Thursday, February 3, 2011

SEO Made Easy Part 3: Strategic Placement Of Your Keyword Phrase

A tutorial in layman’s terms about getting your online shop found.

I am sure that you have seen the forum posts which seem to come weekly from newbies.

OP (opening post): “How’s everyone's shop doing? Sales are sloooow for me.”
S1 (seller 1): “Slow here. But this month is always slow. Waiting for next month.”
S2 (seller 2): “Mine is GREAAAT!” Sounds like that tiger on the cereal box.
OP: “Really? I thought maybe there was a huge black out and no one can get online.”
S1: “Nah, it’s slow this time of year. Well, you’re here.” There’s always one in the bunch.
S2: Has disappeared. Just when OP and S1 were going to ask S2 “what’s your secret?”

Seller 2 checked their e-mail and found more orders waiting for them to fill. So they left the forums to get actual work done. They have figured out how to optimize their SEO by using an effective keyword phrase and properly placing it in their Etsy shop.

The Point.
Your effective keyword phrase needs to be placed in your Etsy Shop clearly and strategically. Clearly so that Google knows exactly what your keyword phrase is and strategically so that Google can easily find your keyword phrase.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone for an hour and never really understood what they were trying to say? What did you do? You walked away backwards and made sure they were not following you.

Your keyword phrase placement is like delivering a good thesis presentation. State what your intention is, state it again in the middle, and in conclusion, state the thesis again just in case people really did fall asleep in the middle of your Pulitzer prize winning speech. Repeating a point clarifies your point to your audience. Google is your limited attention span audience.

Playing a game without a good strategy is a sure way to lose. In the competitive world of online shopping and selling, knowing where to place your keyword phrase so that Google can find it fast is key. Your keyword phrase needs to be strategically placed in your Etsy shop so that Google can read it when Google comes over to read your shop.

Google Visits.
Google “crawls” (reads) your shop page usually once a month. It stores what it read in what is called Google Cache.

Check Your Cache.
To check when Google last read your shop, search for your shop name + etsy on Google.
Your shop link (a.k.a. URL) should be among the first listed.
Right beside your shop link, click on the word “cached”.
This will show you a screen shot (picture) of your page when Google last crawled your shop. The date your page was cached is at the top.
Now, click on the words “text-only version”.
This will show you all the words Google reads on your shop page.
The highlighted words are the words Google read and used to match your shop page to what you googled to find your shop at that moment.

Lesson 1: Clarity means being slightly repetitive in telling Google what your shop is about using your keyword phrase. Strategic placement of your keyword phrase is for Google to figure out what your shop is about fast.

Hello Rubber, Meet Road.
Where to put your effective keyword phrase in your Etsy shop.

Shop Title
Your shop title is not to be confused with your shop name. Your shop title is on the front page of your Etsy shop, on the gray column on the left, at the very top. There under your shop name is your shop title.

Your shop title is the first line that Google reads on your shop’s page. Put your keyword phrase in your shop title. It will tell Google clearly what your shop is about. Your shop title also functions as your “Google headline”. It is the first line that people will read when they see your shop link on Google.

Shop Announcement
Your shop announcement has two functions. It communicates to Google what your shop is about and it communicates to whomever is searching what your shop is about. Two different audiences, both equally important. Put your keyword phrase in the first line of your shop announcement. This will reinstate to Google what your shop is about.

Your other audience is a human being looking to shop online. With that in mind, write the first line of your shop announcement like it is an ad for your shop on Google. What will you say to compel the person on the other side of the screen to click on your link?

Basically, if your Shop Title is the “Google headline” for your shop; then, the first line of your Shop Announcement is the “beginning of the story”. So, make the story stick. Make the story click worthy for your potential client.

An Example.
A shoe shop by user name Morticia. Keyword phrase is “handmade leather shoes”.
On Google the listing link looks like this:
“handmade leather shoes (shop title) by morticia (shop name) on Etsy”
Unique handmade shoes made with high quality leather. Morticia specializes in custom shoes for women, men and children. Made with the finest leather and artisan brass buckles.

Morticia has placed her keyword phrase in her Shop Title and in the first line of her Shop Announcement. She moved the words around to make it easier to read and understand. She created intrigue by adding the words "custom shoes" since her target market include people who like custom made shoes.

A Tip.
Do not use your shop user name as your shop title.
On Google the listing link looks like this:
“Morticia (shop title) by morticia (shop name) on Etsy”

Why not? This is because only the people who type the word “morticia” will find that shop. If you are already a very famous seller and people do Google your shop using your first and last name, or your Etsy shop name, or your business name, AND you don’t want to meet more clientele, then by all means, go with example number two.

