Thursday, April 7, 2011

SEO for Crafters - Part 3

This is the final post in the SEO for Crafters series and we’re going to end on authority. Fitting, right?

A website’s authority comes from traffic, time and inbound links. The longer your site is live and has people visiting it the more authority you gain. Additionally if other websites and blogs link to your site you also gain authority, especially if those websites are highly ranked.

There’s not much you can do about the time part of the equation other than get your website published. However you do have some control over traffic and inbound links so I’ll share a few strategies you can use to help the process along.

This isn’t an overnight process so you must be patient with the results. Think of building your website’s authority the same way you think about building your business. A little at a time, slow and steady.


Traffic is the number of unique visitors you get to your website over a given period of time. The best way to generate traffic is by sharing your website link whenever appropriate. Put it in the signature of your email, make sure it’s on your business cards, add a link to all your social media profiles, and share it with any online groups you’re apart of. You also get traffic by ranking well in organic searches. That’s where all the keyword information from the last few weeks comes in.

Think of traffic to your website like traffic to a retail store. Anything you can do to get people in the door to look around is good. Mostly that means letting people know where you are, which means your web address.

Inbound Links

Traffic also comes from other websites linking to you, inbound links. While you will get a few inbound links naturally over time if you provide good content, you can also strategize to build the right kinds faster. This means creating relationships. Think of inbound links as references or referrals. Most people don’t refer businesses or people they don’t know. You need to be known by the right people.

The relevancy of the link also matters for authority. The idea is to get highly respected websites with a similar target market to link to you. This generally happens if you’ve provided information that’s useful to their audience, you’ve said something favorable about them or their product, or they have some sort of relationship with you and want to help promote you.

Building Relationships

Building relationships online is really no different from building them in real life. It takes mutual interest and a shared experience.

The best way to go about this is to first identify a list of bloggers and businesses you want to build a relationship with. They should be experts in your field, share a similar target market, or have a complimentary business. Find out where you can interact with them, Facebook, Twitter, their blog, or some online forum.

Once you have this list, begin to get to know them if you don’t already. Follow them on Twitter, “like” them on Facebook, and subscribe to their blog. Pay attention to the type of information they share, what they talk about, and try to discern how you might be able to help.

Then follow some or all of these steps to build the foundation for a relationship:

  • Retweet their posts on Twitter
  • Share their Facebook posts
  • Make insightful comments on their blog
  • Link to an article of theirs that you particularly like
  • Join online communities that they’re a part of
  • Go to conventions where you might meet them or similar people
  • Email them with a question, praise or piece of useful information

Once you have a solid foundation, if link sharing hasn’t already happened, then you can propose collaborating on a series of articles or project, swapping links, or even just in kind mentions of a post or product. If you’ve done your build up well they will graciously accept.

I encourage comments directly to this post, but also feel free to email me directly with questions, reactions, struggles, etc.
If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!


Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

I really appreciate your knack for talking about all this tech-y stuff so clearly and concisely! Excellent advice to go "slow and steady" -- it can seem like such an overwhelming task, it's important to be reminded that the little steps are what will get the results, so long as you're headed in the right direction! Thanks so much for doing so much to point the way.

ASpinnerWeaver said...

Thanks for this series of articles. Each one had little gems in it that I can definitely use! There is so much out there to read on the subject; you did a nice job of condensing it.

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