How to Improve Search Results for Your Websites - Rise to the Top and Get Noticed

By | 11:45 AM
Once you have made a website to promote your work, how do you make sure to get noticed? SEO - Search Engine Optimization – is the key to accomplishing this, and it is not hard to get started.  

computer, marketing, online SEO
Illustration of Global Reach or the Concept of Doing Business Globally Via the Internet
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This article will cover five simple methods to make your website come up in search engine results such as Google. When someone searches your name, a title of one of your works, an exhibition or groups you participate with, etc. use these easy SEO tips to increase your search engine hits:

  • Image File Names: Make sure that the images of your art on your website are descriptive or actual title names.  Make sure to change the default names that load from your camera such as "DSC_00123.jpg" by giving it a descriptive name instead. For example if the image is of your handcrafted ceramic horse sculpture, rename your image file to "Ceramic Horse Sculpture Art.jpg." This will make the image label readable for search engines which classify file names and the image of your horse sculpture in this case would come up in image searches.  The more specific the name is, the better the search-targeting will be.  There are meta-tags for images which are more advanced, and if you are html savvy using these to add your name or other specific information to images will improve your SEO even more.
  • Keywords: Every page on your website and every post on a blog should include relevant keywords and phrases. If you have a "Resume" or “CV” page, you may wish to attach keywords such as: series, shows, exhibits, artist resume, or other keywords to describe the region you are in or type of work you do.  Other important keywords can be specific to your publisher, print master, shop, artist collective, venues or galleries you have been involved with. Every web-hosting site has different criteria for how to include keywords so look up your site’s FAQ's for details such as how to insert, or what the maximum keywords allowed per page is, etc.
  • High Quality Content: With the search algorithm updates from the leading search engine Google: Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird  - you want to understand that the quality of the content of your webpages will factor in ways that go beyond just including some of your select keywords in the text. You do not want to be overly redundant using the same phrasing in every paragraph, post or caption.  Writers tend to have improved odds as compared to a visual artist with pages that include mostly media images and videos on gallery or portfolio page. Include captions for each image giving the title and medium and a short description or meaning of that artwork if possible which can help improve SEO. Search engines will target frequently used words found on every page of your site in order to determine categorization. If your website is about oil painting, be sure that word "oil painting" is in the content of multiple pages of your site.
  • Linking: Social media networks that you use should be linked to your website.  Depending on the layout you may wish to isolate these to your profile page, or include it in the footer, header or sidebar. Search engine results are higher-rated for websites with links on other strong sites and social media such as Twitter or Facebook are some of the strongest. It is also wise include a few outgoing links on your website to pages that add value for your visitors in similar interest categories for example, you may have a links page with your favorite art blog, online community, group, or e-zine listed (for instance: 
  • Interconnectedness:  A sometimes overlooked or underutilized form of optimizing your search results is in the word-of-mouth category.  This is basically making sure to “link” the offline with the online.  Make sure that your website has in the URL words that always appear in your promotional materials which will help set you apart from other similar pages. This goes into branding a bit, but for a quick case-review: instead of “Marty’s Fine Art Photography” use instead a more succinct “Martin Smith-Jones Art Photography” on both website and business cards.  This would keep searches from pulling every Marty that has photography or fine art online and would help someone who wants to see more than your main page which would be advertised, or stick in their mind in case they lost track of the flyer or card and just Googled instead.

These are just basic ways of improving your web search results, so if you want to go further feel free to delve into advanced SEO help articles, or pursue the help of a search optimization specialist.  More than ever before the search engine is a tool many are using for everything from questions, shopping ideas, advice searches to finding things to do in their area and beyond.  And the ability to pinpoint and drive people to your artist or writer pages is in your hands.  Be specific and make sure to deliver quality content that will set you apart from the vast crowds of creatives online. With time and patience you can make your place on the web easier to find with just natural relevant content to your page and updating and adding more of it will continue to build your SEO.

© Rebecca H Knight
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