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Jan 2014


Last time I wrote an article about the aspects of a successful personal portfolio website where I partially addressed the three most important SEO factors of personal microstock galleries. However, I believe these tips are so crucial that they definitely deserve a separate article where they will be addressed again and in more detail.

My suggestions are concerned and applicable on most types of personal portfolio websites in general, but they are especially ideal for websites that are showcasing the author's own works in the form of virtual goods such as stock photography, graphics, illustrations or 3d renderings. The suggestions I will mention in this article are important to consider when you want to develop a successful personal portfolio website. If properly implemented, these tips can easily increase the traffic of your website, which is picked from search engine's result pages (SERPs). What is most important is that these suggestions and tips are applicable and fully working for almost any type of author's portfolio website! Your personal portfolio website included!

1.) Write unique titles, descriptions and keywords near your images.

If possible, always try to use unique on-site texts. This is especially true for titles, descriptions and keywords displayed near your images on large image preview pages that you have on your personal website. Try not to use the same descriptions as you previously used for your images uploaded to stock agencies. I know that rewriting text that describes your images in a 100% unique way is not always possible, but at least try to keep them as original as possible.

Surely this will require tons of time and effort to be put towards rewriting and rekeywording your images, but it will help you get better rankings in the online waters full of those "big" stock agencies. In the long run, it will pay off. Remember that your small personal website will be competing with old and established stock agencies that are already ranking good on the internet, and have been for ages! All of this, even with the help of your own images that you uploaded to them in the past; Your website has a very low chance to beat them now, unless the text near your images is absolutely unique.

2.) Use long image descriptions on your large preview pages.

I already addressed the importance of text uniqueness, but just as important is a proper length of text. Because of that, try to use long image descriptions whenever possible. By long descriptions I mean, descriptions that are at least 200 to 400 source words long! Of course the text must be relevant to the image it is aimed to describe.

More on-site text can increase the likeness that you will match people's searches for word(s) or phrase(s) contained within your image's description. This means increased traffic for your website; Traffic from search engines, such as from Google, Bing, or Yandex. Increased website traffic ALWAYS means there is an increased chance of bumping into some image buyer(s)! Naturally, most people sent from search engine result pages won't be image buyers (for now). They might be people looking for something that was mentioned near your image. But the more visitors you get, the bigger your chances are to find some image buyer(s). This is a never ending game of numbers, probability, and also some luck!

Try to hold on to this truth: More traffic is always good for your website, because any visitor is better than no visitor; Even if those people are not image buyers at the time they are sent from search engine result pages!

They may not be image buyers looking to purchase your images right at the moment when they are searching for some keyword(s) or phrase(s), but at least they will always be quasi-relevant visitors of your website. This is because your website will contain titles, descriptions, and keywords that will, more or less, relevantly describe the scene seen on your images. Indirect descriptions, such as words that describe the “story” seen on the images also work very well. This is especially true for pictures portraying cultural heritage views, such as castles, historic towns, or other travel attractions that have their history mentioned within the description on your website.

Indirect texts, but of course text that is still relevant to the images being presented on your personal website, is good especially for the reason that it will help you attract people who were initially searching for something else, but landed on your website and changed their minds about what they actually need. Imagine this situation, where some woman is searching the internet for information about the history of the famous Orava castle located in northern Slovakia. She might be looking for relevant history that is, by the way, directly mentioned within description of Orava castle pictures on large image preview pages such as these:


Initially, that lady isn't looking to purchase the images and she is actually looking for the history of the Orava castle, but she may decide later that the text with the history near the image is not the only thing she is looking for. She might realize that the images of the Orava castle, that she just saw at the visited website, will be ideal for the advertising flyer she plans to create for purpose of promoting her family owned guest-house, as a small presentation brochure, which will showcase all nearby attractions for tourists, and thus possibly get visitors to her guest-house. This is just one of many real life examples that happened to me in the past, and the story behind how this customer found my website was revealed to me when that lady contacted me through the form on my website, in which we communicated further.

You never know who your visitors are, why they are searching online and for what they are searching. They can change their mind later, become image buyers, suddenly recall your website, and your images that they saw during their previous visit to your website. They can come back trying to contact you about how they can purchase, or they will just purchase your images directly off your website. This depends on how your personal portfolio website will be setup and whether you will be selling your images directly from your website, or just showcasing your work and then sending your visitors to other online stores for purchase, like to stock agencies. Anyway, any visitor counts, because anyone can become an image buyer. You never know!

