Notice anything different about me?

Yesterday was devoted to updating the blog and harnessing some Google tools to make this site more visible to searchers. I only took a couple of small steps and will take some more, but I'm on my way. Like any other small business my biggest problem is exposure. Most of us sell on Etsy and know what a mob-scene it is over there and how hard it is to stand out. The other venues, of which I'm only participating in one, aren't much better. When I started out in jewelry I had no idea how overcrowded it is and how difficult it is to get noticed; especially with wire work or very simple smithing (all I'm capable of at the mo). Yeah sure I use Twitter, Facebook and Byhand.me, but it only generates a handful of views each time and I suspect it's the same few folks who look, but do not buy. I need to reach potential customers who love and buy handmade jewelry, or even customers who buy modern or contemporary jewelry, but have never tried handmade. I know I do quality work and believe my prices are in line and that there are women out there who appreciate simple, modern jewelry.

The secret is the almighty


Since I can't control much about how my shop or individual items get found by Google, I decided to try to take better control of my blog. Blog hits from organic Google searches are pretty low according to Google Analytics. Shop hits, too. But if I can better understand how Google selects and presents websites to searchers, the better chance I have of folks finding me. Most people give up if they don't find something compelling on the first 1-4 search results pages on Google and so it's really important to be listed in those first few pages. But how?

First I needed to register my site with Google, then submit a sitemap, both of which I've done. Or half done. I need to create a more complete sitemap as the one I submitted is only a partial. Then I need to work on meta-tags or title-tags. These are the best way for Google's engine algorithm to find something. They have to be accurate, unique and compelling. The unique part is the toughest I think in combination with compelling. I can't just call every page in this blog the same thing over and over. Title-tags have to speak to the content of the page and which searcher would like to see it most. Then it has to be compelling enough to entice that person to click on it.

Evidently there is another tool (which I only used for a couple of seconds) to help guide us in our quest for the best keywords. It takes ones you think you might use and compares them to similar searches and how successful those were in other search strings. It has a lot to do with page rank and click-through. Two very important concepts in search engine optimization. So it's something I will tackle next. It won't get done overnight, but hopefully I'll see improvements once it's underway.

Today I will hit the bench to do a couple of custom orders for my mom's friends and spend some time on my SEO strategy. I've got a list of things to do and just need to do them. I'm building up inventory for Christmas and Hanukkah, but if I can't attract customers what is it all for?

Comments

  1. I read somewhere once that doing tutorials is a great way to draw people to your blog. I just never seem to have the time to do one though. I'll have to check out google more closely as well.

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  2. That may be true, Amy, but who are you attracting, a potential customer or a budding jewelry maker? That's the magic distinction and while this blog might be interesting to other jewelry makers, that shouldn't be my only focus or the focus of any jewelry artist unless they have another vehicle they control for sales. It's all about getting the right eyes to find you and buy from you.

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  3. Kris - I agree there. I've been thinking about who I want my "audience" to be, and you're right that most other jewelers are not likely to also be buyers. I hope that by blogging about the *other* handmade things I do as well, I can attract people who love handmade stuff, but don't do jewelry.

    Not that I object to the presence of other jewelers :) It's always fun to "talk shop"!

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