Many arts and craft websites suffer from the same problem. Generality.
Each website wants to be the top search result on Google for "art" or "paintings" or something like that. Due to that demand it is almost impossible to do so. However, if those same websites were to look outside of the box they would see that with some specificity they can rank highly on Google and probably get more worthwhile visits which convert.
In this post, the first in a series geared towards Arts and Crafts websites (though could be used in many other sectors also), I want to focus on Keyphrases. In years gone by people have said keywords this keywords that, well keyphrases is kind of based on the notion of focusing on a single word per page but is more developed as a strategy.
Keyphrases are the 2 or 3 words which you use naturally to describe what a page is about. If you sell jewellery and a brooch happens to be based around a given motif you would mention the name of the motif and the brooch (for example "royal crest motif brooch" would be your keyphrase and not just brooch or motif brooch (which would be keywords). The development away from keywords is such to give specificity to your page and enable more relevant rankings.
Getting Specific with Keyphrases
Now we know what keyphrases are, lets look at why you will achieve better rankings using keyphrases and generic keywords.
By "focusing" on a keyphrase for each page you will naturally lean towards using it in your content in many forms. A nice example of this is Jenny Martin a Photographer.
On the homepage jenny's keyphrase is clearly "photography" but the page is not covered in just that one phrase. Jenny uses natural language such as 'creative photographer' and 'wedding photography'. Jenny talks around the subject of photography and gives the locations she works, other types of photoshoot and so on. Jenny is being general about her work but specific in the type of work she focuses on, weddings.
If we look at Jenny's search results in general we see that Jenny doesn't rank in the top 100 websites for the terms "photographer" or "wedding photography", however the website does rank well for "wedding photography in manchester" and other such terms. Hopefully this shows you how talking about specifics can enable a business to improve its search rankings.
So how can you use this knowledge about keyphrases on your craft website?
Craft Your Page Title
Before we begin this section, remember a Page Title is not your web address. Your page title is the thing that you see at the top of your browser tab or the blue link on search results. It can and should be different on every page.
Getting the perfect page title will enable users to find you, be enticed to visit you and if they click to another tab will bring them back to your site. They as you can see are multi-functional and as far as we know they do have a roll to play in search rankings. So lets get them right. Here are my top 5 tips for optimising your arts and craft website page titles:
Each page should have a unique title.
Each page title should contain your "focus keyphrase".
Specify a location or person if possible.
Key the page title to less than 60 Characters in length.
Don't start your page title with your brand name.
Developing Your Meta Descriptions
Below your page title in search results is your meta description, its 150 characters in length (normally) so think of it as being a tweet where you need to describe what a page is talking about. Your meta description gives you a chance to be specific about a topic, even more so than the title. Now remember this doesn't carry a whole lot of weight in rankings but can help click-through's and is used by social meta platforms when someone links to you. That means it needs to be enticing, interesting and specific.
A few months back I wrote about creating the perfect seo meta description. It is well worth a read, once you've finished this post of course.
User Friendly & Search Friendly Url's
Now the above for the most part is something you can do yourself. It's your website, your passion and your work - you are best placed to create the content not me as your seo. I can tweak and adjust and make better from an editorial and optimisation view point but I cannot inject the passion you can.
URL's on the other hand are more technical and you will require some help with them unless you are using wordpress. Again here is an older list of how to create the best url - ask your developer to help you out with this task.
Crafting Your Copy for Improved SEO Rankings
The biggest thing on your website that can make or break your search rankings is your website content. This can be in the form of text or images, or both usually. Your content is the king pin, get it right you will move up the rankings again and again, get it wrong and relegation is likely.
Back in 2008, one of the first posts I wrote was about getting the copy of your website right, you can read it here. Now the advice still pretty much stands but you should also be creating content worth sharing on social media, using engaging tones and again being specific about each page. But don't forget you are "dating" your user and the search engine so remember to proof read everything.
Beyond the Keyphrase
Now reading the above you may think that SEO can be difficult, hopefully not though. This post will hopefully serve as the resource the encourages you the website owner to look at SEO in a new light. Yes there as technical aspects such as how to make your url's look pretty, but a fair amount of SEO can be done by you, today and without much cost other than your time and effort. SEO is a game played by millions, it takes time effort and sometimes a bit of money but quality wins through everytime. Get it right and your website will rank well today and tomorrow. Good Luck, I hope to see you back here soon.