Keywords are only the beginning to getting found in search. If you’ve been selling online for anytime at all, you’ve probably heard the term “search engine optimization” (SEO). From Wikipedia, SEO “is 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.” The idea being, the better ranked the website, the higher it appears in search results, the more visitors it will receive from search engine users.
If you want to improve your SEO and get found online, here is one thing we all know for sure:
Tried and true: Relevant keywords
The number one way online sellers and bloggers try to influence SEO and their ranking is by using relevant keywords. This tactic is very easy to implement – you simply need to anticipate what your audience or target market commonly searches for. What problems are they looking to solve?
For example, if I think SEO is something that might interest my blog readers, I use it in the title and the first sentence of my blog post to attract creative business owners searching for that topic.
As another example, if I think people are searching “meditation jewelry” to find pieces like the ones I sell at the Energy Shop, I title a category in my Etsy shop, “meditation jewelry” and include the word again in appropriate listings, such as Men’s Jasper Meditation Bracelet.
Improving the keywords on your site is important; it’s fundamental. You must do it for your site to make sense to your potential customer. As I mentioned in the article, How to Stand Out in the Handmade Marketplace and Appeal to Your Niche, using proper keywords is key to speaking the customer’s language and creating a connection.
That said …
Here’s what it really takes to get found
I have never relied on Etsy for website traffic; my strategy has always been to attract customers elsewhere on the web and point them to my site. Whether I’m writing a guest post, populating a Facebook ad, or pinning items on Pinterest, I see my online presence as a web that invites like-minded people to connect with me. If our interests match and we form a connection, my articles and pins eventually lead them to my online store – a funnel that I built with intention.
What do my hundreds of guest posts, Marketing Creativity website, Facebook account, Pinterest account, and Twitter account have in common? They all link to Energy Shop Jewelry.[Tweet “Want to know the real secret to high-ranking #Etsy SEO?”]
In SEO speak, those links I’ve created to my online storefront are called “backlinks.” From Wikipedia, the number of backlinks a website has is “one indication of the popularity or importance of that website.” If you were to run a google search on “Energy Shop Jewelry”, “energyshop” or even “Energy Shop”, you’ll find my site on page one of the results. That didn’t happen overnight, and it was certainly no accident.
The web of links I’ve built online is the real secret to my high Google rankings. Yes, I use relevant keywords. But I mean, really, wouldn’t it all be a bunch of nonsense if I didn’t? Good keywords evolve over time the more you refine your voice and the better you learn to connect with the people who truly matter.
Spreading the word = Building your web
I tell people to blog, and share, and include links to their business around the web frequently. During coaching calls, my clients often challenge that advice. They say,
“Who has time for that?”
“I wouldn’t know what to say.”
“Nobody sees it.”
And to that I answer, “Do it anyway.” Make time for it, or your website will most likely get lost in the crowd. Don’t know what to say? Here are 27 Blog Topics you’ll have fun writing. You’re right, nobody will see it … at first. But you still have to believe in it when they’re not looking. Until next time and all the best.
I needed this today!! I really did…..just that little don’t give up,…..and you are right……all in due time!!! I have been so bombarded with trying to learn all this GOOGLE crap….my head hurts…..my eyes burn…..and I have a store full of stuff to get loaded, but I HAVE TO DO IT RIGHT this time!
I am taking you up on your advice and as soon as I get my listings loaded……I am proceeding to my next goal, consistently blogging, FB ads, PROMOTIONS…BACKLINKS!!!!!!!!!
Consistency is key! Thanks for adding, Angela 🙂 Best of luck to you.
You’re so right, as usual, Lisa! I just need to get brave enough to start asking for the guest posts! Thanks for the gentle nudge in the right direction.
Hi, Lucy 🙂 I’m glad this article resonated with you! Thanks.
This is great advice for all bloggers and Etsy sellers – thank you! It’s one of my goals this year to drive traffic to my store from other sites because currently Etsy accounts for 80% of my traffic. It makes me nervous being so dependent on Etsy and their search engine for my sales. I worry that if it changes I’ll lose a significant amount of my business.
Listen to your intuition its usually right. You are worried, so do something about it and make yourself less stressful. You really don’t need that on your shoulders while building your business. I checked out your site, loving your journals:) Why not simply add a shop onto you r blog. Put your shop on the front end, have your blog on the back end. I checked out the place where you got your WordPress theme from and they have a plugin section that offers plugins that will add a eCommerce (shop) (wpvortex.com/wordpress/wordpress-ecommerce-plugins/)to your site really easily.
Do that slowly, add a optin form (mailchimp) to your site also. Then start driving traffic to your own site and to Etsy. Over time can start pushing all traffic to your own site if you wish. Still have your Etsy store but also have peace of mind that you also have full control over your own store too.
Hi, Ali 🙂 Etsy changes search algorithms regularly, and I feel you! I do my best with SEO, but I don’t rely on any third party for my traffic and sales.
Creating a customer email list through your blog and Etsy “thank you” emails will help you retain direct contact with your customers. As Janet said above, I also recommend Mail Chimp for its free and reliable service. They’ll offer you a landing page where your customers can opt-in, allowing you to take better control of your site’s traffic.
Best of luck to you and thanks so much for adding!
Yes Seo and backlinks can and will boost your business. But don’t go on a backlinking spree because that will harm your business instead of helping it. Especially now how Google is clamping down on anything that looks spammy. So you have to be careful and build your back links over time.
Every time you do link back to your shop or blog use a different keyword from you long keyword list. This makes your backlinks more natural plus you start ranking in Google and other search engines for more words.
Also go with 3, 4 or more keywords instead of just 1 or 2. These are called long tail keywords which few people use but are more targeted.
Here’s a tip on getting others to create backlinks for you 🙂 Use Pinterest and create something that’s worth pining like a printable, something of mega value. Also make it evergreen meaning it will be relevant for years to come. Now create your printable & add a pdf about your business, with a few product images, url, email and put these file in a zip folder. Don’t just upload the pdf to your site. When you add it to a zip folder you can put some nice surprises in there too. So when people click on the image to download, thye instead get your zip file full of nice goodies.
When others re-pin your image they are creating a backlink to your post. Plus spreading your free printable offer around, which means more people will come to your blog to download it and check out your blog.
If you have Google analytic, or statcounter, the data will be surprise you at how many people will come and download your printable even when your post is mega old. Thus creating a traffic stream that you can set and forget, how awesome it that.
Curious… I thought Pinterest used the “no follow” on their links so they don’t “count” as backlinks?
It’s a “nofollow” unless you’ve verified your site on Pinterest, in which case it will be considered a “dofollow”. If you have your own domain, you can add and verify your site using your profile on Pinterest.
Awesome! Thanks for clarifying!
Wow — I always enjoy your posts but this one really grabbed me. I like the concise tips that are really focused and that has now motivated me in many ways. My shop has really blossomed since I changed my focus from views (any views, treasury views, churning for new-item views, etc) to sales-from-views. For ex, my views are down sharply from last year but my sales are much higher (as is my producitivitiy!), because of refining my SEO and keyword match-ups. What you’re saying IS really making a difference!! Thank you!
Thank you, Sheryl. Congratulations on your wonderful results. That’s amazing!!
Thank you so much for putting things into perspective for me. Sometimes I feel like I am wandering aimlessly and not promoting anything. This article has be back on track!