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Nuts and Bolts: Artist’s Notes and Product Description

August 17, 2011

A Reason You May Be Invisible to Potential Buyers

Let’s talk about the Artist’s Notes field, shall we? This field accompanies every single card you make at Greeting Card Universe, yet many of us (myself included) don’t always take advantage of it. I’ve also seen artists use this field to add some puzzling, irrelevant information to their cards. Few of us use it properly, which is big shame, because the Artist’s Notes field is a lot more important than you think.

Why? Well, there are two reasons. One has to do with shoppers, the other with search engines (that SEO thing, but don’t run away – I swear it isn’t that complicated).

I’ll start with SEO (which stands for Search Engine Optimization). Simply put, search engines use complex algorithms to determine a web page’s place (ranking) when it comes up in search results.

So that part is pretty clear, but what can you do to improve your web page’s ranking, and make it appear higher in the list of results? And why is should you care?

You need to care because each and every one of your cards sits on its own web page. Yes, those pages are hosted on GCU, but there are still individual pages, each of which will be indexed by search engines. For example, when someone does a search on Google for “purple elephant niece’s 14th birthday card,” your lovely lavender elephant 14th birthday for niece greeting card on GCU will come up in the results. Where your card appears in the results – on page one, two, three, or page two million – will likely affect your sales.

Being number one on page one is preferred (much like an Olympic athlete would much rather win gold than bronze, or nothing at all).

How do you improve that ranking? Search engines are constantly tweaking and changing their algorithms so they can offer the most relevant results in a search. Exactly WHAT criteria is used by a search engine is secret and complex. However, I can tell you that while good and relevant keywords remain an important part of allowing your cards to be indexed properly, it’s HOW you use those keywords that will affect you the most.

Search engines love original content. Let me repeat that because it’s important to our discussion – search engines LOVE original content. What that means is, while search engines will definitely use strings of keywords as part of their ranking system, they tend to give preference to sites that use those keywords as part of original content.

Inside Verse: "Hope you gobble till you wobble!" - artist Corrie Kuipers

I’ll give you an example. This is a card I recently designed and uploaded (yes, I’m kind of late for this year’s Thanksgiving, but I tend to work a year ahead). It’s a “Happy Thanksgiving from all of us” card.

These are the keywords I used: thanksgiving card from all of us, thanksgiving card from group, turkey, happy thanksgiving, gobble till you wobble, pilgrims, thanksgiving dinner, feast, harvest.

So far, so good. HOWEVER, to take maximum advantage, I now include a brief description in the Artist’s Notes, using as many keywords as possible in a relevant way.

Here’s what it says: “A turkey pilgrim pair stands on top of a  “subway art” inspired banner in autumn colors with a Thanksgiving feast mini word cloud on a light wood grain background. A playful and trendy Thanksgiving card that can be sent by a group.”

Notice how I’ve covered my bases in the description?

That will make the search engines happy.

It will make shoppers happy, too. This is the second reason you shoud be using your Artist’s Notes this way. Have you ever seen a catalog that didn’t have product descriptions, just pictures and prices? Of course not! And if you put on your shopper’s hat, you’ll realize that someone shopping for greeting cards really likes to see a nice description of what they’re buying. It just make your design that much more attractive.

Unless you’ve only got a few cards in your store, I’m not advocating you go back and add descriptions like that to all your greeting cards at GCU. Lord knows, I sure can’t. Not enough hours in the day! But since I learned this trick, I will be adding product descriptions to my cards from now on.

Writing good, relevant product descriptions is, I admit, not for everyone. To help you out, tomorrow I’ll be posting another Nuts & Bolts, this one explaining how to write a product description, what to include, and what to avoid.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2011 9:20 am

    You are so right! I have been thinking about using the Artist’s Notes too for SEO but just hadn’t got around to it yet. Methinks, that I will start using them too.



  2. August 17, 2011 9:47 am

    Thanks for such great info, Corrie! Looking forward to the next post!

  3. Priscilla Starling permalink
    August 17, 2011 10:35 am

    Wonderful advise which I plan on using!
    Thanks so much for all of your time and effort in helping all GCU artists!
    You are a gem!


