How to get on page one of Google

Things Are Just As They Are ACEO

  • How do you get Google to notice your blog? 
  • How do you get on page one of Google with your craft blog posts? 
  • As a Craft seller how do you bring people from all over the world right to your crafty blog so you can show them your lovely handmade products and entice them to your shop?  
You need to write Search Engine Optimised blog content!

Stop right there craft bloggers! I know, your eyes are glazing over at the thought of all the SEO, long tail keyword and keyword phrase jargon.

I'm going to try and make it really straightforward to start to make practical changes to your writing. Many of you write your blog to promote your handmade products, so you should be writing regular posts specifically targeted to reach page one of Google in a search for your chosen keyword phrases.

NB. This post is long, I haven't just posted a list of bullet points, I've tried to actually explain my own methods. Why not bookmark for later if you think you'll need a coffee to get through it - I certainly needed a whole pot to write it, you should come out the other side a better blogger ;)

How to get on page one of Google!

It's all about creating optimised content using keyword phrases for your blog. In layman's terms that just means killer blog posts that bring in lots of google traffic!  Bloggers need to know why, how and where to put keyword phrases in a blog post to achieve page 1 rankings in a google search.

(update - this knowledge is even more vital with the recent Panda and Penguin algorithm updates!)

If you are selling your crafts online and you feel you've already done everything you can with regards to SEO and researching keyword phrases, please ask me any questions or specific problems relating to your craft blog via the comments box. I'm happy to have a look and give you a critique or some tips to help you improve your content - just leave your links and your queries here or on my crafty facebook page.

Art Wrap

How does Google work?

Only Google engineers know the secret google recipe! Google answers your search queries by checking them against it's enormous index of web content.  Google continuously searches the internet using googlebots that scout for new web content to add to the index.

Google chooses which web pages to display in a search query based on an algorithm or formula.  This algorithm is based on several hundered signals and the formula is constantly evolving and improving. Google now tailors search results based on specific users and has lots of search tools for people to find increasingly more relevant search results.

What is Google SEO? 

Search Engine Optimisation is the process of designing web pages, writing content and building a network of links back to your website in order to rank at the top of a google search results page. The goal is to bring your page in front of your target market.  This kind of search traffic is known as 'organic' and it is the most desirable google traffic because it's FREE! (well unless you are paying a blog content writer!)

Basic Google SEO

It's not actually that difficult to get on page 1 of Google in a search (but that depends on the search!) You need to know your market and you need to have a good understanding of SEO and how to use keywords. You also need some time, I'm not selling magic online marketing wands - if you know someone who is, please hook me up!

There are different areas of basic SEO you need to address in order to get onto the first page of google.  Some of these factors you can't control - for example the age of your site apparently holds weight in the google algorithm. I've seen new pages soar though, so don't assume you're lack of first page success is just because your blog is new
  • Original Content - Content is KEY! Content is KING! (Did I mention content is really important)
  • Blog design and layout - Google bots need to be able to easily find and flow around your site.  It's a good idea to have a label list somewhere in your sidebars, showing your most frequently used labels / tags and it's also a very good idea to make a site map. Read Google's help pages on creating a site map for more about this.
  • Content Frequency - Google bot is more likely to come back to see you if you post fresh original content regularly. 
  • Relevance - Becoming an authority / expert on one particular topic by creating lots of posts will help *all* your posts to perform better.   
  • Engagement - Lots of relevant comments really help your page get noticed by google.
  • Inbound Links - Links on relevant sites that point to your blog, especially clickable text containing your keywords (anchor text).  Take time to network and build up these links, they are a really important factor. Think quality over quantity.  Here is a list of useful places to network and promote your blog.

grumpy Clara

What is bad for basic SEO?

  • Copying content - Google knows if you copied and pasted text from elsewhere.  Adding a credit makes it ethical but not original.  If your blog posts are simply a series of copied chunks of text with a few of your own words as an intro your blog posts will not rank highly in the search results. 
  • Over use / unnatural use of keywords - Don't go crazy, the content has to make sense - write for people, not googlebots.
  • Linking to and links from 'bad' websites - keep a check of where you link to and from, being associated with dodgy websites can do you harm.  Make sure you keep your comments clear of spammy links.

Has your blog been indexed by Google yet?

To check if Google has found your blog or your online craft shops and indexed your past content use the search operator site: followed by your domain name. For example  (you don't need the http or www bits)

If there is nothing there, you need to get some inbound links to help the bots find your craft blog.
  • Register your blog with Google
  • Join Blog Directories
  • Network and leave blog post links on forums, Crafts Forum, Crafteroo, Folksy and Etsy are all excellent for this, in my experience they are always happy to welcome a new craft blogger.

Find your target market and build customer profiles

Everyone who is blogging and especially those selling crafts online need to research the market to build a profile of your potential readers and customers. Remember the goal of SEO is to bring people to your blog who fit your target customer profile, if you don't know who that is, your net will probably be cast too wide. You need to know who you want to attract in order to know what keyword phrases they are likely to be searching for.

