Want to be Found? Choose the Right .com for Your Art Site
If you’re serious about your art or art business, you already have a website or plans for a site. That’s smart!
However please note the following:
- The domain, or .com, you choose matters. If someone is looking for you they’re searching for your name and only your name. I’m speaking first hand as someone who has worked with many artists and art venues and also from years of web marketing experience. When you come across an interesting artist, receive an inquiry from an artist, or seek information on a gallery or similar the first stop in your fact finding mission is Google.
- If the artist or business doesn’t show up on the first page of search results, it’s assumed there’s no website. Even if you’ve had a website for many years, if a simple search for your name doesn’t produce results the person searching moves on. That’s unfortunate because you never know how many opportunities or visitors you’ve missed. Too add insult to injury, if no results are found on the first page of a search, trust that further searches won’t take place.
If you’re making efforts to show or sell art, you’ll be noticed without being aware- and people will search for and visit your site. I’ve had numerous contacts through my own website simply because my domain is my actual name. This doesn’t speak to promotions or marketing. That’s another subject, but the first step is choosing the right name.
Once more, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a site forever- the point is whether or not people can find you when performing a simple search.
A common mistake is choosing a web name that reflects personality or art style or medium. Example: landscapesbysam.com.
Here’s the kicker, first they have to find you before they learn more about you and your art. If they can’t find you they’ll never get that chance.
Your domain name, or .com, should always be your name or business name.
If you want to test this, search for your name on a computer you don’t normally use – or eliminate the search history and cookies from your own computer. Search for your name or business name. What do you see? The rest of the world sees the same.
The proper way to choose your name:
- Always, ALWAYS use your name in your domain.
- See if there is anyone else with the same name as a .com extension. Always use the .com extension. It’s the best known and always outranks other extensions. There is a ton of extensions available now, .tv, .me, .co, .biz but the .com will always be more valuable than any other extension. Even if you’re an organization, the .com extension is still easier to remember than the .org version.
- If you can’t get the .com then use a variation of your name by adding an art related word. But always opt for yourname.com as the first option.
- Examples of good art domains:
- Never include initials as an extra word unless that’s how people know you. (If you’re known as J.R. Robinson than jrrobinson.com is acceptable.)
- Don’t use your full name unless that’s how you’re known. If you’re name is Jennifer Katherine White but most people know you as “Jenny White” then jennywhite.com or jennywhiteart.com is the right choice, not jenniferkart.com, jkwpaintings.com, or jenniferkatherineart.com
The same applies to all of your social media accounts: Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook pages, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram- everything.
Choosing the right name gives you full control over Google’s first page of results. Naming your .com and all of your social media accounts with your name or business name will guarantee a Google search produces all of your accounts on the first page- the entire first page will be you or your business.
If someone’s searching for you, and they are, be sure they find you.