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Advice on how to promote an artist gallery/shop website

Posted on 2004-08-22
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Hello All,

I need some advice on how I can effictively drive the correct visitors (who will hopefully purhcase from the site) into www.chloeholt.co.uk.

It is a personal artisits website that sells original art; prints and bespoke commissioned paintings, drawings, illustrations or textiles.

The site accepts all major credit cards and we ship internationally.

Our target market is anywhere from 18-60, people looking for originals or prints of gorgeous art, art lovers.

Thanks
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Question by:koopddesign
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by:Delacourt
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first: see inventory.overture.com and enter "art", you will get an idea of what people on the net are searching for

then: optimize your site for such visitors !

then: sign up with google adwords: for your keywords and target market http://www.google.com/adwords

then: sit back
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humeniuk earned 300 total points
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I agree with Delacourt, except for the sit back part.  To expand further:


1. Optimize your site.  It looks like a good site (so some of this may be redundant to you), you have a decent Google Page Rank and are listed on DMOZ.  You could certainly use some more incoming links, though.

Optimization and SEO (search engine optimization) is a complex and dynamic process.  You have to find good information resources, keep up to date on an ongoing basis (ie. no sitting back), and learn what works from practise and experience.  For a basic overview, I'm going to copy one of my posts from another thread (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Online_Marketing/Q_21097081.html) - feel free to skip down to point 2 if you know most of this already:

"A comprehensive answer to that question would fill pages upon pages in websites, books, tutorials, etc. in fact it already does.  You want to find good resources like the one duz presented [note to koopddesign - duz suggested the SEO tutorial at http://www.seo-guy.com/tutorial.html] and do a lot of reading (another good one is www.highrankings.com).  Use the knowledge you gain there and monitor the results.  Keep what works and adjust the things that don't work and you'll start to get a feel for it.

The most important thing to remember is to forget about using any tricks, because they generally work against you.  The best way to get SE recognition is to create a quality website, because that is consistent with the objectives of any search engine, to deliver quality websites to their users.  There are lots of people who look for ways around that, but the SEs are constantly refining their methods to focus on that primary objective and they're starting to get pretty good at it.

So what is a quality website?  Content is king -  you have to provide lots of useful, original content.  From a design perspective, it has to be clear and uncluttered (both visually and in terms of your coding) so that it is easily accessable and navigable by users (and SE crawlers).  For a basic one-page overview of some of the elements related to the design aspect, see http://earthskater.com/library/seo.asp.

What else helps?  Keywords and links.  The best way to think of keywords is as words that someone looking for the kinds of services you offer would type into a search engine to find those services.  You want to put some serious thought into which keywords best represent your website and then use them in your Page Title tag, your Heading tags, your Alt tags, etc. as outlined in the earthskater link above.  You also want to use them in your website content (very important).  Try to use the 'early and often', but never at the expense of compromising the relevance and clarity of your content.

Most search engines use the number and quality of links to your site as an indication of the relevance and importance of your site.  How do you get links?  First and foremost, you build a quality site with relevant content as above.  If you create a valuable information resource, people will link to you.  You can also exchange links with other websites.  However, make sure they are also quality websites with content that is related to yours.  A link from a poor site won't benefit you at all and remember to avoid Link Farms AT ALL COSTS.  Not only will you not benefit from their link to you, SEs will penalize you for linking to them.  The best place to start is to get your website listed in the appropriate directory at the Open Directory Project (www.dmoz.org).  This ensures that your site will be crawled by Google and numerous other SEs and legit directories.

Again, please note that this is a VERY basic starting point.  You still have to do your reading and commit to the ongoing process outlined above."


2.  Promote your site.  You can promote your website in the 'real world' in any of the ways you promote your business.  In fact, I encourage all of my clients to think of their websites almost as a separate e-business.  There certainly have been numerous examples of retailers, etc., whose online business has quickly eclipsed their storefront business.  The sky is the limit, but the bare minimum here is to make sure your url (www.chloeholt.co.uk) is prominently displayed in your gallery, on your promotional material and business cards, in all outgoing email, snailmail, etc.

Online promotion is a little different.  Exchanging links (as outlined above) is good SEO, but it also can produce traffic.  Some people say exchange links for traffic first, SEO second and that makes some good sense.  Conveniently, though, I think the SEO strategy above is the best traffic strategy as well.

I think the most effective online promotion for a site/business like yours is a good PPC (pay-per-click) program.  Delacourt mentioned Google AdWords, which I like a lot as well.  Again, though, you can't sit back.  AdWords is most effective when you are closely monitoring your results and adjusting your campaign accordingly.  AdWords is also ideal in that it allows complete flexibility in terms of your budget.  AdWords (and the programs listed below) are MUCH more effective than banner exchange (and like) programs.

For more info on AdWords (& PPC), I am again going to copy a post of mine from another thread (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Online_Marketing/Q_21100297.html):

"A good place to start would be with Google's AdWords program (www.google.com/adwords).  Basically, you write your ads, choose your target keywords (ie. the words an internet user looking for your product/services would type into a search engine to find it), define the geographic area where you want your ads to run and Google uses its powerful indexing abilities to place your ads in suitable locations [ie. target your ads for you].

One of the best things about AdSense is that you can track your campaigns and get ongoing feedback about what is working and what isn't.  So, you could try ten different approaches (ad copy, keywords, etc.) for a little while, then drop the ones that don't work, use what you learn to make improvements to the ones that do work, and introduce new trial campaigns.  Changes can be made instantly and on an ongoing basis.

Another good feature is that you can set your own pricing from 5 cents to $50 per click and set a daily budget from 5 cents per day to whatever you want to spend.

You can find more detailed info and tips on the AdWords site.

Another good one is Overture, which is basically Yahoo's version of AdWords (www.overture.com).

There are tons of other PPC options out there, but these are two of the best because (as mentioned above), they have the indexing capabilities of their respective search engines to target your ads effectively.

Two other choices (courtesy of duz in this thread: www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Online_Marketing/Q_21013048.html) are www.espotting.com and www.findwhat.com."


I hope this helps.
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by:Delacourt
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Humeniuk: Thanks for reminding me, no sitting back :) and for those links above !

Also, to constantly monitor your site, I would recommend a package called clicktracks (www.clicktracks.com)
You can modify your site according to info you get from here !

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by:humeniuk
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Hi Delacourt,

I've heard of clicktracks, but never used it.  It looks good, thanks for the link.


One more thing for koopddesign:

Add a text link to a siteplan on your home page.  The siteplan should be comprised of text links to all of your internal pages.  This will help the SE crawlers find and index your internal pages.  At this point, your internal pages have no PR (page rank), which may be because the SE crawlers can't follow your flash navigation.

Good luck.
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