The digitalisation of the art market has begun. Every gallery has an online presence, whether on their own website or an online marketplace such as Artsper.
However, it is not always easy for collectors to find your website. In fact, search engines are regulated by algorithms which create a hierarchy between all the websites. Additionally, the multitude of existing sites out there makes for tough competition to come out on top. Therefore, just how do you tame this famous algorithm and be as visible as possible? What are the best habits to take up now to improve your gallery's online presence?
Artsper explains how to improve your SEO, also known as natural search engine optimisation. Don't be afraid of this unknown term! After a few minutes of reading, you will know the main points.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. In other words, SEO consists of several methods that better position your website in the search results. Each search engine, notably Google, has its own algorithm which determines search results.
Please note that there is a difference between SEO and SEA (Search Engine Advertising) which places adverts on search engines. But SEO is free! So here you are going to learn how to optimise your website without paying for it. Thus, it is not the luck of a search that puts the websites in order, but a far more comprehensive process. Quality of the content, speed of the site, keywords used... Many criteria are taken into account. But it's worth the effort, because simple optimisations can earn you a lot of places in the rankings.
Why do you want to improve your SEO?
By working on SEO, you will make your website more visible and accessible in searches. For example, Artsper has developed a large part of its marketing strategy around SEO. We therefore appear on the whole at the top of searches for many keywords related to the purchase of contemporary art, which is a valuable asset. A good positioning in search engines, in addition to the visibility it offers, is a reassuring sign for our collectors and partner galleries.
Finally, the SEO positioning of your site is closely linked to its quality. So by seeking to improve your SEO, you will end up having a site that is more user friendly for your collectors. By making sure to add more text to each page, with links, a clear structure and good quality images, you'll gain positions while improving the experience of your visitors!
How can I improve the SEO of my gallery?
There are many ways to have a good SEO and it's usually the combination of several elements that makes all the difference. The main points you need to pay attention to are the choice of pertinent keywords, the importance of having links and the care given to your meta descriptions.
To make a search on Google, the user types different words, then depending on those keywords, several sites are suggested to them. As you will know, the first sites to appear in the results are those with the best referencing. So you need to know the most searched for words in relation to the type of works you sell, and then include them in your text and titles. These words which determine your position are called ‘keywords’.
Note also that the competition is not the same for all words. Indeed, the density of sites corresponding to a keyword varies according to its precision. For example, the keyword art is very broad, many websites use it and the list of results is infinite. It will therefore be impossible to position oneself with such a keyword.
Indeed, Google does not only use SEO in its algorithm. The authority of websites, i.e. their power and recognition, also plays a role. In short, it will be very difficult for you as a gallery to compete with sites such as Wikipedia! If you want to get results, your choice of keywords is essential. Avoid keywords that are too generic, such as gallery, art or work of art, especially since they will naturally be present on your website. On the contrary, the keywords Artsper or buy art online are far more precise, and the Artsper site appears in the first results. The accessibility of a keyword will depend on its popularity and relevance.
Specialist sites will allow you to find your keywords (see our recommendations later on in the article). A keyword generator is presented like this:
- first the keyword typed in: in this instance contemporary art
- the trend: if the word is more or less searched at the moment
- the volume: the number of searches per month (the number of times it was typed in a search bar)
- the CPC or cost per click: the average cost of a click if you choose to do SEA (and therefore to buy this keyword, but this is another subject, more complex to master)
- the SD or SEO difficulty: the competitiveness of the keyword
To find the most suitable keywords, take into account the SD and the volume. In short, give preference to keywords with a fairly large search volume but with reasonable competition. Of course, your objective is to choose several keywords. In this case, do not hesitate to use synonyms to find new keywords! It can also be interesting to choose a few keywords with a low volume and low competition but which are very relevant to you. For example, very long and precise keywords: the name of one of your artists, a famous work, an artistic movement... Be careful, do not place keywords anywhere, they must fit naturally into your text. Indeed Google is increasingly punishing the misuse of keywords, so they must be relevant to your gallery.
Among the whole list of selected keywords, you will then have to select a main keyword for each web page. This main keyword must appear several times in the page, and must appear in the title and at the beginning of the first paragraph. The other keywords should be placed throughout your text. Then try to do this exercise for each page of your site.
Google favours sites with a good internal and external links.
The external linking corresponds to links that direct you elsewhere from your website. For example, if you have a blog, don't forget to put links to your gallery site. If you are present on other sites (sales platforms, newspaper articles, your artists' sites), it is very important that they contain links to your site. If good sites, with a strong authority, link to your site, that also significantly strengthens your SEO.
Internal linking is when a link on your site leads to another page within your site. For example, you can quote the name of one of your artists and add a clickable link to the artist page of your site.
Or on your homepage, make links to your current exhibitions, or other tabs on your own site. So make sure that each page links to another page. What’s more, your client will be encouraged to spend more time on your site and to navigate between your tabs!
We therefore advise you to put the link of your site or Artsper page on your social networks (particularly in your biography).
Don't forget the meta description!
The meta description corresponds to the small summary located below your clickable link in a search. It is a short description of the page, which must contain your keywords (at least the main keyword). Don't forget to complete it on your back office!
Meta description of Artsper's homepage
A fast website
Another important aspect to work on is the speed of your website. Google doesn't like slow sites. Pages and images must load quickly. In addition to gaining SEO rankings, you improve the user experience! Indeed, your potential buyers are bound to appreciate a fast website. A simple way to increase loading speed is to compress your images (reduce their weight), using tools such as tinypng or compressjpeg.
The best sites to work on your SEO
If you want to do a real background work on your SEO and follow your online presence in detail, we can only suggest Semrush, a comprehensive tool which allows you to build a complete SEO strategy. You can search for keywords while creating dashboards to track your links and even compare the performance of your competitors ... Very complete, but perhaps a little technical for a beginner.
Specialising in keyword research, this free generator is easy to use.
Its added bonus? Its colour coding allows you to intuitively understand the best keywords for you.
Good to know:
Whilst SEO websites offer you accuracy and figures, you don't have to use it every time. Indeed, some keywords are relatively obvious.
If they are looking for an artist-painter, the collector will instinctively type the name of your artist + painting or the name of one of their works, or favourite subjects .
For example, if you want to buy artworks by JonOne, you will probably type: buy JonOne or JonOne + title or JonOne street art.
Alternatively, if you want to buy a piece of Street Art work but don't know which one, you will likely type: buy street art or street art painting.
So, put yourself in the position of a potential buyer. Which keyword is he or she most likely to search for? Then think about adding the whole lexical field or words connected to your artist or your subject to widen your opportunities.
We can only encourage you to follow these tips while making sure that your site and your content are readable. The more users find your site easy to use and aesthetically pleasing, the more they will come back to it! It's not easy when you know your site by heart, but try to put yourself in the shoes of the collector discovering it for the first time.
Add content to each of your pages by writing a small text of about 250/450 words each time (using keywords of course!). Link each page to other pages with links. Aim for a clear and considered structure, with titles, subtitles, etc. This will make your site much more pleasant to use, which in turn will improve your SEO.
Finally, never forget that spelling and grammar come before SEO. So even if you choose keywords that don't have accents or aren’t in the correct form, you need to add them.
Now that you know the basics of SEO, it's your turn to try!