search engine optimization

SSL – Eight Reasons to Implement SSL Encryption Now

This is the logo for Hannah West Design, web designer to artists, logo designed by Hannah West © 2000-2016 Hannah WestSSL padlock icon

Hannah West Design Now Secure!

Hannah West Design is now secured with a brand new SSL certificate! On January 14, we migrated www.hannahwestdesign.com to a new hosting service. This is NameCheap hosting, which we want to try out on behalf of our starving artist clients to find out if hosting service compares well to other hosts who don’t have the same affordable pricing.

In addition, Google is now promoting sites that are protected with SSL encryption and demoting those without it by placing an “Unsecured Site” flag (similar to the “This site might be hacked” flag we sometimes see) next to any website which does not have SSL. This is part of a widespread movement to encrypt the web (Learn more at Let’sEncrypt.org). With that in mind, we decided to make the switch to SSL encryption at the same time. As a result, our updated address is https://www.hannahwestdesign.com. We’re proud of that beautiful green padlock displaying in the address bar now!

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. A correctly installed SSL certificate encrypts all information transmitted to and from your website. This protects your private information when visiting the site, from which pages you visit to sharing to submitting contact forms to purchasing online. Websites with contact forms, login pages, online shops, etc. can all benefit from the added security provided by this encryption. Visitors will feel more secure interacting with your site, which is a huge bonus. Importantly, each certificate comes with a guarantee, so if a malicious entity subjects you to liability for damage to a visitor, you will receive a settlement form the certificate issuer. This amount varies with the level of certificate used, but starts at $10,000.

There was a time when conventional wisdom said that applying SSL to an entire website would make its pages load more slowly. However, recent advice from numerous experts in the field now assures us that the opposite is now true. And we are seeing our website load with a bit more spring in its step today…the ultimate proof.

Implementing SSL

The process of implementing SSL can be simple and painless, but it can also be rather harrowing. For me it was somewhere in between those extremes. I have been through this before on client sites as well. While some need extra attention for various reasons, most of the time it’s complete—including all the content tweaks needed for that lovely green padlock to display—in 2–4 hours.

To increase your standing with the search engines, additional tasks are necessary. Once the SSL is in place, we need to make adjustments in Google Webmaster Tools so they can direct traffic to the secure version of your site. We also need to adjust your Google Analytics account so traffic stats will continue to be collected accurately.

Pricing and Other Requirements

Many things related to SSL certificates have changed in the last couple of years. For one thing, they used to be very expensive. While prices for certificates to protect sites that don’t involve e-commerce have become quite affordable, there are now free certificates available from Let’s Encrypt. The catch is that not all hosts have a quick and easy way to install them and the process of doing it manually can take a good deal of time. Furthermore, some hosts—like Ipower—refuse to allow third-party certificates to be installed on their servers. While we could have used Cloudflare on our site, we opted for a Comodo Positive SSL certificate, which NameCheap offers for only $1.99 the first year. Renewals are a very reasonable $9.00/year with discounts for advance purchase up to three years. That’s a big discount from the same certificate on Ipower ($31.99) and Bluehost’s for $4.17/month. What’s the catch? You have to have your website hosted with NameCheap too. Also very inexpensive, so definitely worth considering.

Previously you had to have a dedicated IP address (the numerical equivalent of your web address) for an SSL certificate. This meant you had to have private hosting (expensive) or pay a monthly fee of $4.99-6.99 PER MONTH to have a dedicated IP added to your otherwise reasonably-priced shared hosting. Because unique IP addresses have become more and more rare, this prerequisite has been lifted by many certificate issuers and hosts. Instead, they tie the certificate identity to the domain instead of the server IP. All this has made SSL encryption more affordable to the average website owner. The benefits are greater now too.

Benefits of SSL Encryption

Some hosts provide free SSL certificates, but most do not. These free certificates may have downsides you’d rather not deal with. We found that Bluehost’s free SSL, issued by Comodo, only covers the root domain (https://your-domain.com) and NOT the www version. Big problem for sites installed with www.your-domain.com addresses. We can avoid this with the use of Cloudflare. Though it’s a completely different setup, their free certificate will cover both the bare domain and the www version. Entry-level SSL certificates have become much more affordable than they once were, too.