Lesson 2: Your Shop Title and Shop Announcement must contain your keyword phrase for Google to figure out what your shop is selling. They also have to be convincing and interesting so that a potential client will want to click on your shop link and check out your shop's merchandise.

Shop Listings Product Title
For good SEO strategy, you must place your keyword phrase in all your shop’s listings' product titles. Why? Your product title works like your “tags” on Google search.

Imagine you are searching on Etsy. On the Etsy search bar you type “sugar scrub pineapple”. You are searching for sugar based body scrubs that smell like pineapple. Etsy will come up with shops that have those three words in their product listing’s tags. Tags is how people find your products on Etsy.

On Google, your keyword phrase acts like your tags. If you add your tags to all your listings' product titles, then you have increased the chances of Google finding your shop whenever someone searches using your keyword phrase.

Your listings' product title acts like another “headline” for your shop on Google. If it contains your keyword phrase, then it can be found by Google and listed higher in the results page.

Shop Listings Product Description
Google reads the first few lines of your listings' product description. If Google finds that what you say in your product title is also what you say in your product description, then it will assume you mean what you say since you repeated yourself. Again, think like you’re dealing with a two year old, or a smart Jack Russell terrier. Both will take the “key” phrases you use as the cue to what you want them to do. Sit, come, eat, play, sleep etc. Keep everything simple and repetitive. So, add your keyword phrase creatively to your product descriptions.

Just like your shop announcement functions as the “story” to your shop title/headline, your product description functions as the “story” to your product title/headline. You have to make the story interesting in order for a potential client to want to click and find out more.

Shop Sections
Your shop sections on Etsy are the keyword meta tags for your site. For you experienced web developers, turn away now. For those of you who just said meta-what? Then here’s the easiest explanation. When you are on a website, what you are looking at is code. I know, there are words and pretty pictures there, but really, underneath all that jazz is simply code. Meta tags are part of the code which tells a search engine like Google, “this is what this web address is about so file it accordingly”. In short, your meta tags are very important for telling Google what your shop is about.

Repetition is the key with Google. So, if Google sees that your keyword phrase is also in your meta tags (which is your shop sections), then it will file you higher in the results page.

Lesson 3: Your Listing Product Title and Description must contain your keyword phrase in order for Google to find you more often. They also function as your ad or teaser on Google for anyone who finds your product links first. Make it click worthy for your potential clients. Last but not least, your shop sections tell Google what your shop is all about. Make sure Google does not get confused.

In Conclusion.
Improving your online shop’s SEO is all about pleasing Google. Google is a short attention spanned audience. In order for Google to pay attention and remember you, you have to repeat what you are saying. Repeating your keyword phrase means clarity for Google. Strategically placing your keyword phrase means helping Google find your shop faster. Google understanding what your shop is about means placing you higher in the search results. Getting found first is good for increased views and eventually more sales. More sales will mean you will be more like Seller 2 in the story above and you will be too busy to commiserate in the forums. This also means you will have more time being happy all around. The End.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, lots to digest but fantastic info.

    1. As a Handmade Artisan there is so much you can do yourself to make your site more findable by customers. Using just a couple of these tools makes such a difference.

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I've soaked in all 3 parts and will be reviewing my shop and tweaking accordingly. :-)

  3. Great information! Thank you! Even though I haven't finalized the wording, I immediately changed my etsy title and shop announcement. I had no idea what google caching meant until now. So much to learn! -- michele

  4. just a thank you for your informative articles! found you while searching for Etsy info to increase shop traffic and learn made it a follower of your blog and hope to learn more..keep up the good work..hope u will check out bluepiedesigns too!

  5. Thank you for this series! I am really going to use this. I think plenty of artisans visit my shop, which is terrific, love the support. I do want to lure in buyers ideally. :)

  6. Thanks so much for your help, it's hard for us creative types to understand all the techy stuff that goes with setting up an etsy shop but you have made it a lot easier. I love your analogy of thinking of google as a small child brilliant! :)

  7. This is a great series. I went back to my shop and made changes right away.
    Going to go spread the word and link back to this information. Everyone should read it! is a two year old, google is a two year old, google is a ....

  8. Thank you so much for posting all of this great information! I have learned a lot reading your posts! :)

  9. Thank you for breaking SEO down into laymans terms so those of us that aren't programmers can understand.

  10. Fantastic tutorial! I've updated my key phrase on my store... now to update each item..... Thanks!

  11. Thank God for this!! I know most of the "brilliant Etsy tips" bleh that other blogs are toting, but this is completely brilliant! I know my shop is getting a MAJOR edit day after reading this!

  12. Genius! :) Http://