I’m not a big sports person and I can tell you I was THRILLED to discover that my birthday does not coincide with the SuperBowl – would have really bummed me out! (Condolences to my friend Sue, whose does.)  However, while wandering through a local Party Depot a few weeks ago, I was inspired by some Football Field Goal head gear.  It got my brain going into full analogy mode and I realized the field goal posts were the perfect way to explain SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

According to a study in October 2008 by Netcraft, there are more than 182 million websites on the internet.  Sit with that a minute… a little overwhelming isn’t it?  So how on earth will anyone find you, even if they are looking?

Well how do you find websites?  You go to a search engine like Google or Yahoo or Bing… Many are also now turning to YouTube as a search engine – especially if you want to learn how to do something.  A quick search of the topic will often find you free video content to help you out.  Cool!

Still thinking about your own search habits, when you search a term, you might notice that Google comes up with pages and pages and pages of answers for you – how many pages do you look through before heading off to find the info? Which websites do you assume will be the most likely to give you what you need?  Google found 5,250,000 results in .2 seconds for a pretty narrow search term “SEO for Artists”…

That is a bit overwhelming!  Who has time to look at all those choices? If you are like the average searcher, you will look at 1-3 pages of results and choose a few of those website suggestions.  That is why learning how to optimize your website so you are on those pages when someone searches a relevant term in so important.  (That’s also why it’s called Search Engine Optimization or SEO.)

“But wait!” you say. “I don’t want to become a high-tech web designer, I want a website and then to focus on my art!”

Well you can have your SEO and painting time too!  With some basic tips and techniques, you can learn how to move your website towards the goal of first page Google page rank without paying anyone thousands of dollars.

When you make your site, you put text and descriptions and keywords (I hope).  Those are some of the things Google and other search engines use to evaluate your website and decide if you are inside or outside of the field goal posts when giving results on a search.

Daniel Tardent, an art marketer and artist website designer has created an eBook called, “SEO for Artists”.  I bought a copy and have tweaked my websites to improve my SEO results – and I was doing pretty well already!  He boils the technical topic down into understandable pieces and action items – explaining how to get the best results using art and artists as examples.  Awesome! In fact, using these techniques I managed to get the February Ask Call website, www.AskAboutSEOforArtists.com on the first page of Google already.

This, in a nutshell (well, a large nutshell!) is why I think you should submit your questions and tune in to the February 17, 2010 Art Licensing Monthly Ask Call.  Daniel has graciously agreed to give us an hour of his expertise so you can learn more about the process and decide if the eBook is something you want to invest in. (I’m glad I did!) If you can’t make the live call, the audio replay will be available for free after the call as well.  But these calls are made great by questions from you – you create the content.

So I ask you – what do you want to know? Go to www.AskAboutSEOforArtists.com and submit your question today. We’ll talk to you soon!  In the meantime, here’s a video telling you more about it…

– Tara

P.S. Don’t forget about the Art Licensing Story video contest – enter by 2/14 and the winner will be announced on the call.  There is a $100 coupon or free hour of coaching to be won if you create a video to post at www.ArtLicensingInfo.com/stories.html – not to mention the sharing and inspiring so start recording!