I’m ready to begin helping others to make this important change as well. I’ve learned the ins and outs of what is possible and what is not on several hosts. I can inform you of your options and advise you on which is the best choice for the money.

If you’re not sure you even want to deal with this undertaking or not, please consider the benefits:

  1. Receive payments through your ecommerce website – Most payment gateways now require SSL, even PayPal
  2. Give your visitors greater confidence in the security of their transactions, interactions with your site, and personal information
  3. Limit liability for identity theft
  4. Boost page load times
  5. Greater protection from hackers
  6. Prevent unknown people snooping on activity to and from your website
  7. Boost your SEO
  8. Participate in the movement to encrypt the entire web

Are you ready to apply SSL to your own website and enjoy these benefits? Please contact me!

Client Links

If you are in need of a website, please visit some of the sites I have designed in action using the client links below. Many of them are also represented on my Portfolio page, where you can read my comments about the project.

*     A good site to clone and customize with your own content for those with budget limitations. This can be done with any site below, but these will give you the least expensive results.

**   E-Commerce examples

*** Custom websites I’m exceptionally proud to have designed and/or customized.

Web Design Clients:

Artist Websites

  • * Billye Woodford – 2013 New Website, based on the customized site created for the late (and wonderful!) Boni de Laire earlier that year.
  • *** Butterfly’s Web – 2015 New Website, logo update, maintenance and content updates for a very talented fiber artist who spins natural fibers in to yarn and dyes them with a range of synthetic and natural dyes, some made from plants that grow on her farm! Colorful, beautiful site with an active blog.
  • Carla J Griffin – 2016 New Website, maintenance and content updates
  • ** Carpe Diem Papers – 2017 Redesigned website with new ecommerce capabilities and Mailchimp integration; maintenance and content updates
  • *** Catherine Anderson, AWS -2015 Massive overhaul including redesign, SEO and security measures. A work still in progress, and one I’m especially proud of.  Be sure to visit and see her award winning watercolors!
  • * Catie Faryl – 2012 New Website, maintenance and content updates. SSL added 2016.
  • Dabar Studio – 2014 HTML to WordPress conversion with redesign, maintenance and content updates. This site was tremendous between her art and the site design. However she neglected to renew her hosting service, so the site is offline until she renews it.
  • Elaine Frenett Watercolors – 2014 New Website, maintenance and content updates
  • Eve Margo Withrow – 2014 New Website, maintenance and content updates
  • * Jannie Ledard Glass Art – NEW! – 2008 New Website (fully designed one page site); 2016 WordPress Conversion, redesign and SSL
  • * Joan Pechanec – 2013 New Website, maintenance and annual content updates. Joan needed a budget solution for her site and I worked with her to display the maximum number of paintings (40) possible while keeping costs at a minimum. The new site landed Joan her first solo show at the Orlando Art Center in the same year! After painting for nearly another year to have enough work to fill the space, she sold nearly all of the works on display!
  • Judy Buswell Watercolors – 2014 HTML to WordPress conversion with redesign, maintenance and content updates. Judy’s watercolors have been popular for decades, and the greeting cards and other products her licensed works decorate are best-sellers still.
  • ** *** Kim Novak – 2014 New website with e-commerce (PayPal), maintenance and content updates, SSL added 2017. A conservative site, based on the WordPress 2014 theme yet heavily customized, which showcases her incredibly creative pastel and oil paintings beautifully.
  • ** *** Linda Abblett Watercolors – 2015 HTML to WordPress conversion with redesign and added e-commerce (WooCommerce), maintenance and content updates, SSL added 2017. Another beautiful custom site I’m proud to have been chosen to create.
  • * Lori Garfield, Animal Artist – 2014 New website, maintenance and content updates
  • * *** Michael Carpenter, OPA – 2015 New website, maintenance. A very handsome website for a particularly talented and experienced artist.
  • Mountain Glen Harps – 2014 New website, SEO, maintenance. This is a very busy website promoting Glenn Hill’s spectacular hand-carved wooden and custom laser harps – a must-see!
  • *** Pat Moore Photography 2015 New website, maintenance, SEO services for a fabulous photographer. We plan the addition of ecommerce and SEO to this site in winter 2017-18.
  • *** Pegi Smith – 2014 Migration to new host, massive website redesign and SEO, ongoing maintenance and content updates, added SSL in 2016. Another artist website of which I’m especially proud.
  • RioQuerencia Fine Art Images –  2010 New custom HTML website for a wonderful photographer.
  • Silvia Rothschild Trujillo – 2011 New Website; 2015 WordPress Conversion and redesign.
  • Tina Hutton NEW! – 2016 WordPress Conversion, redesign and SEO
  • ** Wendy Gell Jewelry & Art – 2014 Massive website redesign plus e-commerce (WooCommerce) and ongoing maintenance

