The importance of having a Website
I don’t know if it’s even needed to explain how important it’s to have a website nowadays, but let me put it this way: If you need any service for example, what do you do? You go online, search in Google, read reviews and comments. And you would most likely choose the most popular one. It’s not different with the potential buyers of your artworks. Human’s taste is affected a lot from the public’s opinion as we all like to be part of the herd, members in a group with similar interests, where we can easily get the approval we need for our statements, actions, or in this case – taste. Yes, your art and artworks are unique and diverse, but then you have to face the Marketing monster, trying to sell it. So search for the crowd.
Sharing in the social accounts like Facebook is great, but having a personal art website would add a lot to your appearance. You are sharing images on your Facebook pages all the time. Then why not share them with a link to your own website? Looks much more presentable and solid. I will try to walk you through the process of creating or getting one, but before we continue, let’s set up some basics:
- URL – that’s the link you see in the browser, above any webpage you have opened. In my case that’s https://artsynature.com/ for the home page, or https://artsynature.com/artists/ for the page with artists. Every other page inside the website has individual URL.
- Domain name – the Name of the website, which you can see in the beginning of the URLs. In my case it’s “artsynature.com” This domain name is part of the URL for every page inside the website. The domain names are unique for every different website and can be purchased from different sources if they are available for sale.
- Hosting – represents the physical existence of the content of the website on the servers of your hosting provider. Those servers are basically computers used as storage for the information. They work 24/7 and when you open a random website, your browser pulls up the code from the server and “translates” it for you into texts and images.
- Search Engines – that’s for example Google. Behind every search you are making in Google, there is a complicated mechanism which has the purpose to offer you the most relevant results that would make you click on them.
- SEO or Search Engine Optimization – Ever wondered how Google decides which websites to offer you in the search results? Since Google is trying hard to satisfy your search, it would offer you results it thinks you would like. Those results are often based on your previous searches from the same computer or from the same account. Other results, however, are completely new to you. How do they appear? Every website is being crawled by the robots of Google, trying to understand what the website is about so that if someone is searching specifically for that, the website will be offered in the search results. There are ways to help Google “read” your website better. Those ways are called SEO and consist of certain settings you can make to improve the appearance of your website in the search results. The basic settings are choosing the best Title, Description, Meta tags and text content for each of the pages on your website.
- Title – There are two types of Titles. The first one is the one you see on every page above the text content. The other one is hidden for the human’s eyes and is implemented in the code. Both titles are not necessarily same always. The hidden title has the purpose to tell Google what’s your website about. It has to be not longer than 70 symbols (spaces included) and is one of the most powerful tools in SEO. Use this tool in a smart way, describing the essence of each individual page. Avoid useless parasite words and phrases like “This is the website of …” Example of perfectly optimized Title for a home page is “Oil paintings by the artist …” ,or “Images of Oil paintings by …” for the Gallery page, or “Artist … – Contacts” for the Contact Us page.
- Description – another important element in the SEO settings. The Description is also hidden for the visitors’ eyes and is implemented in the code. It can be up to 160 symbols usually and allows you to describe better the content of the individual pages in your website. Combine the Description with the Title to gain best result. For example, if you have a Title for the home page “Oil paintings by …”, then you don’t need to repeat that in the description. Reword the phrases from the title by adding more descriptive words. For example “Artworks from the artist … – oil and acrylic paintings on canvas”.
- Meta tags – Another element of the SEO settings invisible for the visitors. They are basically simple, short pieces of code and can have different purposes. Some are telling the Search Engine what language your website is using, some are saying who is the owner, some are giving directions to Google how often to re-visit your website and check for new content, etc.
- Developer – the programmer who creates your website and is trying hard to ignore you right after that. The developers make sure that you will get the design and the functionality you need, but they often skip the SEO settings. Now that you know you need them, you can ask them to work on that also. The developer is the person to implement on your website the SEO settings you want – Titles, Description and Meta tags. It’s wise to make a list with all pages of your website first. You can create a table with columns: Name of the page, Title, Description. Fill the names of the pages first, starting with the Home page. Then choose the best Titles and Descriptions for every page. This way you will be sure that they all will be unique for each page and will fit the limit for allowed number of symbols – 70 for the Titles and 160 for the descriptions. When you systematize them, provide the list to the developer to upload them or do it on your own if you have administrative access to the website and the needed knowledge.
Author: Artsy Nature
In the next post: How to get a personal Website – free or paid. Types of websites, advantages and disadvantages of each type.