SEO Keywords For Artists (2024)

keyword research for SEO

To maximize your online presence and the strength of your web pages (how far each of your site pages can go in search results) you need to ensure that your website is properly optimized with the right keywords. It’s just that simple. And it doesn’t need to be rocket science either. There are so many tools out there to help you grow your organic traffic. But for many of us creative souls, this is where things go a little off kilter. it’s overwhelming and seemingly complicated, but if you stick to the basics, you’ll see results. 

SEO is thought to be this daunting task, something we might know a little about but really don’t want to spend hours upon hours trying to figure out the right SEO strategy. And there’s conflicting information everywhere, which adds to the stress of it all. So here is where this guide post comes in. We’re going to simplify SEO for artists so that you can create a habit of keeping your website google-friendly and drive organic traffic to your beautiful artwork. Search engine optimization should be grounded in your business and complimentary to your creative process. Here’s how to do that without losing your mind! 

What is SEO and Keywords for Artists?

think of SEO as this : the art of making your website and content (artwork) “searchable” so that others can find you in search results.

And what specifically does this mean if you’re an artist? It means using keywords in your artwork titles, descriptions, meta deta, URL handles and web pages that are written the way that art collectors and potential buyers are searching for. It’s unlikely that someone will find your artwork by typing in “wall art”. It’s search results will be in the millions and unless you have an excellent domain authority and bringing in lots of organic traffic, it’ll be near impossible to be found that way. So, while you can use the keyword “wall art” on your website, you need to supplement it with keywords that are more specific and respond to how users are searching for art.

A better keyword set would be, “pink wall art for the bedroom”, or “large gold leaf landscape paintings”, or “ready to hang kids room art of rainbows”. Those keywords are written in human conversational language, meaning that’s also how potential clients are typing things into google search bar.

Your chances of getting found are much higher, despite your keyword being very specific.

Using a keyword search tool like Semrush or Ubersuggest (my favourites), take the time to research what keywords will help you rank for what location on your website. For conversion or transaction keywords, they’re going to be keywords that you place on your product or collection pages and tend to me more detailed and direct but you can also have informative keywords, and those you want to use in blog posts or about pages. They’re going to answer a question or provide insight into a certain topic, for example: “what are the trends for pink wall art in 2024?” In this example, you can write a blog post about trends, and provide links within the blog post to artwork that you have available that fit this trend. You get the idea…

Understand Your Ideal Customer (Collector)

First thing. Before diving into your website, it’s crucial to have a deep understanding of your target audience. Take the time to identify their needs, preferences, and pain points. Start with a wider audience and then don’t be afraid to niche down. Conduct thorough market analysis to gain insights into their demographics, interests, and online behaviour. The very first step of SEO is knowing who you’re trying to attract to your business or website. It’s one thing to have traffic on your website but it’s another and much better scenario to have the right website traffic coming to your site. Those are the views that convert and drive your business. 

Once you have that deep understanding of your potential customer or collector, you can then tailor your website design to meet their specific needs (and not the other way around!) and create a user experience that resonates with them in different ways.

Ask yourself:

Who finds my art interesting?

Who has the financial means to purchase art?

Where else does my collector shop?

What is important to my collector? Quality? Originality? Messaging? Meaning?

The answers to these questions will help you define your customer and you’ll be in a better position to build your website towards them.

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Generate Keywords Based On Your Findings.

This is why the order in which you do things matters.

If you keep your customer in mind, your keywords will be both targeted towards your art and your customer. For example:

Original Keyword: “Landscape Paintings

Now that keyword is a VERY high-competition keyword, which means it’ll be near impossible for you to rank (or get found) for when there are thousands of other websites that google already trusts and will put those in front of yours in search results. 

So, let’s do better.

Instead, imagine this. Let’s say your art is highly emotive and regal. It’s more suited for very elegant, high-end homes. You then know that your customer likes expensive, luxurious things. You can then further improve your keyword to something like, “Elegant Landscape Paintings For Classic Homes” or, “Bespoke Landscape Paintings for Elegant Living Rooms”.

Now you have a more niched keyword, making it more likely for you to rank for faster. 

Continue to do this until you have a list of 25+ keywords.

