What is search engine optimisation (SEO)?
SEO is the art of making your website appear in the first few results of a search engine, such as Google. There are several techniques, paying and free, that increase the visibility of your website by improving your position on the search engine results page (Google, Bing etc).
Having your gallery listed amongst the first few search results will help you to generate more traffic and therefore increase your chances of selling works or attracting more clients. Your ranking is key, the first result on the first page receives 33% of traffic, the second 17.6%, the third only 11.4% and the 10th result a mere 2.4%.
In this article we explain the basics of search engine optimisation so that you can start applying some of the tips and tricks yourself.
How does it work?
In order to understand search engine optimisation, it’s important to have some knowledge of how search engines operate.
The purpose of the search engines is to provide its users with websites that best match their search terms.
For each search, Google compares millions of websites and ranks them according to their relevance to the keyword used in the search, the quality of the website as well as its popularity. In order to define the best websites, search engines use an algorithm that analyses hundreds of different parameters and then ranks each website.
The process is a complicated one and an in depth knowledge of SEO is hard to master, however in this article we explain how to improve your website’s ranking for the most important criteria.
How to improve your ranking on search engines?
Keywords are the search terms used in by users when searching for relevant websites. The keywords relevant to your business should be used throughout the editorial content of your site. You should insert keywords in: titles, descriptions of works or in the biographies of your artists. They allow users who have searched with those terms on Google to see your gallery’s website on the results page.
Ask yourself what the buyer, whether amateur or professional might type into the search bar
- Use a vocabulary connected to your business: contemporary art, gallery, art market
- Use the lexical field of the medium(s) you sell: painting, sculpture, photography
- Use the lexical field for your specialty: street-art, conceptual art
If you want to go further you can use using long tail keywords. These are much more specific keywords and are less frequently searched, however given their lower search frequency it is easier to become higher ranked for them as they are less competitive.
For example: "oil painting Jeffrey Palladini" is more specific than just oil painting or Jeffrey Palladini.
Your website’s content is important because Google analyses it to evaluate the relevance and also the quality of your website. Here are a few tips :
- Update your content regularly (at least once a month): add artworks, but also tweak and change your texts
- Always reformulate a text and never copy paste because search engines tend to ignore duplicated content
- Create original and interesting content
- Google tends to favour websites and pages with more text so make sure that all your text can be read by search engines (ie don’t include text in an image format)
- Put your address and telephone number in a text format (not an image)
Inbound links are the links present on other websites which redirect visitors to yours. Google partially evaluates the the relevance of your website based on your presence on the internet as a whole (how many other websites link to yours). However, you must be careful because not all inbound links are regarded positively.
- The links must be on sites related to your field, such as websites for contemporary art fairs, art related news, cultural institutions or other galleries.
- The links must be on secure and certified sites for example on recognized press websites
- The inbound links must also come from several different sites (eg 5 inbound links coming from same website count for much less than 4 inbound links coming from 4 different websites)
Tip: Add the link to your website on your Artsper gallery page. This creates one inbound link from a secure website related to your field related.
Including links on your website
In addition to inbound links, you must also think about the links present on your sites.
- So that visitors may easily navigate your website, and for each page to be visible, it is important to create internal links (backlinking) which link one page to another and ensure that visitors stay on your website for longer
- Links to your facebook, twitter, instagram, other gallery websites, other websites related to art
- Think of working with a website or business in your field and creating content for each other on your respective websites - this will improve the links on your website and will also provide you with more inbound links
More and more, the number of times your website is shared on social media is becoming an important criteria for helping search engines to determine the quality and popularity of the website. Therefore, it is important to use social media to publicise your gallery and your website.
- Share the articles you have written and published on your website online through linkedin, facebook etc with a clink redirecting to your website
- Publish newly available works on Instagram with a link on your site in your bio
- Create an event for your vernissage on Facebook with a link on your website
Don't forget to encourage your collectors, visitors and friends to share your website on their own social media accounts.
Don’t forget that SEO requires a lot of patience and hard work, it can take months before you start seeing results. But it's worth it - SEO is more effective over the long run than paid advertising online and obviously much cheaper!
There are also many companies that specialise in SEO and that can you improve your SEO. These can be very pricey and it can be difficult to find the companies that do their job very well as there quite a few scam business in this field.