like, "How often should you go back and do that?" - Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Constantly be monitoring that, I tweak and twist my existing listings until they're hitting exactly where I want them to hit. - Awesome. Let's look at the next question. - "I have heard that using tags on a Shopify store can create duplicate pages that would harm you in Google. Any thoughts?" Just using your tags wouldn't create a duplicate page. - Yeah, I'm trying to think how that... - Yeah. Tags are actually pretty irrelevant when it comes to search and when it comes to your product. So I don't think. - Yeah. So it might not be tags on Shopify, it's like you can. So one of the things you can do on Shopify is duplicate a listing. - Yeah. And so that's what I was talking about when we're saying... - Right. Being really strategic about not doing that. - Yeah, correct. - Yeah. So it sounds like maybe this is just an urban legend. As far as I know, that's not true. - Yeah. But I would never use a duplicate listing. But, know you can, but then, go in and switch that around. If you want some pricing things to go in there, that's fine. But make sure you're just switching out what that listing is actually saying in the URL listing. - There's so much work to do now. I use that duplicate button all the time. - Yeah. - Okay. I've got fix...Can I have my computer while I'm sitting here? I have work to do. I think we have one more question. - So that goes back to the long-tail keyword. So, "How many keywords does Tiffany choose to use in a single product listing or blog post?" It depends on this long-tailed versus short-tailed, right? Three to four keywords if you're going for that long-tail strategy is great. One to two is probably not going to hit you in the right spot. I wouldn't go any lengthier than three to five words to try to hit for that keyword. Again, under 60 characters. - Perfect.