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Blast From the Past: Artist’s Notes

July 3, 2012

Since Doreen gave us some wonderful and very trendy Christmas card color combinations yesterday, I thought I’d remind everyone about the need for Artist’s Notes to include a product description. The more you describe your card, the better search engines will index it. So here’s an encore post from last year to help you along:

ARTIST’S NOTES:
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.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Donna Collins permalink
    July 3, 2012 8:11 am

    Great post Corrie….that is definitely one thing I have to start doing with my cards…Your so right…

  2. Audrey Ascenzo permalink
    July 3, 2012 5:21 pm

    Thank you for this information.Very interesting. Look forward to tomorrows post.

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