Fine Art America is a great POD company, where you can upload your artwork and sell high quality prints. How can you help your sales by increasing your online traffic with SEO?
Search engine optimization for your premium webshop provided by Fine Art America
The so-called Artist Website (hereafter AW), which Fine Art America provides to its registered artists when they choose the paid "premium package", is available as an automatic subdomain that you can reach at your_name.pixels.com. In my case, it looks like this: https://viktor-wallon-hars.pixels.com.
This AW has essentially the same content and look as the Fine Art America main website and webshop, with the important difference that it only contains the works / products you have uploaded. The big advantage, then, is that whoever finds your AW or who you recommend the link to will not be lost in the creations of other artists.
Unfortunately, you can’t do much in terms of search engine optimization, but what you can do is make your website (as much as possible) available on the search pages of Google, Bing, etc.
The first hurdle you may encounter if you want to optimize your AW is the series of "Disallow" commands declared in the robots.txt file. The "Disallow" command tells search pages not to index specific urls. This does not mean that search engines will not have access to the disallowed pages, but there is little chance that they will still index them.
The main reason for this is that your own AW is practically a clone of the Fine Art America (or Pixels) website, exclusively for your artworks. And Google doesn’t like duplicate content. So Google may punish the main FAA site, too, which is not the wish of anyone. So it is understandable to disallow indexing, but from your point of view this is a huge disadvantage. You practically get a nice webshop that works perfectly, but no one finds it in the search engines (organic traffic = 0).
The robots.txt file can be accessed by typing /robots.txt after the AW web url. For my AW, this is what it looks like: https://viktor-wallon-hars.pixels.com/robots.txt
Setting up your own domain
Optional, but it is recommended that you set up a domain of your choice for your premium Artist Website. Why? First, it is perhaps easier for your customers to remember a simple domain than the subdomain automatically generated on Fine Art America (registered_name.pixels.com). Second, you will also have the option to use the Google Search Console service for your site (see later).
The first step is to register a domain with the service provider you like. I recommend .com, as though Fine Art America is a global company, a large percentage of visitors and customers come from the US.
However, before you enter your domain on the AW admin page (Settings > Custom domain name), you have a few things to do.
SSL certificate (https) for your domain
Since your new domain doesn't have its own storage or a website, you can't set up an encrypted "https" protocol with your domain provider.
The so-called SSL, an encrypted channel (https protocol), is recommended if you don't want your browsers to display "this website is insecure" and similar scary warnings to your visitors.
So an external solution is required. The solution recommended by Fine Art America is Cloudflare, a free SSL service.
Here is a detailed, step-by-sttep guide written by the moderator of the Fine Art America forum.
Important! The SSL certificate will not be activated immediately for your domain. The process can take up to 72 hours. Before you move on to the next step, make sure your domain starting with https:// is working!
How and why to use Google Search Console
If your cloudflare settings work (so your AW is displayed at https://your_new_domain), you can set your new domain name in the AW admin interface (Settings > Custom domain name) without "www" and "https://", e.g. wahaviart.com) and you can register your domain with Google Search Console.
You definitely need to do so, because only a few of your AW's pages are usually indexed by Google itself (8 pages out of hundreds for my AW - each of your creations and collections has a separate link). It's a good idea to ask Google to index as many subpages as possible in Search Console manually, although with the exception of category pages (collections) and shop/* pages, we can't do this manually (so, for example, links that start with /featured/* that point to your individual artworks, unfortunately cannot be indexed manually). Over the years, Google will index more and more sub-pages, which will significantly increase your organic traffic.
Search engine optimization for collections and individual artwork pages
Unfortunately, Fine Art America does not use the collection description field to fill in the "meta description" (the description of the page used by search engines to identify content without being visible to your visitors). Instead, the combination of the title of the collection and a general text is used.
Since you can enter the titles of your collections, your only chance for search engine optimization is to use the titles as efficiently as possible.
The sub-pages of each of your artwork (/ featured/*) are better, because here the title and description you enter when editing your uploaded artworks are displayed correctly in the meta title and description fields.
So it is essential to provide search engine optimized titles and descriptions for your artworks and titles for your collections.
Search engine optimized meta title and description features:
- The title and description should include the most important and relevant keywords. E.g.: landscape, summer, cars, painting, black and white, etc. Keep in mind that you are not creating collections (categories) for yourself, but for the benefit of your visitors (and Google).
- The title of an artwork should always be relevant, descriptive, NOT artistic or abstract! If you use a title such as "Morning Soar," no one will find your picture.
- The description of your images should include all the circumstances and image-specific information that comes to mind. There may be plenty of text, no matter the length.
- The title of the collections should be descriptive, concise, but maximally relevant.
- The descriptions you provide for your collections will never get in Google's index, so they're virtually not the subject of search engine optimization.
Fine Art America is not an online gallery, but a marketplace where you can sell prints of your artworks or products printed with your images. So being found in search engines or in the FAA's own search engine is way more important than artistic, abstract titles!
How can you build more trust in your customers on your premium webshop provided by Fine Art America?
If you look at your AW through the eyes of a customers, you may notice that there is nothing to indicate that they are browsing the website of a trusted company. Only the bottom row of the footer (Powered by Fine Art America Wall Art / Pixels - Original Source) connects AW to the Fine Art America main website.
However, there will be no purchase without customer trust.
Therefore, I suggest activating the Announcement Bar (ad bar at the top of the page), write a short sentence, even with a direct link to your collection on the Fine Art America main website (e.g. https://fineartamerica.com/art/wallon-hars+viktor?searchType=artistname). With a clearly visible background color to make it noticeable.
It may also be helpful to include a reference in your biography (the "about" section) to the fact that this is a Fine Art America site that contains only your artwork. The FAA brand is widely known in America, so you have gained basic trust.
Fine Art America, a POD (Print on Demand) service, is a very useful online marketplace if you want to sell your artistic photos and painting reproductions on high quality wall art prints. In order for the Artist Website (i.e. your own webshop available in the premium package) provided by FAA to be included in Google’s search pages, you need to complete a few important steps.
You are recommended to choose your own domain name for which you need to set up an SSL certificate on cloudflare.com. You will then have to register your domain in Google Search Console.
Getting your visitors to find your website is not enough. You also need to instill trust in them to purchase from you. The first step in this process is to indicate on your AW that they are actually using Fine Art America when they make a purchase on your site.