by Lisa McGrimmon
These tips for selling crafts online will help you get more traffic to your website.
Website traffic promotion is, unfortunately, highly overlooked by many professional craft artists. But it's a crucial part of building an online business - You can't sell your crafts if no one visits your site!
There are actually many cost effective ways to promote your website.
People may discover your site through a search engine, a link from another site, social media, printed media or word of mouth. Promoting your website is crucial to the growth of your online business, but unfortunately too many professional craft artists build an attractive site, and then fail to commit to effective traffic promotion strategies.
The most cost effective way to reach customers is through search engines or social media. Ideally you will want your site and many of its pages to rank at least in the top 20 or 30 search results (because people don't look beyond that) for major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.
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The how-tos of getting your site to the top of search engine results is a huge topic. In a nutshell, you need exceptional web pages that offer something unique (i.e. not just a copy of something you can already find online on another site) and are a good match for the "search intent" of keywords being targeted (search intent simply means what type of information a person is probably trying to find when they type in a keyword or keyword phrase into a search engine).
There is a lot of terrible advice about how to get to the top of search engine rankings. Search engines fiercely protect their secrets, so much of what people write about how to get to the top of the rankings is just speculation because very few people have access to real data and information about what truly works with search engines.
On top of that, Google has undergone some major changes, starting in February 2011, with the Panda algorithm, and continuing through with the Penguin algorithm released in April 2012. These algorithms, and others have really been game changers in terms of getting to the top of the search results at Google, so you need to make sure any advice you read about getting to the top of search engine results is current. Anything written before Panda probably won't help you and could even hurt you.
The absolute best resource I know of for learning what you need to know to get your site to the top of search engine results is SiteSell. SiteSell is a complete set of internet business building tools and information. The thing about SiteSell that gives you a leg up against your online competition is they have access to a lot of data for a lot of websites, and they use that data to conduct major studies to understand exactly how the search engines work (others either don't have that data so all they can do is speculate, or if they do have the data, they don't use it to help their customers grow their businesses). With SiteSell, you have reliable information that your competitors do not have.
The other inexpensive way to get traffic to your website is through social media. You can build up a following on sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and really boost your sales.
Now, I only use Pinterest and Facebook, so those are the two sites I'll focus on here. Twitter can also be extremely useful.
The only reason I don't do Twitter for business is because I just don't have the time to manage it all well, so something had to give. That highlights a couple of important lessons I've learned about doing social media for business. First, do it well, or don't do it at all! And second, don't feel you have to be active on every social site out there. Choose the sites that will have the biggest impact on your business and focus on doing them well.
Pinterest really brings an exceptional amount of traffic to my site. In a lot of ways, it is tailor-made for promoting a craft business. I found it extremely easy and fun to build my Pinterest for business account. I've written a series of articles to help you get started using Pinterest to grow your business. You'll find them here.
Facebook can also boost traffic to your site. It is more complex than Pinterest to get going and build your following, and, unlike Pinterest, which you can do for free, (depending on your niche) you might need to pay for some advertising to boost your Facebook followers. The best resource I've found for learning all about Facebook for business is Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day. It is extremely thorough and helpful. There's probably more information in this book than you need, so don't get bogged down in the details, but do use this to give your Facebook business page the initial push it need to get going.
Tips for Selling Crafts Online