Sunday, May 19, 2024

Latest Posts

SEO for Artists: Promoting Your Work Online

Principally, search engine optimization is advertising, by means of an understanding of how search engines like google work and the kinds of things folks search for, artists can attract prospects without having to rely on a third party. A fairly widespread approach to start the process of understanding search engine optimization can be to research key phrases; that’s, what folks are typing into engines like google when in search of whatever it is that you’re doing. An example of this might be someone typing in ‘oil portrait’ into Google and then finding the artist’s website. Knowing what persons are typing into search engines can take a whole lot of guesswork out of advertising, and free up your time to make artwork! The term ‘key phrases’ however, can be somewhat of a misnomer; typically simple one words aren’t the best way to go. The majority of searches are performed by way of strings of words, and attempting to compete for a single phrase might be quite tough if not impossible. A better strategy is usually to find what is called a ‘niche market’; that is, a less common seeking subject which has a reasonable pool of individuals searching for it.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a set of techniques for increasing a company’s ranking in search engines, and should be a very important tool to artists of varied media. The advantages of search engine optimization are aplenty, and not understanding the fundamentals can actually value you money within the long run; some huge cash, if you have an expensive habit like consuming Starbucks Coffee.

Importance of SEO for artists

The concept of the web business transaction has extremely intriguing implications to the web artist. Search Engine Optimization comes into play as a really valuable ability to develop for any web-based mostly artist. The thought behind SEO is that the web artist creates something, may it be a product or simply producing content; and optimizes it to be one of many top search outcomes when related key phrases are entered into engines resembling Google or Yahoo. This acts as a device to extend the viewership of a given item and in the end to amplify its market value. An artist makes art, however when that artist’s artwork is transformed into his/her livelihood, it’s in the artist’s greatest interest to aim to market said art to the widest audience possible. This is why the online artist should come to understand a technology-driven shopper searching for to obtain their work with minimal time and effort. Time and time again studies have proven that the typical web patron hardly ever ventures past the second page of search outcomes when Googling topic and for all sensible functions it’s shut to contemplate the first page of results as the one useful results page.

Think of the internet as a giant yellow pages book. If you were listed in that big yellow book and people were searching for the items that they would have an curiosity in that you perform, your possibilities of experienceing this new “gig” could be very doable. Now, a similar scenario of being observed remains the same, it is just the platform during which your product or service might be seen has modified and made a shift for the net arena. This is essential to artists due to the delicate nature of the self-promoting and private advertising strategies. Let’s be trustworthy, many artists are terrible at promoting themselves. However, getting straight learn how to promote your stuff through your basic HTML web site to achieve optimistic results is just a little completely different than paying for an advertisement within the newspaper. This is where the internet artist needs to seize themselves a bit knowledge of website marketing and integration and learn how to implement it with their on-line work in the case of studying how one can promote and apply SEO service.

Benefits of promoting your work online

One of the best ways of making sure that your work is seen is to promote it through the internet. If you are a visual artist with a website, you can use your artwork to advertise your services. Photographers, for example, can post images from events they have worked, and specialize in SEO for photography in their geographic region. By having these images on their website, and having the images properly tagged with relevant keywords, the images will gain traffic. This will result in inquiries from the clients seen in the photographs, as well as people browsing these websites. The same concept can apply to virtually any artist. A person involved in any artistic field can use their work on their website to land jobs in their specific field. When customers or clients are obtained, this in turn could lead to increased income. SEO can also be beneficial to securing employment in more traditional fields. If a customer simply wishes to advertise using the internet, there is a chance that an artist can take on the project. Making sure that the advertisement is seen is a key part to the equation, and this can be a win-win situation for both parties involved. An artist is anyone in a creative and innovative field, and must remember that their work has value and can be used as leverage!

