Your website needs more promotion than just listing it on the internet
So what you should do:
First up you need to get other related websites to link to your website.
Look for other websites that might appeal to the same type of customers as yours. Your more likely to bring in lots of direct, qualified leads to your website if the customers are looking for similar things. An example for an artist to link to is art supply store online and other artists or art businesses or organisations.
Organise Your Website so that it is easy for people to navigate around and simple for them to understand.
In other words, make sure the design of your website is suitable for humans, not just search engines. If you check out Google, you will see it recommends that websites need to be "designed for humans." If you make your site simple for people to understand then you'll automatically be are making it easier for search engines robots and spiders to check it out too. Many search engines use programs called robots or spiders to locate web pages for indexing, they’re not as scary as they sound though. Robots and Spiders are not limited to a pre-defined list of web pages; instead they follow links on pages they find, which makes them a form of intelligent agent. Once they have a page or document, the parsing and indexing of the page begins, so basically they are simply automated systems that find your information on your website and tell their search engine what it relates to. Without them the search engines wouldn’t know much about you or your site. It pays to keep your information up to date and fresh so they have something new to attract them back time and again to keep your site high in the list. In layman’s terms, if your website was a brochure this helps keep your brochure on the top of the pile and more likely to be seen.
Have an Email Newsletter List and put it to good use.
An important way to promote yourself, your work and your website is to build an email newsletter list and use it by sending out informative emails about what you are doing etc. Every time you have an exhibition or someone buys something from you, see if you can get them to join your email list. Most people want to know what you are working on like a new series and of course they would like to get invites to your exhibitions too. Obviously email newsletters reach your existing customers and fans, so why spend all your time trying to optimise your website for the search engines when you're ignoring the people who are most likely to buy from you?
And don’t forget to ask your customers for referrals; try to encourage your email newsletter subscribers and existing customers to refer their friends and colleagues to your website too. Widen that net!
You can also promote your website in other ways.
You would be surprised how many people find websites through offline advertising methods. Get yourself a stamp with your website details on it; I used mine as a entry stamp on peoples arms when I had a special show once that was by invitation only so we didn’t have to deal with gatecrashers. The idea was they would look up my new website the next day when they saw the stamp on their arm! It worked, my website traffic tripled the over the following week. You need to put your website address on anything you possibly can, your business cards, letterheads and any other literature you can think of. I’ve used my stamp on the front of envelopes when I send cards or letters, you never know who might see it! Some people even put it on their cars, I suggest you try a number plate surround for a cheap and more discrete alternative to sign-writing your vehicle.
Don’t forget to talk to people.
Networking is vital to any business not just for artists. You need to keep people coming back and encourage them to refer their friends and colleagues also. It doesn’t always have to be face to face conversations either, not now we have the ability to have conversations online with tools like Twitter and Facebook . However don't forget about other methods like personal emails, phone-calls and good old snail mail letters too, they all help.
At the end of the day the best way to sell your art is to get more customers. Your website will ‘help’ you find those customers if you promote it enough and get it known to the right people. There will always be those who don’t like or use the internet and they will find you via your other methods of promotion as in art galleries or by getting yourself out there and word of mouth, so don’t make your website the be all and end all of everything. It’s simply another tool to help get your name out there and encourage people to look at your work.
Posted: Thursday 8 April 2010