  4. Betsy permalink
    August 17, 2011 10:54 am

    Thanks Corrie, helpful info as always. I didn’t realize you could put phrases in your keywords. That will be very helpful. I will be much more conscience of what I put in artist’s notes. I try to put my shop name in both keywords and artist’s notes. Is this useful or am I wasting time on that? Thanks again!

  5. August 17, 2011 11:18 am

    you learn something NEW everyday…THANKS

  6. August 17, 2011 11:32 am

    Once again, more very important lessons. Will heed. Thanks Corrie, you get gold! Cheers, Lisa

  7. August 17, 2011 11:48 am

    Very interesting, but I somehow had the impression that artist’s notes would appear the same on every card. That is, they couldn’t be written to relate to an individual card. Maybe I’m not saying this right. I didn’t realize the artist’s notes could be different for each card.
    I love the way Zazzle lets you put a description but didn’t think GCU had the same opion. It is nice to know that GCU does have the same option, but just calls it something else.

    • August 17, 2011 11:55 am

      Each card you upload to GCU, even if it’s in a series, stands on its own page. Although the Artist’s Notes carry over from card to card, you can change that field as you wish for each card. I hope that’s clearer – I may not be explaining this well. Need more coffee! 🙂


  8. August 17, 2011 12:21 pm

    Thanks for this post Corrie. The keywords are descriptive of the card to help the buyer find it. The artist’s notes are descriptive message directly to the buyer from the artist describing the card and who they can send it to. Is this correct? There is a slight difference as my understanding is one function relates to the card and the other messages the buyer directly about the card’s use. Is this correct?

  9. Rycky Creations permalink
    August 17, 2011 12:57 pm

    Great article, Corrie … and something I really need to focus on more. Thanks!


  10. August 17, 2011 1:34 pm

    Thank you for a very informative article, Corrie. And I LOVE your cute, funny card! 🙂

  11. August 17, 2011 1:54 pm

    Thank you for the important advice. Your card is adorable, too!

  12. Cathy Gangwer permalink
    August 17, 2011 1:56 pm

    A great day when I learn something new! Thank You!

  13. August 17, 2011 2:07 pm

    This is so great! I’ve wondered how to use the Artist’s Notes section effectively! Thanks so much…now I’ve got some work to do! 🙂

  14. August 17, 2011 2:22 pm

    Thanks for the great info Corrie. I just started doing this with all the tips from Peggy about this very subject … so only um 2000 cards to go for adding better content than what I have there … HAHAHA!

  15. August 17, 2011 3:14 pm

    YES….You are so right…I have to go back in and make some changes…This was a very helpful article…Thank you so very much…

  16. August 17, 2011 3:56 pm

    VERY helpful! Can’t wait for the follow up 🙂

  17. August 17, 2011 7:59 pm

    Corrie as usual you are incredibly helpful. This is indeed an open eye insight of the work of a search engine. Thank you for this very helpful lesson.

  18. August 17, 2011 9:02 pm

    This is great to know…another great way to help bring attention to our cards!
    Thank You Corrie, *I love your gooble wooble turkey card!

  19. August 17, 2011 10:43 pm

    i don’t know where i have “been” but somehow i have missed the fact that artist notes are like the description box. duh………… well another project to add to my list of things to do.
    thank you.

  20. August 17, 2011 10:45 pm

    oh i did want to ask though. as for phrases in the keywords. do we need to put those in quotes or something to keep the words together? i have been doing that all along, but wasn’t sure if they were sticking together or being split up.

  21. August 18, 2011 12:02 am

    Great information Corrie. For some reason, I thought that Artist Notes were not picked up in search engines. Thank you for clarifying that and I will be making adjustments to my comments in Artist Notes from now on. … And your Thanksgiving card is adorable! 🙂

  22. August 18, 2011 9:23 pm

    Thanks for all this information Corrie!

    As many of us I wondered what to put in the little white Artist Notes Field … and now I know … looking forward to the Nuts and Bolt of tomorrow!

    Dank je wel!!

  23. January 9, 2013 10:32 am

    Wonderful, what a weblog it is! This blog gives valuable information to us,
    keep it up.

  24. January 13, 2013 11:16 am

    Awesome info. Thank You Corrie!

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