Web Design & SEO for an Online Art Gallery
An evolving web project
The re-design of the Open Gallery website was almost an undercover project for all the people involved. It's now ok to disclose it, don't worry :)
It's one of those things where every party involved has a different vision about the project and some - the founder of the gallery in this case - hadn't realised how much his "baby" had evolved and how much potential it had.
The online art gallery, a video-based website, also provides high end services in the form of video art installations for a broad range of clients: hospitals, hotels, restaurants, corporations etc. Each installation is billed somewhere between £10-20k and the client receives a perfectly unique product/decor with the theme of their choice (e.g. fire, wind, sand, countryside etc).
However to some, the project needed to remain purely about art and not be corrupted by money. While I totally support the independence of art, it seems here to be a perfect example of allowing it to live in a true environment and to be enjoyed by all (all from the upper classes that is).
So the work carried out aimed to increase the website's online presence to find new clients, in Google rankings and in its better conversion rate, measured by the number of messages received through the contact form.
The keyword research revealed a small selection of topics that had significant demand and a low serious competition. Perfect spot! Probably not enough horizontal or vertical demand but just enough for a small site of this size that doesn't have a blog.
So we made sure to enhance its local listing on a dozen relevant directories, gathering a few reviews at the same time and to create a consistent local SEO presence.
Secondly we obviously implemented all the on-site content optimisation for the keywords/topics selected. We added a wider selection of keywords around specific artsy topics for their news section and to sprinkle around cautiously on the site.
Then we worked on building some strong quality links, which again was easy but totally neglected. The art gallery was part of a wider network of innovative brands and its staff had amazing contacts in the arts world.
Web Design & content structure
Next step was to re-design the website. After a few hours of research and conception, we submitted 3 wireframes to the team and we all agreed on one, video-orientated design. They wanted to keep their own CMS and front end developer to build the website so we had to all agree on what was feasible given the system limitations. The end result something classical and understated along the lines of what they wanted.
Not too much fluff, easy social media integration, a site structure that is easy to navigate, reflecting the different collections accurately (using categories and tags to dynamically organise art projects and artists) and with the videos at the centre of everything. We then performed some basic UX research to improve the design and make sure that essential tasks were easy to perform for potential clients in terms of viewing and testing the videos within the environment of their choice (member's login needed to access this part of the site).