Internet Marketing & Public Relations for the Arts

lessons for promoting your arts organization on the web.

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Lesson: 3

The Top 10 Mistakes of Arts Websites

In today's world, there is nothing more important to public relations then your website.  It is your sounding board that allows you to communicate directly with your patrons--so what is your website saying about you?

Bloat/No Mobile Version

There is nothing worse then waiting for information--especially if that information comes at the sacrifice of "design".  Get your information into the hands of your patrons quickly.


 Your HTML Pages Should be no more than 195 KB complete
 They need to start displaying (not read more »

Outdated Information

 When I visit your site, I want to know what you are offering NOW, not last week, and certainly not last month.  Make sure your website is up to date.

• Makes site untrustworthy
• Adds confusion to your site
• Shows lack of concern from organization

read more »

No Basic Information

I don't care if it doesn't "look good" or your webmaster feels that it is not important, ideally I should be able to get any of the information below quickly and easily.

• No Phone Number
• No Hours/Dates of exhibits or performances (calendar)
• No Location with directions/maps
• No read more »

Bad Navigation

People are set in thier surfing habits, any changes that you make in those habits will create frustration--and possibly even loss of sales.

These include:

• Opening new windows
• Disabling back button
• Using frames
• Changing top navigation menus
• No home button
• Changing link formats
read more »

Lack of Archiving

Archiving is simply moving your outdated information to another location on your site so that users may still reach it.  Archving your information is important for many reasons, but mostly it helps build up the history of your organization online.

In addition:

• Prevents you from deleting pages and read more »

Bad Linking

There is no excuse for bad linking.  Links that go to the wrong location, or simply use the wrong verbiage.  Not only is it frustrating to the user, but it also shows a lack of regard for your site.

Some examples of bad linking include:

• Copying and read more »

Using Bleeding Edge Technology

Here is a really bad example of FLASH:


I think that says it all.  Remember, users are coming to your website for information, not for "cool" effects or nitfy presentations.  There is a use for new technology, but not at read more »

Looking like Advertising

Although the web runs on advertising, the fact of the matter is that if it LOOKS LIKE ADVERTISING users will ignore it.

This term is called "banner blindness" and it basically means that anything that looks like an ad, will most likely be ignored by your users.

read more »

Failure to Capture Email Address/Facebook Fan

We will be discussing email campaigns during our next lesson, but for now know that a very large mistake made by many non-profits is not capturing and email address from the user when they visit.

Not only is email the most cost effective way to promote your arts event, read more »

Meta Tag Misuse

Meta Tags are special tags coded onto your webpage that instruct search engines and crawlers how to display your information.

For example <Title>My Arts Organization</Title>

Displays My Arts Organization at the top of the browser bar.  This is also the page title displayed on search engine results.  read more »