Persuasive writing on the web is essential to your gallery business. Here we will explore writing techniques to make your gallery website a powerful marketing and sales tool. Compelling and web-friendly copy or text makes a notable difference in persuading someone to contact the gallery, purchase art or attend a show.
People do not read online in the same way they read print. They skim quickly for information and move on to something else if their attention has not been captured. Art gallery websites, more often than not, are written poorly for optimal readability on the web. Galleries are notorious for not offering enough copy on their website or too much of the wrong copy. Here we will learn how to fix this common problem.
Investing in Art Writing Skills
Good writing for the web is becoming more important for business success. Your gallery staff should prioritize and practice becoming stronger writers with an emphasis on format and persuasion.
Start investing in education to help you and your team strengthen their writing capabilities. There are many resources to provide a refresher course on basic grammar and sentence structure, but also techniques for writing with greater readability online and smarter editing. For example:
- LinkedIn Learning has great online courses for writing for the web, writing to be heard on LinkedIn, writing articles, and grammar fundamentals.
- MarketingProfs.com has an in-depth course called Marketing Writing Bootcamp.
- Sotheby’s also offers an online course call Writing for the Art World.
There are many other courses similar to these online. Find the one that best fits your needs and budget.
3 Rules for Artful Persuasion Online
- Make headlines intriguing and informative
Every single page on your art gallery’s website should incorporate a headline that communicates your most important message for that page. Assume you have one second to capture an art collector’s attention. Let’s look at some examples of gallery pages most often in need of work.
Artist Portfolio Pages – Most gallery artist pages use only the artist name as a headline, such as the example seen in this image. Imagine instead if the headline communicated what made the artist special. This kind of a headline may spark curiosity and persuade the reader to explore further. Headline ideas might include:
- What the artist is best known for
- Explains a uncommon technique used
- Number of awards received during their career
Artist Biography Pages – Artist biography pages can often be tedious to read. They typically include a long list of exhibitions, awards, publications, etc. It is more effective to break this content up with sub-headings. For example “[Artist Name] has participated in 17 group exhibitions and 4 solo shows nationwide throughout her career.” This sub-header can be followed by the show list.
Writing short informative headers and sub-headers allow your visitors to skim a page and quickly fine key information.
- Keep Paragraphs Short and Ideas Clear
When writing longer copy, such as an About the gallery page, keep it simple. Shorter paragraphs of two to four sentences are best for a variety of devices such as desktops, smart phones and tablets. All copy on your gallery’s website should clearly communicate value to your readers. Why should art collectors care about what you are saying? It’s best to communicate this message in the beginning to encourage site visitors to read more or take the next step.
Also avoid using “artspeak” or words that may not be in everyone’s vocabulary. A more scholarly tone is appropriate when talking about the technical aspect of creating the art. This is the place to impress. Everywhere else the goal should be to persuade.
If you are writing about abstract concepts for a body of work, when possible, try using analogies or metaphors. This helps your readers better understand difficult ideas and connect with the artist’s intentions. Keeping your key ideas short and clear will also help to elevate any intimidation a new or emerging collector might feel doing business with an art gallery.
- Seduce your readers to take action on every page.
Your art gallery’s website is both a sales and marketing tool. Writing persuasive copy includes enticing readers to take action. That may be to call the gallery, request more information, acquire art, leave a comment or share on social media. Use persuasive words to get them to take that next step. Examples of effective words include:
You / Your
Well written longer content for the website or blog can be a great resource for shorter posts on social media.
Word Count for Maximum Engagement Online
It can be easy to get carried away when writing about your gallery business and artists. Sometimes less is more. Research indicates that there are certain word or character counts that receive higher engagement with certain online forums. Next time you are writing an attention grabbing headline, blog, social post or exhibition notice, keep these guidelines in mind to boost your marketing efforts.
Assume each and every page of your art gallery’s website is a landing page for your visitors. By practicing some of these guidelines for creating strong writing on your website, you will see more meaningful activity from those who discover your gallery business online.
Use headlines to quickly communicate your one key message and value to a prospective collector. Impactful art images are fascinating and absolutely help draw attention, but persuasive copy on every webpage will compliment those images by giving greater impact to your site’s visitors. Invest in learning better writing skills for your gallery staff as well. Practicing writing simple, yet compelling copy to enhance your gallery’s artwork is imperative for your art gallery business to thrive in today’s digital world.