7 Tips for a Website that Works!
Aside from making art, one of my favourite ways to while away a few hours is to work on my website. Yep I am a website geek. Give me all the colours, font combinations and cool little features. To be honest, I spend a bit too much time tweaking my website when I should be doing other things but this week I get to shamelessly talk websites!
Now I know there are artists that sell directly off Instagram or Etsy and that can work really well but I am a fan of having your own little bit of cyberspace. Since I got serious about my website, I have seen huge growth in my business. More art sales, more online class sign-ups, more workshop participants, more podcast downloads and so on.
The biggest change for me was when I started thinking of my website as the hub of the business, not just an add-on because I felt like I 'should' have a website.
Now while I could talk for hours about the visual and tech side of a website, this episode is more about getting to the core of your website's purpose. The part that so often gets overlooked! So grab a cup of tea and settle in, I'm sharing my top 7 tips for a website that works!
1. Be clear about your brand
Make sure that straight away visitors to your site can see who you are, what you offer and why. In other words, they have a strong sense of your brand. If you need a little help with this checkout my Building Your Brand podcast episode and free downloadable workbook.
2. Know your website's purpose
I want you to think about what your main offering is? When someone comes to your website, what would you most like them to do - is it buy a piece of art, listen to a podcast or sign up for a workshop? Whatever it is, you need to make sure that it is the first things that a person sees when they come to your website. It needs to be right at the front and centre of your website.
3. Make your site easy to navigate
Test your website out with others to see if they can find what they are looking for. Make sure that it is easy for people to contact you, find your social media sites and sign up to your newsletter. It's amazing how often we think that something is easy to find and it's not.
4. Build your email list using an opt-in (lead magnet)
When you get visitors to your site, you don’t want to lose them. A great way to maintain contact with a visitor is to get them to sign up to your email list. To encourage newsletter sign-ups you can offer a free resource (what is often called an opt-in or a lead magnet). A few ideas for opt-ins include an e-book, workbook, checklist, quiz, free class and a discount coupon. To encourage even more people to opt-in you can use pop-ups to promote your freebies. I resisted pop-ups for a long time but my goodness they really do work! I use SUMO to integrate and target pop-ups in my website.
5. Use engaging copy that is targeted to your ideal audience
Always write with your ideal audience in mind. Speak to them directly and look at ways you can tackle their paint points and help them to overcome challenges. Try using short sentences and writing the way that you actually speak. That way your personality will come through in your website and visitors will get a feel for who you are and what you are all about.
6. Weave testimonials and stories through your website
How often do you look at reviews before making a decision about a purchase? We all do it! Social proof is very powerful. Adding reviews and testimonials to your website helps your visitors know that others are enjoying what you do and builds more confidence and trust in your business. Always a good thing!
7. Make a visual impact
Finally, we get to the fun part! From the photographs you use to the colours and fonts that tie it all together, there is lot to be said for a visually appealing website design. Take your time considering what your choices say about your brand. These days if you are using a platform such as Squarespace or Wix, you can customise your website fairly easily. You can also purchase templates from places such as Pinterest or Etsy. Keeping your website clean and consistent throughout will give it a professional feel. As will using professional quality photographs especially for full-screen banners and slideshows.
Podcast Episode 34 - Building Your Brand as an Artist