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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices for TpT Sellers

SEO Best Practices 

Today I am going to be talking about a hot topic that so many teacherpreneurs seem to be searching for answers on. The dreaded 3 words that seem to intimidate many: Search Engine Optimization.


If you were to google “unit rate resources” right now, what would come up? 


Well, I did just that, and, surprise, surprise…Teacher’s Pay Teachers is the first resource that comes up. Once you click on that link, it gives you pages and pages of resources created by teachers that help students learn unit rate.


So what is the significance? Let me ask you a question. When you google something, or when you are in Teachers Pay Teachers looking for a resource, where do you look to find the information you are searching for? Do you go to the first and second page? How about the third and fourth? What about the last page? 


Most likely, your answer was the first few pages. In fact, studies have shown that over 90 percent of people will not go past the first page in their searches. So why is this important for you? As a resource creator, you want to strive to be listed on one of those few pages of Teachers Pay Teachers! 


Today we are going to dive into how we can help our business get more traffic and make more sales. 


What is SEO and Its Importance? 


Before we get too far into this conversation, it is important to know what SEO is. SEO is basically the steps you take to be sure that your product and descriptions are written so your search engine ranks them as important. 


SEO is a beast, and creators are constantly trying to figure out the best way to write their descriptions and titles to increase their visibility; however, SEO does not need to be as complicated as people make it out to be. It is simply trying to use keywords to drive people to your TpT Store or Resources. 


You know who your audience is and you know your resource is helpful BUT if others cannot find your resources, then you are missing out on a big opportunity to make sales. That is what SEO is focused on doing. You want to first target your ideal audience and figure out what they are searching for. Once you know the problem your resource is trying to solve, GREAT, but now you need to also use keywords that make your page more credible than someone else’s.


That is when SEO comes into play. You are making your resource optimized for search engines. You need to put these keywords in your product description and title so when your audience types a question or a topic into the search bar… google and Teachers Pay Teachers gives them your resource because they believe you can fix their problem! This leads to more traffic and sales!  


How Does SEO drive Sales? 


Think about the words or phrases that would be searchable and describes the product you just created. It is tempting to want to use fun and creative or cutesy titles, but that won’t help people find your product! How do you get people to find your activity out of the thousands of others that are listed? Start by being relevant. So for example, don’t label it a math lesson if it isn’t. 


This is misleading and will frustrate your potential customers. Figure out the main keywords for your title and then add some keywords in naturally in the first few sentences of your product description. For example, if I created a task card activity on unit rate the title should be very specific and searchable. The title might end up being “Unit Rates with Complex Fractions Task Card Activity”. Now potential buyers know exactly what I am offering and if they only searched Unit Rates they would still find my product. They might also find it if they searched Complex Fractions Activity. The title is clear and doesn’t have any unnecessary or untrue information.


The next thing to think about is the first few sentences of your product description, also known as the “snippet”.. You want to use that same keyword again at least one time, maybe twice. The description for my product would be something like the following: Do your students struggle with practicing Unit Rate with Complex Fractions? This task card activity is perfect for getting your students engaged in applying Unit Rates with Complex Fractions in a fun way without using a typical worksheet.


Notice that I didn’t repeat the phrase Unit Rate with Complex Fractions in an unnatural way. I used it in the first sentence and I was able to use it the in the second, but it wasn’t awkward. If I had repeated it one more time it wouldn’t be the natural way I would speak about the product, and it would be considered “keyword stuffing”. Keyword stuffing is when you add the word into your description or post too many times. You are shoving that word in every sentence and it doesn’t read well. It isn’t natural. If you wouldn’t speak that way, then don’t write that way. 

This is frowned upon in the TpT search algorithm. The term is also used when you are talking about a topic but you throw in other topics to see if you can get the product or post to show up when someone searches it because it’s more popular than what you are writing about. You’ve probably come across this. After searching for a key term on google, you start looking through results and not all of them are relevant or pertinent to what you have searched for. Most likely, the term you are searching for is somewhere else in the text. 


You need your keyword to be the same set of words or phrase and it needs to be in found in the title and the snippet (first few lines of your description). Picking keywords to use is the tricky part. You might not always know what keyword or term to use. In your head, it might make sense to call them Unit Rate Task Cards, but what if someone searches for Unit Rate Activities? They are essentially the same thing, but to a search engine, they are two different things. Knowing your audience helps with this one. If you have an idea what they might search or what you would search to find that resource, then use that phrase. 


Using the two terms interchangeably in your description would work too. Then you cover two keywords at once. If it’s just two, that isn’t keyword stuffing. Don’t use more than two. If you have the basic concept described well and you have used it naturally, your customers will find you. The key to using a search term, and using it well, is to make sure it’s something that others would search for if they were looking for that resource or information. 


Number One Tip


There are SO many resources out there that claim they are the best when it comes to researching SEO. Some of these resources cost upwards of $200.00 a month. 


The thing is, your biggest resource when researching keywords is RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU! Use the Teachers Pay Teachers search bar for help! When you click on the search bar, you will see the keywords that are popular right now. If those words do not work for your resource, begin typing in a word for your product and it will show you the most popular. 


I decided to try this with unit rate. When I type unit rate in the search bar, keywords come up! I can now use these keywords in the description in my product. Then, when people look for unit rate and search one of my keywords, my product will be ranked higher in the search engine.


As I said, there are keyword research tools that help with keyword research, but they aren’t as reliable for key terms that are used on teachers pay teachers. Terms that are searched frequently on the TpT site aren’t necessarily what the rest of the world is searching on the internet. Take this into consideration, if you use a search tool, to help you pick keywords. 


Or use your better judgment and think of how you would talk to your teacher friends about a product. Most likely those are the same terms and topics that other teachers are using when they search. So in a nutshell, take your time when writing out titles and descriptions. Think about what others would type in the search bar to find your product or post. This is your keyword and you want to spread it out through your listing or post in a natural way. Simple as that. 


What else would you like to know about building genuine connections with your audience? Let us know in the free Thriving Teacher Facebook Group!




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