Thursday, January 27, 2011

SEO Made Easy Part 2: Choosing an Effective Keyword Phrase

Since a keyword phrase is so critical to better SEO, I feel compelled to explain the steps of how to choose one first. Then, I will tell you briefly where it goes. If you missed part one, really, you should go back and read it.

SEO Made Easy Part 2
A tutorial in layman’s terms about getting your online shop found.

A Scenario.
You opened a new online shop. Your carefully crafted items are displayed showing off your newly honed product photography skills and amazing descriptive writing which even the seeing impaired can easily visualize. You have all your virtual ducks in a row: banner, announcement, profile, and policies all filled. You wait for customers to come rushing in, but all is quiet in the online front. Your views are low and your shop is like an ice cream store... in the dead of winter ... in Alaska ... during a blizzard. In disbelief, you keep refreshing your screen to see if new views have come in. Nope. Nada. So, you wander into the Forums and ask “is this website broken?”

Effectiveness Counts.
Using an effective keyword phrase means the difference between getting views from Google on your listings versus getting no views at all. What makes up an effective keyword phrase?

An effective keyword phrase includes:
1. general shop category (i.e. art, handmade)
2. specific item category (i.e. paintings, purses)
3. a unique selling point (i.e. textured, fabric)

Since presumably you have a good grip on 1 (where you are selling), and 2 (what you are selling), then number 3 will be our focus.

Recycled Examples (hey, it’s a free blog you’re reading so I am allowed to recycle).
Ineffective Phrase: “paintings”
More effective phrase “textured acrylic art paintings”
Ineffective Phrase: “handmade bags”
More effective phrase “handcrafted fabric purses”

An effective keyword phrase includes a specific word which describes the shop’s specialty. So now, you have to ask yourself, “what is my shop’s specialty?” Basically, what sets your shop apart? Why would people want to buy your stuff? What is your Unique Selling Point?

A Definition.
A ‘unique selling point’ can be best explained this way. What is the sole (unique) compelling reason (selling) for people to want to give you their money (the point).

A Small Tip.
If you are selling on an artisan online marketplace touting handmade, then just having handmade as your “uniqueness” will not do. You need to dig deep down inside and figure out what is truly unique about your shop’s merchandise.

Some Questions You Can Ask Yourself.
Do you have a specific style? A specific flair. A talent not a lot of people have. (Notice how I didn’t not say ‘no one has’ but ‘not a lot have’.) A theme your shop represents. A technique you use all the time. A specialty. A novelty item. An unusual way of doing things. A brand identity.

Lesson 1: If you figure out what is unique about your shop and what is compelling about your merchandise, then you have figured out the secret to marketing your wares effectively.

A Tool.
There is a Google tool which can assist in figuring out which words to use for your keyword phrase. Keep in mind that it is simply a tool. It is not a crystal ball. Quite simply it is a statistics tool. You type in a word, click search, and it tells you how many people use that word during their search online. That is all. That is it.

In order to use the Google tool, you need to start with a few words that you are considering for your keyword phrase. Remember, it is not a crystal ball; so, it will not tell you the best words to use. This part you have to figure out for yourself. No magic wand and no skipping to the end for your net results. You will need to do the legwork on this one.

A Suggestion.
So to start, type in words which describe the category you sell in (i.e. art, handmade). You will see the number of people who use ‘art’ or ‘handmade’ as their search words. Second, research words which describe the actual wares you sell (i.e. paintings, bags). Lastly, type in words which somehow sets your shop apart (i.e. textured, fabric, miniatures, bunny clothes, etc). Analyze which words will bring you a lot of traffic and which ones will bring in a specific market. Now, you are well on your way to figuring out which effective keyword phrase to use for your shop.

Google Keyword Tool Link

Lesson 2. Use the Google Tool as a starting point. Figure out which words will grab the larger audience and which words will narrow down the market to get the people looking for your unique stuff to your shop.

A Case Study.
A shop which sells acrylic painted art with textures. Their keyword phrase is “textured acrylic art paintings”. They could have used the phrase “art paintings”. Those words would be fine, but they added the words “acrylic” and “textured” to their keyword phrase to get a more specific audience. Why is this important, you ask.

Answer 1: You are competing with millions of shops online. If you use a general phrase, your shop link will end up competing with everyone. You’d be better off playing the lottery as your chances of being found is about the same as winning the lotto.

Answer 2: Remember Google is like a two year old who can only repeat what it is being told. It will list your shop higher in the results page if your shop contains the words someone is searching for.

Quick example: someone searches for ‘textured acrylic paintings’, since Google will see that your shop has those same three words, your link will appear closer to number one compared to a shop that does not contain those words.

Answer 3: Being specific also tells Google to eliminate the people who are not looking for the stuff you sell. Gee, why eliminate people at all? One compelling reason is - it is easier to convince people who are already convinced than to convince people who are not convinced. You get my point, people already looking for your unique product will easily click on a link which promises to lead them to it compared to people who are not.

Lesson 3. Your effective keyword phrase will lead the people who are already looking for your stuff to your shop.

The Application.
Finally, where does the keyword phrase go in your online shop? Since this is already getting very long, that will be explained mostly in Part 3. I know I am such a tease, but here is a very good and solid hint.

The Hint.
In your Etsy Shop, specifically, your keyword phrase needs to be everywhere where there is text. In Part 3, I promise I will go into detail of where, how and why they go where they go.

In Conclusion.
An effective keyword phrase contains words which uniquely describes your wares. It needs to grab the larger audience and also narrow down your target market. Use the phrase everywhere in your shop. Then, your shop will be found by the people who are already convinced they want your stuff. Once they do, next time you refresh your screen, your item views will go from 1 to 10, within a minute. Well, it may and one can always dream. Now go on and do.

If you found this information helpful, share it on Facebook, Tweet it, or post it.


  1. Cool post, love that your covering this topic. A must read.

  2. fantastic article, thank you. Followed the link from your Etsy post

  3. can't wait for part 3...I'm just going to go read it now :) why wait?

  4. Fine Heart,

    What wonderful and helpful information you have shared with so many. Thank you for being so generious.

    Thank you,

    Marilyn at