Do you want to get your handmade website found on Google? SEO is your answer.
Many craft sellers start off selling on marketplace platforms like Etsy, Zibbet or Amazon Handmade. With some simple strategies, you can improve your marketplace SEO and get traffic to your marketplace shop – but you’re missing out on a whole different piece of the pie.

When you improve your SEO for sites like Etsy or Zibbet, you are optimizing your products to be seen by people who browse those marketplaces. A shopper who searches on Etsy for items like yours are likely to look for it on Google too.

 

What’s the difference between Marketplace SEO and Google SEO?

Improving your marketplace SEO

Optimizing your store on Etsy or Zibbet is a great way to put your products on a marketplace that already has shoppers looking for handmade goods, vintage finds and craft supplies. There are a few downsides to focusing solely on marketplace SEO, though:

  • No matter how good your SEO is, your individual product listings will not appear in the main search results of Google for your keywords.
  • If you want to appear in Google via Etsy, you’ll need to pay to run some Google Shopping ad campaigns. You can’t rank your products for free.
  • Your shopfront will appear in Google when people search for your shop name. It’s difficult to optimize your shopfront to appear in Google for a custom keyword like “handmade leather bags” because you won’t be able to write your own meta-data (more on this below!)

In the example below, I’ve searched for “handmade ring holder”. The first few search results all link back to Etsy categories and search results, rather than product listings or shops from Etsy. You can see the paid Google Shopping results on the right hand side that link directly to Etsy seller product listings.

 

 

When searching for Pumpkin Paper Co (a top seller on Etsy), you can see that the description in Google (the meta description) is an auto-populated description based on your shop name. Your shop title will show up in Google but without a keyword in your description, you’re losing ranking juice! With your own website you can change this setting yourself.

 

 

Improving your website SEO for Google

So what does this mean for you? If you also sell your products on your own website, you can target a new audience – people who use Google to discover products and businesses like yours.

Let’s look at another top Etsy seller, Creative Appliques. When you Google their shop name, the website ranks above their Etsy store and social media feed.

 

 

When you search for one of their product keywords “animal SVG applique”, their website ranks first again and the Etsy shop is no where to be seen on the first page.

 

 

Ranking well in Google could mean thousands of visits to your shop every single month. It also means your search results are a direct result of your own SEO tweaks. Your shop no longer depends on the SEO of another marketplace or platform.

Improving your SEO for Google does mean one major prerequisite: you need a website, first.

If you don’t, no fear. You can use some of the tips in this lesson for your Etsy, Zibbet or Amazon Handmade shopfront.

If you do have a website, let’s dive in and start improving your global SEO.

Note: All website builders are different which means making SEO improvements will be different from person to person.

 

Keyword research for Google SEO

Set yourself up for SEO success and download the free Website SEO worksheet and checklist which will run you through the next few exercises.

Keywords for your website as a whole are a bit different than keywords for your individual products. When you are thinking about keywords for your shop, it’s important to know:

  • What your shop sells
  • Who you sell to, and
  • What’s the purpose of your shop

Once you know these bits and pieces about your business, write down 5 specific keyword phrases that explain what your shop is about.

For example, if you sell leather bags your keywords might be:

  • Leather bags
  • Handmade leather bags
  • Vegan leather bags
  • Handmade vegan leather handbags
  • Ethical and sustainable leather bags

 

5 minute SEO check

Next, take each of your keywords into Google and punch them in. Browse through the results and check if your shop ranks on the first page.

If it does, consider:

  • How high up is it ranked? If it’s near the top, you could work on focusing on a broader keyword and reaching more people
  • How many other pages are competing for the search result? Below, you can see that “leather bag” has 9x more results than “handmade leather bag”. If you are ranking high on a result with few search results, try and look for a page with a higher volume of search results.

 

 

If your shop doesn’t appear on the first page, consider:

  • The keyword you have used might be too broad and is very competitive to rank for. It may not be the right keyword to use to improve your Google SEO.
  • Your online shop SEO needs to be improved (this lesson is for you!)

 

Choose 1 keyword

Based on your research, pick 1 keyword that balances out these elements:

  • Is it relevant to what your business is about?
  • And does it have a good volume of search results

You can use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to see which keyword is your best bet.

