"SEO" (Search Engine Optimization) is something just about everyone with a website is serious about. It really just means doing stuff to your website and tailoring your online marketing to get better results in search engines and so your prospective customers find you fast online.
SEO can involve many things, from simple to advanced techniques, but for any artist (or any business for that matter) it starts with constructing a website that is "search engine friendly."
A well-constructed website is not the end of your SEO, it's the beginning. SEO encompasses several areas and is not a one-time thing, it's something that needs to be done regularly (like every every month, or every few months at least). As you can see in the image above, SEO can include social media, url structure, heading tags, page content, keyword research, traffic monitoring, competitive analysis, and link building.
It can be overwhelming and confusing, and as an artist you are in the same boat with every other artist that people are searching for with general search terms (like, watercolors, art classes, murals, portraits, fine art, and all the general art terms). Unless someone is looking for YOU, specifically, how will they find you?
If you are relying on your website and online marketing efforts to fuel your business, you will need to actively pursue SEO and do other marketing that supports getting people to your website including using business cards, postcards handed out in person and mailed, email newsletter, online social networking, in-person networking / socializing, open studio events, gallery shows, etc. As an artist you absolutely MUST have a variety of marketing strategies in place. Please don't rely on just one, it rarely works very well.
For your SEO, you could try to do it yourself, and after hours (and hours) of learning and research and many more hours doing search phrase research, SEO writing and editing, link building, directory submissions, and measurement and analysis to give you the best results and then repeating it all next month, and the month after that, and the month after that ... Oh wait, now you're becoming an SEO expert and not being an artist. See what I mean? Remember about "opportunity cost." Get some professional help for your website and SEO.
Here's what I know for sure: A cleanly-designed website with good meta tags, well-worded page names, text and headings goes a long way to helping you in the search engines.
If you are DIY, working with a web designer, or pursuing SEO at a higher level with an SEO firm, remember that even the best SEO in no way guarantees that you will come up at the top of search engine results. It helps, but it's not a guarantee. If someone promises you a certain result, steer clear.
To get the best start, have a well-constructed and SEO optimized website, and have other marketing in place as well. Grow from there. Your art business will thank you for it!
Hope that's helpful. As always, feel free to contact me if you are considering getting some help with your website, SEO, and marketing.
All my best to you and yours,