Understanding SEO

How search engines work Search engines search for keyword combinations in web pages. They find keywords by spidering (also called web crawling) – the process of following hyperlinks on web pages to add to a search engine’s index. Spiders begin at well-connected servers and the most popular servers, as its searches are based on the links. The servers are interconnected as one page has links to other pages. When the spider arrives at a web page, it reads it, clicking on the links and indexing the keywords on each page. This way, it can gather data on the words contained on these pages. More data is sent via a program which sends the index to be stored. This index can then be searched. Each time a search is initiated, the search engine compares all the indexed pages to a set algorithm and takes into consideration more than a hundred factors to determine the ranking of a page for a keyword or phrase. The search engine will continue to change this algorithm and the factors considered when ranking to better meet the user’s needs. It will eventually display results on what it considers to be the most relevant sources of information, which will be displayed in order from the highest ranked page and so forth. SEO is what helps raise rankings.

What is SEO?

It stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines. All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved, as it is with paid search ads. Step by step. It is the practice of improving and promoting a web site in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines. SEO involves the internal and external strategies applied to a website that increase its rank and exposure in search engines. Because more visibility and rank higher the site appears in the search engine results, the more searchers will visit that site. The more visitors a site receives, the higher the chance they stick around for a while, visit again, and even make a purchase. This leads to an increase in revenue from the site. SEO is not hard; it’s just time consuming and tedious. SEO’s goal is to make a website successful and well rounded. Any change to a website, positive or negative will affect its rank. SEO is most effective when changes are made to the site, but it can also be effective as a marketing tool off the site, on another site. These off-site strategies different from on-site strategies, but they both work to increase a site’s visibility.

How search engines work

A search engine works by storing information about many web pages, which they retrieve from the HTML of the pages. These pages are retrieved by a web crawler, an automated bot which follows every link, categorizing each page using its content and the found keywords. Information about web pages is stored in an index database for use in later searches. Some search engines, known as metasearch engines, search not only their own index databases, but also those of other search engines. When a user enters a query, the search engine uses quite complex algorithms, taking into account the user’s keywords and the Page Rank, to determine a relevant set of results. These results will be displayed in order of the Page Rank. The higher a page’s Page Rank, the more likely it is to be seen by a user. Page Rank is essentially determined by the amount of inbound links. All of this functionality is written with complex algorithms designed in-house. These algorithms are tightly guarded as the results generated have a direct effect on company revenue, e.g. the amount of advertising revenue based on the number of page views. This means that in some cases, the search engine may manipulate the results to ensure a high Page Rank and therefore the most click-throughs. SEO is aimed at informing the search engine about a site in order to affect the results, the site’s Page Rank, or the search engine’s interpretation of the site.

Key SEO terms you should know

Anchor text: Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. SEO best practices dictate that anchor text be relevant to the page you’re linking to, rather than generic text. A good example of anchor text would be “click here”. A much better example of anchor text is “SEO services from a London company”. At the time of this writing, a search for the phrase “click here” on Google will return Adobe Acrobat as the first result. Adobe’s page for downloading Acrobat Reader has “click here” as anchor text pointing to that page. Now, the Page Rank for the Acrobat Reader Download page will be increased, due to the fact that the anchor text is set to “click here”. As most people do not change the default “text is written here” setting for the anchor text, the SEO benefit will be even greater. This can be seen if the cursor is moved over the link, as it will still display [Link] Google’s bombing damage mitigator ran into difficulty, as a search for “failure” returned the Government of Western Australia as the first result. This is due to the term “failure” being part of an anchor text link on the GWA site to the George W Bush bio page on the Wikipedia. An internet phenomenon of labeling the Google president as a failure has thus raised the GWA page for the term “failure” to #1 on the Google SERP. This was a good example of Anchor Text manipulation, and since there was widespread media coverage it is likely that the term “Google Bomb” will soon be added to the anchor text article on Wikipedia.