Community Websites

  • Southern Oregon Artists Resource – Launched 1/1/2010, currently being redesigned behind the scenes and will ultimately merge with the blog. This is an example of a successful, large and very complex project which I created from scratch. I’m eager to get the new site completed and launched!
  • Southern Oregon Artists Resource Companion Blog, Art Matters – Launched 3/2010, currently being redesigned behind the scenes and will be merged with the directory site above. Watch for the completion of this enormous project!
  • Art Presence Art Center – 2012 New website for nonprofit art gallery, ongoing maintenance, social media support and content updates. I also write a monthly article for Art Presence which is published in the Jacksonville Review.
  • Community Works – In 2013 I was honored to design the website of the parent organization of the Dunn House, a respected local resource for abused women.
  • * *** Jennifer Faith – 2014 Design, SEO and maintenance for a site that supports victims of domestic violence and abuse. Best for a blogger with great featured images, as the Home page depends on excerpts for the design.

Websites for Small Business

  • Ashland Archival Printing – 2015 Website Redesign, SEO, maintenance
  • C St Bistro – 2015 Website redesign with WordPress conversion, SEO, maintenance.
  • *** EKP Creations NEW! – A 2016 newly designed website with full SEO, & e-commerce (Shopify) of which I am truly proud! Visit to see the upcycled soy candles they make with amazing scents, recycled wine bottles, and other repurposed glass.
  • Iris Colored Dreams NEW! – 2016 New website, SEO, maintenance for an Ashland woman, Silhouette, practicing in the blind psychic tradition.
  • *** Meta Physical Therapy & PilatesNEW! – I just love the new website I created for H. Kate Huckert, DPT, in 2016. Her fondness for the Oriental aesthetic is expressed beautifully in this layout and design.
  • Maggie’s Place – One of my first clients (2010), Maggie’s site is an original html design.
  • *** Markwood Heavenly Strings & Cases 2014 Site redesign/conversion to WordPress and content updates for a Talent, OR woman who creates custom harp strings and more. A nicely streamlined site with great graphics to text balance.
  • ** ***Mission Candles – Another beautiful site design with E-Commerce that I am particularly proud of. The site now has a different ecommerce solution than the original.
  • Ruch Hardware NEW! – 2016 New website, SEO, maintenance and content updates. This site has personality plus, like its owner, and is quite the community hub in the Ruch/Applegate Valley area.
  • Ryan’s Outpost NEW! – 2017 New website, SEO, maintenance and content updates.
  • Shosha Yoga – 2011 New website.