Now, this was a very simplified way of looking at keyword research. When I work with clients to create their keyword lists, I use professional keyword search tools to find the exact keywords specific for their niche. Here’s an example of a keyword research list that I completed for an organic granola, small batch business located in Toronto, Canada. We work to study and generate a very strategic ratio of keywords that have high search volumes, and low-competition scores or SEO difficulty. 

keyword research for SEO

On-Page SEO : Making Your Website SEO Friendly

Now that you’ve got your keywords we can start to place them naturally placed throughout as high-quality content. This is what is called “on-page” SEO. This is all about organizing your website to be search engine-friendly.

Start by optimizing your titles, headings, and the meta description for each page of your website and each of your products. These are like little signposts for search engines, telling them what your pages and artwork is all about. You’ll want to include relevant keywords and provide concise, compelling descriptions that entice visitors to click through to your artist website and then, click around and stay. 

Utilizing header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) appropriately not only improves readability for visitors but also helps search engines understand the structure and content hierarchy of the website.

Use your specific keyword(s) wisely to grab their attention and get your website ranked higher in search results.

More on this in the next section.

Enrich Your Website With A Blog Or Pages With Copy.

This is important because without a blog or a few pages that are heavier in copy or word count you will be limited in where to add all your keywords and create valuable content that google will want to place in front of users. You run the risk of keyword stuffing or filling your product descriptions with keywords that don’t read smoothly or naturally.

This is where blog posts comes in. With a blog you’re able to create regular content that is centered around a low-competition keyword, helping boost your site’s value and quality. For example, writing a post about how to frame artwork from home. This gives you the opportunity to rank and be found by users who are seaching how to do this online. They’ll find your site AND come across your beautiful art. Win, win! A blog is a very powerful tool for any website or business. 

When writing posts, be sure to utilize header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) appropriately. This improves readability for visitors but also helps search engines understand the structure and content hierarchy of the website.

If you’re really not interested in creating a blog on your site an alternative to this, though not as powerful, is to create a few pages on your site that can help define your business, boost your keywords. To read more about why you need a blog, follow the link here to learn more.

This could be something like, “Studio Favourites”, “How To Purchase, Frame and Hang Artwork”, or “Art Trends and Favourites for (Year)”.

whenever writing any content on your site, be sure to write it in your style, using a human voice and personality.

Image Optimization

As an artist, your website is all about showcasing your artwork and guiding potential buyers to complete a purchase, and having the right images will build trust to buy.

The best way to achieve this is to use natural images but search engines can’t see your art the way we humans do – they need a little help! That’s where image optimization comes in. Compress your images without sacrificing quality and give them descriptive alt text or tags. These tags help search engines understand what your art is all about and make sure you’re showing up in image searches too. You’re also making your website more accessible to anyone who needs some assistance understanding your content, such as visitors who use screen readers. 

The last thing to keep in mind is to keep your image size to a minimum but not compromising on image quality. Why?

It creates a better user experience.

It improves website page speed.

It helps with website ranking.

Off-Site SEO – Domain Authority And Backlinks

Off-site SEO, also known as off-page SEO, refers to the optimization efforts made outside of your own website to improve its search engine rankings and increase its visibility. While on-site SEO focuses on optimizing elements within your website (such as content, meta tags, and site structure), off-site SEO involves activities that take place on other websites or platforms to enhance your site’s reputation, authority, and relevance in the eyes of search engines. In order words this is working on your digital marketing efforts, external links and social profiles. Let’s take a look at the most common ways to work on your off-site SEO. 

Link Building: Let’s talk about the power of connections in the website world – backlinks! When other websites link back to your website, it’s like a virtual high-five from the internet world. Search engines see these backlinks as a sign that your site is valuable and trustworthy. Acquiring backlinks from reputable and relevant websites is a crucial aspect of off-site SEO. Search engines view backlinks as votes of confidence and authority for your website. However, it’s important to focus on quality rather than quantity, as links from spammy or irrelevant sites can have a negative impact. 

The more connections (or backlinks) your website will produce (where someone links back to your site), the higher your domain authority will be. And google loves that!

Social Media Marketing: I’m going to assume you’re showcasing your artwork on social media at this point. By integrating your social media platforms with your artist website, you’re creating a bridge for your audience to move over onto your website and discover more about you and your works. Engaging with your audience on social media platforms can indirectly improve your website’s SEO by increasing brand visibility, driving traffic, and potentially generating more backlinks. It’s all a nicely connected loop. 

