In previous newsletters I've gone on and on about how much more important words are than pictures on the web - at least with respect to search engine optimization. It's a fact that to a search engine, a jpeg of a beautiful painting or award winning advertising campaign has just as much relevance as a blank square. So what are all the artists of the world to do? The main objective of an agency's website and especially an artist's website is to show the work. Ads and paintings are the subject, and that's what their customers are going to the website to see. Yet a webpage that only displays an award winning ad or gorgeous painting has no relevance to a search engine. In fact, I'll bet this very newsletter will get far more hits on terms like "artist website" or "advertising agency websites" than any agency's portfolio or artist's gallery page ever will. That's because, rather than being an artist's website, I'm writing about them. My paragraphs are full of relevant content about the subject of an artist's website. As a result this page will trump thousands of other sites that actually are artist's websites. It's not fair, but that's the way it works.
So what can an advertising agency or fine artist do to make their website perform so that their valuable content, albeit in the form of jpegs, gets fair play? The answer is easy, but implementing it isn't. The answer is to bring some words to the party.
If you want to call attention to a brilliant ad campaign or display a newly painted landscape on your site, you'll need to put some words on the page, in addition to the image. You will need 250 words or so, "16 x 24 - oil on canvas" will not cut it. If you want search engines to pay attention you'll need to say something original, informative, and relevant.