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5 Ways to Optimize Your Portfolio for Local Traffic

by . April 1st, 2009

Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your site to rank better for certain keywords such as ” Business Card Designer ” in search engines such as Google. Many designers overlook this online marketing tactic and if your site is not optimized for keywords you could be missing out on gold mine of business opportunities!

The problem is some of these terms like the one I just mentioned can be very competitive and hard to rank for. A great way to get around this is to start off by targeting local search traffic. For example if you live in Westchester County, New York you could target related phrases people might type in such as “westchester county graphic designer”.

Terms like this are usually easier to rank for because there is less competition and the traffic might not be much, but it will be very highly targeted. Below we will go over some steps to optimize your site for local search engine traffic, in particular for Google.

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Local Search Engine Optimization Tips for Graphic Designers

1. Keyword Research

Before you can begin optimization you need to do some keyword research. Now, a lot of local traffic terms may not show up in the Google AdWords Keyword Tool because they get so few searches, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use your own brain to think up terms. Stat off with the free tool to see if there are any very good local search phrases and then branch off from there. Create a list of keywords and organize them into closely related groups so you can create pages for each group which we will talk about later.

2. Page Title Optimization

This is one of the simplest ways to optimize your site. The title tag should be included in the head section of your site’s code and look something like this: Graphic Design Blog, Tips and Jobs | You The Designer. Its better to include keywords and keyword phrases at the start of the page title, try to keep the title under 50 characters long and make it easy to read. Its also a good idea to include your business name or your name in the title for branding purposes and in case people use that to search Google.

3. META Description Optimization

While the META description tag does not have much of an impact on your ranking it is extremely important for getting people to click your listing in the search engines If you do rank for a keyword. Your page title and page description are the two pieces of content that show up when you do a search for a keyword and this is what people read to decide if they want to click through to your website or not. If these are optimized well for search engines and for people who use search engines you will be on your way to making the most of what search engines have to offer.

4. Unique Content

It its extremely important to have unique content on your site. If you want the focus to be on your designs, you can easily create new pages dedicated for targeting keywords. So for example you could create 10 pages, each page optimized for a different local traffic keyword.

Each of these pages should have a paragraph or two of unique content that has some of your target keywords mixed in and should also include some titles and sub titles to break up the text. The main title should be styled as an h1 tag, because this tag is considered the most important of the title tags by Google. Sub titles could be h2 and unless you have A LOT of content you prob don’t need to go any deeper with title tags.

Don’t forget to include a “call to action” on these pages, which will direct readers to a contact page, services or portfolio page so you can actually convert them into new clients. You could also consider starting a WordPress blog which is a great way to easily add fresh content on your site in the form of blog posts, which can be optimized as well for search engine keywords.

5. SEO Friendly Site Structure

The structure of your site is essential for search engine friendliness. If the search engines can’t crawl ( navigate ) your site and find your content, it won’t get listed in the search engines easily. You should have a CLEAR navigation with normal HTML links. You also need to have a sitemap which you can link in the footer of your site and you should submit a sitemap to Google directly using Google Webmaster Tools.

If you have a bunch of pages you created to target keywords you can simply link those in the footer or just let them get indexed via your sitemap, if you don’t want a bunch of links at the bottom of your site. Hope you enjoyed these graphic design search engine optimization tips. Stay tuned for a post on how to increase rankings once your site has been better optimized!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

YouTheDesigner is a graphic design blog under the UCreative Network. We do features; give away brushes, icons, wallpapers, and other freebies; and bring you the latest news in the world of graphic design.

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