Mastering SEO: Keep It Real with Tips from Artfire's COO and Co-Founder

  SEO tips from Artfire COO about selling handmade jewelry online

Tony Ford, co-founder and COO of shared his tips for optimizing online product listings in the July issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Another way to rank high in searches, he says, is to repeat key phrases just enough – but not too much – and to focus on helping buyers instead of trying to game the search system.

LJJA: If five or six repetitions of a key phrase attract search engines, why not throw in a couple more for good measure?

Tony Ford: You don’t want to stuff the listing. If the keyword density is too high, Google will start to get suspicious and ignore it. Google has said people who specialize in SEO are profiled by them like criminals. They look for them, profile them, and figure out their tactics so they can defeat them. It’s like a chess game of me vs. Google, and Google can change their rules any time and kick me off if I break them. They’re the chess grandmaster and I’m blindfolded.

Google search rules changed 460-some times last year. They’re constantly being tweaked. It’s artificial-intelligence-based-learning algorithms, the constantly shifting basics of SEO.

LJJA: Are sellers wasting their time trying to figure out SEO if the rules keep changing?

TF: If you write content that’s good for the user, that helps people to actually locate or learn about your product: you’ll do fine with Google. You can only influence it so much; you can’t fool it. Google cares about the user experience. You don’t have to be an SEO expert, just try to create content that is correct for the item you’re listing.

I have a full-time team here who reads up on every new twist in SEO. You can really get off in the weeds with this if you want to. But for most sellers, a little SEO goes a long way and gives you a whole lot more benefit than doing nothing. If you make sure your titles and descriptions are good, you’ll see a vast increase in benefit.

More tips on applying SEO to your online shops:

SEO Tips and Tricks on 

Etsy SEO Tips from the blog Handmadeology 

Articles about SEO on HandmadeNews 

Finding the perfect keywords with Google Adwords 


CATHLEEN MCCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories on design, travel and business have appeared in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, Washington Post, and her own site,

NET PROFITS is a regular feature about using the Internet for jewelry selling of special interest to those with a home-based jewelry business that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more in "Optimize Your Online Shop," July 2011.

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