5 SEO tips for artists

SEO. The least exciting term in the art world.

If you had to choose between working in your studio and working in SEO, we're willing to bet that ten out of ten artists would always choose to work in their studio.

But since SEO makes up so much of what we see and interact with on the web, it's important to avoid always putting it at the bottom of your priority list.

It doesn't matter how great your artwork is or how beautiful your website is if it's not optimized for your ideal collectors to find it.

That's why we put together a crash course with five tips to follow to improve your SEO and generate more sales over time.


1. Find out your keywords, goals and audience.

Take the first 15 minutes of your day to think about your unique audience for your artwork. Are they? Take the first 15 minutes of your day to think about your unique audience for your artwork. Are they young, edgy and interested in lower cost pieces or are they homeowners looking for an investment piece? Your audience and their interests will be what drives your SEO keywords.

You'll be using these keywords on your website, in your images, and in your content, so be sure to start here.

The more defined you can be, the better. You can always open your terms, but you want to avoid overly generic terms that are highly competitive.

The higher the competition for a topic or term, the lower your chances of ranking for that topic. So start big, but then dig into specific topics like "colorful abstract oil painter in Denver, Colorado." Try adding your location or other information to have a more defined segment than just "painter" or "artist".

Tip: You can perform a keyword search to determine the competition for certain phrases through Moz (offers a free trial), Google AdWords Keyword Planner, KWPlanner, or the Keyword Tool.

You'll want to use these tools to see what people are searching for and the volume of people searching for these terms, as well as how competitive they are. You can get new keyword ideas and focus on those that fit your artistic practice, have a relatively high search rate and low competition volume.

2. Add those key SEO terms to title tags, image tags, etc.

Good! So, you've done the first exercise of finding your keywords and you're ready to find your ideal audience for your artwork.

Here comes the fun (read: tedious) part.

The second step is to add these tags to your website's title tags. This tells Google how to archive your web page online.

Google also crawls your image's alt tags, but not your images, so instead of having an image title that says IMG092382.JPG, change your image's alt tags to an identifiable search like "affordable custom dog portrait "or whatever you want. wants people to find.
Tip: Use hyphens between alternative tag keywords.

3. Create high-quality content and host your portfolio on a trusted platform.

An easy way to boost your SEO and get your art on the first page of Google results is to get your profile listed on a credible, high-ranking site for art portfolios like Artwork Archive.

Because you don't have to wait for Google to recognize your own site as an authoritative site, hosting your portfolio on a site with a strong Google presence will drive more traffic to your page.

Another way to improve your rankings is by creating high-quality content in the form of blog posts.

You can do this in the Public Profile News section of the Artwork Archive or on your own website.

Update your audience with useful and engaging posts about your process, upcoming sales, etc. Think about adding keywords, but don't get too caught up in loading your text with keywords that you lose your voice. Google also penalizes "keyword stuffing," so add your keywords where they naturally fit and focus on making compelling updates.

Tips: Longer form content (1000+ words usually works and ranks higher than short form content). Divide your paragraphs into digestible blocks (brevity is your friend online). And use your heading tags (H1 and H2) within your articles.

4. Demonstrate the value of your pages by sharing your content and linking.

Google is not afraid of a popularity contest. They prefer content and pages that are valued (value to Google = clicks) and will rank these pages higher as they assume most people found these pages useful for their search.

This means that you will want eyes on your pages. Don't be afraid to share your blog and portfolio with your online audience – how will they know you've updated them if you don't let them know? You can also include your portfolio updates and news section in a newsletter for your audience. Not only will this inform and keep your customers informed, but it will also mark your page as relevant to search engines.

You can also use links to tell Google that your page is valuable.

Link to other news posts and your portfolio from your articles and updates. This will show that your content is relevant.

Even better, have other sites link to your portfolio or articles. Having links from credible third party sites to your site increases your credibility. It's a bit like the coolest kid in high school declaring that you're suddenly cool. See, Google really is a popularity contest.

Tip: Start with portfolio directories or local businesses or art studios. See if there are any artist directories that list their studio and website. These links provide more SEO juice for your site.

5. Cultivate perseverance and patience.

Since everything on the internet is geared towards quick results and instant gratification, you'd expect SEO to act the same way. That is not the case.

SEO can take a few months to build and develop as your links become more credible and authoritative.

It's definitely a marathon and not a sprint, but the reward will be long lasting too.

As with any exercise or diet plan, you'll need to be consistent in your efforts to get results. Regularly update your news page or blog, add work to your portfolio, share your page on your social media channels, and make sure your content is relevant. Small actions over time add up. And stay excited! SEO is not glamorous, but it will give you the benefits you are looking for for your art business.

Looking for a way to boost SEO for your artist portfolio?

Artwork Archive's public profile gets your artwork seen by collectors around the world on the Discovery platform and helps boost your SEO.

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