One of the great advantages of a craft blog over a website is that you can just jump in on any subject and post something useful. The downside of this – and I’m as guilty as anyone – is that as a result there sometimes isn’t much of a coherent flow of information.
The way to fix this is to use categories – an easy way for someone to find related posts – and with that in mind I’ve created a new category “Craft Business Basics”. The first subject I want to cover is search engines.
There’s a lot of different information about search engines, how important they are, how many you should submit to, what you should pay, etc. Some of it is useful but some of it is misleading – occasionally deliberately so. Let’s try and cut through the bull and see what you need to do to get the best from the search engines for your craft business.
First things first, a lot of people either forget to submit their blog or site to the search engines – or don’t know how to do it. Worse, there are people around who will sell you a “package” – for $80 or more – to submit your craft blog or site to a hundred search engines, or five hundred, or whatever. Please don’t do it! It’s a complete waste of your money!
In my opinion it is beneficial to your craft business to submit to Google, Yahoo and Bing (Bing is the re-branded MSN).
The important point here is that submitting to “the big three” is completely and absolutely FREE!
What’s more, almost every other search engine “feeds” off one of these three, so by submitting to them you’ve just about got the rest covered. Does that mean that the people who charge you for submitting are ripping you off…? I think I can leave you to draw your own conclusions on that one.
Submitting to each is a little different but quite simple. Yahoo may require you to sign up for a free account but it’s all very quick. The web addresses you need are:
Just pop over to each, enter your site name, job done.
How long will it take for your site to get listed?
Some of the “submission services” – those people who want paying to do what you can do for free – will claim to get you listed quicker, and higher in the results. Nonsense.
There are firms that specialize in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but they cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month – and even they won’t give any guarantees.
Truth is, it could be a couple of weeks, it could be six months. In my experience blogs tend to rank quicker but you might find another marketing expert who disagrees. Fact is the big three change their algorithms(the automated code or “robots” that find your site) so regularly that nobody outside those companies really knows what’s going on most of the time!
Again you’ll find services who will claim they can do better, faster, more… but they invariably use tricks and cheats which are discovered sooner or later – and if your site is using them you’ll likely get banned from the search engines permanently!
The important thing is to build a balanced presence – whether that’s a craft blog or traditional craft website – and to use a mix of tactics to attract customers so that you’re not relying solely on the search engines.
Search engine traffic is free so it’s nice to get it, but don’t let it dominate your thinking. We’ll look at other methods of getting traffic (people visiting your site) next time.