Australian Botanical Art is an ecommerce web site that was developed in partnership with artist (and relation) Maurice Hayler in 2012. This brand-new site at the time had no social media behind it (and still doesn’t), was completely unknown, and needed to rank in search engines if people were to find it.
The prints are truly beautiful, and Maurice’s art appeals strongly to people who appreciate the unique beauty of Australian flora. Each print displays both the common name and scientific name of the subject flower, which further increases appeal to those with a botanical background or interest. (Purchasers have included botanists and overseas tourists seeking a reminder of their Australian wildflower experiences.)
Such people tend to be very well-read and self-learners. It made sense to cater to such an audience, and this became the focus of our search engine optimisation work.
Each product on the site is a print of an Australian flower, known by both a common name (eg Ashby’s Banksia) and a scientific name (eg Banskia ashbyi). Each product thus has a title that incorporates both names and a unique web page address (known as a unique search engine-friendly url) that also includes both names. Each product’s description further includes detailed botanical information, such as the family, genus and species to which it belongs, and the meanings of these. (Please see here for an example as to how this was done.)
Botanically-minded people are likely to search for any combination of these details, and do, as evidenced by the server logs.
And a scientific background ensured attention to detail when naming species correctly — there are strict rules — which was absolutely essential if wishing to appeal to botanically-minded people!
The site was launched in mid April 2012, and through nothing but this search engine optimisation, was selling consistently three months later. It possibly could have been selling earlier with a social media presence, but to be honest social media just isn’t our thing and we can’t get into it. (We also find it an incredible time-suck!)
We really do prefer to spend the time researching, writing, and building a web presence the slower more conventional way — but that’s just us and there is no reason why this slower approach can’t be done in conjunction with an active social media campaign done by others for faster results. Social media is great for interaction with an existing audience, while slower methods such as search engine optimisation is great for attracting new customers, that may then choose to join your social media audience.