DIGITAL AGILITY BLOG:

SEO for Art Galleries – Xynergy can help you make a digital masterpiece

David Cox

Art Gallery SEO 

Unfortunately, beautiful art does not always translate to beautiful performance online.  After performing several digital marketing projects for Santa Fe art galleries here in New Mexico, we know that fact all too well.  Art galleries represent some of the most intriguing, yet poorly performing websites on the internet.  So when it comes to making these sites climb the search engines ranks, what does it really take?  Xynergy is here to help. 

Small Pay per Click Campaigns

If you don’t have thousands to poor into keyword research, there is an inexpensive shortcut you can take to gather information on your own.  Running a small PPC campaign is a great way to see what people search for when they are looking for galleries in your area.  Simply set a small budget, and take a few guesses as to what your potential clients may be searching for.  Examples could include Santa Fe art, contemporary art galleries, Native American art, or even original paintings for sale.  Do not limit your options.  Over the next three months, track which keywords are getting the best results.  You can use this information when it comes to the next step, creating content for your site.

Content is King

On a majority of art gallery sites, you will find a portfolio of their art.  Sold art, current art, images of upcoming exhibitions, it’s all important material to present to your viewer.  However, images are one of the last things that search engines pay attention to when they are ranking your site.  Search engines want content, nothing more, nothing less.  So, it may take a little creativity when it comes to creating content for a site that is driven on visuals.  Here are some recommendations on content pages you should create as soon as possible:

  • Local Art Environment

Being located in Santa Fe is a huge, as there is a ton of art history that can be mentioned or written about that would be relevant to an art website.  The art industry here is one of the top three in the world.  However, if you are not located in a city that is so rich in its art options, simply perform some research or even visit the local museum to gather content about art in your city.  After optimizing the title tags and keywords on the page, you should see your rankings begin to climb for searches regarding art galleries in your city.

  • About the Artist Pages

 While most art galleries sites do offer information regarding the artists that they showcase, the pages typically do not contain enough information to help their search engine rankings.  Google recently revealed that they consider pages with up to 1500 words to have an optimal level of content.  While this may be a tough mark to hit in some cases, just keep in mind that more content is always better, so long as it pertains to the main subject of the page.  If your artist has a connection to the local city, be sure to mention this as well.  These types of pages will ensure that if anyone searches for your featured artists, your site is more likely to appear.

  • History of your Gallery

These pages are a great way to mention the area that your gallery is in, and what kind of art it is that you display.  If you carry contemporary art, offer an explanation of what contemporary art is and how you came to choose it for your gallery.  You should have plenty of keyword ideas from your PPC campaigns to use in this section.

Place ALT Tags on All of Your Images

As we mentioned earlier, it is likely that your website is going to have a lot of images.  While these images are not necessarily helpful for SEO, there are steps that need to be taken to ensure that they do not harm your ranking either.  That is where ALT tags come into play.  Having an ALT tag on an image will allow you to display a clear text alternative for anyone who is using a screen reader.  This may seem insignificant, but studies have shown that large search engines such as Google have penalized sites in the past for not having their ALT tags set.  Aside from being penalized, this gives the viewer a quick way to gather information about the image they are looking at.

Do Not Ignore Social Media

Few industries lend themselves to social media activity as well as art galleries do.   The artwork itself can provide hours of beautiful content for your followers to view.  One mistake that we often run into involves galleries who repost their content across several platforms.  Each social media platform has its own advantages and individual audiences.  Varying your content between each platform gives you the opportunity to influence a larger audience.  Below is a list of social sites that we like to use for galleries, but don’t hesitate to try other platforms as well.

  • Facebook: Great for making announcements regarding new artwork, artists, exhibitions in the gallery, or upcoming events in the community.   Facebook has gradually developed an older audience, so keep that in mind while your creating your posts.  Keep them professional, but don’t be afraid to throw in a lighthearted post every once in a while.  Facebook users take reviews very seriously when choosing who they will do business with.  Don’t hesitate to ask a client in your gallery to leave you a review.  Always be monitoring comments on your page as well so you can quickly reply.
  • Facebook ads have also become a great way to gain likes and refer people to your gallery.  The ability to create highly targeted campaigns allows you to reach anyone in your community with a Facebook page and an art interest.  Best of all, it is typically much cheaper than running ads with Google Adwords.  Experiment with Facebook ads and see who you can attract to your gallery or site.
  • Instagram - If your looking to show off the atmosphere that your gallery possesses, there is no other choice but Instagram.  No other platform allows you to share images as easily, which makes it perfect for art galleries looking to promote their various works.  Instagram tailors to a younger audience, but over 26% of them are making over $75,000 per year based on recent statistics.  We believe this is a great medium for building a young audience and developing their interest in art and collecting for the future.  In actuality, you are building your future client base.  Keep these posts light-hearted and visually dynamic.
  • Pinterest - There is an endless stream of arts and craft ideas living on this site.  Rather than reaching potential customers, Pinterest is best served by sharing ideas with other artists and collectors.  Try to create posts that are creative as possible, and be sure to re-pin posts that you find intriguing as well.  Pinterest is less about promoting your gallery and more about promoting your galleries style.  As interest in your profile begins to climb, users will navigate to your site or other social platforms that you are utilizing.

Google My Business Profile

Google has long wavered over the importance of creating a My Business Profile.  They will frequently place maps at the top of search engine results, just to see them taken down several weeks later.  Whether they have a significant influence on your organic SEO is still somewhat debatable.  The most important thing to know is, when Google decides to display a map at the top of a search, people click on it.  Our advice would be to build this profile as robustly as possible.  Be sure to have a link to this profile on your website, and frequently ask visitors to your gallery if they would be willing to leave a review. 

Xynergy has been performing web design and digital marketing in northern New Mexico for over 20 years.  A few of the projects we take the most pride in were performed for art galleries right here in New Mexico.  If your gallery could benefit from our design and marketing expertise, please request a quote and we will get back to you.

 

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Marketing & PR, Search Engine Optimization (SEO/SEM), Tracking, Personalization and Analytics

 

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