The more traffic, the better! This is definitely true in this case! Even if you think that it is quasi irrelevant traffic – quasi irrelevant in the way that it might be consisting of non image buyers at a time of visiting – people are still quasi relevant to content seen on image. There is always a chance that a visitor who was not interested in purchasing images may be interested later down the road.

Here are more examples for some inspiration. This is what I mean by long descriptions:


3.) Try to have tons of (human translated) language versions of your website!

This is my favorite way of increasing a website's traffic. You have probably noticed that my website is available in more than 20 languages. Do you know why?! Because to offer content in many languages is the easiest and the absolutely most effective way to harmlessly multiply (rise) traffic on any type of website! Translations can artificially increase the amount of large preview pages presented on your website and those preview pages will be indexed by search engines as new, original and unique content! Translated text is not considered duplicate content in terms of SEO and that means great opportunity for everyone. Imagine you have 1000 unique images in your stock portfolio; With these 1000 images you can generate 1000 large image preview pages maximum. These 1000 preview pages will form your personal portfolio website that will be indexed by search engines, but 1000 preview pages is a very low number compared to the huge waters of visual content that is available on today's internet.

And, of course you are by no doubt a very talented stock artist and thus you can work even harder on producing new top quality stock works, photos or illustrations that will expand the number of items in your portfolio and also your amount of new images that could be added on your website.

Yes, that is of course a very right way of thinking, but honestly, unless your are some big stock factory, it is very slow way to go even though creatively it may be the best way!

Ask yourself, how much new content – content that can be placed and indexed on your personal portfolio website as large image preview pages – are you able to produce a day, a week, a month?

Ten or twenty images maybe, one hundred images at the most, maybe even a little more, but that is still not enough to compete with everyone and to rank good in online waters full of stock agencies and other big fishes.

Also, you need to get traffic from search engines! Bump into some image buyers, increase your sales right now, right here! Not after years of long waiting; Waiting… for how long?! Probably forever. Without quality search engine optimization (SEO) you will wait endlessly for sales! You must optimize otherwise your content will be lost in the deep waters of the internet. You may be a great artist with stunning images, but you know what? That is simply not enough these days! It may be really sad, but the main key lies within quality marketing! That’s what makes the online world go round. If you have great marketing you will be successful, if not, you will be lost without ever being noticed. And, I know for a fact that you want to be noticed and successful, don’t you? If you do want to be successful, then your search engine optimization strategies must be done in the right way! You must do what is proven to be working, and not what hasn't been proven. So, I suggest something effective and fast to start your online marketing with! Something that can be started right away and done faster than anything else. The suggestion is... focus on tons of translations!

Naturally you may still produce new content while working on your translations. All I wanted to say is that, if you have for example 1000 images on your website and you will translate their titles, descriptions, and keywords to one foreign language you will all of sudden have 2000 images on your website, because 1000 images in 2 languages is 2000 images! Of course translations will take you some time to get done, but it will probably not take as long time as it takes you to produce a 1000 new images. So translations are faster, but they are just as effective as the production of new content! Do you wonder why it is like this? You must look at it from the point of view of search engine bots browsing your website, because it is the search engine's bot who will decide whether or not he will send image buyers to your portfolio website.

Just try it. Go and translate the texts contained on your website, especially titles, descriptions and keywords of your images, and then you will see something you have never seen before! Foreign traffic, lots of foreign traffic!

Translate your images to let's say 50 languages, and all of sudden you will have a huge portfolio with a big amount of virtually new content! Let's count together now on our example of 1000 unique images in the portfolio. It's 50 languages X 1000 images, that equals 50 000 large preview pages, with virtually new content. You will have 50 000 new, and unique pages on your personal portfolio website!

That is something you can use to feed the endless stomach of search engines with! The amount of 50 000 large preview pages on a website of an unknown artist is about the same amount of pages on one of the smaller stock agencies! Imagine how many people 50 000 preview pages can pick up from search engine results pages (SERPs) once all of those pages are indexed and properly ranked by a search engine's bot. But that is just the beginning! There are many more languages in the world, so there is always more room to artificially expand a portfolio of 1000 images to lets say 100 000 or more large image preview pages!

And what is the best about this method? This approach is absolutely legitimate and in compliance with the terms of service of every search engine! Translations are in no way considered duplicate content in terms of SEO. Actually this is a very powerful way to easily bring tons of new content and traffic to your website! Artificial content of course, but still absolutely legitimate content in terms of SEO! That is what counts!

This article continues with: One little secret about those much wanted image buyers!
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