SSL installation, SEO, Maintenance, Conversion to WordPress, and New Hosting Migration Client Links

  • Angela Meer – Author and Writing Coach NEW! – I migrated her very complex website to a new host and extended her existing SSL certificate to cover the entire website in 2016.
  • BesteArt – Content updates, SEO and SSL installation.
  • *** Dodero Studio Ceramics – For the past few years I have mostly worked with John Dodero on search engine optimization for his Raku pottery e-commerce (WooCommerce) website, but also merged his HTML site with his blog in 2014 and converted from an outdated theme to a modern one while preserving the site’s original design in 2015-early 2016. I’m not alone in highly recommending his work.
  • *** Mountain Sun Botanicals NEW! – 2016 Conversion to WordPress, preserving home page design and redesigning subpages, setting up custom Google Suite emails, added SSL
  • ** NYC Cafe & Catering NEW! – The owner of this establishment was referred to me by another client in 2016. This San Juan Capistrano restaurant and catering service already had a website, but the back end was unbelievably messed up to the point that it was impossible to discern what was controlling the elements on the home page. It was rife with misspellings and grammatical errors — a huge SEO fail. It required a massive overhaul of the site structure and some additions to the design, a complex theme conversion along with lots of SEO to bring the site to where the owner could do most of the maintenance and content updates himself. Soon after came the addition of e-commerce (WooCommerce) to create a Catering “Catalog” from which his clients could use when placing catering orders. Al and his team get HUGE reviews, so next time you’re in San Juan, be sure to stop in for lunch or dinner!
  • Romancing the West I’ve been maintaining this website for singer/songwriter and producer of Romancing the West® since 2012 with both content updates and site maintenance. During that time I’ve restored it from a hack attack, migrated their website to new hosting, and installed their SSL certificate. I also formatted/edited a children’s book for them in 2017 and design/update the new concert posters for their biannual tours.
  • Stefan Baumann, Plein Air Artist This was a massive search engine optimization (SEO) project that required reorganizing the entire site’s content and pointing two no longer used, but very important, domains to his new site. Working with his assistant Kris Baxter, I also designed and formatted a catalog for a large art show of Stefan’s work in southern California.
  • Talbott Studios – A wonderful artist who specializes in animals (particularly horses and equine art). Genie also designs gorgeous wine labels and more. I began with search engine optimization and content updates for her, and have been working with her site for several years. We will be redesigning and converting it to WordPress in spring 2018.

More exciting projects are in the works and others are lined up. It will be so fun to complete them and share the links here! If you are currently in need of a website, please contact me to get your project underway today!

SOSA Presentation 2-23-15

I’m very grateful to have been invited by the Southern Oregon Association of Artists (SOSA) to give a presentation at their February 2015 members meeting on Monday, February 23 at 7pm! I’m posting this presentation document, “Help Your Website Help You,” so those who attend can download it to their computers for reference.

Help Your Website Help You

Help Your Website Help You - thumbnail image for document for 2-233-2015 SOSA presentationI’m very grateful to have been invited by the Southern Oregon Association of Artists (SOSA) to give a presentation at their February 2015 members meeting on Monday! I will discuss ways to help your website help you, including ways to work with social media to promote your art, as well as website maintenance and security to protect your site and your visitors – all to improve your search engine visibility and bring more visitors to your website.

Just before the meeting, I will be posting a presentation document, “Help Your Website Help You,” so those who attend can download it to their computers for reference. Anyone who is interested or who couldn’t make the meeting is free to view and download this document, too. SOSA invites all artists to attend their monthly meetings, so I hope I will see you at the Medford Public Library this Monday, February 23, 2015. The meeting starts at 7pm and the library locks the doors at the same time, so be sure to arrive a few minutes early! If you have a mobile device, please bring it along.

New Website for Jacksonville Chiropractic!

Jacksonville Chiropractic Clinic, Dr. Jason Williams,  Jacksonville, OregonI would like to thank Jacqueline Williams for entrusting me with the ground-up redesign of the website for Jacksonville Chiropractic Clinic, featuring Jacque’s husband, chiropractor Dr. Jason Williams, and the licensed massage therapists who practice alongside him!

Jacque was lovely to work with, and when she had to step aside for a couple of weeks for unrelated reasons, I felt I had enough information from our very productive first meeting to forge ahead on my own. When she returned, she was delighted to find the site ready for her review. We made a few adjustments, I did some housekeeping on the technical end, notified the search engines that the site had been revamped, and it was ready to go! Afterward, she said to me “Thank you so much, Hannah. I’m not very good about delegating, it’s just so much more efficient to do things myself most of the time. But I was really impressed with what you were able to accomplish without any input or participation from me while I was away. I thought it was going to be much more work on my part, but you made it so easy and painless! The site is beautiful, functional and easy to navigate, and I can’t wait to share it with our patients and the community!”