Alt tags: The Alt tag is used in HTML and XHTML documents to specify alternative text (alt text) that is to be rendered when the element to which it is applied cannot be rendered. Alt tags are used on images, so when the mouse is placed over the image, there is a small pop up that will appear displaying the content of the alt tag. Alt tags are very important for a search engine and enable a search engine to list an image in its search engine. Add to this the text-based browser that a visually impaired person may use, and the Alt tag can make all the difference.

Algorithm: An algorithm is a set of finite, ordered steps for solving a problem. Each search engine has a proprietary algorithm, but all are based on the same principles. A helpful way to understand an algorithm is to think of it as a recipe. Although the recipe uses the same ingredients, it’s likely you have made an omelette before and have your own way of doing it. This is how a search engine algorithm works. Even though it might have the same content, the method is different.

Implementing SEO strategies

Let’s not just play tag with Google. To get in the ring with the heavy hitter and step into a truly competitive level, you’ll need to have a greater understanding of how to utilize SEO to its fullest potential. It’s a common tie that binds artists – the simple desire to wish to create more, and market less. While artists may beat to their own drum, it’s not an excuse to limit opt-out of opportunities that could give them extra leverage in an industry that hardly gives out second chances. A good majority of artists are resourceful enough to know that they can make money in a myriad of different ways including teaching and taking on private commissions. A few more are lampwise enough to save as much as they can from their earnings to invest in stocks off commission work and build a nest egg to escape the need for making a living with a traditional 9 to 5 job. SEO is an invaluable skill that can open doors for artists who have not yet realized how it can benefit them. In essence, with an increase in targeted traffic, artists can spend less time worrying about money, and more time doing what they love to do.

Keyword research and optimization

Once you have a good list of keywords, you can use them to enhance your website content, URLs, and meta tags. The content of your website is the most important factor for search engines. They look for the keywords in your content to determine the relevancy of your page to a search term. It’s important to integrate your keywords in a way that does not disrupt the flow of your sentences or make your content sound unnatural. Having an unnatural sounding article is not only frowned upon by visitors but will also be recognized by search engines as “keyword spamming”. This can result in your site being penalized and possibly even banned from the search results. A general rule of thumb is to shoot for a keyword density of 5-7%. This means that your keyword should appear 5-7 times per 100 words. Your URLs and meta tags are also a very prominent ranking factor for search engines. Make sure to include your keywords in URL slugs and meta tag descriptions for your pages. This is something that is very easily done with most website creation platforms.

The first step is to make a list of the keywords or phrases that best describe your work. Start with at least 5-10 keywords that are most related to your artwork. Key phrases are two or more words linked together, usually about 3-4 words long. For example, “abstract oil painting”. When creating keyword phrases, think about what your target market would be searching for. Being more specific helps to find a niche target market. Instead of using a keyword like “sketches”, using a more specific keyword like “landscape pen sketches” will likely bring more relevant traffic to your site. While general keywords may bring you more traffic initially, it’s much better to have your artwork found by people who are specifically interested in the kind of art you are offering. This improves the quality of your visitors since those who search very specific terms are often more likely to make a purchase or desired action on your website.

On-page SEO techniques

Stay clear of off-page SEO until you are fully satisfied that you have maximized the potential of your on-page SEO for the precise reason that the links that you will generate for off-page SEO will ultimately lead back to your website. So working on them when the website is not in a very good SEO condition will mean that it takes you longer to climb the ranks.

Internal linking: Internal linking is the process of creating links within the content of your site that link to another page within your site. This allows information to be accessed easier and improves your site’s navigation.

Content: Quality content is absolutely essential as you will naturally include your keywords within it. Writing about your artwork means that you have to find a balance between optimizing the content for search engines and the readability of it by humans. Do not flood your content with keywords as search engines will pick up on this and see it as a negative to your ranking. Utilize H1 and H2 tags with a keyword-rich heading.

Meta tags: Meta tags are a specific HTML tag that provides information about a web page. Metadata is typically about the page’s title, description, and keywords. The main two meta tags are the description and keyword. The meta description and keyword should be implemented within the backend of your website and included on each page that you want to be searchable. We recently added a feature within the Artweb website editor that allows you to add meta tags easily without any knowledge of HTML.

