Online selling and shopping have increased tremendously in the recent years because the Internet offers so many possibilities for both retailers and consumers all over the world. Convenience, better prices, easy access to a wide range of markets, products, or services and the possibility to thoroughly inform yourself prior to making a purchase or selling something are important advantages offered by the booming eCommerce industry.
However, in this digital landscape of endless opportunities special attention should be given to search engines and their crucial role in connecting buyers and sellers, make your products and services visible, drive traffic to your online store and increase the awareness on your business or work. And all these aspects are just the tip of the iceberg of one of the most important online marketing tools called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
But what is SEO and why is it so important?
Search Engine Optimization is an online technique and strategy used to improve the position of your website in the organic (or natural) search results returned by the major search engines Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. The aim is to obtain a high-ranking placement in searches performed over the Internet so that you can attract visitors to your online store, increase the traffic, online visibility, and eventually your sales. SEO focuses on how search engines work (their search algorithms), what people search for and the keywords or search terms used in a search query. It can also target other types of searches such as images and videos, news search, academic search and other kinds of content in order to bring you exposure and publicity in one of the most efficient ways.
Nowadays, statistics show that more than 80% of both online and offline buying decisions are made based on online research using popular search engines. That’s why SEO has become mandatory for everyone interested in selling or become visible online.
How should a crafter apply SEO?
Being a crafter is always about using your creativity and artistic skills to do what you like. And the Internet is one of the most important avenues where you can showcase your work, advertise your original creations, and reach the prospects and the audience you need in order to transform your passion into a profitable business.
When preparing to enter the digital world, SEO should always be present in your marketing and advertising efforts and should be concentrated on both on-page and off-page optimization.
On-Page SEO – refers to the configuration setting you have to apply to your own website and optimize it so that you can improve your search engine rankings. This is basically the part you have control over and can be changed having in mind the following:
- Great and original content: text, images, videos, comments, blog articles should be original and of high quality. Avoid copying or re-writing existing ones as you will be penalized by search engines. Your content should be useful and impress visitors by making them relate to your work and what it can offer.
- Page titles, descriptions, and formatting should be unique, not too long, and displayed in a fluid and readable way. Build them after making research on specific keywords and popular search terms related to your products, activity, and work.
- Group your pages into categories so that visitors can find what they want faster and search engines can crawl your website efficiently.
- Pay attention to URL (web address) structure and internal linking. Good URLs should not be longer than 255 characters while internal links should be included only when they are useful to your visitors and point to other relevant pages on your website.
Off-page SEO – refers to activities outside the boundaries of your website, the most important ones being Link Building and Social Media.
- You can build links to your website that will increase your ranking in search engines by creating awesome content people would like to link to or share with the help of social networks.
- Publish guest posts on sites related to yours that will have links to your online store or a specific product or event.
- Participate in forum discussions and use forum signatures that include a link to your website or a specific product.
- Use websites like reddit.com, stumbleupon.com, digg.com or other social bookmarking resources to promote your content.
All in all, SEO can be a very powerful tool in the hands of any crafter who wishes to become active in the digital world. Simple SEO steps can make a huge difference in your online advertising efforts as search engines develop and become more complex every day. Whether you do it by yourself or hire a SEO specialist these efforts can definitely make the difference between success or failure in today’s highly competitive market.