Finally you have this great website displaying your art. But how do people find your site on the ever-growing web? Getting found is all about a Google-/Bing-/Yahoo-friendly website.
You'll need certain tools, data and rules to make your site Search Engine healthy. Difficult? Not really, but it takes some effort to create a site properly indexed
and ranked by the leading search engines. Below are the ranking factors and (algo)rithms to live by.
1) Choose a descriptive domain name
In the organic search results overview the domain name is one of the first things people will see so it should be descriptive about what you're offering
or who you are.
2) Create unique content
Creating unique content shouldn't be too hard because you're showing your unique artwork and information.
3) User Experience please
It's important to create a good user experience for your audience.
- Easy and logical navigation.
- Use relevant (and possibly) short URLs. This means using descriptive URLs: the current URL 'artandbohemia.com/art-website-seo' would inform a visitor more about it's
content than a 'artandbohemia.com/third-article'.
- Use alt and title attributes of images. Consider making even the file name descriptive like 'my-unique-title.jpg'.
- Always use heading tags. Subheadings should have a higher value (the subheadings used on this page are
- Page speed: create pages that load fast (for example by keeping image sizes low).
- Create a site map for your audience if your site is multi directory and big.
- Make sure your website looks good on desktops, laptops and especially mobile devices: use a responsive design.
Since most organic traffic is mobile-induced, consider a mobile-first approach.
- If you've got a big site with many subfolders: consider using breadcrumbs.
- Use an informative '404 Not Found page'. Maybe show resources closely related to the page or, for example, a search form.
- Have a simple per page setup: keep one page optimized around one central idea and related keyword.
- Fresh content every now and then attracts (new) users.
- Dead URL's.
- Too many advertisements.
- Big spelling mistakes.
- Spam within comments.
- Unwanted redirects of 'back button locks'.
- Incorrect HTML.
4) Get other sites to link to your website
If your unique content is really interesting people might want to let other people know about it.
Best incoming links are from other quality websites.
5) Use keywords on multiple places
Remember that keywords should not always be single words. It's fine to use a sentence containing the keyword in a manner a user would type the sentence in
the search box of a search engine. Furthermore: use words instead of images to display content or meaning.
Using multiple instances of the same keyword includes:
- Title and Title meta tag. On this page
<title>Art and Bohemia - Art Website SEO<title>. Keep this tag unique and descriptive.
- Description meta tag. On this page
<meta name="description" content="SEO for art websites.">. Make this tag unique and descriptive with a max of 150 chars.
- In the URL.
- Use synonyms.
- In the alt attributes of images.
- Writing artificial and unnatural.
- Overdoing it, aka 'keyword stuffing'.
6) Use services of Google
Do a Google search with 'site:your-site.com'.
If your site doesn't show up, it probably isn't indexed yet or you are in some violation of Google's webmaster rules.
Use a robots.txt if you have a page or pages you don't want crawled and indexed.
Search result pages within your site can be added to robots.txt because they initially don't have much value for a visitor.
Use the 'Webmaster Tools' of Google to check the validity of your HTML markup and robots.txt.
Consider submitting a sitemap especially for search engines so they have a notice about what you think are important (relative) URLs in your website.
It's usefull to analyse where your visitors are coming from and how long they stay on your site.
Use Google Analytics for insight in these metrics.
7) Consider using HTTP Secure
Traditionally most websites were available over Hyper Text Transfer Protocal (HTTP), but with increasing concerns about security
Google displayed an interest in a more secure web by promoting the Hyper Text Transfer Protocal Secure (HTTPS).
HTTPS encrypts data send from a client to a server and makes this data less prone to being read somewhere along the way.
8) Use Social Media
Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter may link to your website but it's equally important to
have a solid representation on those social media. Are people talking about your art or about you as an artist?
Search engine algorithms are including social media signals and they may be given greater importance in the years to come.
9) Common pitfalls
- Very little home page content because of a slider with images or just one big image.
- Very little content on a specific page. Bypass the pitfall of a simple 'I create art, call me for more information'.
Give content-rich details. At least 1,000 words are needed for a SEO best-fit content.
- Refrain from traditional buying, selling, and trading of links for better rankings.
- Not using images at all. Start or break up your content with an interesting image
and the the visitor may be enticed to actually read your content. The web stays a visual medium.
- A heavvy AJAX based website. This technique prevents the one page - one topic idea. Likewise, watch out with iFrames and Flash.
Sure, SEO for art websites is not a one-call process.
The search landscape changes almost weekly, so expect to work on your website optimization on a regular basis.
At least, you will be an artist who is found on the web.