Hello maker friends!

It’s been truly humbling to meet so many amazing makers over the last few weeks since Pine + Main has been live.  Your products are unbelievably beautiful, creative and well made.  It is an honor to work with you.

One of the big challenges I ran into when I first started publishing content on Ana-White.com was how do I show up on Google?  Over the years, I learned a few secrets that have lead to over 200 million google referrals to Ana-White.com, and wanted to share those secrets with you in a new series of SEO Tutorial posts.  Perhaps you can apply these tips to your products on Pine + Main and get your beautiful furniture viewed by more potential customers.


What is SEO?

SEO is short for search engine optimization.  The goal of SEO should be to help search engines find and understand your content – not to trick it or cheat it in any way.  Instead of thinking “How can I get more google search traffic?“, the question should be “How can I help google recommend my content to the right users?”.

In this SEO Tutorial, I’m sharing with you how to use keywords to rank higher with search engines.

Understanding Keywords to Improve SEO

Search engines today are text focused, meaning that the search engine scans the text in your content to determine search relevancy.  You can focus your content to search engines by using keywords.

Keywords are simply words throughout your web content that make it possible for people to find your site when using search engines.  You can use single keywords to describe your furniture, like “table” or “desk” but these keywords may return thousands of results, with your content lost in the masses.  Also, using broad, single keywords gathers a broad audience – so even if searchers find your “table” or “desk” in results, the chances they are looking to buy your exact product is slim.  The goal is to be found and convert, not to just be found and dismissed.

Long-tail keywords are simply a group of keywords that more specifically describe your content.  Examples might include “farmhouse table” or “modern desk”.  You can even go longer to further fine tune – “farmhouse table for sale” or “modern desk with storage”.  By using a long-tail keywords you increase your chance or ranking higher in search results with the right users.   


Find Long Tail Keywords

Now that we understand why long-tail keywords are important, how do know which ones to use to increase search engine traffic?

First, write down on paper all of the possible terms you might search to find your listing.  Think of yourself trying to find your content.  What would you google?

For example “farmhouse table for sale” , “buy a farmhouse table” , “rustic dining table” , “fixer upper table”  or “pottery barn table for sale” might be a few search phrases used to search for a stylish farmhouse table for sale.

Once you have brainstormed a few keyword phrases, it’s time to test them with a keyword research tool.  The classic is Google Ad Words, a free keyword research tool created for advertisers to help fine tune when their ads are displayed – but many people use Google Ad Words to simply research keywords to improve their website SEO.  Another alternative I like is KW Finder, and there are many more keyword research tools out there.

Research the phrases you have written down in the keyword research tool.  Consider the number of searches (volumes) contrasted with the number of results (competition).  Use the keyword research tool to discover similar long-tail keywords, with bigger search volumes and/or lower competition.

For example “rustic farmhouse table” averages 1,300 searches a month, “rustic table” averages 5,300 searches a month, and  “rustic dining table” averages 12,100 searches each month, all with similar competition.  “Rustic dining table” is the clear winner here.  Without the keyword tool, you may never have known that.

Narrow down to one main long-tail keyword phrase and a few supporting phrases.  Keep in mind your main long-tail keyword phrase will be used in your title, so choose something appropriate, and use high ranking but not as appropriate phrases as supporting phrases (for example “cheap furniture” might not be the best title, but ranks high in search).


Inserting Long-Tail Keywords to Improve Search Engine Traffic

Once you have picked your long tail keyword phrases, it’s time to add them into your product posts.

Your main long-tail keyword should be in the first 65 characters of your product or post title.  You can have a longer title, but Google may cut off after the first 65 characters, so make sure your main long-tail keyword is used in the title.  In our example Rustic Dining Table would be our title.

When you create your product description, use the long-tail keyword phrase naturally one or two times.  Do not force or overstuff – if you do, search engines may penalize you.

 “This rustic dining table seats 8 comfortably.  …………… We can custom build this rustic dining table to any size to suite your space or needs.”

TIP: Use 300 words or more in product descriptions or post to naturally dilute the keywords and accurately describe your product.

Use the supporting keyword phrases throughout the text naturally when possible and applicable.

“It’s time to stop buying cheap furniture and invest in quality, locally made solid wooden furniture.  We can make anything for you at a reasonable price!”

TIP: If you can use the keyword phrases in subheadings or bolded text naturally, this will further increase their power within your post.


Recap of this SEO Tutorial

  1. Write down 5-10 possible search phrases that you might use to find your content.
  2. Use a Keyword Tool to select a primary keyword phrase with higher search volume with a lower competitive value.
  3. Also note 2-3 supporting keyword phrases.
  4. Use the primary keyword phrase in the first 65 characters of your title.
  5. Use the primary keyword phrase at least twice in your product description or main text body without forcing or stuffing.  Also use the supporting keyword phrases naturally.
  6. Aim for 300 or more words to naturally dilute your keywords throughout your product descriptions.


And that’s really all I do for keywords in posts.  It takes me about ten minutes before each post to research key words, and a few extra minutes to work the keywords into the posts naturally.  There are a few more SEO secrets that I will share with you – little stuff that makes a big difference – over the next couple of weeks in this SEO Tutorial series, so do stay tuned.

If you have any tips for SEO optimization, please leave in the comments.  We’d all love to hear your experience too.