Thursday, September 30, 2010

An interview with SEOWebDesign

A lot of us Artsy Crafty types have a hard time doing some of the nerdier aspects of selling on the Internet. I have been researching SEO and it makes my head explode.

After reading this Etsy forum thread from SEOWebDesign I now only have a migraine like headache.

SEOWebDesign sells a wonderful SEO guide for Etsy sellers in her shop. I have read it and I'm working to improve my shop. Sales have increased, so I think it just might be working.

Mary, before I get to your shop, could you explain what SEO is

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a web site or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. The earlier (or higher on the page), and more frequently your site appears in the search results list, the more visitors you will receive from the search engine.

Algorithms are complex formulas that the search engine programs use to determine the value of every Web page on the Internet.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work is the same for each web site or blog. There are two main elements to SEO. First the content: meta tags, on-page text and image optimization, and linking, which are clickable links leading from one web site to another or from one web page to another. The optimized content tells the search engines what each web page is about. The linking, or link popularity, propels a web site or web page up higher in the search engine rankings for the keywords that are used.
A web site that comes up high or in the top of the search engine search results for a popular and much-used search term can be very successful in terms of sales. Most people don't look past the first page of search results when they are looking for something on the Internet and most searchers start looking at the web sites one by one starting at the top.
It's very beneficial to invest the time or money in SEO and come out on the top of the search results.

Tell us a little about your shops and Websites

My Etsy shops are: - for my SEO and Web design work - for my graphic design work - for digital collage sheets

My Web sites: - my web site - my SEO Web design blog

How did you get started in this line of work?

SEO Web design is just about perfect for me. Working with both logic and design is a "Happy Place" for me. I went to art school when I was young and while I was working as a computer programmer.

Computer programming is a very demanding field. Long hours as well as around-the-clock availability are often expected. As I got older, I continued working in computer programming and systems design but didn't always have time for creative work or hobbies. This imbalance in my life really bothered me, I was very unhappy.

When the Internet came along, I started "playing" with Web design and programming. I decided to take a risk and go out on my own when I ran out of excuses for staying stuck in the job I was so unhappy with.
SEO was a nice discovery, soon after I started designing Web sites and I made a study of SEO so that I could create more successful Web sites for my clients.

Most of all, I wanted to work from home, listening to the music I love, enjoying the company of my cats and having the freedom to make my own hours. I love working alone and don't miss the noisy offices or people I used to work with at all!

What brought you to Etsy?

I had known about Etsy since 2005 or 2006 and had bought a few things now and then. I often enjoyed just browsing through Etsy to look at all the different handmade arts and crafts - something to add to my life-long love of going Arts and Crafts Fairs every summer.

One day, while browsing through Etsy, I accidentally came across graphic design listings, and thought "I can do that". I quickly opened my first Etsy shop, I wanted to do more visually creative work in addition to my designs through my Web design work. With Web design there's more time spent on program coding than on designing the look of the Web site. I really wanted to spend more time on visually creative work.

I opened my first shop, selling graphic designs over two years ago. Over time, I saw that there were many Etsy sellers creating their own web sites but most had no idea of how to make their sites successful in the search engines. This realization gave me the idea of opening a second shop just for SEO web design in December, 2008.

Etsy shop owners are very independent people with a strong Do-It-Yourself attitude and are more open to ebooks and guidebooks than to having someone do something for them. My first guidebook was about creating successful web sites and blogs. I'm in the process of revising and simplifying the Web Site and Blog Success guidebook so that even someone very new to the Internet can use and get good understandable guidance from it.

As I become more familiar with how Etsy worked as a Web site and sa
w the program code for each web page, I saw that each Etsy shop could be search engine optimized. I initially offered only custom Etsy Shop SEO and developed my Etsy Shop SEO Guidebook from my experiences with those projects. I enjoy teaching and love it when someone tells me that my SEO guidebook is understandable.

Here are some of your Tips I found Helpful

Most searches on the Internet begin with keywords or search terms. Many of these are used over and over again. For example, when someone is looking for handmade jewelry, all or part of the search term is usually "handmade jewelry." “

If your shop has your shop name or something cute in the title”...”you are missing on an opportunity to get visitors”

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo read the Web page title to see what your Web page is about and then add your Web page to all the Web sites that use to those same keywords. “

“This is also true of your
section names “... “Click on any section in your own shop and look at how the title changes to whatever words you are using in your section names”

Find keyword phrases that are very relevant to your products or services. Do not use single words like "jewelry." Words like this are so competitive on the Internet that your shop would disappear somewhere on page 500 for that word and no-one would ever find it on Google or Yahoo.”

Googles Keyword Tool can be found here:

You can also link your google analytics to the tag report is user friendly and will help you see what tags people are using to bring them to your shop. Use this to see how your new keywords are working.

Mary's SEO Guide gives a clearer Idea of how to title your shop and sections using these keywords.

Another thing I found very interesting is how linking to your own shop and other items in your shop, within your own listings, can raise your search rankings.

I found the guide extremely useful at a reasonable price. I have worked a bit with metatags in a past life, so I am familiar with the terms used in the Guide. If you get the guide, don't be overwhelmed with the language. There is more than enough easy to understand tips and Mary will be happy to help if you do not understand some of the terms.

and you can join her on facebook


Pili said...

A lot of very helpful tips, Cinders!

SEO Serch Engine Optimisation said...

Search engine optimization helps your get the share of your market, which you might be loosing otherwise to your competition.

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