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Step Three: Building a digital audience

Updated: Apr 11, 2021

Simple SEO for artist websites

This is the third article in a four part series on building a digital audience as an artist.

Step One: Define your brand

Step Two: Own your identity and select a platform

Step Three: Simple SEO

Step Four: Simple inbound marketing

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is sort of a catch phrase that generally refers to changes you can make to your website or other digital services that will make your website rank higher in someone's search results. The higher you rank, the more likely it is that someone will click on your website.

You will find many marketing services that will offer to improve your SEO for a fee. I am going to cover six free things you can do to organically improve your SEO. Keep in mind that SEO is a long game. You won't see drastic changes over night, but if you are consistent, over time you should see more people visiting your website without having to spend money on marketing.

  • Use Key Words

  • Optimize your website copy

  • Optimize your images

  • Check your mobile display

  • Submitting your site to search engines

  • Creating a Google Business Page

  • Extra: How to check your progress


Use Key Words

Key Words are the words people type into a web browser when they are searching for something. For example, If your website showcases your hand-made jewelry, you want to use the same words on your website that people type in when they search for hand-made jewelry.

Try to come up with a list 10 or so words and phrases that you can use throughout your website. (hand-crafted jewelry, locally made, fine art and craft, Chautauqua County jewelry maker, earrings, .... )

You also want to use words that describe what you are displaying on your site and action words that elicit an action from the viewer. (Buy hand-crafted copper necklaces created by artisans in Chautauqua County)

Make sure you use these words in your page titles (the text that shows up in the tab at the top of the browser window), website body copy (more on that below), and meta descriptions. Meta tags are part of the HTML on your web pages that other applications, including search engines, use to identify things on your website. Search engines are particularly interested in meta description tags. Most site editors allow you to edit meta descriptions on your pages. Each page on your website should have a unique meta description. Search engines don't want to see the same one on each page. Here is a screenshot of what meta tags look like on, which is a site.

How are you supposed to know what words and phrases people type in a web search and if they are clicking on your website? Use Google Search Console. Formally called Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console is a free platform that shows you what words people are clicking to get to your website. You can also submit your site index to the search console to speed up they way Google finds information on your site pages, (More in that later). It also does other really cool things like showing you if other websites in the world are linking to yours.

This video does a really nice job of showing you how to set up and use Google Search Console.


Optimize your website copy

The copy on your pages should have a specific structure. (And don't forget to use those key words you came up with earlier when you are writing the copy!)

  • Only One Main Heading at the top of the page (H1 tag)

  • One or more secondary headings (H2 tag)

  • Paragraph copy (the sentences on the page) (p tags)

Search engines look for a heading in the text of your page to understand what your page is about. They identify this heading by looking for an H1 tag in the HTML (coding) near the top of your page. When you are writing the heading on your page, highlight it in the editor and make sure you select the H1 style. You can always change the size and color of this text, but make sure it is near the top of the page and you only use one H1 tag on each page.

You may have your web page divided up into several sections. Use H2 tags for these section headings. You can have multiple H2 headings. In fact, HTML has six levels of headings you can use to organize content on your web page. H1 and H2 tags are really the only ones that count for SEO purposes.

All of the other sentences on your page should use the paragraph tag, (p). HTML only has one paragraph tag. If your site editor gives you multiple options they are just offering different styles for you and it really doesn't matter which one you choose for SEO.

Here is a slideshow of screen shots of the website editor on the About Page on, which is a site.


Optimize your website images

Correctly sizing and labeling your website images will preform the double duty of speeding up your site and helping search engines learn what you are displaying in your images. Some website editors allow you to resize images before you place them on your website. If your editor does not have that option, or you need more flexibility, you will want to use a photo editing program like Adobe Photoshop or a free editor like GIMP.

When you are putting images on a website, measure the length and width in pixels. Most website layouts will need an image to between 400 and 1600 px wide. (1600 if you need it to stretch across the entire computer screen.) When you save the image you will have an option to change the resolution, or DIP -dots per inch. Images should have a resolution of 72 dpi for the web. A lower resolution will make your file size smaller so your image loads faster. (If you are printing the image, the resolution should be set to 300 dpi.) When saving, you want the file size of your image to be as small as possible. A file size under 100KB is ideal. Images of your artwork should be saved as jpeg files.

Here is a good example of how to size and save images with GIMP.