If your website or blog has been under-performing, there’s no need to take drastic measures like creating an entirely new site. Consider these 11 tweaks to give your online presence a boost.
1. Get rid of any splash page. Those are passé, slightly annoying, and you don’t want to count on people clicking through to your main menu.
2. Make sure your name is visible at the top of every page. We shouldn’t have to search under a rock to see whose art we’re looking at.
3. Tweak your Title <TITLE> tags. The title of your page is embedded in your code and shows up at the top of a browser—not on the page itself. Title meta tags are very important for search engines. Let’s say your page title default is “Home.” Do you think people really do a Web search for “Home”? A better choice for a page title would be rich in keywords such as “Paintings by Wyoming Artist Charles Frazier.”
4. If you use a blog for your primary Web presence, your artwork should be easy to find. Don’t make us scroll to find your art buried in old posts. Create a link for a Web page of all your art—perhaps using a Flickr plugin. Speaking of which . . .
5. Make sure the link to your artwork is clearly defined with any one of these labels: Art, Portfolio, Paintings, Photography, Sculpture (or your medium of choice). Don’t use the word “Gallery” to describe your artwork pages. Save that word for the galleries representing you.
6. Enlarge your thumbnails. Leave the stamp-sized images behind and create an impact with larger thumbnails. In I’d Rather Be in the Studio! I suggest the smallest dimension be at least 100-140 pixels. You have to WOW us before we’ll click.
7. Add a credit line next to each artwork. (I hope you’re paying attention to this!) If you want other people to give you credit for your images, you first have to give yourself credit. This means a complete credit line with every piece you have on your site. It should look something like this:
©2010 Alyson B. Stanfield, On a Windy Day. Hand-dyed fabrics, reclaimed wood, ink, and thread, 36 x 24 inches.
Avoid using “quotation marks” for your titles. They are visually distracting.
8. Add images of your art to every page of your website. Use this free virtual real estate to display your art at every opportunity.
9. Put your artist statement next to the art that it discusses. There’s no need to make it a major link.
10. Add a picture of yourself to your About page. Don’t schedule a fancy sitting at Glamour Shots. Get something casual that makes you look like a vibrant artist who is going places. (No dowdy photos allowed!)
11. Add your social media accounts to your About or Contact pages. We look for these additional ways to follow you.
FINAL WORD: Creating an entirely new website or blog is overwhelming. Tweaking what you already have is easier! Implementing even a couple of these ideas will make a big dent in the way your website functions.
Ready to get to work? Check out Website Makeover: What You’re Doing Wrong on Your Site and How to Clean Up the Mess < Good stuff in this program!