Yesterday a new acquaintance of mine mentioned that he visited this website. The conversation went something like this:
Him: I visited your website.
Him: Yeah, it was pretty cool!
Me: (thinking to myself) Why are you visiting my site? You’re not an artist… (Out loud) Did you like it?
Him: Yeah…(awkward pause). It was pretty cool!
Are Your Website Visitors Art Collectors?
Later as I was walking away from that conversation, I realized why it was so awkward. My new friend had visited my website because he knew me and was curious, but he isn’t the person that this site is intended for, so he felt awkward about engaging further.
Is this happening to you?
I see a lot of artists falling into this online trap. They jump on Facebook, Twitter, or other places online and start following other artists. Other artists follow them back. Soon everyone is caught up in ‘engagement,’ which feels good because you feel like you’re doing something, getting responses.
The problem, of course, is that if you are only reaching other artists and you’re not selling any art, then you’re mostly just spinning your wheels.
How to Tell If You Are Getting the Right Kind of Website Visitors.
As a general rule, social media visitors don’t buy much (though you can get them on your newsletter, where they’ll buy later), referrals from other websites are a little better, search engine visitors are better still (someone doing a Google search for Bronze Buffaloes for Sale is probably going to buy them if you have them for sale), and people who visit from your newsletter are most likely to buy.
The following are some key indicators that will tell you about your visitors and whether they’re the right people.
Low Sales. The primary indicator, of course. If the right collector is looking at your art, but you’re never selling anything, then perhaps you need to figure out where they’re all coming from, and go find them somewhere else.
Newsletter subscribers. You do have an artist newsletter, right? If nobody is signing up for your newsletter, but you have website traffic, then you either aren’t getting the right visitors, or you haven’t done a very good job of making your newsletter easy to sign up for.
Bounce Rates & Time On Page. If you’re using tracking software like Google Analytics, then you can see how much time people are spending on your website.
If the average time per page is less than one minute, it might mean that the people visiting your site aren’t the right market (it could also mean that your art isn’t very interesting – but that’s another discussion entirely). The Bounce Rate is the percentage of people who click back on their browser within 30 seconds (they realize right away that they don’t like your stuff).
Ask them. Sounds simplistic, but it’s so easy to do. Put up a survey on your website, asking people what kind of art they buy, whether they buy art regularly, whether they are artists themselves. SurveyMonkey.com allows you easily create an embedded survey form