I recently received a message from another artist stating her frustrations about not receiving traffic to her artist website. She has had a portfolio website showcasing her paintings for two years now, but has received very few visits. She has worked long and hard trying to optimize her website for Google search, building backlinks, including image alt and title tags, etc. Basically, she has used all the recommended SEO tactics but still receiving very few visitors.
She also has a Facebook page, Twitter account, and spends 4 or 5 hours a day trying to promote her paintings, but still very few visits to her actual art website. I can understand her frustration when she exclaims “What am I doing wrong, and what’s the RIGHT way?” This statement can be echoed by many other frustrated artists on the web.
The fact is, there is no easy answer to this question. There could be one reason, or several contributing factors. So I will explore some of the possible reasons why an artist website gets little traffic, and how it can be fixed.
Why Art Portfolios Receive Little Traffic and How to Drive Traffic to Your Artist Website
They do not know you have an artist websiteThis may sound ironic, but people who know you may not even know you have a portfolio displaying artworks. There may be lots of visitors to your Facebook page and Twitter accounts, but without a conspicuously displayed website link, how will they know about your art website? The fact is, most artists share artwork at their Facebook page, and miss the opportunity of sharing their art website. Include a link to your portfolio in the text box for every single post. Also, use your photo gallery to promote your website by including the link there.
Install the Addthis widget on your web browser, and begin sharing artworks from your art site instead of directly uploading them to Facebook. Each time you share, that image is directly linked to where the image appears at your art portfolio site. Consider including your website link onto the image itself, which will serve as a credit link in case your artwork is shared by others.
Shift your focus on promoting your artist website instead of individual artworks. Do this by using tips similar to already mentioned. Brand yourself and use your portfolio as the place where people will have to see the best images of your art, and fully learn what you are all about.
They are not interested in viewing art
The fact is, most people visiting and commenting on your artworks will be other artists. Maybe they are not interested in your artwork enough to visit your website. But, there may be other things they may be interested in. Maybe you can have a page with some art resources, painting lessons, etc. Artists and collectors are more likely to visit your website if they know there is something there for them, be it a tutorial, useful links, inspirational quotes, or helpful advice.
Why would you want people who are not interested in buying art visiting your website? When people visit, they may like what they see enough to leave comment or share the page with their networks (ie Facebook and Twitter). Comments contribute to site content, something which will make your site appear active in the eyes of search engines. People who share your artwork may put it in front of art collectors, who may visit your website and buy from you.
Search engines don’t know about your portfolio websiteSearch engines love constantly updating content. If your art website has been sitting there, but hasn’t been updated in weeks or months, it may be pushed lower in the rankings in favour of newer content. A stale website will get little to no visitors from search engines, especially if they are not even indexed.
To ensure your website is indexed by Google and other search engines, you may have to manually submit them. Do a search for free search engine submit. Find a website that allows you to submit to several search engines at once for free. It may take a while for some search engines to index your website, but they will eventually. Do this no more than once a month to ensure your website stays in search engines.
To ensure search engines always know about your portfolio, a blog is the popular choice. Blogs can be updated often, and will be indexed much faster than a static website. Create an art blog and write articles that attract visitors. Within every single article, include links to artworks at your actual portfolio. Google spiders will follow these, always ensuring your art website is properly indexed.
The actual website portfolio is poorly designedImagine someone visiting your portfolio website for the first time. Does the design contribute to your art, and make the visitor want to see more? Or does it make them want to leave right away? There are some general guidelines that should be followed when designing a portfolio website. I will explore some of these in another article here at Artpromotivate. Subscribe now so this post will arrive straight your email inbox.
Until then, please read our previous posts on portfolio design:
Learning Artist Porfolio Design by Looking at Other Websites
Preparing Art for Internet Portfolio Display
What are your opinions? Do you have anything to include about why many artists do not get traffic to their art sites? Are you frustrated because of your lack of visitors?
Please let your voice be heard below.