Before anybody can find you, you’ve got to let the search engines know what you have to share. Although the exact formula search engines use to rank each site is more closely guarded than your grandmother’s cookie recipe, there are a few simple things you can do to tell Google what you got and why they should send more traffic your way.
It’s not just about getting more traffic, however, it’s also about getting the right traffic to your site. After all, if you’re a musician trying to book your band, it’s rather pointless to get visitors who are looking to build ‘book’ cases with their ‘band’ saw. In other words, while everyone wants more traffic, it’s more important to get the right people visiting your site. You do this by giving the search engines all of the information they need in order to send relevant visitors to your site.
Here are some more, in depth tips:
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!
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”.
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 it 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.