Establishing an online presence helps to eliminate the barrier that has traditionally existed between the artist and the general public. It is important to own and maintain a website dedicated solely to your artwork. A website provides you a platform from which you can build your brand and market and sell your art. With options like Square and PayPal, artists have more options for selling online and don’t need to depend on the large conglomerate artist websites. A properly designed website can be as effective as having your art displayed in galleries.
Ensure that your website is device responsive and mobile friendly. Use legible text size and images properly sized for mobile viewing. Arrange the content so mobile users may view everything simply by scrolling vertically and are not required to also scroll to the left and right. The site should be accessible from and work on all different types of mobile devices. It would also be wise to ensure your site is compatible with different browsers.
Establish an affective home page. Display minimal links to other sites. Links you do have should connect to pages that are relevant to you and your art. They should link directly to something about you or your art, not a general homepage. Communicate your value proposition loud and clear and make sure a visitor can get all important information quickly and all in one place
Your primary landing page should be visually pleasing with clear, crisp photos. Offer a browsing experience versus tomes of text or competing elements on the page. Consider featuring news about new pieces or upcoming shows and provide a search bar. The page should also be visually engaging and offer well-organized navigation to the rest of your site.
The navigation within your site should be well-organized so there is not an overwhelming number of categories or choices within each menu level. Clear calls to action or directives on which steps to take next should be featured everywhere. Remember that less is more and be thoughtful in your use of font type, color, and size.
Having your artwork on the Internet isn’t enough. You need to drive traffic to your page and then engage viewers once they get there. Your website is your electronic portfolio but also needs to be much more than that. Create a welcoming experience and make yourself accessible as a human being.
Create an amazing “About the Artist” page. Share what you hope your art communicates. Connect with people on an emotional level and encourage them to invest in you not only as an artist but as a whole person. Share information about the processes and materials you use, especially if you have a unique approach to your craft. More sales will happen when buyers feel connected to the artist. Offer a biography that includes your training, experience, or education and any awards or recognitions you’ve received.
Sprinkle testimonials on highly trafficked pages instead of offering them in isolation on a page people might not visit. More and more, consumers trust word of mouth advertising before anything else so encourage user-generated content in the form of comments, testimonials, hashtags, and sharing.
Incorporate a page for blogs and news. Announce new exhibitions and shows or share any press coverage you might have received. Include current, relevant events and news from the art world. Share your involvement with the community.
In addition to making your contact information available on every page, have a specific contact page. Include a photo of yourself engaged with a work in progress. Provide a contact form so you are able to contact interested customers and an email address dedicated to your art business.
Provide buttons that link to your social media profiles and, in reverse thinking, include a link to your website on all social media efforts. Include a Facebook pixel that will build a list of visitors to your website who have a Facebook account so you can then target them through Facebook ads. Participate in online artistic communities. Following, “liking”, and commenting on others’ work often motivates them to do the same for you.
Work towards search engine optimization (SEO). Use keywords – how do people find you? What terms or queries might they use? The name of the website should contain your (the artist’s) name and your name should also be visible on every page. In addition, the purpose of each page should be clearly stated. Or is there a great, more generalized, domain still available that will help those who don't know you find your work looking for someone who creates your flavor of art?
Don’t delete older pages, update them instead. Older pages have better search ranking than new pages. All images should be labeled with information that bots use to “read” the pictures when they crawl your pages. Always save images with a descriptive title that includes the artist’s name. That being said, coding might best be left to a web developer depending on your level of expertise in such matters.
The heart of your website should be your art galleries. Utilize high-quality images and optimize image size for quick load speed. Use close ups or zoom to show texture or the quality of brushwork. Ensure that all aspects of the images are viewable on all devices.
Organize artwork into series or groups of related pieces, especially if you work in multiple mediums or feature widely varied subjects in your artwork. You can also organize by theme or year. Label all pieces with a title and caption, medium, size, date, and the price or price bracket. It is not necessary to list every piece you’ve ever created and you should include sold pieces in their own area.
In regards to ecommerce, provide plenty of “add to cart” buttons. Use white space to clearly present artwork. Price all art that is for sale. The simple task of having to ask the price of a piece might be enough to make some people leave your website.
Offer multiple options for payment and a secure checkout experience. Offer an approval period of seven to ten days where a buyer may return art should it not be what they expected. Provide clear details on who is responsible for shipping arrangements and payment. It is also a good idea to provide information on how you pack and ship your work.
People tend to leave websites that require registration to view, take more than a few seconds to load, or that have poorly organized navigation. Throughout your site, keep in mind the purpose of each individual page whether it is to sell art, communicate with patrons, or inform people about upcoming shows and events. Contact the experts at Strategy Driven Marketing for assistance in creating a website that offers your patrons and prospective customers the best experience possible.