Building a website without a way to be found on Google and Bing is like building a business in the middle of nowhere, without roads, telephone, internet or any other means of letting others know its there. Realize that having a website for your art is one thing, but if it is not found on search engines, then you may be losing many potential sales and your art may be seen by very few.
There are a few proven methods to help search engines find your art. Use these will enable your website search engine visibility, thereby increasing readership, and hopefully art sales.
If your site is already found on search engines, some of these methods will help you rank higher.
Have links pointing to your websiteLinking is one of the best methods to influence search engines in finding your website. Here are a few things you can do to build links pointing to your art site.
Wherever you have an online profile, include the URL for your website there. This can be at online galleries, Facebook pages, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, at other art blogs, signature lines at artist forums, etc.
At Artpromotivate, we continually list new portfolio sites and social networks to promote your art. Whenever possible, join these, if only for the linking opportunity.
Have an art blog. Blogs which are regularly updated have a much better chance of ranking faster and higher at search engines. Search engines love content. The more you write for your artblog, the more pages will be listed. Include your portfolio url there to speed up cataloguing of your website, and don’t forget to submit your blog URL to search engines also, as directed below.
Include social sharing buttons on your website. The main ones I recommend are Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ , and Facebook. This will allow others to share your pages for you, and you can also easily promote your pages with these as well.
Signup for Google Webmaster ToolsVisit Webmaster Tools and set up your website. This is highly recommended, as this will help your site in a variety of ways. Submit your sitemap here to ensure Google crawls every page of your website. Whenever you make major revisions to your website, login to Webmaster Tools and resubmit the sitemap. WT can also be used to examine how often Google robots visit, and how others find your website. If there are problems, such as duplicate pages or broken links, use Webmaster Tools to diagnose these.
There are many other features as well which I will not examine right now, but may be of help to you in aiding in promoting your art website.
Submit your website to Google and BingThis is one of the first things you should do after creating a website. Don’t wait for them to randomly find you, but use their submission services to let them know.
Being ranked will take anywhere from weeks to months, so the sooner it is done, the better.
Here are the submit your URL services for each search engine:
Google Site Submit
Bing Submit Your Site
Be active on Google+Google Plus is a relatively new social network, and they are using this to centralize many of their Google products. Google+ posts now appear in some search results. Also, the +1 button appears there for integrated websites, so others can share your website directly from Google Search. Also, by having your website or blog claimed at your G+ profile, you will claim ownership of all content, in case of plagiarism. Claimed sites generally rank higher than unclaimed ones.
I have heard some rumours of Google+ playing a much larger role in Google search in the future – whether this is true or not, it still is a very good idea to share your website by means of G+.
Keep Your Website ActiveOnce search engines have ranked you, work on some SEO tactics. Search engine optimization is a whole science of its own, but you do not really have to be an expert to have search engines notice you. Here are some things to work on for getting your website continually noticed by Google and Bing.
Add descriptive title tags to all images. This will aid in getting images seen in Google Image Search.
Continually update your website. An active website will not only be continually crawled by search engine robots, but regular viewers may keep visiting to see what new artworks or content you have added.
Consider guest-posting and commenting in some highly ranked art blogs and artist forums. At artblogs, include your url in the Website box before posting comments. For artist forums, have the URL for your signature.
Find smaller search engines to submit your site. Simply type in submit your site in Google Search, and several results should appear. Sometimes you will find free services that submit to multiple places at once. A word of caution though – don’t submit your site too often, as some search engines will penalize you for this. Try submitting no more than once every 30 days as a precautionary measure.
Having your website found on some popular search engines will help people find you who would not have otherwise. If you are putting it off, now is the time to do it.
What do you think? Do you have any additional methods to share for getting art websites found in Google and Bing?