Start by adding your keywords in the Search Volume and Forecasts tool.

 

 

Next, look at the Historical Metrics and check how competitive the keywords are.

 

 

In the examples, we can see that “handmade vegan leather handbags” and “ethical and sustainable leather bags” don’t have any results because they are too specific.

What we are left with:

  • Leather bags
  • Handmade leather bags
  • Vegan leather bags
  • Handmade vegan leather handbags
  • Ethical and sustainable leather bags

On the other hand “handmade leather bags”, “leather bags” and “vegan leather bags” all have high competition – it will be a challenge to rank for (but not impossible).

But when you look at the average monthly searches, we can see that “leather bags” has 10x the search traffic as the other two keywords. This keyword will be much harder to rank for so let’s strike it out.

What we are left with:

  • Leather bags
  • Handmade leather bags
  • Vegan leather bags
  • Handmade vegan leather handbags
  • Ethical and sustainable leather bags

Now it’s your choice – which keyword out of “handmade leather bags” or “vegan leather bags” is more relevant to what your business is about?

Your answer is your focus keyword.

This is the keyword you want people to discover your shop with. When you’re improving your shop, you should always keep this keyword at the back of your mind.

Remember – a good SEO strategy includes peppering many keywords throughout your online shop, not just one. Your focus keyword is simply one phrase that captures the soul of what your business is about. As you improve your shop, you’ll slowly add more specific keywords to different pages and products so you have a higher chance of being found on Google.

 

Where to place your keyword

Once you’ve settled on your focus keyword, it’s time to run through your shop and add your keyword into places that search engine robots collect data from. Try and put your keywords in as many places as possible where it’s natural. Your keyword doesn’t have to be on every single element of your website, but the more it appears, the more likely Google will be giving your shop brownie points.

These places include:

  • Page content
  • Links and URLS
  • Titles and headings
  • Images
  • Meta-data (the content that’s visible to search engines)

 

Page content

Try to include your keyword inside the text on as many pages of your handmade shop as you can.

 

Home page

Add your keyword to your home page. You can do this with a tagline, an introduction or at the very end of your home page.

 

Breezy Bird Goodies

 

About page

Craft a genuine About page that shares your story and mission. Don’t forget the keyword! Keep it close to the beginning if you can.

 

Lynn Cobb

 

Policies page and FAQ’s page

A Frequently Asked Questions and a Policies page is a great way to create a bunch of keywords and answer customer concerns at the same time. You don’t have to just talk about shipping and return policies either – some topics that are great for generating keywords include:

  • What you are making
  • What common materials you use
  • How your products are made and what techniques you use
  • How to use your items
  • Where you are based

Homespun uses the focus keyword “Modern Handmade” throughout their website and FAQs.

 

 

Shop and product pages

For many shop owners, you’re likely to have a large number of product pages. These are great places to experiment with improving SEO for specific products while reinforcing your shop-wide focus keyword.

Linen Handmade Studio adds “Handmade Natural Linen Clothes For Women” as a headline tag when you first arrive at on her website store.

 

 

Blog posts

Blogging is one of the best things you can do for great SEO. It’s a simple way to engage with your shoppers and create more content for your website – the more content you have, the more chances you’ll pop up in Google. Search engines love blogs because it means your shop is constantly being updated with fresh content and you’re providing educational and useful information for your readers.

Some topics and ideas to get your SEO-friendly blog rolling:

  • Tutorials and “How To” posts on how your items can be used or styled
  • A post about one of your materials
  • A curated shopping list
  • Insights into your process
  • A post about one of your products
  • Freebies and downloadables

 

Champagne On A Wednesday

 

Custom pages

Do you have a Contact page? Or a collection of raving reviews and testimonials? Use these pages and any other pages you’ve made to highlight your focus keyword. Testimonials can be a quick way to collect and publish content that’s already been written.

 

Demamora

 

URLs

Your URLs are the links for each page in your website. When your keyword is in your URL, Google robots can happily assume that the topic of that particular page is the keyword.

 

Your domain name

This is your website URL and what your customers will use to go directly to your shop.

www.yourhandmadeshopname.com

Your domain name has the highest authority when it comes to URL SEO. It’s better for your keyword to be in your domain name but many people don’t follow this rule – sometimes it’s a branding conflict and it’s better to have a simple and memorable domain name.

