SEO tips to bring more clicks to your online portfolio
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a crucial service that you need to invest in before, during and after developing your website. When done right, SEO can not only increase your Google ranking, but also bring more visitors to your website, increase conversions, boost sales and maintain user engagement. However, SEO is not a one-size-fits-all job. Every type of website has its own requirements and if one strategy works well for an online store, there is no guarantee that it will also work for a forum or, in our case, an online portfolio.
Portfolios that showcase visual content are actually quite tricky to optimize, because they are more image-focused and feature very little text that you can work with. So if for an online store you have dozens of pages where you can add optimized text, a portfolio has little space for that and options are automatically more limited.
Does this mean that designers, illustrators and photographers can forget about seeing their websites on the first page? Not at all. It is possible to bring more clicks to your online portfolio but to do that, you need to work with an experienced agency and use only those SEO-strategies that are relevant for this particular type of website.
Optimize your meta tags
Despite all the algorithm changes and SEO trends, META tags are still important. For an online portfolio, they’re even more relevant, because, in lack of more text space, you have to take advantage of those title and description tags. Make sure you include a relevant tag for each page, focusing on separate targeted keywords for category pages.
However, be careful not to exaggerate with keyword placement either, because spamming is a practice that will always be penalized. If you already have tags in place, it’s always a good idea to perform an on-site analysis to see if those tags include keywords and if those keywords are relevant.
Optimizing images is one important SEO task that many webmasters ignore, but if you have an online portfolio where images are the main element, this is a mistake you can’t afford to make.
As an artist, you have probably already hand-picked the most beautiful and representative images to showcase on your online portfolio, but in order for them to boost your SEO, you also need to look at the following factors:
Reduce the size of image files. Large files are not necessary and from an SEO viewpoint they can actually hurt your site’s performance because they lower page speed. For an image-heavy website, slow loading speed can be catastrophic, considering that for a 7 second page load time the bounce rate increases to 32%. Needless to say, Google does take load speed into account as a ranking factor, so make sure you scale down image files and use smaller, high-res versions.
Optimize alt image tags. This practice will increase search engine visibility and your images will appear in image searches. write an About Me section.
Create a memorable About page
It is quite uncommon for portfolios to feature landing pages or other text-heavy pages because your work speaks for itself, but you still need to write an About Me section.
Use this page as an opportunity to amaze your readers with a creative and compelling copy that makes them look at your works from a different perspective. Explain who you are, what inspires you, what style best describes you and what clients to work with. Be original and let your personality shine through.
After you have the initial draft, ask an SEO expert to go over it and recommend some ways to make it more SEO-friendly. This can be done by including your main keywords into the text and by optimizing headings.
Invest in local SEO
Whether you are a photographer or you simply prefer to work with local clients, creating a long-term local SEO strategy is key in building your reputation.
Local SEO has many benefits, especially for small businesses, because instead of competing with hundreds of large competitors, you are only dealing with local competition. However, local SEO does involve a lot of planning and analysis and each location has its unique challenges. This is why it’s better to work with a company from the same location as you, someone who knows the market very well and can assist you with bespoke advice.
Become a contributor on influential art & design blogs
Backlinks are extremely important in SEO, but make sure you choose them wisely, because the strategies that were recommended a few years ago are no longer a recipe for success.
Always follow Google-approved, white hat tactics that are sustainable in the long run. Instead of resorting to directory submissions, private blog networks and other low-quality backlinks that can end up in a penalty, consider becoming a contributor to influential websites in your niche. For example, if you are a designer, you can publish guest posts about the latest trends in web design on a high-authority tech site. Or, if you are a photographer or illustrator, you can do tutorials and how to’s to help aspiring artists.
Do not think of these guest blogs as just a way of building backlinks, because they do much more than that. Because the websites where you publish have a vast readership and a good reputation, you also gain exposure and establish yourself as an expert in your field.