Once you have your keyword list developed, it is time to implement it to your on-page SEO process. This can be largely broken down into three main areas: meta tags, content, and internal linking.

Off-page SEO techniques

– Resource and Reciprocal Links: Resource link building involves seeking out complimentary sites to the site to be linked from and creating a relationship where both sites link to each other for mutual benefit. This can provide good link juice and it is safe as long as reciprocal anchor text is varied and influence from the link is not forced to the extent that it looks to manipulate PageRank. This method is, however, outdated and authoritative one-way links are preferred to ensure link juice from using resource links outweighs any potential dropped credibility or penalty.

– Press Releases: The key to getting links from press releases is to keep them off article syndication sites and publish them only to targeted high trust and authority news sites. This will cost money but low-cost press release links from sites like Fiverr could end up causing Google penalties. High-quality press release content can provide brand signals and links and increase overall rankings with potential traffic benefits if content is picked up by mainstream news.

– Linkbaiting: This is the practice of crafting content that is designed to get other content producers to link to it. Google’s objective is to deliver great content to its users and crafting content that is designed to gain links is an excellent way of ensuring that your content is seen as such. You need to create unique and high-quality content that will benefit the Internet community and not content that is designed with the primary purpose of gaining links. This may include a video, document, widget, or any other piece of web content. Linkbait is often the most powerful form of off-page SEO but it’s also the hardest to succeed at.

– Directory/Forum Listings: These can build quality inbound links but to be done right it needs to be done manually and selectively and only on sites with great trust and authority. Paid directory listings and low-quality general forum links won’t help and could harm. It’s important to guard against partial exact match keyword anchor text and only seek to attain varied anchor text to give your site more holistic link juice.

– Blogging: A great method of attaining inbound links; but much as with the above methods it needs to be done right. Do not simply create a blog and fill it with scrap off-topic posts to provide links to your site and build keyword text link anchor text. Google’s Panda update has included measures to ensure that only quality content prevails. Blogging can also help to create social media signals and brand links that may help overall SEO efforts.

– Social Networking: Creating a page on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking website can provide a great search engine friendly method to attain inbound links. It can also help to build branded links which are a great indicator for Google’s new caffeine index. Social networking can also be used to build brand signals which can possibly start to become a ranking factor to safeguard against quality content losing out to cheap click bait.

Off-page search engine optimization can be done using the following techniques. These are more difficult to implement and do require some effort. They help in boosting your site’s popularity so that it can be ranked highly by search engines.

Optimizing images and multimedia content

The first technique is to utilize keyword-rich file names for images. It is commonplace to see images saved as “DC00009.jpeg”. The artist should change this to a more descriptive file name. An example could be “modern-abstract-painting.jpeg”. This file name will act as the first point of reference for search engines and can be easily picked up during a search engine image search. The artist should also consider changing the image name to be SEO compliant. This may involve renaming the image to better match the keyword and key phrase strategy they have adopted for their website. This will help in providing consistency across the website and improve the chances of the image appearing in regular search engine results.

By optimizing images and multimedia content, artists can enhance visibility for search engines and access a completely new channel in which they can market their work. At this current time, search engines can only identify text; they cannot identify images, flash, video, or audio. Although new technology is being developed to recognize images, it is still not 100% foolproof, and therefore it is essential to provide the search engines with metadata in relation to the media content. This will allow search engines to index the information and include the images in search engine results. Below are a few techniques artists can employ in order to optimize their images and multimedia content.

Measuring and improving SEO performance

Analytics data can indicate whether higher quality traffic and search engine rankings are being achieved. If the data shows that lower quality traffic is being brought to the site, then it may be that the wrong keywords are being targeted or there are major optimization issues. If it is determined that the wrong keywords are being used, the planning phase of the SEO strategy will need to be revisited. If the data shows that there are issues with the optimization of the site or search engine rankings, then further action can be taken to make site improvements and improve search engine rankings.