I am particularly proud of how this website came out in the end, and feel the layout and design is flexible enough to use for a number of different types of business. It even looks great on mobile devices!

We were careful to observe the new search engine optimization (SEO) techniques and hope it will be favored by the search engines as a result. You can help by leaving a comment on the blog post announcing the new site, by searching for Jville Chiropractic on Google or Bing and clicking through to the website, then lingering there or browsing the site for a little while, or by sharing the site with your favorite social network. 8.24.14 UPDATE: One of the things we did to boost Jacksonville Chiropractic’s SEO rating was to invest in a paid plugin by Yoast called Local SEO. Previously when we searched for “Jacksonville Chiropractic,” we saw mostly sites in Jacksonville, Florida in the search results. Now, and in record time, Jacksonville Chiropractic’s Oregon site dominates page one of the search results! Alternative searches have it either as #1 in the page one list, or lower on the page, but still on page 1. Even a search for “jason williams dc“, which predictably pulls up results with Jason Williamses from many walks of life, has OUR Jason Williams’ bio page at position #6, and the link to jacksonvillechiropracticclinic.com in position #7! Your help in lickcing the links you found in the search results made a huge difference in the amount of time this usually takes, too…Thank you!!

Please visit the site and take a look around. There is a lot of additional information, new patients can download patient registration forms to fill out and bring to their first visit, and the visual comparison between the previous site and this one…well, there’s no comparison! We would be very grateful if you would share their new site with anyone in the Jacksonville area who needs help from a chiropractor and/or therapeutic massage specialist, or travelers who have found themselves in need while visiting friends and family here. If you are a patient of Dr. Williams or one of his associates, please send them an email with a testimonial via their Contact page. We need current testimonials to make the site complete.

I can vouch for Mira, the resident therapeutic massage and Rolfing specialist. After one hour under Mira’s skilled and sensitive hands, I found a huge amount of pain relief that has remained with me since last November! Yes, sitting in front of a computer all day every day does have its drawbacks, but in no time she put me back in the saddle and ready to build more and better websites. I have a feeling Mira may become active on the blog, sharing information and special announcements.

Last but not least, we set up an online shop for the Clinic. It’s still under construction, but we hope to have it fully functional soon, and then you will be able to purchase the health products they use and recommend to their patients – either for shipment to your home or for local pickup!

We also set up the template for Jacksonville Chiropractic’s first newsletter. It’s pretty clean and simple – they do not plan to do a lot of emailing, but they are co-sponsoring Jacksonville’s First Annual Health Fair in October and would like to share the details with the community as the festival takes shape. In the near future we will set it up so that occasional news and announcements from their new blog can be delivered to your inbox.

I welcome your feedback, and if you would be interested in a quote on a website similar to this one, please send me an email via my Contact page.

More announcements to come soon, and hopefully a catch-up post with the many projects I’ve successfully completed this year but haven’t had time to write about, too.

Latest updates…

It’s so hard to keep this site updated when there are so many interesting (and challenging!) projects to tend to, so here’s a quick recap of a few of the things I’ve been working on.

"Master Wave," oil on canvas painting of a large wave breaking on the shore by Boni de Laire
“Master Wave,” oil on canvas by Boni de Laire
"Still Life with Red Oriental Poppies," oil on canvas by Billye Woodford
“Still Life with Red Oriental Poppies,” oil on canvas by Billye Woodford

 

Just after I finished the restoration of a site for Medford artist Boni de Laire, she referred another wonderful painter to me, Billye Woodford from Rogue River, Oregon. I have just finished her site, too. They’re both beautiful, and filled with lovely artwork – representational landscapes are Boni’s focus, and while Billye creates beautiful landscapes as well, she also ventures into florals, portraits and more. Please visit www.bonidelaire.net and www.billyewoodford.com today!

