In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for artists looking to showcase their work and reach a wider audience. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help artists improve their visibility and attract more visitors to their website without relying solely on social media and word of mouth. This ultimate guide to SEO for artists will provide tips and strategies to help you optimize your online presence and increase your visibility in search engine results.
Understand the basics of SEO.
Before diving into all of the SEO tips, it's important to understand the basics. SEO stands for search engine optimization and involves optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) aka getting you to come up as one of the first results when someone googles a word or phrase relevant to your content. The goal of SEO is to increase organic traffic to your website by improving your website's relevance and authority in the eyes of search engines like Google. This involves optimizing your website's content, structure, and technical elements to make it more search engine friendly.
Conduct keyword research.
Keyword research is a crucial step in any SEO strategy. It involves identifying the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for in search engines like Google. An example could be, “how to hang a gallery wall.” Someone could search that in google and in turn a page where you optimize for that keyword could appear.
By optimizing your website and content around these keywords, you can increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and driving more organic traffic to your website. Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ubersuggest to identify relevant keywords and phrases for your art niche. Make sure to choose keywords with high search volume and low competition to maximize your chances of ranking well. This means looking for keywords with a high number of monthly search volume (I️ look for over 1000, but less than 10,000) and a competition score of less than 45 (out of 100). For example, “acrylic artist” is likely difficult to rank for but “emerging acrylic artist” might be easier and still get lots of clicks.
Note: This will help you later…SEO ranks pages not entire sites. For example if I️ googled “how to hire a business coach, my business coaching 1:1 page might appear not my website’s homepage. For artists, if someone googles “how to frame a watercolor painting” your blog post about that topic might appear as a search result. This means you will need to optimize by page and assign a keyword to each page versus the full site.
Optimize your website for search engines.
Once you have identified your target keywords, it's important to optimize your website for search engines. This includes optimizing your website's structure, content, and metadata to make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site. Some key elements to focus on include optimizing your page titles and descriptions, using header tags to structure your content, and including relevant keywords throughout your website's content. Additionally, make sure your website is mobile-friendly and has a fast loading speed, as these factors can also impact your search engine rankings.
What does all of this mean? First, make sure your site is set up well. Using Shopify, Wix, Squarespace or most other major platforms will do this for you. Next, consider metadata, this is the little bit of text that appears under a url when you search something on google. Every site functions a little differently, but for example on Wix, there is a section under advanced SEO where you can add your two sentence metadata. You will want to use keywords here as well. Next, optimize titles, descriptions and text with your keywords. Make sure to use a Header 1 for the title of a page, Header 2 for the overview and then Header 3 and paragraphs for text. Again, we rank per page, so make sure to do the above on one page focusing on one keyword. All of these small steps will help you to start getting recognized on search engines.
Create high-quality content.
One of the most important aspects of SEO for artists is creating high-quality content. This includes not only your artwork, but also the written content on your website. Your content should be engaging, informative, and relevant to your target audience. Use your target keywords throughout your content, but avoid keyword stuffing or using too many or awkwardly using keywords, which can actually hurt your search engine rankings. Additionally, consider creating blog posts, videos, or other types of content that showcase your artistic process or provide helpful tips and advice to your audience. This can help establish you as an authority in your field and attract more visitors to your website.
Build backlinks to your website.
Backlinks are links from other websites that lead to your website. They are important for SEO because they signal to search engines that your website is reputable and valuable. As an artist, you can build backlinks by reaching out to other websites in your industry and asking if they would be willing to link to your website. You can also create guest blog posts or participate in interviews or podcasts, which often include a link back to your website. Just be sure to only build backlinks from reputable websites, as low-quality or spammy backlinks can actually hurt your search engine rankings.