Website analytics provide details on how a site is found and what visitors do once the site has been reached. There are two types of search engines which can be used to find a website. The first type of search engine is a robot-based search engine, and the second type is a human-powered directory. Robot-based search engines are preferred as they bring in traffic that is more targeted. A good search engine ranking is essential for maximizing the potential of the high-quality traffic.

Tracking website analytics

It’s important to have a benchmark before implementing changes so that you can assess if your changes made an improvement. You can track changes in knowledge of how much search engine-referred traffic your site is receiving, which can be found with both an analytics platform and web server logs shown previously. You can also manually check your keyword rankings. If you’re using rank tracking software, make sure you’ve noted down your current ranking at the start of your re-evaluation. If you have ties to a specific keyword through conversion data, advertisement, or public image, it may also be useful to track the rankings of these keywords specifically.

If your logs aren’t relaying this information, or you’re using a niche search engine, you can set up custom search user tracking with Google Site Search or Programmable Search Engine. This will require an XML data feed but can also provide valuable information on user behavior and popular search keywords. On-site search forms can be interrogated in a similar way to find out what users are looking for on your site.

Analysis of web server logs can also provide a wealth of information, giving details of what search engines are doing when they visit your site, what their crawlers are looking for, and how often they access it. Logs also show what keywords users entered into a search engine to land on a specific page. This information is vital for monitoring SEO performance and making educated guesses on what keywords to target more with either on-page copy changes or link building campaigns.

There are many analytics platforms that can help you track your users’ site interaction, behavior, and demographics to enable you to monitor SEO performance. Google Analytics is a widely popular and free choice for basic website analytics. Ensure you have it installed prior to implementing the next steps.

Monitoring keyword rankings

Let’s start with tracking keyword position. Rank checking in SEOmoz is a good way to do this, and there are a few important tactics to keep in mind. First, you should determine how many keywords you aim to track on the search engines. If you’re tracking a small list of keywords, then checking once a week is acceptable. However, if you’re tracking thousands of keywords, you will want to check a sample set of keywords every week, as weekly rank fluctuations and data inaccuracy could skew your results. A sample set will still show reliable data if selected correctly and will prevent spending excessive resources on tracking rankings.

Before you begin tracking your keyword rankings, it’s important to understand what keyword performance actually means. It actually doesn’t have much to do with the actual SERP (search engine results page) positions of the keywords. I’ve seen many instances where a website ranks on the first page for a specific keyword, but it’s only drawing in a handful of visitors. The keyword is ranking well, but it might not be the most effective keyword in terms of drawing in traffic to the website. This is why tracking keyword ranking is broken into two metrics. The first is the keyword position, which is where the keyword ranks on the SERP. The second is keyword visibility, which takes into account the search volume of the keyword and the position to determine how effective the keyword is.

Making data-driven SEO improvements

Utilizing a process of continuous improvement, data-driven SEO strategy is all about demonstrating progress quantitatively and using that information to shape the strategic plan forwards, taking guesswork out of the equation. The key to making data-driven improvements is ensuring you are able to measure the changes to your site pre and post changes. Whether the change is an amendment of existing content, removal of web pages, adding new content or a website redesign, track your efforts in a method which is best representative of its impact. Unfortunately, given the recent changes to encrypted search for organic referrals in Google Analytics, it has become increasingly difficult to measure the exact changes in keyword rankings to traffic. However, we are still able to make good assumptions by assessing the changes in landing page traffic. For each SEO tactic, make a hypothesis about the expected outcome and fully assess the change in relation to this. Any successful hypothesis is pure gold, a proven tactic that can then be altered and applied again for increased effects. Unsuccessful changes are an inevitable part of the process. If a hypothesis has not worked, understand why it didn’t and what can be learned from it. SEO is very much a science.

Latest Posts

Don't Miss