How to Use SEO to Get More Customers

The internet is vast. And putting your designs out there without making sure you’ve got some solid SEO for them is a lot like fishing without bait – it’s gonna be way harder to get a bite. And it’s not much different for blogging – you could have the best content in the world, but if you don’t know how to use SEO to help people and search engines find it? It might as well just sit and gather pixel dust.

Around the middle of last summer, we started to experiment with improving our SEO, and we’re pretty proud of the results. After just a few months, we’ve more than doubled the views on our blog, just from promoting our posts and making sure our SEO was strong for every post.

How To Use SEO To Get More Customers

The methods we used for our blog can also be used to help boost your Artist Shop’s SEO as well! Here’s how to use SEO to get more customers for your online shop. 

A Little Refresher on How to Use SEO

We went in-depth about boosting your SEO in this post, but here’s the tl;dr version:

WHAT IS SEO?

The job of search engines like Google and Bing (and Ask Jeeves back in the day) is to provide people with answers. To do that, engines seek out the most relevant and popular pages. That’s where SEO comes into play: it affects the relevance and popularity of those pages.

In short, SEO can help get you from the 35th “o” in the “Goooooooogle” search pages to ranking on the first page (if done right). And there are three big ways of boosting your SEO: keywords, fresh content, and links.

Keywords

When you search “cat videos” or “succulent wall art print”, those words and phrases help search engines find you the best dang cat vids/succulent prints out there. Keywords aren’t the only thing search engines look for when perusing the internetverse, but they are influential. And coming up with the right keywords requires knowing your target market and what they’re looking for to get to your design. 

This section of Moz.com’s SEO guide has a some super helpful resources for figuring out keywords! 

Producing Regular Content

One of our top Artist Shop owners Signalnoise said, “A stagnant shop is a stale shop, and nobody is interested in that.” Not only will a stagnant Shop keep people from wanting to come back – you’ll be less interesting to search engines too if you’re not producing fresh content on the reg. For a blog, that means post new posts. For a Shop, that means new designs.

Get Linked to

Getting linked to by influencers, on other sites, on blogs, etc. is a great way to increase your popularity and boost your SEO. This is just one way creating a blog for your Shop is a good idea – it’s a way of linking to your own content in a shareable way, and also having something to possibly send to influences and for people to read, share, and spread.

What We Did

So how did be boost our own SEO, and how can that help your Shop?

PINPOINTED WHAT OUR AUDIENCE WAS SEARCHING FOR

Knowing what keywords to use has really helped us move up the ranks. For every post, we try to think about what a reader would be searching for to get to the topic of the post. When we have a few ideas, we actually Google those search terms and phrases to see what comes up. If the first page of search results is full of posts and sites we want to rank with, we go with that phrase for the page’s keyword. 

What can YOU do with this?

Know your audience! Look up keywords that your target market is searching and demanding. When you have a design you want to add to your Shop, search similar designs to check out your competition, look at what keywords they’re using for their product, find out what keywords get you to similar results, etc. 

GETTING SPECIFIC WITH KEYWORDS

Moz.com put it best when they said, “The point of using keywords is not to rank highly for ALL keywords, but to rank highly for the keywords that people are searching for when they want to see what your site provides.” We aim to rank for a specific search term or keyword for every post, rather than ranking for “ecommerce”, “SEO”, and “start a t-shirt business” for every post, and that ties into our first point: knowing what your audience is searching for. Currently, our work with keywords has helped us become the first search result when you search “how to promote your comic book“, “sell products in real life“, and “what is tri-blend“. 

For example, for our “How to Build a T-shirt Business: Week 1” post, the keyword (or keyphrase, in this case) that we used was “build a t-shirt business”. It’s in the link, in the title, throughout the post, and above all, it’s something we know our audience is searching for and curious about. 

What can YOU do with this?

Using specific keywords can weed out people who are just casually browsing (ex. People searching ‘art prints’) and honing in on people searching for something specific they want to buy (ex. People searching for ‘succulent and cactus prints’…this design is becoming a theme here…) It’s best to choose one keyword for a page and stick to it rather than trying to rank for too many or ones that are too broad. 

Use a keyword people might search for when looking for a design like yours in your design title (then it’s in your link, too), and write a product description for the design containing that keyword one or two times. And for your Shop, include an “About” page where you can write about yourself, your designs, and fit in some keywords as well.

Notify ARTIST SHOPS WHEN WE MENTION THEM

When we write a post about specific Artist Shops (like in Top Artist Shops or “Using Artist Shops to Prepare for a Gallery Show (Feat. Chicago Design Museum)”), we let them know that their Shop has been mentioned and send them the link. It’s free promotion and for them, and if they share it across their channels, it’s free publicity for our post and blog!

What can YOU do with this?

This is where you have to get a little creative, and where social media comes into play. If you have a photographer taking your lifestyle photos, for example, or models in your photos, have them share the photos and links to your Shop across their social media too. Send them a link to where the product photo lives (in your Shop, in a tweet, in a blog post you write, etc.) and have them share that link. Reach out to bloggers and influencers you think might be interested in sharing one of your designs (or wearing one of your designs) or any creative content you’ve put together. Or if you’re making creative and shareable content that links to your Shop and designs, tweet out the link to your post and tag whoever you mention in that post.

It takes a little work and extra creative muscle, but there are lots of ways you can give shoutouts to people who would be willing to share your links.

GET LINKED TO

Similarly, one thing we aim to do is to get linked to by other bloggers, influencers, and artists. When you can get others to link to your Shop, designs, blog, etc., it definitely helps your SEO by increasing how popular you look to search engines.

What can YOU do with this?

Reach out to bloggers and influencers directly. Another way of doing this is by creating your own shareable, creative content or guest blogging for relevant blogs and having them link to you that way. When you create shareable content, you’re immediately giving people a reason to share your content (and any links to your Shop and products in the content get shared with it!)

SEO doesn’t make your audience spike overnight, but it can really help you build your audience long term when used right. Go and try it out for your Artist Shop now!

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We’re an artist community built on the power of helping each other succeed — if you’re reading this and have tips of your own to share, please let us know in the comments! Thank you!

Illustrations done by the amazing Katie Lukes

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