Site Optimization, Lesson 1 – Your Home Page Should be a Gallery of Subject Matter Categories
The Case Study Results
After implementing the techniques discussed in this video, see how Madaras Gallery improved their bounce rates by 400%, and how they dramatically increased the number of people who actually started the shopping process rather than immediately leaving their website on the first visit.
00:25 - A colossal mistake many artists make with their homepage.
01:41 - The value of using image categories
03:15 - Formatting your home page for mobile and tablet users
04:05 - An example of an artist with a home page well-formatted for mobile
04:48 - Checking and learning from your bounce rate
05:49 - Using the Art Storefronts site manager to build a great home page
07:55 - Some words on slideshows + Taking a look at Art.com
08:55 - Recapping the key take-aways
Discuss This Video
Current ASF customers can discuss implementation and get advice + feedback by visiting the relevant thread for this video in our private member forum.
Prefer to read instead of watch? No problem. You can read the transcript and download it for free via the link below.
Welcome to the Art Storefront's Success Coaching Video Series.
In this video, we'll be focusing on site optimization and, specifically, homepage optimization.
Today we'll be working with Madaras Gallery. I see a major problem with this homepage.
The major problem is a colossal mistake that photographers and artists and art galleries make every single day. We have no idea here at Art Storefronts how this became the norm in the industry, but basically artists and photographers, all they do is have a slideshow of images on their homepage. It is the worst mistake you can make, the lowest converting sites, it's a really bad habit inherited from some other website platforms and it's got to stop.
And so right here-- so the equivalent is, as you can see, you're showing me 5-7 pictures here of your artwork. This is the equivalent of me walking into your retail gallery, for example, and you're not showing me anything; all your walls are blank and you're making me stand in front and watch a slideshow-- I can't look at any other pieces of your art except for the ones you show me and I have to wait here to see them.
Obviously, no gallery, no retail store would do that. The first job of a retail store is to show you everything as quickly as possible so that your eye might catch something or that you can find something real quick that you're actually looking for, at least in your mind's eye.
So instead, the right thing to do on your homepage is to treat it like it were a retail store and show as many images as possible. Now, you don't want to just display every single image. What you want to do is display all of the categories of images, and as I can see here on your site, you've got Western-looking images with people on horses, you've got florals, you've got animals, I saw some buffalo, you've got birds; and so when people are shopping for art, they're typically for something specific and whether they know exactly what they're looking for, there's something that they like and so that's where their mind's eye will gravitate towards something.
So on your homepage, if you have 9 categories, if you have 15 categories of images-- and by categories, I mean categorized by subject matter (animals, landscape, whatever it might be)-- that way when I Come to your site, I'm able to immediately see what you're all about, OK? And then I can click on that category and all of a sudden, I'm immediately taken to every single image you have within that category.
And so within 2 clicks, I can see whether I want to buy something from your site or not.
As you can see right now, as I'm looking at your home page, I don't know what to do. I'm forced to wait here and people do not wait to look through your images and then my next option here is to look through your navigation here-- none of which is guiding me towards any type of subject matter, and we'll get into that in another video. But first things first, we need to deal with this homepage.
Another reason why the homepage is so important is because on a mobile screen, when someone is on a mobile phone, the screen is obviously much smaller, it might just be the width of right here and if you've ever been on a mobile site, you don't tend to click on the navigation and search for things, you know, deeply in the navigation-- it's very difficult and painful to do and people don't do it and on your site I would never do it.
I'm sure nobody is.
If you look at your Google analytics, you probably have a lot of problems with people actually going through and searching. The same thing with tablets; if people are on a tablet, you're forcing to hunt and pack and click around. What you want to do is when you have the categories on your homepage and they're able to click on them real quick-- just imagine: they come to your homepage on a mobile phone and they're able to immediately select these images.
