Part one, Introduction - click here
Part two, Title and Description tags - click here
Part three, Keywords and H1 tags - click here
Part four, Images - click here
Part five, Social Media and More - click here
Things I didn't cover (on purpose)
Link building - like keywords, this is a nuanced topic and it tends to make people crazy. Rule one - don't buy links. Its bad and it won't help your site. Rule number two - if your work is featured at a gallery or other public place that has a website, ask them to put a link to your website so people can find more of your work.
Guest blogging - until recently, this was *the* way to get links. Recently, Google has decided it doesn't approve of this method in most cases because there were so many cases of opportunistic and bad matches that were done *just* to try and game the rankings. Don't do that.
However, you can and should look at guest blogging as a way to expand your audience because you have something great to share. What does that mean for Sally? Guest blogging about her art for a carpet store? Doesn't make much sense. Guest blogging for a vet clinic? That makes sense because it is a good way to reach real people who might be interested in her work.
Wrapping it all up
Will making these changes put Sally's website on the first page of Google? Absolutely not. If someone tells you they can put your website on the first page of Google, they are scamming you. No one can guarantee that (at least not for a phrase someone is actually using).
So why bother with SEO?
Even if Sally's website is only accessed by people who are already looking for her site (that is, typing her website directly into the address bar), by making her website more appealing to real people, Sally increases the likelihood that her site will be visited and shared. If someone has to wait precious seconds for Sally's website to load or they can't easily navigate it, they may assume it is a dead end or not worth visiting again.
By making her website more appealing to search engines, Sally increases the likelihood that Google will find her site to be a match for someone's query. And, of course, once someone is on her site, they will find is easy to use and worth sharing.
Musings about marketing, social media, and small business.