Last week on Twitter I tweeted, “Having good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on your website can be a blessing and a curse.” @JeannetteZeis wanted to know what I meant. Well, I’ll tell you.
We all want to be found and/or find our niche. That was the great part about Etsy. You could find all kinds of work you never imagined, including junk, and/or buy/sell (products that you buy cheap, mark up and resell saying that you made them). With the algorithm to find work on Etsy continually changing, a lot of people set up shop on their own website. But how do these people who use to frequent Etsy, looking for unique products, find your unique products? Keywords!
You can guess some of my keywords are: Heidi Fahrenbacher, Bella Joy Pottery, porcelain pottery, etc.,. I get lots of great hits from these words. This is when SEO is blessing!
Bella Joy Pottery and Heidi Fahrenbacher are my number 1 hits. Guess what number 2 is? You won’t. It’s cat clocks. For real. I wrote a post on April 1, 2010 about Buster the Cat and how when you hold him, his tail use to swing from side-to-side like a cat clock. (RIP Buster) This is a curse. If I would have known how much people liked cat clocks I might have not become a potter. (Wink.)
Another curse is somehow being found (I can’t nail it down) and thinking I teach out of my studio. I clearly state in my frequently asked questions that my studio in TINY (400 sq. feet) and I can’t teach out of it. But for some reason I get at least one phone call a week about when my next session starts. (I need to reevaluate the flow of my website!) I always politely tell them I don’t teach at my studio and direct them to places that do.
The other funny thing is the amount of people that stop (or call) at my studio wanting me to fix broken ceramics. Again, I am serious. I used to do it. A little plumbers epoxy, some paint, and shellac and it would look better. I have fixed everything from traditional Afghan pottery like this:
To crazy Greek vase replicas like this:
(I don’t know what’s worse: buying bad replicas or getting on Ebay and buying the real thing? Shouldn’t that be in a museum?)
But what breaks my heart is when someone brings me their favorite handmade mug (or insert whatever) and they want to know if I can fix it. I know what it’s like to break your favorite piece, but the sad thing is I can’t put it back it the kiln and repair it. When you refire ceramics it typically gets hotter and will crack. Reattaching a piece with glaze will usually lead to it sliding off the piece in the kiln. I mournfully tell them I can’t help them, but do recommend fixing it with E-6000 so they can gaze upon it, on a shelf.
So remember when formulating your keywords try and think about it from a customer’s perspective, because that is who you want to find you.