In our previous article in this series we discussed the importance of Page Titles in your Search Engine Optimization strategy. Today we touch on the very important topic of Incoming Links.
This topic is really very simple. In human social situations people tend to judge us by the company we keep. If we’re seen hanging out with powerful, successful people we’re seen as influential and successful as well. People think of us as “important”. If we are surrounded by many people, we’re seen as “popular” and if we’re not….. I’m not saying this is necessarily a good thing – but it is the way life works!
So it is with websites – if your artist website has a good quantity of incoming links from other websites, search engines will see this and rank you as being somewhat “important”. The more incoming links you have, the higher your website’s importance. And links from high-ranking high-traffic sites count for more importance too. What it all really means is this: If many other sites are linking to your website, you must have some relevant, high-quality, valuable content – and search engines will reward you with higher rankings in search results.
Put simply: If your keywords are reasonably well optimized (especially page-titles) building incoming links could mean the difference between showing up on page 1 or page 15 of search engine results. And you DO want to be on page 1!
So – how do you build your incoming links? There are at least 101 different ways but here are three that we recommend to start with:
- Focus on the highest quality content and images on your website and keep it updated regularly. When people link from their website to yours they are recommending your site. Make it easy to recommend! This might seem like an obvious point – but it is actually the most important. Consistent high quality images and content over time is noticed!
- Link Locally! Network with your local and online communities and exchange links. We are all so involved in our online worlds that often we forget the power and influence of our local communities. Almost every local business, school, and government office has a website and they can all be a source of links to your site. Connect with fellow artists in your area or via social networking and exchange links. Perhaps your old school or college has an alumni page on their website where you could include a short update and website link. A local government office or chamber of commerce might be very happy to add you to a listing of local businesses. This is very very simple – all you have to do is “think outside the box” and be willing to ask! Linking locally can be very powerful because these are the people who probably know you best.
- Join several free online gallery sites and include a website link for your main artist’s website in each. This also has the upside that your work might actually be seen by a potential buyer. Some of the larger online galleries tend to have higher levels of PageRank (think importance) and can be helpful to your incoming link strategy.
This is far from a conclusive list of ways to build incoming links – but it will get you started. Linking locally is a very important strategy because the people in your local community are very likely the source of some of your best connections. As always – be consistent and follow your plan and success will be yours in time.
This is the last article in this series of Artist Website SEO Strategies. We hope you enjoyed and look forward to your questions and comments!