What is SEO and why do you need to do it?

If you’ve been working on your craft business and trying to bring it all online then you’ve probably heard of SEO.  So what is SEO and why do you need to do it?  When does it matter?

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym that simply stands for Search Engine Optimisation.  In the most simplest terms, it means making your website, or Etsy shop as good as it can be so it is found in search results.

So for example.  Let’s say that you are selling a necklace.  In order for the search engine to know that Google won’t know unless you tell it that that’s what it is.  If you never mention the word necklace there, it will have no idea that you’re selling that.

 

What’s a search engine?

A search engine is a website that you use to search the web, or to search within a website.  So Google, Bing, Yahoo are all search engines.  You ask them to search the web and they’ll bring you results back.

An individual website may have it’s own search engine within it, for example with Etsy or even Pinterest.  When you search there it brings back results from within it’s own pages.

 

Is all SEO the same?

In a word – no!

What you might need to do to get your website seen and coming up high in the search rankings on Google isn’t the same as what you need to do to get you item ranking high on Etsy.  However the principles are the same – one of the main things is that they require keywords that give clues to the search engine on what your web page, or product listing is about.

There are also other factors, especially for Google SEO.  For example, Google doesn’t like to see duplicate content (so you’d want any descriptions of your products to be unique), they don’t like keyword stuffing (which means just adding in words that aren’t natural to the writing) and they like sites to run fast and much more.  Etsy likes you to have well thought out policies.

Basically the search engines and are in the business of providing GOOD results.  Good results mean relevant results from web pages that run fast, have no errors and where the person will have a positive experience.

 

What is a keyword?  Is it the same as a keyword phrase?  What about long-tail words?

A keyword is a something that describes your webpage, or product listing and will be searched for.

In the example of the necklace – you could just say it’s a necklace and be done with it.  But another way of describing it would be to say it is a ‘elegant silver necklace’.  If that’s also something that would potentially be searched for then it’s a keyword that could be used.

A keyword phrase is something that is more than one word.  It’s harder to get ranked (come high in the search listings) for just single words, because the competition is so great so people tend to try and think of phrases.

Long tail words is a way of saying the same as a keyword phrase really.  It means a much longer string of words that could be searched to bring up your product.  If you’ve ever looked at your stats and found how people came across your site you’d see that they hardly ever search just one word and often it’s a long phrase.

All of these come under the umbrella of SEO and make it up.

 

 

So why do we need to be bothered about it?

The reasons why we should be bothered about SEO is that it provides us with huge potential to get our products and our websites out and in front of people who are actively wanting to know about it.  If someone wants to buy an elegant silver necklace and we have just the thing, then SEO can help bring us both together.  It brings organic traffic, that means traffic that we’re not chasing.  It’s an investment of time and effort that will hopefully continue to pay dividends as time goes on.

 

 

In my next post I’ll be talking about the SEO basics you’ll need to know for your craft business and for Etsy.

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