In Part 1 we explained why Search Engines are important for artists and the role they play in the "Attraction phase" of your online art marketing. In this post we'll look more closely at how to be successful with search engines.
Most artist's websites (most websites, in general, in fact) rank poorly in search engine results. If your website doesn't show up on the first page of search results, you're missing opportunities. If it's not on the second page, you're basically wasting your time with search engines.
So, how do you rank highly? Here's what we've learned in our 6 years of designing artist websites:
The Major Search Engine Traffic Success Elements
Here are the three major keys to ranking highly in search engine results:
1. Optimized Website Structure: Your website must be built and structured such that search engine robots can easily find and index the information on the site. Basically it must be easy to read and understand and should, where possible, avoid elements that are invisible to search engines. Simple also works much better for human visitors - the worst artist websites from a human perspective are almost always the ones which are overly complex or clever rather than simple and visual!
2. Optimized Keyword Selection: Your website must include the appropriate words and phrases to describe you and your style of art. These "keywords" and "Keyword phrases" need to be placed in the most powerful sections of your site. In addition, it's important to ensure that the keywords you use to describe your art are the same as those being used by people searching for your style of art in search engines. There is no point in optimizing your website for terms that no one is searching on - that is like advertising beef in a town of vegetarians!
While we are on this keyword topic, it is relevant and important to mention niches. At the core of SEO and of any serious marketing effort lies the concept of your niche. It is very difficult to be commercially successful as an artist if you simply describe yourself as an "Artist". On the other hand, if you can tightly define exactly what sort of artist you are and the style of work you create, it will help you significantly. It helps because your message stands out to buyers who have an interest in your style of work. The saying, "Get rich in a niche" is just as true for art as it is for any other business and you need to embrace it and use it in all your art marketing activities. Being able to describe your niche is central to success with choosing SEO keywords.
3. Optimized PageRank: Search engines must decide that your website has a high "Relevance" to the search term. To a large extent this is a measure of the quantity and quality of incoming links (from other websites) to your website. Just as in human social situations, our importance is judged by the number of our friends and their degree of social power, so, too, is your website ranked by the company it keeps!
These three factors work together to create a "sweet spot" of maximum search engine rankings. Think of it as a recipe for a cake with 3 ingredients. If you have all three in place and bake at the right temperature for a sufficient time you can be fairly confident of a superb afternoon tea! If, on the other hand, you miss an ingredient, the cake may not rise or maybe it will taste really bad - not so good for business.
What we have noticed with SEO is that various websites will come and go from the page 1 search engine results. The sites that stay there invariably have all three foundations solidly in place so it really is worthwhile to do it properly if you want consistent results.
Sounds simple enough doesn't it? The truth is that it is quite simple, but it does take commitment on the part of the artist to do the research work and get the website optimization done. But then commitment and effort are what separates commercially successful artists from the rest.
If you are one of those seriously committed to success you have some options with how to implement SEO. You can research your own plan and spend thousands of dollars of your valuable studio time and you might be on the right path. You could also consider our Artist SEO Success System, a 21 day program which takes the guess-work out of exactly what to do and can get you solidly on the path to search engine ranking success. At $97 it really is unbelievably good value and we have a bunch of very happy artist customers who say so. Here are just a couple (Editor's Note: This week only the Artist SEO Success System is 30% off, this offer ends Friday at 6pm PST, so act fast. Use Code SEOSUCCESS when you check out: Click here to learn more):
Daniel - Thank-you for your Artist SEO guide and workbook. I have spent a small fortune learning SEO from various experts. Your book does an excellent job of distilling the most important parts down to step by step actionable tasks. Wish I had found you first, it would have saved me thousands. Awesome value. Tim ONeill, Nebraska
As an creator of educational materials and online courses (in my day job, I have a Masters in Instructional Design) I am totally impressed with the guide and workbook. It is so well written and thought out and CLEAR! I can tell you guys did a ton of work... Bravo! .... Kristen Hoard, California
Thanks for taking the time to read and absorb this series on SEO. There is never enough great art visible in the world and I hope that you will make use of some of these concepts to improve your marketing and get your art out there where it belongs - seen and sold!
About The Guest Author
Daniel Tardent is the Co-founder of Beautiful Artist Websites and Espresso Artist Websites in Santa Monica, California. Focused primarily on the development of websites and online marketing systems for artists, he also writes regularly for Art Marketing Secrets, and is the author of The Artist SEO Success System. (Ed note: And don't forget The Artist SEO Success System is 30% off until Friday at 6pm PST and you MUST use code SEOSUCCESS when you check out to receive the discount).