While I was finishing up Billye’s site, another interesting job came my way – a website for a contestant in the upcoming Miss Oregon pageant, Priyanka Samra. Born in Canada and raised in Medford Oregon, Priyanka is a college student in California majoring in pre-med. She’ll gradute at the end of the current school year. She’s also incredibly beautiful and has been modeling since she was 14 – with a special love for the runway. She’s going to be teaching runway lessons to other models to raise funds for her favorite charities – Unique Home for Girls in India, where girls who have been abandoned are given a home, education and a future under the loving guardianship of

Model Priyanka Samra
Model Priyanka Samra

their adopted mother Prakash Kaur, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), specifically for their important work on depression. Please visit www.priyankasamra.com to learn more and see the modeling shots in her portfolio gallery…and root for her to win Miss Oregon 2014! She wanted a site based on her friend Mabelynn’s. Mabelynn won the Miss California pageant in 2012 and her site is pretty sleek, so I went for it. As pretty as Mabelynn is, I think Priyanka’s exotic East Indian look, movie-star glamorous yet not excessively sexy, makes her site the winner. Follow her for news on the Miss Oregon pageant, which happens in November.

"Sunrise on the Rhine," mixed media on canvas by artist Christina Madden depicting a castle on the Rhine River in Europe
“Sunrise on the Rhine,” mixed media on canvas by artist Christina Madden

A couple of my artist clients have added new paintings to their websites recently.

Christina Madden paints in oil, acrylic and mixed media; her range of style and subject is quite broad, but recently she’s been refining her style to make it all her own. And is it ever! Her colorful abstract impressionist landscapes are so vibrant and full of life, like nothing else I’ve seen. We’ve also been working to improve the SEO value of her site and making progress. Help her gain better online visibility! Visit her website and feast your eyes on artist Christina Madden‘s colorful world! If you find yourself in Ashland, Oregon during October 2013, stop in at Art & Soul gallery to see a major show of her paintings. She sold ten paintings in recent months, so she had to work very hard to paint new pieces so she would have enough for her show, and they’re magnificent! Meet the artist at a reception on Friday, October 4 during the Ashland First Friday Art Walk.

"Boss," oil on wood by Eugenia Talbott of Talbott Studios
“Boss,” oil on wood by Eugenia Talbott of Talbott Studios

Artist Eugenia Talbot is an amazing woman, and she just had two shows here in southern Oregon – one at the Berryman Gallery (above the Craterian Theater in Medford) in conjunction with the production of Tarzan there in early September. At the same time I had her work hanging at the GoodBean Cafe in Jacksonville for a one month exhibition that got huge numbers of compliments! I didn’t design her site, but she brought me on for maintenance and updates, as well as to upgrade its SEO value. Once again I appeal to what readers I may have to help increase her online visibility by visiting her Talbott Studios website and take some time to look around. You won’t be disappointed – African wildlife, horses and pet portraits, portraits of people and more await you there!

Susan DeRosa art show card for South Stage Cellars show, September 2013
Susan DeRosa art show card for South Stage Cellars show, September 2013

Oh, and you must see the art show card that Jacksonville artist Susan DeRosa had me make for her debut southern Oregon show (she moved here recently from Arkansas, where she lived for a time after retiring from her career as an art educator in California universities). She is such an amazing talent, I’m glad she now has time to continue refining her own work rather now that she’s done her time teaching others! Her show at South Stage Cellars was such a success, she sold a painting at the opening reception and so many people came that she started crying with gratitude when telling me how she felt about it.

This reminds me of the art show catalog I did recently, but I haven’t had a chance to scan it so I’ll have to post that later.

Apologies to the awesome folks at GMO Free Jackson County for not having time to have them with a project they contacted me about. Please visit their website and lend your support – they working hard to protect Oregon’s organic agriculture legacy. It’s like swimming upstream, there’s so much to do and so much resistance from the likes of Monsanto and Syngenta.

