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Hey Artist! Go Search Yourself!

by Katie Ayres

As an artist, you are known by your name. Learn how to see what anyone would see if they are looking for you on the Internet. It is also a great way to see the most prominent areas of your online presence. (4 minutes)

Script

If someone comes across your artwork, they may turn to Google or Bing to find you. Today I am going to talk about searching for yourself to see what they see and ensure they can easily find you and your artwork.

My name is Katie Ayres, and I’m a web developer and owner of 1 Happy Place, and today I say to you, “Hey Artist! Go Search Yourself!”

As an artist, you want you and your work to be easily found on the Internet. For example, maybe someone saw your work in a gallery, competition or a show, or a friend told them about your amazing work but only knows your name.

It is a good idea to periodically check how easily they can find you. It is also great for seeing which areas of your online presence are the most prominent, which you might find surprising.

I am going to focus on Google, because Google dominates search engines, commanding 87% of all searches. Bing is second with 6.5%, which you are welcome to search as well, but for this video, I will focus on Google.

So let’s get started. I am going to go to Google.com and search for Katie Ayres. One quick note, you should always use the same version of your name, everywhere within your online presence. As an example, in my case, my name is actually Kathryn Ayres, but I use Katie Ayres everywhere, without fail.

So I am going to search for Katie Ayres, and you can see that I am nowhere, as there are a lot of Katie Ayres in the world.

This is a general search on just my name and it would be very challenging for me to rank on my own name, particularly because I chose a different name for my business.

But notice if I add Katie Ayres web, now I can be found. That search is getting more specific. If we add Katie Ayres web developer, now I am everywhere.

So you may have to do the same thing, start with your own name, and if you don’t find anything, add artist. That is mostly likely what a searcher would do if the first search didn’t give anything useful.

So let’s look at the search results for Katie Ayres web developer. In my case, it shows Linked In first, then 1 Happy Place. It is not a bad thing to have linked in first, because someone is looking for me, rather than 1 Happy Place.

You can see it also lists my own personal website, katieayres.com, and then strangely enough my profile on the Alignable website, which is a social media website that I just dabble in. After that, you see images and my picture is listed first and the dove is from my personal website. Then, you see some of the images from my portfolio. If we scroll further, we will see some of my showroom websites, and then one of my videos. I am happy with this search result.

So now that you are familiar with the process, let’s look at an artist, the late Charley Harper and ask some of the same questions you should ask yourself while looking at your search result. Charley is famous, so there are going to be different things shown, but the process is the same.

What is ranked highest?

In Charley’s case, there are two websites at the top of the rankings, his art studio website and his store. Then you see a link to the About page from his store website. The results then start to show areas of his online presence outside the control of his estate, such as his Wikipedia page.

Does the Google card appear?

Charley has the google card on the right, that shows his picture and art and a small bio. Google created all of this on his behalf. If you sign up for Google My Business, you will get such a card, but it will have different information that is useful to searchers.

What else is on that first page of results?

We see a couple of social media accounts, then an Artist Spotlight. These are the kinds of results that you need to be aware of, particularly the ones that rank high. This is a great way to look established and you want to be sure that any information about you, like the Artist Spotlight, is correct and up to date.

So, it is time for you to go search yourself and answer those questions. It is a good idea to do this periodically so you are aware of your online presence and ensure that someone looking for you can find you!