Does SEO (Search Engine Optimization) REALLY Work to Help Artists Sell Art?

Published Mar. 11th 2010


Until recently, I was reading about search engine optimization and applying SEO techniques to my website and blog, but I didn’t really see it working. I just had a hard time seeing how SEO translated into someone actually finding my products and buying them.

Even now, in looking at my traffic stats I can see that the majority of the people visiting my website are coming from comments I posted on other blogs and forums—places which are mostly related to the business of art marketing and art licensing. These are people interested in what I’ve learned from marketing my art, rather than my artwork itself, so there are no direct sales from these visits.

My hasty conclusion, which I even stated loudly to some people, was that SEO is overrated! After all, the number of visits I get from search engines (under 5%) doesn’t even compare to the 95% of visits from forums, social networking, emails, and etc.

At least, that’s what I thought. . . until I saw with my own eyes how sales are made because of SEO. Here is one example:

How SEO really works

1. Yesterday at around 11AM someone searched on Google for “mishloach manot bags” and saw this Google results page.

SEO-google-search-results

In the image above you can see that Google has listed one of my blog posts, entitled Bags for Shalach Manot and more Purim art products, as the second result on the first page, not counting the top ads.

2. While reading my post, the user saw my embedded Zazzle widget (shown below) and clicked on it to get to my Zazzle store.

zazzle-art-widget

3. Once in my Zazzle store, the soon-to-be-buyer saw what he or she was originally looking for—a bag for Shalach Manot (or Mishloach Manot). However, this person eventually ended up purchasing another item: thirteen sheets of Happy Purim stickers.

4. The end result is that my store made few bucks on that sale from royalties, and a few more from my referral, because the buyer came from my own blog.

How do I know that these steps happened just like that? Because of a couple of tools I am using:

How I track my SEO conversions

1. The first tool I used is Feedjit’s “Live Traffic Feed” on my blog, which shows where readers come from around the world. (When using the “Watch in Real-Time” option, more details are available.)

Feedjit showed me that someone searched on Google for “mishloach manot bags” and that they were from Hackensack, New Jersey. It also shows me that the same person left via my zazzle widget.

traffic-stats-seo

2. Zazzle’s Royalty History shows who bought the stickers—I can see that the buyer is from Hackensack, New Jersey at roughly the same time.

purchase-stats

So that’s exactly how SEO helps artists sell art . . You start off by writing in your blog about the art and products you have for sale, using key words that other people will use in their searches.

Eventually, when the right searcher comes along, Google will place your site, and your products, right in front of them.

There are many SEO techniques out there—not all of them will work for everyone, but NOT doing any of them will get you nowhere. So start somewhere and be consistent. As time goes by, you’ll see that SEO does work!

To learn more about Moshe Mikanovsky, please visit www.mikanovsky.com.

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