You need to be writing your blog posts with these customer profiles in mind. If necessary build up a number of profiles. The important thing is we are trying to target one profile and one keyword phrase at a time with each blog post.
  • How old are your customers?
  • What do they do for fun?
  • Which magazines, newspapers and websites do they read?
  • Which TV programmes do they watch?
  • When are they online?
  • Do they have a young family?
  • What irritates them?
  • Income bracket? 
Joy print in green

What to write about?

Good question! In general try to keep your blog posts focused on a particular topic or theme that is complimentary to the products you create. This doesn't mean you can't post about random subjects ever again, but keep in mind that if you want to bring new, targeted traffic, you need to write content that will be found with Google searches as well as read by blog followers.

If you get stuck for ideas use Google's search filter 'discussions' to find relevant forums and do some snooping.  For example, if my target customer is a 40 something female 'good lifer' then taking a look at forums/discussions around the subjects of cooking and allotments will help give me ideas for a post.

Here are the results of a discussions search for veg growing - already I've found the Jamie Oliver forum, it's full of questions from my target readership, I just need to research some answers and write up a post.

Vary subject matter to appeal to different profiles. These optimised posts are designed to target a specific audience, bringing in search traffic and building awareness of your products to your target market indirectly.

Don't be put off by the word 'target', you are not leaping out from behind a hedge and waving a placard at people.  You will (hopefully) be writing useful, well researched, interesting content. Through careful optimisation of well researched keyword phrases your content should appear on page 1 of Google and have a much greater chance of being seen by your target market.

Ensure that your products are noticeable on your blog, the sidebars are a great place to advertise - don't fill them with other peoples adverts -  show images of your own products or your own networks!  Do write posts about your own products as well, but take care not to make your blog feel like a catalogue.

What are keyword phrases?

I've mentioned them enough times already, but what exactly are they?

Some people refer to these as long-tail keywords. This is the phrase you want to get to the top of the search engine with. It's a good idea to think of it before you start to write the first draft.  I would never recommend trying to target just one word, in most cases you will either be competing with huge websites or with dictionary definition or thesaurus sites. Try searching 'Jewellery' for example. H samuel, Debenhams, Argos.  Much better to go for a keyword phrase or long tail keyword.

Which keyword phrase should you target?

We now know a little bit about our target customers, so we should be able to make educated guesses about the kind of things they are interested in and will be searching for.

Create a list of interests for your customer profile and from this list of interests you can create further more refined lists of keywords for each interest.  You can then take these keywords and find keyword phrases using Google's Keyword tool.

How to use the Google adwords keyword tool for SEO

Google has a free tool designed to help people who have google pay per click advertising on their websites called the  Google adwords keyword tool  It is a really useful tool for targeting the best keyword phrases.

Type in a keyword or keyword phrase, adjust a few options and it returns historical information about the search and a list of useful suggested ideas for long-tail keywords to target.

It gives you the 'competition' as well as global and local search volume.  Focus on local search volume by setting the location to United Kingdom using the advanced options and filters.

Avoid keyword phrases which have lots of competition.  Instead go for phrases that have a healthy number of searches per month. For each post click on the search and take a look at the live results, you will see the kind of competition you are up against.

In this post I want to get seen by craft bloggers who want to improve their seo.  I had a think about my target audience and decided that they would not necessarily search for the word SEO as they may not have heard of it, so I picked the search  'page one on Google'.

From the results of the search analysis using the keyword tool it suggests to me it would be a good idea to use the words 'How to get on' before my phrase.  With this advice based on real searches, I have tweaked the text and incorporated the whole phrase into my title and headings.

Also consider which 'match type' you are using when looking at results.

Broad match: The keyword idea, related grammatical forms, synonyms and related words - this is a good tool for brainstorming as it brings back lots of related keyword ideas.
Phrase match: All terms that include that whole phrase in whatever order.
Exact match: Just this keyword phrase in the order you have written it, including words before and after

Where do you put Keyword Phrases

Use your phrase in as many places as possible!
  • The title
  • Headings
  • The first paragraph of text
  • The body of the text
  • The label or tag
  • The URL of the post (with blogger this is predetermined by the first 30 - 40 words in the title )
Once you have written a draft post take time to edit and optimise it by changing and rearranging sentences so that your keyword phrase naturally flows through it.  Text in he title, url and headings is given added importance - so ensure your keyword phrase is in there!

Keyword Density

How often the key phrase or keyword appears as a percentage of all the text.  Experts suggest it should be around 1-3% but this is just an eductaed guess - first and foremost it needs to read naturally.  What ever you do, do not over stuff your post with a key phrase or keyword, Google considers this to be spam.  Google is constantly updating it's algorithms to target suspicious content that is over-optimised.

mini bird bag
Blog homework!
  1. Research customer profiles
  2. Brainstorm blog post ideas to suit your target audience 
  3. Research keyword phrases
  4. Rough write a blog post on a relevant topic for your target audience
  5. Edit and optimise the post, using keyword phrases in the titles, heading, and tags / labels
  6. Publish!
  7. Promote
Further Reading:
Evergreen Blog Posts  - Blog posts that continually bring you traffic
How to optimise existing posts - Some of your existing posts may just need a few tweaks to get them to perform better in a search.
Selling Crafts Online - 10 'Get Real' Questions

Thanks for reading, please do ask me any questions about your blog - happy to take a look at it if you are worried it's invisible to Google.