Keywords represent what you sell. They are what the search engines use to categorize websites. Getting the search engines to favor your craft website over the others is very much under your control.
Finding the Right Keywords
Suppose you make fabric purses.
If you do a quick search of Google (51,700,000 results), Yahoo (30,900,000 results) and MSN (7,409,184 results) for the word purse, you will most likely see several of the same websites listed in the top 10 results. These websites have spent a great deal of time and money to get those positions.
Now search for the phrase flowered purse.
First of all, the total number of results is significantly lower (Google – 173,000; Yahoo – 138,000; MSN – 36,140) and you should start to see the smaller, lesser known companies. It is these ‘secondary keyword phrases’ that should be your keyword targets.
Ask 10 different search engine optimization (SEO) experts how to optimize a page for keywords and while the answers may differ somewhat, all will list one or more of the following tips. These tips should be the starting point of your SEO and keyword optimization efforts for your craft website.
- When designing your new craft business website, always have at least one menu that is text-based. Those clever buttons you use for your menu may look great; but search engines can’t read pictures.
- Do not plan on tricking the search engines. If you are reading this page it is highly unlikely that you have been doing SEO for very long. It is rare to find a new trick to fool the search engines that someone has not already tried. Use these tricks, also known as black hat SEO; and it will only be a matter of time before your site is banned by the search engines.
- Take the time to do a little keyword research. If you sell purses, use a keyword selection tool (Yahoo has a free one – there are many others) to research the word purses. The selection tool will then list the words and phrases people have used to find purses on the Internet. Rather than try to compete against the big guys with deep pockets for the word purses; look for the phrases that contain the word purse – these secondary phrases should be your targets.
- Write the content of the homepage of your craft website and sprinkle your target keyword phrases throughout the paragraphs. The trick here is to remember to use the phrases often enough to get the search engines to spot it as a keyword phrase; but not so often that a customer reading it can pick up that’s what you’re doing.
- Every picture you use should contain ALT text. ALT text is what visitors to your craft website will see when they hover their mouse over the picture. This is a great place to use those keyword phrases. This is not the place to simply put a laundry list.
Appropriate use of Alt tag; it uses the keyword phrases of purple flowered purse and your company name, but does not break the rules of what is acceptable.
ALT="This purple flowered purse is one of our top sellers here at Mary's Handmade Purses."
Inappropriate use of the Alt tag; this is called keyword stuffing, is considered a black hat trick, and can get you banned from the search engines.
ALT="purse, flowered purse, purple purse, handmade purse..."
- Use a different title for each page of your craft website. Every page of a website offers another opportunity to be found by new customers. Each page should target a different set of keyword phrases. Remember the idea is for strangers to find your site and the more different phrases you optimize for the better your chances of being found.
- Your keyword phrases should be used in your H1…H6 tags, displayed at least once in bold, and even used as link text on your menus.
This list is far from complete; but it does cover the most basic elements of optimizing your craft website for the items that you sell.
You will be absolutely amazed at how many more people will come to your craft website if you begin optimizing your pages for secondary keyword phrases. It is well worth the effort!