Search Engine Optimization of your OPP Site : Part Two

Now that you have the content of your website text-rich and in tip top shape, let's move onto other things that will help with the SEO of your site.

Get the word out!

A great way to help the SEO of your site is to be linked to by other sites. No, we don't mean participating in sketchy 'I'll link to yours if you link to mine' type deals. We mean good old fashioned getting your work out there -- by being interviewed, written about, participating in networking events, art residencies, and the like.

 Google Webmaster Tools

If you do not currently have a Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) account, be sure to sign up for one. Directions on how to connect your GWT account to your OPP site can be found here:

If you already have a GWT account, please check it regularly to see if you have any messages from Google regarding your site.

Submit your URL to Search Engines

 If you have not yet submitted your URL to Google, you may do that using the link below:

You can also request submission to Yahoo and Bing:

When submitting to Bing, please note that you don't have to set anything up with Bing Webmaster Tools. Simply go down to the bottom of the page to submit your URL using their 'deprecated tool'.

      You should also submit your URL to this independent, non-profit Web monitoring project that links to Google's directory.

      Ask Google to Recrawl your Site

      Once you have made sure that the content on your site is rich, detailed and relevant, and you have taken all the steps listed in our Google Help section, you can ask Google to reconsider your site, if you think it's been awhile since they have visited your site. Directions on how to do this, and a link to the page to request reconsideration are below. No need to worry about the technical or code related stuff here, as we take care of making sure that all this is in compliance with Google's webmaster guidelines:

      Remember that all changes to your site will take some time to be reflected in Google's index.

      Happy SEO-ing!

        Search Engine Optimization of your OPP Site : Part One

        Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a big deal these days. Making the first page of results for a specific group of terms is fantastic -- the top result, the best!

        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!

        Image Settings

        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!

          Your Virtual Business Card : Optimizing Your OPP Website for Mobile Devices

          As an Artist, being able to display your work while you're on the go is important. When you are out and about and wish to share your work, your OPP site can serve as your virtual business card.

          To ensure that the work on your OPP site is viewable on mobile devices, be sure that:

          • You are using a Template for your site, and not a Flash Skin
            • FYI -- 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 mobile-friendly Templates!
          • Your 'Image Settings' are set to 'Shared (HTML)', not 'Protected (Flash)'
          • Your 'Zoom Image Settings' are set to 'Shared (HTML)'

          You can now display your work on anyone's mobile phone or device -- instant access to your work. Big deal, you say? You can now...

          • Have coffee with a writer who's anxious to blog about your work (press! yes!) and show them your work on your mobile device
          • Share your body of work with others during studio visits, or with fellow residents while at an art residency
          • Present your work while networking at art fairs, conventions, and conferences
          • Meet with a potential collector and make a sale

          Worried about your work being stolen, because you won't be using our 'Protected (Flash)' settings? We'll address those concerns in an upcoming post. Stay Tuned!