Thursday 27 June 2013

Off-Site Search Engine Optimization for Artisans' Online Stores

   This post has been written by for publishing on A Blackbird's Epiphany. He is an expert in SEO, so this information is quite valuable. You may even notice that he has given an active example of SEO boosting in this very post! Thanks Brandon, I'm certain we will all appreciate this help!

   When selling your online crafts at virtual marketplaces such as Etsy, ArtFire, or TheCraftStar it is important to stand out from the crowd and make a name for yourself.  If not, someone else will, and you will get lost with the thousands of other artisans selling their products online.

   Search engine optimization consists of on-site SEO and off-site SEO. In this post we are discussing how to utilize off-site SEO to maximize your store's exposure, get more traffic to your page, and, ultimately, more sales of your products. On-site means anything that is done to the website to get it ranking higher, where as off-site involves nothing to do with the website, but rather promoting it on other channels.

   A good starting point is to open business pages for your store and brand it properly on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and other sites if you have time. Using RSS feeds you can make it so that if you update Facebook it will update Pinterest and Twitter accounts. Using IFTTT you can set this up easily and for free.  It is important to link your social media accounts together as this will save you time and energy, but just be sure the message you send out is appropriate for all social channels.

   Write articles and press releases about your store and your products. Make sure to link back to your store where possible, as these links will move your site up the rankings. Write quality posts, and they are sure to gain traction on their own via social networking sites. Share these articles with other bloggers or on free/paid article directory sites such as Ezine Articles. With article writing, it is more about quality of writing over the quantity. You can write hundreds of low quality articles that no one will want to read or link back to, but if you write a few high quality articles, people will likely link back, share them on social networks, and comment on it, all of which will greatly increase your SEO rankings.

   When performing off-site SEO and gaining new inbound links, one thing to keep in mind is that not all links are treated equally. A link from Wikipedia has more value than a link from an article directory. Try to find links from authoritative sites, which are do-follow, and are related to your topic. These links will be much more beneficial than generic links.

   Another technique is to join popular forums related to your niche and become active members.  Start joining in with discussions, creating discussions, and answering questions. If you establish yourself as a knowledgeable and credible source, people will respect what you say. Do not promote yourself, this will get you banned, but mention your crafts and in your signature place a link back to your store and social networking sites. Only put 2 – 3 links in your signature so it does not look like SPAM.  

   Off-site SEO is very important when marketing yourself online, so study up and learn other techniques and methods not discussed above. There are tons of ways to market yourself; you just have to be creative and original in your ideas. Following the above techniques will get your online marketplace full of buyers wanting your crafts.


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