An online portfolio is a good way to put your work out and attract potential clients. But, after you’re done with the site and you’ve uploaded your work, how do you get closer to your target audience?
Regardless of what services you provide, from graphic design to copywriting or tutoring services, search engine optimisation must be your priority. Here are some of the best SEO tips for a portfolio website.
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Focus on Website Design
The look and feel of your web pages matter just as much as the content you put on display. Web design is a hugely important factor for search rankings because it’s deeply connected to user experience.
The design of your website sets the stage for a lot of ranking factors, such as website navigation, mobile-friendliness, loading speed, and even the internal links users and search engines alike need to jump from one page to another.
Of course, it’s not just SEO – the design of your website helps make a good first impression to your potential clients so that if they do click on your link and see your site, they don’t get immediately frustrated with the quality of your pages and leave before they’ve gotten the chance to learn more about you.
Focus on on-page SEO at First
On-page SEO refers to all the different SEO efforts you do on your site to make sure it lives up to search engine requirements, while off-page SEO involves the elements outside your site, such as building backlinks or creating different social media accounts.
When it comes to on-page SEO, people usually focus on design and content, but there are some things that lie at the backend of your site that need your attention as well, such as:
- Alt-text: these are the meta descriptions, image descriptions (which can also get you featured on Google Images), title tags, and other content that the user doesn’t see on the page, but that has the purpose of providing search engines with more information about your web pages;
- Optimize your images and other visual media for the web: big files can drag your loading times a lot, which could hurt your user experience. For any visual elements you have, you should optimise them so that while their look doesn’t drop in quality, they are compressed to allow faster loading times;
- Optimise URL structure: ideally, you want a simple URL structure that reinforces to the user and web crawler the type of page or content they see. Usually, a good page URL structure looks something like website.au.com/category/subcategory/page;
- Leverage your most important keywords: keywords shouldn’t exclusively appear in the frontend of the site. You can use them in meta descriptions, alt tags, and even within the URL structure for better optimisation.
Once you have good on-page SEO, you can move on to off-page efforts.
Research Your Keywords
Keyword research is essential to any SEO strategy. In the beginning, keywords were the only way for a search engine to connect a user query to a website, leading to everyone cramming any search term they could think of just to make sure their links made it on the search engine results pages.
Today, however, keywords are just one piece of the puzzle, but keyword research is a good way for you to:
- Discover topics and content ideas to include on your site
- Learn more about your target audience
- Help crawlers understand the contents of the page if you include keywords in your alt text
Write High-Quality Content
Content is everything for a portfolio website, and search engines are known to love high-quality content. Sites with a good influx of quality, relevant content rank higher in SERPs because they are better at engaging audiences, have a better click-through rate, and have lower bounce rates.
For a portfolio website, you, of course, want to create content that can demonstrate your skills and convince potential clients to call and work with you. For this purpose, we’d recommend two approaches:
1. Case Studies
Case studies allow you to showcase your work and let the potential client know the value of collaborating with you. Additionally, it’s a great way to add some long-form content to your site.
2. Blog Posts
Blog posts ensure your site remains updated with fresh content and allow you to show off your expertise. In your case studies, you demonstrate how you work, and your results, while in your blog posts you can prove to potential clients you have a good understanding of your niche and that you can be a valuable asset to them.
Keep an Eye on Your Site’s Performance
Creating an SEO-friendly site involves continuous work, as search engines update their algorithm frequently. It’s good to keep an eye on the data in your Google Analytics routinely to see if your SEO efforts are paying off, and where there is room for improvement.
Some metrics to focus on can include:
- Traffic – especially the source of traffic, specifically if people are coming from search engines;
- Bounce rate – how fast people leave your site after clicking on your link;
- Most visited / least visited pages
- Data on user demographics
All these metrics paint a good picture of your website performance and can point you in the right direction when it comes to improvements.
Over to You
Improving search rankings is always simpler with a good foundation – and that’s the SEO strategy. We can help create one that’s catered to the specific needs of your portfolio website, and ensure you can get closer to your target audience to start converting.
Contact Australian Internet Advertising now to find out more about our services and how we can help.