January certainly has kicked off with a huge battle of the S’sssss studio time v. SEO. SEO is Search Engine Optimization, which supports your rankings in Google, Yahoo, Bing and DuckDuckGo, but there is no magic wand or quick fix just hard work, time investment and consistency.
A state of the art designed web site does not guarantee that you get seen, as I have learned from previous experience with a sadly obscure site. A major change in www.ciarawharton.com was needed to engage customers and reach out to a new audience driving the delivery of the new web site/blog. Boy was it a painful birth but like all births it is overwhelmingly gratifying as one’s nurturing instincts take over, this baby’s growth is sustained by feeding it regular new posts and the sleepless nights are past.
I am certainly no expert on this very steep learning curve of improving my presence ‘on the line’ and engaging in key social media forums. My winter holiday was spent absorbing every known article on SEO’s until my head was exploding with confusing data and techno jargon. My promise to have some quality studio time was shot to bits with a ghastly overwhelming feeling that the blogging boat was missed and there was no chance for catch up. More confused than when I set out on this quest to be more SEO savvy, hands were rung in despair as I almost threw in the towel. However being a small business owner and new to the blogging realm having a SEO strategy is vital for an on-line presence. Therefore with my newfound knowledge I jumped head first into Twitterdom and my sleepy account came to life like a shot of adrenalin to the heart. My patient facebook friends and followers have been bombarded with non-sensical tweets, Tumbler and Instagram postings. There were out cries of having been taken over by spamming monsters. Oh dear! a SEO strategy rethink was needed before all loyal followers of my facebook page were forever lost.
Some respite in the studio was long overdue and this creative recharge helped enlighten me on developing a good balance between the two in the future.
The therapeutic studio time worked twofold, firstly helping me restock depleted glass art stock after some good Christmas sales and secondly releasing the frustrated grumpy monster I had become due to restricting my creative genes.
This reflective period helped me to re focus the balance between creating or clicking. With some critical thinking on the long term value of having my art or glass work appear on the first page of search engines an equilibrium was struck.
Refreshed and even more determined than ever to succeed I began anew with an open mind and steely commitment to keeping it brief and simple. Beginning where all my projects start with a visual mind map my new SEO strategy started to take shape and make sense. There was also a realisation that in order to succeed my new SEO strategy must be flexible never set in stone and always evolving.
I stumbled upon this very reassuring article by Lee Traupel in the Huffingtonpost. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-traupel-/why-content-and-social-me_b_5556734.html Hope was restored that the 100’s of hours of research into SEO’s and blogging etiquette had not gone to waste. The blogging boat is not missed with a new trend towards informative content more that instant snap shots of day to day life. Thank-you Lee Traupel for throwing me a lifeline! Also proving helpful was Johnathan Long’s opinion on visibility across more search engines not just the big G and earning your links http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/240271. It is very easy when you are feeling overwhelmed, lost and vulnerable to jump on board one of the thousands of online companies offering to shoot your site/product to No 1 for a nominal fee and others offering links and back links that would make Kim Kardashian throw a fit. Glad I stuck to my guns of flying solo in the hope that in the future someone somewhere would like my content enough to give me that important link.
My SEO strategy is a work in progress along with the design and content of my site and improving my social media presence. This must be finely balanced to ensure my creative soul does not wither up and die, but more importantly I don’t end up without bespoke art or glass products to offer my new found customers. I will continue to focus on broadening my WWW. presence armed with my valuable new learnings in this speciality, happy in the knowledge that all my hard creative work in the studio will be going out to a broader audience.
I wonder if you could help in a small experiment that will only take 3-5 minutes of your time?
Go to your search engine click images then type in only one items below. Check the first 3 pages to see if my popular items appear. Please comment below which search engine you used and if the item appeared.
Fused glass Angel
Fused glass horse
Fused Glass VW camper
Anybody willing to check out these search engines DuckDuckGo or Bing ?
Would like to repeat this experiment in 4-6 months time just to see if my efforts are starting to pay off. Thank-you all for your invaluable help please leave your comments findings below.