SEO Basics – What Artists Need To Know
There are many artists like you trying to be noticed online.
The artists doing well have spent a great deal of time learning about SEO.
Many people are afraid of SEO, and I am here to tell you that it is not that difficult. Once you understand the SEO basics, you will realize that it is easier than you might think.
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Whether you own a blog or website (hopefully, you have both), you must understand search engine optimization (SEO).
The basics of selling art online have never been more straightforward.
Everything you need to start and grow a thriving art business is at your fingertips, and most of the tools are free.
One reason why many artists fail selling art online is that they do not take the time to learn about SEO.
You are here because you want to get noticed online. You want people to see your art and get to know that you are the artist behind the artwork they are admiring.
By the end of this post, you will have a clear idea of what SEO basics are so you can start reaching your target audience.
What is SEO Basics
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. (Source: Moz)
Wikipedia defines organic search as “a method of entering one or a plurality of search items in a single data string into a search engine. Organic search results are listings on search engine result pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms instead of advertisements.”
Basically, SEO is optimizing your site so search engines can clearly understand what your site and the content have to offer.
Is SEO Important
Some people might say, “SEO is no longer important.”
This statement is nonsense.
Do not listen to this type of garbage if you would like to sell art online.
The only way your art will sell online is when someone knows your artwork is available for sale.
Learning about SEO basics will help you optimize your site, so people can find you online.
Let me ask you a question.
How did you stumble upon this article?
Most of you have discovered this post while searching for “SEO Basics.”
Or another keyword similar to this.
A small percentage of people might have found it on a social media site I use, but most of the traffic is generated from an organic search.
To simplify, you type a query into a search engine, and results relevant to the keywords will appear.
You were able to discover this post in a search because it ranks higher in the search results.
The post ranks higher because I focus on SEO and use keywords that people are using in search to find this type of content.
SEO is a way to communicate with Google and other search engines. You are making it easy for search engines to understand your content.
By focusing on SEO, search engines can share your content with people who are interested in the topic you are covering.
One of your objectives is to drive organic traffic (traffic generated by people clicking on links in the search results) to your artist website.
However, you do not want just anybody showing up to your site. Your main objective is to drive your target audience to your site.
You target audience art the people who what to by your artwork and join your email list.
Knowing what keywords you want to rank for will allow your target audience to discover you in the search results.
Why Websites Rank Higher In Search
Sites optimized for search engines that regularly publish the best content win the race.
SEO is a way to communicate with Google and other search engines.
By optimizing your site and blog for SEO, search engines can share your content with people interested in the topic you are covering.
The more blog posts you publish, the better your chances of reaching more art collectors.
For example, I will have a better chance of reaching a larger audience if I have a hundred blog posts published, and you only have ten posts published.
What Are Search Engines Looking For
Search engines like Google and Bing want to refer to the most relevant content to a user’s query.
They do this by using a sophisticated algorithm to decide the quality of a website.
Search engines crawl the web 24/7, collecting new information and indexing the HTML content in an extensive database.
How often a site is indexed will be determined by how frequently the site is updated with new or revised content.
After the data is collected and indexed, Google will decide which pages are shown in the search results and in what order.
Nobody knows exactly which factors make a page rank higher than others, which is good for legitimate businesses.
The secret prevents spammers from taking over the internet, subjecting users to useless content.
The good news is extensive tests show common factors between top-ranked pages and websites that you can use to your advantage.
Because search engines want to offer the best information to its users, you will want to focus on these areas:
Navigation – Google crawls your site just like your customers do.
- Is your site easy to navigate and find information?
- Is your site safe?
- Does your content link to other relevant information?
- Does your site offer a good user experience?
Performance – The speed of your site will affect your rankings in more ways than one.
No one likes to wait for a website to load.
How long are you willing to sit and wait for a page to appear before you move on?
There is good news. You do not have to have the fastest website. You just have to be faster than your competition.
You can check the speed of your site at PageSpeed Insights.
Authority – Sites with more authority will rank higher in the search results.
