This is my second post in the Etsy SEO series. In my first post I walked you through the most important element of SEO: Keywords. I hope that you’ve had time to read the post and incorporate the use of keywords in your shop. Today, I’ll be shedding some light on the the role that LINKS play in the whole SEO deal. Let’s get started.
WHAT ARE SEO LINKS?
We all know what a link is. Right? A LINK is just a Hyperlink that when clicked takes you to another location either on the current page or an external site. When we talk about SEO Link, there are two types: Outbound Links and Inbound Links.
- Outbound links are links that start at your site and lead to an external site. For example, if I add a link to my Etsy Shop here – HerbanLuxe Handmade Makeup – this is considered an outbound link on the EcoEtsy Blog because it’s taking the reader away from the EcoEtsy blog to an outside site – my shop.
- Inbound links (aka Backlinks) are links coming in from an external link to your site. So keeping in the example posted above, a link to my shop on on the EcoEtsy blog is considered an Inbound Link or Backlink on my site because it is coming into Herbanluxe from an outside site – EcoEtsy.
Catch my drift here? This whole Search Engine Optimization deal is total popularity contest with Inbound links or Backlinks being a sign of popularity and importance. Search engines, like Google, consider sites that have a large number of QUALITY backlinks more relevant than others in a search query.
What do they mean by QUALITY backlinks?
When a search engine uses it’s fancy-shancy mathematical algorithms to calculate the relevance of your site to a specific keyword or long tail keyword (remember we covered these in the 1st post), it takes into consideration the number of backlinks to your site and the quality of those links. QUALITY is determined by the content on the site that is linking back to your site.
Let me try to explain this in simpler terms. A backlink coming from a site that has content related to your site’s content is considered a HIGH-QUALITY backlink. Whereas a backlink coming form a site that has content totally unrelated to your shops content is a POOR-QUALITY backlink.
Let me give you an example. I’ll pick a shop a shop: PierogiPicnic
PierogiPicnic offers eco-friendly, upcycled, sustainable clothing and she just received a backlink from this post to her shop. Because the EcoEtsy blog contains content related to her products – Eco-friendly, Eco-Conscious, Etsy Team – the backlink would be considered a HIGH-QUALITY link. However, let’s say there was a backlink to PierogiPicnic from a site that had content related to motorcycles, like let’s say Girlie Motorcycle Blog – PierogiPicnic and Girlie Motorcycles do not share similar content – that backlink would be of lower relevance therefore making it a poor-quality backlink.
Next, let’s talk about one technique that produces even high-quality backlinks.
In the infamous words of my 12 year old, “What the heck is Anchor Text and why are you writing about it?” If you are like my daughter Bels, you may be envisioning text written on a boat anchor. But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
Anchor Text is the text that you see and can click on when its in the form of a hyperlink. You know the blue underlined text stuff.
Above in the, “What do they mean by QUALITY backlinks” section, I typed Pierogi Picnicin the form or a link, the words that you see in blue is the Anchor Text. Search engines will use the Anchor Text to determine the subject matter of the page it is linking to and which queries it is relevant to.
Anchor Text such as click here, makes the link less relevant a better Anchor Text would be Pierogi Picnic Upcycled Clothing as it provides additional keywords related to the site it’s linking to and it will help in boosting the sites rating.
A link’s anchor text or link text is a powerful tool when it comes to SEO. It is also the hardest to control. When someone links to your EtsyShop, more than likely a few things happen: the blog author will use your shop name as the text that is displayed in the link and they may or may not contact you to let you know that they’ve linked to you. If you do receive notice that someone is linking to your site, you could contact them and ask they they use a long tail keyword as their anchor text to help make the backlink more relevant.
You also need to be away of this thing called, FIRST ANCHOR TEXT. It’s like a search engine rule that basically says, “If two or more links on a page target the same URL, then only the First Anchor Text will be counted and the others will be dismissed.”
WAYS TO BUILD QUALITY BACKLINKS
It wouldn’t be very nice of me to end my post without giving you some ideas on how to build quality backlinks and offering you a nifty tool. So, I offer you both. First the ideas:
- RSS Feeds. You can offer up your RSS Etsy Shop Feed to bloggers who may be willing to add it to their site free. This will count as a backlink.
- Press Releases. If you have some exciting news put it in a press release and submit it. If picked up online, it will count as a quality backlink.
- Blog Post Comments. When you leave a comment on a blog with related content to your shop, it may count as a backlink as long as they are not using a NOFOLLOW rule. Most bloggers are very careful as to sites they will link to and most use a NOFOLLOW rule which means that any link that is left on their site will not count as a backlink to the site it points to. Too many outbound links can hurt a blogs’ pagerank. Here’s my take on this, when you leave comments on a blog you should not do so with the goal of of creating a backlink network, you should be leaving meaningful comments in order to network and gain some extra exposure. If your comment is of interest people more than likely will want to check you out. So enter your shop name in the name area instead of your real name.
- Avoid Link Exhchanges. If you are happily exchanging links with different sites, you have to be careful. Make sure your sites are related. A site with too many irrelevant outbound links will lower their ranking.
- Interlinking could be bad for your health. If you have a blog, a facebook, a twitter page, a myspace, a flickr, a separate website for your products and you link them all to your main shop it could hurt you because the search engine, such as Google will think that you’re up to no good.
Next the tool! I love Mozilla Firefox because of all the useful add-ons you can install. So the tool I offer you today is an add-on for FireFox called, SearchStatus. This tool is chock full o’ resources, you can check link reports, keyword density, metatags and highlight keywords in your shop or site.
That’s all she wrote for today. In my next post, we’ll discuss On-Page SEO.
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