Sunday, July 26, 2009

SEO and Why It's Important to Artists

Recently, in one of my Etsy groups, there were some questions about SEO (search engine optimization), what it is and what it does. This post is an elaboration of my participation in that discussion.

The point of SEO is to get your web site (or Etsy shop, blog, etc.) ranked as high as possible in the search engines. The higher the ranking of your site/shop/blog/etc., the better the chance someone will find it. For those of us who are selling things online (or trying to sell things), it’s very important that our shops and/or web sites can be found! Most shoppers aren't going to take the time to look through more than a couple pages of search results when they’re looking for something.

Let's say that someone knew that I sold my stuff online, but they didn't know that I sold on Etsy. It’s likely that they wouldn't have the full URL (address) of my Etsy shop to search for. Besides, if they had the full URL, there would be no point in searching – they could simply type (or copy & paste) the URL into the browser, hit enter, and voila!

My shop (Prairie Primitives) is the second result on the first page when I Google for Prairie Primitives. In addition, quite a few of the other first-page results are mine as well (YAY!), however there are at least two other businesses using the same name also on the first page (sigh). Googleing my own name shows my Etsy shop as the seventh result on the first page, so it’s probably a good idea to include your own name somewhere in your Etsy shop.

Search engine optimization is a never-ending challenge, and has been since the internet became public in the mid-1990s. I think it's safe to say that Google is the most popular search engine these days (at least in the U.S.), however other search engines have been very popular in years past, and I will readily admit that I don’t have any idea which search engines may be popular in other countries. To make things even more challenging, just when web designers think they have a search engine figured out, it’s likely that the search engine will change their “algorithm” (how they rank search results), and you’ll have to try even harder to get your shop ranked high in search results!

Ditty Bags & Covered Boxes on eBay

Guess I should have posted about my covered boxes & ditty bags earlier in the week ... but now that I'm now working full-time (YAY!), finding time to blog is lower on my to-do list than it should be!

I've been wanting to make covered boxes for awhile now (like a couple of years), but I never took the time to try! So last month before the Los Altos show, I decided to see what I could come up with.

This is my favorite set of covered boxes so far -- I love the mismatched fabrics! They're currently listed on eBay, and will end around 6:30pm PST today.

I have a few other sets of boxes listed with other fabrics -- this set of blue boxes is my 2nd most favorite!

I've included a little surprise inside each box, but you'll have to look at the auctions to see what you'll get!

I've also been making ditty bags lately, mostly at the request of a friend in Tennessee. Denise has been nagging me to make them for years but I've been sooooo busy making primitive dolls. So I finished up a few ditty bags last weekend and listed them too! I like them all (a lot!), but if I had to choose, this one is my current favorite! The ditty bag auctions will end before the covered boxes -- starting a wee bit before 4pm PST today.

The ditty bags also have a lovely surprise inside, but (you guessed it!), you'll need to look at the auction to see what that is!

I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on the ditty bag auctions!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Americana Flag "Porch Swing" Pillow Cover

I was digging through my stash a month or so ago and found some very large flag panels. I've had them for a few years, but hadn't ever figured out what to do with them. So I thought and thought ... and then it came to me! They're "close" to the size of a standard bed pillow, so why not design a pillow cover with the flag as the centerpiece. And so I did!

The border is genuine vintage ticking fabric, straight from grandma's featherbed! The pillow cover closes with 7 red vintage buttons (I use a different assortment on every pillow!). I've lightly stained this pillow cover with my favorite coffee & vanilla mixture.

This is the pillow cover that I currently have listed on eBay. The starting bid is $24.95 and there's a BIN price of $45. If you mention that you saw this blog post when you pay for this item, I will refund your postage! For shoppers outside the U.S., I will refund $2.50 which is the U.S. shipping cost. But you must mention that you saw this offer on my blog!

Wouldn't it be great to have a nice big pillow like this on your porch swing? One of my customers even bought four of them! Let me know if you need more than one!