Your artist website is your online hub, often serving not only as your virtual portfolio, but also as your resume, sales platform, and archive. Just as a physical gallery needs a fresh coat of paint and new exhibitions now and then, your website also requires regular updates to keep it engaging and relevant.
One of the biggest reasons a new potential client or curator will click away from your website is that it looks old and outdated. So, let's avoid that by exploring six effective ways artists can give their websites a simple refresh.
1. Updating Your Home Page Imagery
The home page is your digital storefront, and first impressions matter. Regularly updating the images on your home page will keep regular visitors interested and also allow you to highlight various works. Showcase your latest and most impressive pieces here to grab attention - it's actually a sales trick! The images you use on your home page will likely have the highest visibility on your site so choose artworks you're most excited about and want to sell first. You just may find that that they find collectors more quickly.
Always ensure to utilize high-quality visuals to both demonstrate your skills as an artist but also convey your commitment to maintaining a dynamic and professional online presence.
2. Removing Sold or Old Work
As an artist, your style and skills naturally evolve over time. Consequently, some of your earlier works might not align with your current artistic vision. Remove sold or outdated pieces from your website to maintain a cohesive and up-to-date portfolio. This step helps visitors focus on your most recent artwork, providing a better understanding of your artistic journey and avoiding confusion on their part as to which works are still available to collect.
Please do note that leaving some sold works is helpful to instill confidence in potential buyers, but if people have to scroll through pages of sold pieces, it can be a turnoff. Another option if you prefer to leave up your sold or older works is to move them to a separate page.
3. Ensuring All Links Work
Broken links can frustrate visitors and deter them from exploring your website further (not to mention, it can hurt your SEO). Periodically check all the links on your site, including those to external sources or social media profiles, to ensure they are functional and lead to the correct destination. For example, I've seen numerous links on artist websites that should have directed to a specific profile on Instagram and only linked to Instagram's main page.
A smooth browsing experience encourages visitors to stay on your website for a longer amount of time. The more a person explores your site, the more likely they are to connect with your art and potentially want to buy it (or perhaps join your mailing list!).
4. Updating or Adding an FAQ Page
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages can be invaluable for addressing common inquiries and saving both you and your visitors time. If you already have one, update it with new information or questions that have arisen since your last update.
If you don't have an FAQ page, I urge you to consider adding one. Answering questions about your art, process, pricing, and commissions can build trust with potential buyers and encourage them to take the next step towards a purchase.
5. Adding a Personal Touch to the Contact Page
Your contact page is an opportunity to establish a personal connection with your audience. If you only have a form, you might be missing out! Consider enhancing this page by adding a brief, welcome message that reflects your personality. This lets visitors know that you're approachable and interested in their inquiries. Including a professional photo of yourself can also humanize your online presence and make you more relatable, but this is always completely up to you.
6. Linking Your Newsletter Signup in Multiple Places
Your newsletter is a powerful tool for maintaining a loyal following, making sales, and updating your audience about your upcoming events. Ensure that your newsletter signup is prominently featured on multiple pages of your website. You can place it on the home page, the contact page, in the main navigation, the footer of your website, or even within blog posts if you maintain a blog. This way, you increase the chances of visitors subscribing, which can lead to more consistent engagement and sales.
Refreshing your artist website is an ongoing process that can significantly impact your online presence and success. While it may sound daunting to have one more task to remember, with practice you'll find that it will only take an hour or two every few months to work through this checklist. Doing so will help you create a more engaging and user-friendly website. Your website is an extension of your art practice, and keeping it sharp and up-to-date will allow you to connect with your audience and showcase your evolving talent.
Alicia Puig has been a contributing writer for Create! Magazine since 2017. Find more of her work at www.aliciapuig.com