OPP takes care of all of the technical aspects of SEO for you -- so you don't have to worry about any of those things. But before you throw up your hands in relief, remember that you alone are the content manager of your OPP site! This means that you and you alone have the ability to keep your site appealing to search engines.
In Part One, we'll focus on content and the OPP settings that will maximize the SEO of your site. In Part Two, we'll focus on the other things you can do to help with the SEO of your site.
Text, text, text.
The absolute number one key thing to do is to make sure that the text content on your site is detailed, specific and relevant to the keywords you want people to use in search engines (especially your name), since this is how search engines decide what your site is all about.
Here are some do's and don'ts when it comes to content:
- Do add titles to your pieces
- Do add text or descriptions to your images
- Do add a content rich Artist Statement to your Home Page
- Do use your name and most important keywords in your Home Page text
- Don't leave your Home Page with no text on it -- Home Pages are one of the top places Google looks for keywords, and is also where Google gets the description of your site for its listing
- Don't enter dots or spaces in between the letters of your name as your website title -- 'J o e S m i t h' and 'J-o-e-S-m-i-t-h' does not equal 'Joe Smith' to a computer
If you are using one of our old-school Flash skins, we highly recommend that you switch to using an HTML Template, as our Templates allows Google's robots to 'read' the text on your site, therefore finding your name and keywords more easily. Google's increasing prejudice against Flash-based is part of the reason we designed the new Templates.
* You'll only see the Flash skins as an option in your Control Panel if you've been using one for a long time. If you don't see this option, don't worry – this means you're using the correct Templates!
If you haven't already, we recommend that you switch both your Normal Image Settings and your Zoom Image Settings to 'Shared (HTML).
Having public images is also just a good thing in general as bloggers, galleries and curators can grab your images for their files and articles this way.
Worried about image theft? See this post.
Having your Image Settings as 'Shared (HTML), along with detailed Captions (see the next step) can be VERY helpful.
Something to be aware of is that Google has also stopped using 'behind-the-scenes' keywords (technically <meta tags>), such as the ones you may have entered into the Keywords section of your Control Panel --- so that makes it all the more important to have your content visible in the text on your website itself.
Instead, it is very important to fill in the 'Caption' section of each Image.
Like all of the content on your site, these should be honest and descriptive, as search engines are good at spotting tricks. :) A good description would consist of something like "photograph of galaxies rainbows kittens and sunset by Your Name." This will help search engines get more info about your site and can assist in getting your images on Google Image search.
Remember though that Google Image Search is designed to find images OF something, not BY someone. A search for your name is more likely to bring up a photo of you, as opposed to work by you.
That's all for now, folks. Till Part Two!