Saturday, June 20, 2009

Overworking on my SEOs

Just a quick note... as I am getting ready to go to Sebastopol, Sonoma County to participate in the Herbal Exchange Farmers Market extension, Sunday June 21st... It'll be Fathers Day, Dark Moon and Summer Solstice... I must be mad to be going anywhere :) and all being well my efforts will be rewarded !

This last week has flown by because I have been overworking on SEOs, particularly for the Etsy Handcrafts site. Etsy made a HUGE faux-pas and added "Handmade on Etsy" and "by brizelhandcrafts" at the front and end of every single url link in my store. Of course... sellers weren't exactly given a complete heads up and as a direct result... all of our urls became robot unfriendly and were not search engine findable.

I was at the stage in my shop development where i was starting to now focus on becoming more visible to the public and... lol... suddenly i was even more invisible. Luckily I had started to reach out to other sellers for feedback and was visiting Forum threads... so I got a wind of it and began to learn how to optimize the meta tags that were available to me.

Meta tags are key words that become searchable (either on Etsy or through search engines). Store titles, Shop Announcements, Store sections, tags, item titles and the first 150 characters of item descriptions are all key word opportunities but only IF you abide by the rules and the character limitations. If you don't... then your site becomes 'robot unfriendly' and search engines don't even bother looking at your tags and no one ever knows you exist on the web.

The consequence of Etsy adding all that information on to our Meta tags... did exactly that. Everywhere the word Etsy was showing up and sure enough people were seeing "handmade on Etsy" and the rest of the information disappeared. Well... that just wasn't acceptable.

A group of us staged a Forum sit in and spread the word about the situation. Many Forums were closed and went unanswered by Etsy Admin. It did not look good. To cut a long story short. Etsy FINALLY removed the word 'handmade', consolidated its spam to "brizelhandcrafts on Etsy" & put it at the end of my URLs. The information that appears first is given priority so eventually when Etsy & Google re-index their information... this mess will be cleaned up. It will take a while !

As a direct result of this incident... i learnt about SEOs and completely revamped ALL my meta tags at the Brizel Handcrafts store. The shop looks much fresher for having a shorter Shop Announcement and item titles, more descriptive store sections... and the tags behind the scenes now better support the ones that are visible.

Next week I will need to learn how to upload all this information to Google Base. Lots more to learn & lots more work to do.

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