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!

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