Your art gallery’s artists are the star of your website. There are many little things you can do to present them and their work in the best light possible, while also enhancing the experience of your site visitors. Here I have outlined simple ways to make your artist roster, portfolio and biography pages more valuable to a viewer.
Artist Roster Page
- The most effective design for an artist roster page is a grid style with artwork images and names. Roster pages comprised of only a list of names frustrates the viewer who may be browsing. All that clicking back and forth makes it difficult to find art that appeals to them. Images help the discovery process.
- If you represent a large number of artists working in a variety of mediums, organize your artist inventory page by medium to enhance the viewing experience. This layout helps alleviate being overwhelmed with too many choices.
- You might also feature artists on this page who were part of your past, current and upcoming exhibitions.
Artist Portfolio Pages
- Adding text, along with images and necessary information (title, medium, size, and price), about the works in the portfolio is essential. Search engines need text with keywords to be able to index the page correctly. For potential buyers, the descriptive text adds a greater understanding of the work and improves the ability to connect emotionally or intellectually. This content strategy makes being on the website more exciting and helps an art collector identify with a specific piece in the portfolio.
- Most gallery artist portfolio pages use only the artist name as the headline. The headline is valuable real estate for both viewer and search engines. It is an excellent opportunity to communicate something important. After all, viewers probably got the artist’s name on the roster page. A headline may spark curiosity and persuade the reader to explore further. Headline ideas might include something about what the artist is best known for or an unusual technique used.
- Many art gallery websites still post small images of artwork that leave a lot of white space on the page. This design element is a waste of visual real estate. Present artwork images that allow the viewer to see it as large as possible and even zoom in on detail.
- Post multiple images of a piece, such as including the work framed and unframed, detail shots and a wall view with a piece of furniture next to it to give a better idea of scale.
- Include an inquiry link on every artist portfolio page or for every artwork depending on the program you use. Make it super easy to contact the gallery for more information.
- Provide relevant information for each piece such as pricing, edition numbers, condition reports, provenance and authenticity information.
- Place links to where people can find information related to gallery policies, such as return policy, shipping, financing, approval policies, etc.
Artist Biography Pages
- Use storytelling on your artist bio pages to help collectors understand what drives an artist to create and why the gallery chose to represent that artist. Make the story unexpectedly interesting and continuously Standard CV information makes a dull bio page. The goal of an artist story is to create a connection between the potential art buyer and what the artist is trying to accomplish with their work.
- Use headers and sub-headers to allow visitors to skim a page and quickly find information that most interests them. Also, remember that reading online is best with short paragraphs.
- Link back to other pages of your website. For example, any past blog posts or media write-ups. This keeps people on the site longer and more engaged.
- Include photos of the artist at work in their studio, past show pictures and videos on the artist’s bio page as well. This helps site visitors to have a more comprehensive view of the artist.
Your website as a marketing tool should educate and entice a viewer to take the next step by contacting the gallery or making a purchase. Not every artist can have a show in the gallery every year, but you can present them online in a more complete and informative way.
Web surfers demand easy navigation and expect to find the information they want immediately. A poor browsing experience can affect your website’s drop-off rate, as well as search engine index results. Search engines favor websites with robust content that is continuously being refreshed.
Sometimes artwork speaking for itself may not be enough to grab and hold a site visitor’s attention. Storytelling, both through text and visuals, can be very compelling when trying to get collectors to envision living with a particular piece.
Use these easy suggestions to make your art gallery’s website a marketing and sales powerhouse for your artists and delightful experience for your site visitors.