Having your own web site is really a lot easier than you might think. If you are thinking about selling your antiques online, there are two ways to go. You can actually set up your web site so that you can sell your antiques directly from your own web site. Or, you can direct visitors from your site to an another site that lists your items as well as others. But yours will be listed in your own store, much like an antique mall. It will then also list your items as part of the inventory of the entire site.
This is the way we decided to go. We chose to send our visitors to an online antique mall site, Ruby Lane. We got much more traffic viewing our items, because Ruby Lane gets thousands of visitors a day. An individual antique web site will much less. I did another article about selling antiques online which you can go to “Selling Antiques Online Successfully.”
If you want your own web site, and if you have a antique store or mall, I think it is a necessity, it is important to learn how to promote it. You can have the most wonderful web site in the world, but if you don’t have any visitors, it will be just a pretty site that you can show to your friends and family. But, if done correctly it can be a great source of bringing traffic to your antique store or mall. And, of course it can help your online sales. Unfortunately, it is not like “Field of Dreams” where, “If you build it, they will come.” There are thousands of sites out there on the internet and if your site is not built correctly and promoted correctly, you will never get many visitors to your site. Yo9u might be saying you paid someone a lot of money to build a web site for you. Unfortunately, many web site designers do not understand, SEO, search engine optimization. There is on site SEO, which means the web site must be designed with SEO in mind.
It is a shame that we didn’t all understand SEO principles when we chose the name of our store. I am included, because my store name was not SEO friendly. OK, I know you want to know what I am talking about. This has to do with how people find your web site when they are searching for an antique store in your town or city. The larger the town, the more important this becomes. Being a Dallas native, I will use that as an example. What will people type into Google search when they are searching for an antique store or antique mall in Dallas. Most likely, it would be something like “antiques Dallas”, “Dallas antique stores”, etc. I will use the name of my antique mall/store, London Market. We came up with the name because we specialized in English antiques. The number one thing to help you get ranked on Google is the name of your URL, like http://www.londonmarketantiques.net/. The only good part, as far as SEO is concerned, was adding “Antiques” to our web site name. But a simple Dallas Antiques would have been a much better SEO name because it would be much closer to what people would be typing into Google, or any other search engine. But most of us have a name for our antiques business, so what else can we do.
Be sure to claim your listing on Google Places. It is a free listing and shows your business on a map of your city. You can give a description of your business, post pictures, videos, and other information about your store. There are many other local sites that you need to do the same. I can’t list everything in this article. I help small businesses get a larger internet presence so more people can find their web site and get more customers into your store. It is the bottom line that we all want.
Having a great SEO optimized web site can be more effective than most other forms of advertising. I learned this through the school of hard knocks and wasted many thousands of dollars on advertising and got very little results. After I learned the principles of SEO and started applying it to our own web site, I started seeing the results. One of the strangest examples was I sold a Georgian bookcase online to someone who lived in Dallas who never came into the store to see it, and it was over $4,000.
There is so much more to promoting a web site. I spent over six weeks learning the basics. At one time I had four different listings on page one of Google for “Dallas antique mall.” The age of a web site helps get better rankings, but that is something we have no control of at this point. But there are many things you can do. Selling antiques on your own web site can be another source of income for your antique store.