Online Reputation Management: Monitoring and managing your online reputation is essential for off-site SEO. Positive reviews, mentions, and references from authoritative sources can improve your website’s credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of both users and search engines. Be aware of when your business is mentioned somewhere and engage with that content. Connect with your community as much as you can, the more people that share and talk about you and your art, the more it boosts your online visibility both inside the platform and even SEO rankings!

And that’s because social media engagement, shares, and interactions can indirectly impact an artist’s website SEO.

Content Marketing: Creating high-quality, shareable content can attract natural backlinks and social media mentions, contributing to your off-site SEO efforts. Guest blogging, publishing articles on external sites, and participating in industry forums or communities are also effective strategies. This is why I love blogging and Pinterest, because it allows you to build the reputation of your website naturally. 

To summarize off-site SEO, the best practices are really the most natural. Reaching out to your community, growing through collaborations, partnerships and helping other businesses will naturally help your business grow. That strong online presence is essentially off-site SEO. It takes a bit longer to build up your off-site SEO but it’s really one of the best ways to build your authority in your industry or field. 

Additional SEO Tips

A few other things to keep in mind about SEO:

It’s not a one and done kind of thing. It takes work and then regular updates. You’ll want to update your SEO seasonally or when you grow or add elements to your business. Check your keywords often and add and replace any that don’t align with your potential customers. 

Create an enticing and clear home page with a landing page or opt-in. A great way to build the success of your art business and website is through your mailing list. Writing and sending out high quality, useful and relevant information to your email list is one of the most important tools in your business. A good practice is weekly or bi-weekly, sharing updates, studio insider info, news about your art practice, free guides or tips, tutorials, collection updates and guiding new followers through a welcome funnel to make them feel included and up to date. 

If you’re at a point where you’re considering adding a mailing list (in which case stop thinking and do it!) or you’re not satisfied with the one you’re currently using, give flodesk a try. It’s my absolute favourite because it’s built for creatives. They’re constantly adding new features and have some beautiful welcome sequence templates to get you started quickly! You can continue running the platform you currently use and start flodesk on a free trial and just play around with your email templates, forms, sequences and see how easy it is! You’ll be sold on its ease of use, functional emails, campaigns, user interface and customer service, I’m sure! If you want to read more about flodesk and email marketing strategies that work for me, head to this blog post!

Get in the habit of studying your google analytics. Knowing how people use your site, where they land and where they end up is really valuable information for you as your optimize your own site. It might seem a little boring but once you start to see patterns, you’ll be able to easily react and improve your user experience. And it’s free! 

Or, use the link below to get started. 


Want Help With Your SEO?

Through one-on-one sessions, critiques, and practical exercises, you will refine your understanding of how to market your artwork and create a powerful online presence aligned with your aesthetic and brand. With a technical background in architecture and design, I have a very detailed approach to visual communication and that combined with effective SEO strategies will elevate your brand to new heights as your work starts to get noticed and others begin to connect with it. Most of us are really good at visual expression but sometimes we lack the technical skills needed to take that emotional vision and package it into a narrative or brand that others want to be a part of. That’s what makes my approach unique. I teach you how to do both.  

I offer a select few spots each month to help artists build their creative brands, and that often includes a website optimization or redesign. If you don’t have much traffic or even if you do, but you’re not converting it’s time to take a look at your SEO and your messaging. To learn more about you (and you about me), you can book a free 30 min discovery call below. We’ll go over your artistic vision, your current obstacles and state of your business and where you can start to make small improvements immediately. These calls are absolutely no-commitment chats and I continue to offer them because I love connecting with others. If what we discuss resonates with you and you want to learn more, we can discuss how to do that for your unique objectives. Being an entrepreneur is one of the most fulfilling careers as it offers you so much flexibility and decision power over your life. I would just love that for everyone so I encourage you to book a call and see how to make this happen BOOK HERE

Alternatively, if you’re ready to get started head to The Creative Business Framework and get yourself on the waitlist! After joining the list, you’ll receive an email notification to schedule your first on-boarding call. 

I hope to hear from you soon,

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