We’ve been getting a lot of questions from CraftLaunch users and Etsy sellers about search engine optimization, or SEO. Maximizing SEO is really important for website owners and Etsy sellers looking for new customers, but all the information floating around about tags, keywords and formulas can make things a little confusing.

Many users ask us, “Why am I not on the first page of Google search results for the phrase ‘vintage items’?” or “Why is my CraftLaunch site not on the first page of Google search results for keyword {fill in the blank}?” The simple answer is that quality SEO takes time, research and continuous review and tweaking. It takes awhile for Google to search every corner of the Web for links to and updates on your website. That’s why you should start optimizing your CraftLaunch site immediately if you haven’t already – you need to catch up to the competition!

As for the long answer to that question, here are some tips and resources that can help all Etsy sellers improve their SEO.

Resource: Starter guides

Both Google and a company called SEOmoz have some great resources on getting started and understanding SEO. These guides are a must read for anyone serious about getting started with their SEO strategy.

Google: SEO Starter Guide:
http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

SEOmoz: The Beginner’s Guide to SEO
http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo

Resource: CraftLaunch Tutorial

We recently added a new feature for CraftLaunch users that allows customization of the title, description and keyword META tags on most pages. Be sure to read the tutorial and additional resource links to understand more on how to write effective tags.

http://help.craftlaunch.com/kb/getting-started/setting-up-meta-tags-for-your-websites-seo

Tip: Beware of Scammers

Have you had anyone randomly email you and say they have a “special relationship” with Google and can use their “proprietary software” to get you ranked #1 for the keywords of your choice? We are here to reassure you this is untrue – in fact, Google changes its search algorithms frequently to prevent companies from gaming the system and has penalized many prominent Fortune 500 companies for using underhanded tactics.

The following post from Google has some great tips on avoiding SEO scammers and important questions to ask a potential SEO firm.

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35291

Tip: Focus on the Long Tail:

If you use generic keywords like “stationery,” it can be extremely difficult to achieve a high search ranking because there’s so much competition. Companies like American Stationery and Crane spend piles of money and man hours to rank on the first page of search results. Unless you’re independently wealthy, we suggest you focus on long-tail keywords – i.e. “personalized handmade letterpress stationery.” You are more likely to rank highly for specific, less common terms, and they attract focused consumers who want exactly what you’re selling.

The Long Tail of Keyword Research:
http://www.wordtracker.com/academy/long-tail-keyword-research

Illustrating the Long Tail:
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/illustrating-the-long-tail

We hope this post, along with the linked resources, will help all Etsy sellers and CraftLaunch users increase their SEO performance. Contact us through our support area if you have any questions regarding SEO and your CraftLaunch website – we will do our best to help you. Thanks and happy selling!