 

Page URL’s

Each page inside your website will have it’s own URL.

  • www.yourhandmadeshopname.com/about
  • www.yourhandmadeshopname.com/shop
  • www.yourhandmadeshopname.com/faqs
  • www.yourhandmadeshopname.com/shop/product

Again, having keywords in these URLs is useful for ranking but you might do without them for the sake of branding and simplicity.

 

Categories

Categories are your best friend for ecommerce SEO. Not only do they make your site more navigate-able, but your keywords will appear in your URLs.

  • www.yourjewelryshop.com/necklaces
  • www.yourjewelryshop.com/bracelets
  • www.yourjewelryshop.com/rings

 

Internal links

These are any links on a page within your website that link to a different page from your shop. You can:

  • Include a link to a similar item or category on a product page
  • Add complementary blog links in your posts
  • Add links to your best-selling products on your about page
  • Link to the product you sold on a testimonial or review
  • Link your shopper to your shipping and return policy page in your check-out page

 

Meta-data

Meta data is the information you tell search engines to look for, even if it’s not visible to the naked eye – it’s data about other data. Meta data hides inside your website HTML – but most website builders have options for you to update your meta data without touching a single line of code.

 

Meta description

Your meta description is the brief paragraph underneath your website title and domain name. Most website builders have options for you to manually update your meta description. Remember to keep your keyword at the beginning of the description and aim for a length between 120 to 160 characters.

 

 

Titles and Headings

In each page of your website, you’ll be able to add titles and headings. With SEO, you can create a hierarchy of headings to help Google understand what matters the most.

When you’re editing content, you may come across a text editor that let’s you format your titles and paragraphs for that page.

 

Title tag and Heading 1 (H1)

This is what appears in the title bar of a web page. You should always try your best to include your keyword here.

 

Heading 2 (H2)

Use a H2 tag when you want to give your content a subtitle.

 

H3, H4, H5 & H6.

Heading 3 is like your subtitle for Heading 2…and so on.

 

Bolding, underlining and italics

Highlight specific keywords in a chunk of text by bolding, underlining and italicizing them. This lets your reader know that it’s important and Google will recognize this as well – don’t overdo it, though.

 

Ardeola

 

Images

Unlike humans, Google can’t see an image because there’s no way to know what colors, objects or text fills an image or photo. When you name your image and give it “alt text”, you’re telling Google what your image is about. You’ll also be helping people who can’t load your images or have limited online accessibility. Bonus: when you improve your image SEO, your images will start to rank in Google Images, too.

 

Give your file an SEO-friendly name

When you are naming your image, give your file a name that contains your keyword.

Here’s some examples of some good file names:

  • turquoise-gold-ring.jpg
  • nursery-wall-decal.png
  • merino-wool-knitted-blanket.gif

Try and avoid these kinds of file names:

  • DSC01282.jpg
  • frontview.png
  • shutterstock_56783442372501.gif

 

Alt text

This is the text that visitors will see when they hover over your image. They will also see your alt text if the image didn’t load properly in place of the image. When you upload your images to your website, most website builders will give you the option to add alt text.

 

Luscious Lather

 

Make your file sizes smaller

Site speed is an important factor to get your site ranked higher in Google. One big culprit of slow loading pages are big image files. You can upload your large images to I Love IMG to quickly compress your photos without comprising quality.

 

Note: When it comes to improving your image SEO for marketplaces, it doesn’t seem to matter. Etsy takes the image and re-generates a random file name, as does Zibbet. Etsy doesn’t assign alt text for the image, but Zibbet will assign the product title as the alt text.

 

Make it sound like a person

None of the tips above matter if you repeat your keywords where it doesn’t sound natural in order to trick a few search engine robots. Make it your mission to write for your people and help them out first. Over time, SEO becomes a habit and you’ll be writing titles, file names and content that is genuinely useful to your shoppers and search engines.

If you’re curious about how well your handmade website is ranking on Google, you can use a tool like SEMRush to view how often you show up in search results. Pop your website URL and monitor your organic traffic graph.

 

 

 

What’s your favorite website SEO tip? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below.