Next to your art, an artist’s website is one of the most important tools that an artist can have to generate interest in their art. If an artist’s website is poorly designed, slow to load and difficult to navigate, the artist will lose a visitor’s interest, create a high “bounce rate” and subsequently lose potential art sales!
The art business has changed dramatically in the last 5 years and there is no reason not to see it evolving more in the future. Due to technology, a 2 or 3-year-old website is probably now out of date and an artist must create and maintain an up-to-date, well designed and fully functioning website or they will not receive the traffic and the ultimate results that they desire.
Here are the most important sections (in the order of rank) that an artist’s website should contain:
1. Art portfolio.
2. Pricing, size and media information.
3. Contact information.
These sections are the real “bottom line” in terms of the information that an artist needs on their art website. It is a pretty simple concept to follow. With just that information alone, an art buyer, art rep or gallery owner can make a decision to go further in the buying process with you or not. All of the rest of the information that you could post on your website is secondary to these three features!
Yes, you can include and have an artist statement, a biography, a CV, a blog and/or a list of shows that you have participated in, but overall the original three elements that I previously spoke about should be the focal point and the building blocks of your art website. You can branch out and build your website from there with your other supplementary information, but always let the visitor easily (and without distraction) find and view the above described sections quickly.
A poorly designed website usually requires visitors to hunt for information, click and back click their way around a website to discover or try to find these elements. If an artist does not design their website in this manner then they will lose their visitors and subsequently have a high “bounce rate” (a bounce rate is an analytic term which measures the time people spend on a website and a high bounce rate indicates that visitors leave the website quickly).
Today, people are too busy and cannot take the extra time to navigate their way around your site. Therefore, you must make it easy, make it simple and make sure your website is quick to load and is fast when someone is navigating your website! Why is this? You want your website to load and link to other sections of the website quickly for two reasons: 1) In order for your visitors not to get frustrated and leave the site; and 2) In order for Google to not penalize your Page Rank when they index the site, as speed of loading is part of their Google’s algorithm when evaluating and indexing a website for page rank.
Try to analyze (objectively) if your Art Portfolio, Pricing & Media Information and Contact Information are easily available to a visitor, both in terms of visibility and speed. If they are not, then I would begin the process of redesigning or upgrading your website in order to help your visitors to navigate your website more efficiently.