I've always been pretty tech-savvy. I had the good fortune to go to college right at the time when personal web pages were becoming a thing, so I learned how to write HTML by hand and I've kept a hand in coding in the 16 (*gulp*) years since graduating from college. I've never been afraid to try new apps or dive into social media and am generally considered the go-to gal for tech questions at my day job as a teacher.
But having a casual website and a Facebook page isn't enough when you're trying to run a successful online business. I'm ready to grow beyond the occasional errant shopper who stumbles across me on Etsy. (Thank you, errant shoppers! You've given me hope that what I'm doing is worthwhile and you've taught me a lot about selling online!) I'm ready to compete in the big leagues, and that means getting found when people search for me.
So I started Googling. I was appalled to discover that my business didn't show up on the first page of results even when searching for "holyoke puzzles." *sad trombone* Clearly it was time to get serious.
I started looking for tips online for getting my website recognized. And that's when I found the three letters that now obsess me: SEO - Search Engine Optimization. I've started dreaming in keywords and pondering meta descriptions. No, it's not as fun as designing puzzles or selecting beautiful woods, but it's just as much a part of my job as crafting. After a lot of sifting through posts on SEO, I thought I'd share some of my favorite (and most readable) choices.
Barbara Bitgood, Artisan owner of Holyoke Puzzles in Holyoke, Massachusetts.