Most artists with websites have a big problem they don’t like to talk about.It’s like the pink elephant standing in the corner of the room that everyone sees but doesn’t feel comfortable mentioning.
At our sister company Beautiful Artist Websites we’ve been designing premium artist websites since 2004. We talk with artists all the time about their online marketing so we hear about many of the problems they face.
As an example, this is a recent email we received from an artist in Hawaii. It’s quite representative of what we regularly hear from artists..
..I get your newsletter and I have a website. I have a webmaster, but he tells me that the only way I can get noticed, is to join 100’s of sites and spend a couple of hours every night chatting & posting on each of them. I have joined many, but didn’t seem to make any difference. Is there another way? Can you market my website for me?
Is that how you feel sometimes?
The pink elephant is really important in online art marketing but most artists choose to ignore it because they think it’s too hard to master or they think it doesn’t work. So what is this strange pink creature? And what is it doing in YOUR art studio?
The pink elephant is Google.
If your online art marketing strategy is like a house, then think of Google (and other search engines including Yahoo Search and Bing) as the foundations of the house. All your other marketing activities like email campaigns and social networking then build very powerfully on top of this foundation to create a total marketing solution. And this is what brings results!
If you don’t build the foundation then your other online marketing efforts will never be as effective as they could be. Truly.
Our websites, “Beautiful Artist Websites” and “Art Marketing Secrets” have held Top 1-3 positions for their respective relevant keywords for more than 4 years. As a result, 75% of our website visitors find us through search engines. And they’re not just any old visitors – they are highly relevant and interested visitors who have found us by searching on “marketing art” or “artist websites”. That means that when they find us they are highly-interested in the art services we offer.
It gets better though – Google delivers to us not only the most traffic, but also the visitors who view the largest number of pages and spend the most time on our site. How would you like to have that kind of qualified traffic visiting YOUR artist website?
The good news is that YOU CAN! Next week we’ll bring you a series of articles called “3 Powerful Tips To Bring Search Engine Traffic To Your Artist Website”.
Search Engine Optimization was once something of a black-art. Today however much has changed and SEO voodoo has been rendered almost powerless by good strategy and hard work. You CAN look that pink Google elephant in the eye and become good friends! And enjoy lots more art-hungry traffic to your website. Check back for our new SEO article series next week or join our email list to be notified!
I am very interested in reading the follow-up articles on this topic! I have been struggling with this problem since my site was launched in August. You see, my site which happens to be my name does not seem to appear at all on google. It is on Bing, and on Yahoo and many others right on top but not google for some wierd reason. This is most odd to me because the site is my name, and everything else using my name (including completely random information about me) is online and accessible on google. My site designer is confused as well and has never had this trouble with any other site…she has tried everything. I really look forward to any useful information that you could provide so that I can be found!!
Sorry for the delay in posting your comment on this article – for some odd reason our system flagged it as spam. My guess is that it might be related to your email address.
I looked quickly at your site and I can't give you a definitive answer. I would suggest to have your website designer run the "Fetch as Googlebot" tool within Google Webmaster tools – this will show you what Google sees when it looks at your website.
That said, I can give you a couple of very likely contributing factors to your problem:
– Your site appears to be substantially built with Flash which is notoriously poor for search engine recognition. You can read more about Flash website issues in our article, "Are Flash Websites Good For Artists?"
– From what I can find on the site all the text content is embedded within Flash. Search engines need regular text – that is what they read and index. So a site where all the text is embedded within Flash makes it very difficult.
I would start with the "Fetch as Googlebot" tool and then take it a step at a time from there. You can't change the Flash issue but your designer may be able to make better use of Title Tags to at least get your site recognized.
Hope this helps.
This article prompted a response from Clint Watson over at Fine Art Views. You can read his reaction here:
and our response here:
Great article, Daniel. I've been working on this a lot, lately. I often search myself and studio name and other keywords that apply to things I working on just to see where I come out. Some of it is predictable, some not so. Being more of a paint slinger, than tech-head, it's been a challenge to try to meet the 'demands' of online marketing. Thanks for the help!
Thanks Jason, Be sure to check out the other articles in this series too. Here are the titles:
Artist Website SEO Strategy #1: Help Google Read!
Artist Website SEO Strategy #2: Stellar Page Titles!
Artist Website SEO Strategy #3: Link Locally!
Its good that you are a paint slinger! There are too many tech heads and not enough paint-slingers if you ask me.
I spoke with a well-known artist last week called Charles Santopadre and he had a great quote which is a bit similar, "There are too many pirates in this world and not enough poets". I loved it. The funny thing was that he admitted to me that he was a pirate! Life is fun…