Let me give you an example. Now right here I've pulled up another artist of ours, William K. Stidham, and you can see his homepage and this is the menu bar I'm referring to. So right here you can see how many clicks you would have to take to get into the different stuff, but on his site, this is his homepage.
So if I'm on my phone, I'm immediately looking at his images as I scroll and I can click on any of these and I'm immediately taken to all of the images. All it took me was 2clicks and now I'm able to see-- and you can see how far this is going to scroll, he's got a lot of images of these rock stars and celebrities. So 2 clicks I can immediately find what I want and potentially buy it.
OK, so going back to your stats, what we will see as a result of this is we should see-- we might see less page views because we're making it easier on people, but we should see the average minutes per session increase and we should see the add to cart conversion rate increase, as well as the checkout conversion rate, simply because we're guiding people towards your images faster; we're getting them to see your images faster and all the people that are leaving quickly-- and you can see here, people that are coming to your site, 44% right here are leaving immediately when they come to your website, OK?
That's what the bounce rate means. Same here.
47% from this email blast you sent are immediately leaving. 63% immediately coming to your site and immediately leaving. So these numbers are pretty high here. Same with Facebook, 58%, they're just immediately leaving.
So something is attracting these people to come to your site, but they are immediately leaving. OK, so now that we've talked about what needs to be done, let's talk about how to do it. Now going back into your Art Storefront site manager, what I Recommend is using product gallery pages because they give you the most control over how you can setup a homepage and all sorts of other types of landing pages and SEO pages.
So what you do is click product gallery and let's call it 'home 2'. Now I'm going to go ahead and quickly turn this off while we're working on it and what I'm going to do here is for the display choice, I'm going to select 'keywords as categories' and you can read about all of these options right here, but I love this 'keywords as categories' feature and I'm going to call this 'animals' and I'm going to click 'save'.
Now if I go back and I find some of your images, which it appears you have within the 'prints and canvases' section, and I go down to 'animals', it looks like you have these things nicely categorized, you're just not really using them and obviously this text 'view 45' is not going to be good to show to a user, but let me just go into this five birds and show you.
If I simply just add 'animals' to the tags here and now if I go back to the product gallery page we created and I click 'preview site', you can see that now we have a category here and if I were to click on this, it would lead me to every image that we have tagged as 'animals'. So as you can see here, all we have to doo is just create our different categories, tag our different images and we now have a very robust homepage that will lead every visitor right to where they want to go.
And also notice, just on every other page within Art Storefronts, if you go to your product gallery page, you can add a billboard.
So if you really want to have a slideshow, you can do the same thing and add it here and that way the slideshow will appear at the top and all of your categories will go below it. Now one final word about the slideshow, if you're going to have a slideshow, don't just have it be images-- it's really boring. If it's going to be anything-- if we take a look at Art.com here, notice they don't even have a slideshow.
They've immediately got all of their categories or all of their best-selling categories, but notice how everywhere they're just guiding you into products and so they're showing you nine images here with this 'Coastal Charm' and they've got a framed image here.
So if you're going to do a slideshow, have it be some kind of image with a montage of your pictures so that it gives a visitor an opportunity to see a lot of your content and then with some words and some calls to action, like 'explore more'. I prefer to have nice big buttons here as calls to action, but just notice if you go through Art.com and you scroll through the homepage, you can do this on your own time, they're just guiding you into everywhere right away. Like, whatever it may be, they're trying to get you to move forward and to find what you want immediately.
OK, so let's recap the key takeaways. First, treat your homepage like it's a retail store and by that, we mean don't hide your content from your visitors; show them exactly what you're all about so when they land on your site, they can immediately know whether this is the right site for them. Second, use the product gallery pages to accomplish this.
And last, whenever you make changes, always go back to the statistics section within your site manager and study what the changes did to impact your performance and always remember whenever you make changes, notate what changes you made on your marketing calendar so you always know what it is that improved or declined your performance.
Now that's all for today. Thank you so much.