Online Antique & Art Directories

In 1 on September 15, 2009 at 2:13 pm

The Wall Street Journal Magazine devoted an entire issue recently to selling luxury goods in an age of abstinence. Couldn’t help commiserating with the champagne sellers and over-sized installation artists (and their collectors) as I drew parallels  with antiques dealers.  Antiques and art are luxuries, after all. As the big boys rethink their marketing strategies, so should the antique and arts trade.

Fortunately, we live in a world where online directories offer antique and art dealers everything from a business card listing to a micro-website to a e-commerce portal to blog opportunities. As the number of directories increase (I’ve been called in as a consultant on several in the past few months) antique dealers and art gallery owners are going to need to be more discretionary about their memberships on these site.

Best advice is to carefully check out what the directory administrators are offering. Ask:

  • What is the value proposition? 
  • What’s the monthly  traffic?
  • Tell me a Success Story.
  • What kind of ROI can I expect?

If you’re just trying to drive traffic to your own site, you might not need a directory membership. There are a lot of free DIY marketing tactics you can incorporate into your daily routine. If the sites are offering you SERP (search engine response page) listings “above the fold,” find out how they’re doing it. If the directories are vague, caveat emptor. If they’re promising you keywords but not article marketing, shy away.

If you’re hoping to capitalize on the directory’s e-commerce capabilities, it pays to think whether or not this is a conflict of interest that could actually diminish traffic to your own site.

Article marketing is about the most effective route you can take these days. It is to the internet what “editorial coverage” was in the post internet era. Difference today is that when these stories are posted on the web…

  • they have the back links and inbound links you need to get traffic to your site. 

If you’re planning to write them yourself, be sure to learn how to write for the web. If you need advice, you can always call PR To the Trade.

Beyond that, a healthy strategic marketing plan focused on your antique shop or art gallery should include both press releases, article marketing, social networking, event marketing and personal appearance. You’re so much stronger when you back up your web presence with a TV appearance, host a gala or lend your name to a pro-bono effort.

For detailed information and a comparison chart of the directories, email me at


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