Sites build authority by having external sites link to their site.
When someone links to your site, it is like telling Google the reader likes your content.
Think of it as someone liking a post on your Facebook Business Page.
Because links are a part of Google’s algorithm, people started to do shady things.
People started purchasing links to their sites to get them ranked higher.
Google had to end this, so they created the Penguin update in 2012.
The Penguin update looks at the quality of links a website gets from other sites.
The site will be penalized if the links are not relevant to the site or content.
If you have a website that is easy to navigate, loads fast and provides value, your readers will link to your site.
Receiving backlinks takes time and hard work, but you will reap the benefits.
Content – I kept the best for last, which is writing high-quality content.
In the end, great content will drive traffic to your site.
When you publish high-quality content, your readers will stay on the page longer and visit your site more often.
Google will notice people enjoying what you provide and will reward you by ranking you higher in the search results.
To sum it up, search engines are looking for quality content to share with their users.
Neil Patel shows you how to write content that ranks #1.
Bad SEO Practices
Some people try outsmart Google to rank higher in the search results.
Don’t get caught up in this game. You will never beat Google. The only thing guaranteed is that Google will become aware of your tactics and penalize you.
Here are a few things you should never do:
Purchase Links are essential for sights to rank higher, but only legitimate links. Never purchase links.
Sometimes, people will contact you trying to sell you links.
They will tell you they can help you reach number one in the search results. Beware of this. It is a scam.
You want to have people link to your site because they like what you have to offer. This will happen over time, as long as your content provides value.
Thin Content – Google wants to give a good experience for its users. They do this by recommending the best content available for their queries.
Years ago people would write thin content to rank higher. Google caught on and started penalizing those sites.
Do not write content to rank higher. Write content for your audience.
Keyword Stuffing – Keyword stuffing is when there are too many keywords in a post.
Years ago, people would add keywords in their posts just to rank. Google learned about this practice and put an end to it.
It is essential to focus on keywords that relate to your business. But don’t throw them into your article just to rank.
The bottom line is Google makes the rules. If you want to be in the game, you must follow Google’s rules.
What Is Your Objective
As you have learned, SEO basics are about optimizing your site so Google and other search engines can understand more about what your site has to offer.
You can not give a clear picture to search engines if your vision is blurry.
Before optimizing your site, you will want to take some time and write your vision.
Your goals and vision will be keywords you will want to focus on.
To sell art online, you should not write content about your favorite red wine.
On-Site SEO Basics
PRChecker describes On-site SEO as,
“Anything you do on your website to optimize it for the search engines. This includes the domain name, meta description, content, internal links, tags and meta tags, anchor texts, rich media files, bounce rate and loading speed.”
These are all areas you should focus on and be a part of your art marketing plan.
Off-Site SEO Basics
Off-site SEO is also known as link building.
You have already started on this because you are doing the 28-day blogging challenge. You have learned how to write great content your audience will love.
In time people will start to link to your site. The only thing you have to focus on at this point is to continue to write great content.
Yoast Plugging For WordPress
Many people are afraid of SEO. It is easier than you think. All you have to do is learn what Google needs to understand what your site is about.
Write content that pertains to your vision and mission.
Write for your audience, not for search engines.
Do not try any shady, black hat SEO tactics.
If you are using WordPress for your blog, I highly recommend you using Yoast SEO plugin. They offer a free and paid version.
Yoast makes SEO easy and will save you a ton of time optimizing your posts for search.
If you are thinking about starting a WordPress blog, I use and recommend Siteground for hosting. They offer excellent service at an affordable price. You can have your WordPress site up and running in minutes.
Blue Host is another popular hosting service that makes it easy to launch a WordPress site.
Final Thoughts On SEO Basics
Now that you understand the SEO Basics – Art Marketing Basics, you will be able to focus on how to optimize your artist blog so that you will have the upper hand over your competition.
- Site navigation
- Site speed
- Mobile friendly
- High-quality content
- Relevant keywords
- Internat links
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