Well, there’s still more, but I’ve run out of time and have to get back to work, so please return another time to see if I’ve had a chance to write more about the fabulous projects I’m involved in now, and what my wonderful clients have for me next! Spoiler alert…looks like a new site and SEO help for Daljit Samra (Name sounds familiar? Yes, that’s Priyanka’s mom!) of the Rogue Valley Inn and possibly some modifications to a fantastic high end fashion site in New York, as well as adding video content to singer/songwriter Christina Duane’s nonprofit websites, Romancing the West and Oh Oregon Frontier Park when she returns from her current tour! Oh, right, I haven’t written about the pleasure of starting to work with Christina yet, have I? Well, we’ll have to tackle that next time…Thanks for stopping by and come back again soon!

 

Site Update for Artist Christina Madden!

I’m so grateful to have had artist Christina Madden come to me for help bringing more visitors to her website!

La Casa, oil painting by Christina Madden
La Casa, oil painting by Christina Madden

The first thing we did was to add metadata to all the images of her art, both for security’s sake and to help promote her art. While the metadata contained within an image is not readable by search engines, it’s essential to have it in place in the event that it, through resharing, it becomes separated from any link to the artist’s website or other contact information. It’s always an option to lock down an image so it cannot be separated from the website where it appears, but then people can’t help you promote your work by sharing, so this way anyone can open the image in Photoshop, access the File Info, and see the artist’s website address so they can see more of their work, find their email and other contact information, and learn more about the artist. Christina’s choice was to allow her images to be shared, so the metadata was a must. This also saves time when adding images to social networks, as the most critical of the meta information – the artist’s copyright – will now be “exposed”, along with the title and description so it does not have to be retyped in. This also makes the metadata available to the search engines, an added bonus and a good reason to take the time to place this information in each image. And What a joy to work with the images of her beautiful oil paintings!

Next we added metadata keywords and descriptions to her pages for the search engines to gobble up, and AddThis sharing tools to her website to encourage visitors to share her pages. We also added a sitemap and Google analytics tracking code to her site and, though the site has been online for some time, submitted it to the search engines as this had not been done previously. In the process I saw that the code on her site was very outdated, and began the process of bringing it a bit more up to speed so it will be more search engine friendly. Completing this task for the entire site will take longer and we plan to take it a little at a time; we also will add proper text with keywords to the “Alt” field in her images.

Morning at Touvelle Park, oil painting by Christina Madden
Morning at Touvelle Park, oil painting by Christina Madden

Christina had started a professional artist page on Facebook but hadn’t completed the setup, so we added a selection of paintings to her page and began promoting it. While working on this, she completed two new paintings, which we added to her website and Facebook page. Boy did they get a lot of attention! Over 200 views for one painting and almost 350 for the other, plus lots of wonderful comments! She’s up to 38 likes now, but it still needs some love, so why not visit and add your own like to her page?! https://www.facebook.com/artistchristinamadden

We began working on March 5 and completed this round on April 21. Currently Christina’s site is appearing in search results on Bing/Yahoo 94% more frequently than it did before, with a 200% increase in clicks from those search result pages, and all but 5 of her pages have been properly indexed by Google. Christina can now view traffic analytics for her site through her Google account and sharing analytics through her new AddThis account. In the past month (April 8 – May 8), she has welcomed 55 visitors to her site, who viewed 266 pages, and average of nearly 5 pages per visit! This represents an 89.66% increase in visitors over the previous month, a 48.6% increase in page views, and, though the total number of pages per visit is down a little, and increase in time spent on her website of 79.5%!

In addition we can see that , although most of her visitors are coming from her home territory of southern Oregon, people from 8 different countries have come to visit since we began working. Sharing has not been intense, nor has anything gone viral just yet, but 5 shares, up from zero ability to share, is promising,  and we can see that all the shares so far have been to Facebook. As these results show, search engine optimization, even if not complete, can immediately and dramatically change the visitor frequency and patterns to your website, and the ability to view and analyze these stats is very helpful to gauge how much the work you have put into optimizing your site is helping to increase traffic and sharing.