You’re making mistakes on your website. There, we said it (lovingly, but we said it). It’s okay, everyone does, especially when you’re just starting out or you have had your site on autopilot and tend to keep doing things as they’ve been done. After many iterations of our site, we can say with confidence: you’re making mistakes, but you can fix them.
Mistake 1: You’re Textually Confused
Text on your website is like Goldilock and her bears. There’s too much, too little, and just the right amount. Your copy needs to be in that sweet spot so visitors can learn about you and Google can crawl through to pick up information about you while also not scaring off viewers by throwing an epic poem at them on your home page.
Too Much Text
This isn’t a dissertation. If your website is so lengthy, it should have its own table of contents, you’re falling into the trap of too much text. It’s easy to want to give your readers a lot of information, but there is a concise way of saying it.
Take a look at your home page - or any page, for that matter. What can you remove or edit down without changing the sentiment of what you’re trying to express? It’s better to be direct than couch your viewpoints in meaningless words and sentences that meander.
Your website should be clean and have plenty of breathing room. Think short paragraphs and lots of white space. Bottom line: if you can convey your point in a sentence, don’t hide it in a paragraph of useless words.
Too Little Text
On the flip side, there’s a thing as too little text. You don’t want to leave your readers hungry and unsatisfied - you want to leave them hungry for more!
Does your website tell us:
Who you are?
What you and your work are about?
Where and how to find you?
If your website can’t answer those questions, revisit your copy and finish those questions as succinctly as possible. After all, you don’t want to swing to the other side of the “too” pendulum!
The most important question you need to consider when you’re writing copy for your website is: what do you want people to do when they visit your site?
Complete that question with clear, obvious Calls to Action. Your CTAs could be:
Sign up for my mailing list.
See me at my next show.
Contact me to commission a custom piece.
Whatever you choose, make sure it is easy for your patrons to figure it out and stay on your site to learn about you and your art.
Mistake 2: You’re Making Your Viewers Work too Hard for It
Normally, we don’t condone giving the (soy)milk away for free, but we do in the case of your website! It should be easy to navigate and take as few clicks as possible for them to find information they need, whether it’s your contact information, event updates, or portfolio.
Speaking of your portfolio, many people are probably on your website to see what you do. Pick a gallery interface that will showcase your work and doesn’t require people to click upwards of four times to see it close up.
Do a click-test on your website. How many steps does it take to get from your home page to your portfolio to a detailed image of your work? If you answer three clicks, you’re at your max. Four clicks is really pushing it and you should reconsider your gallery interface. Five is entirely too many.
Don’t frustrate your audience by making it harder for them. Keep your website as easy-to-navigate and view as possible.
Mistake 3: You’re Not Updating Your Site Regularly
You’re not still walking around in the same clothes you wore a year ago, are you? Now, we aren’t talking about something you washed and re-wore. We mean the same exact outfit day after day without doing anything to refresh it.
No, you aren’t. So why is your website wearing the same tired, smelly outfit?
You don’t need to post to your site everyday; that’s hard to keep up on social media, we know. However, you do need to update it. We recommend including a blog on your site to connect consistently with your audience and boost your searchability, AKA: SEO.
At the very least, make sure the work displayed on your site is current. If the latest piece is over a year old and you have no indication of what you’re working on now, it gives the impression that you are no longer active.
Mistake 4: There’s No Way to Contact You
This is one of the top things we look for when we help people during Get Your Sh*t Together sessions. You must have a way for people to contact you. If people can’t contact you, what’s the point of having a website in the first place?
Include links to your social media, an address if you have a drop-in studio, a phone number if you like to talk, and an email address. Consider including a contact form as well so viewers don’t have to leave your site to get in touch with you.
Simply stated: have some method of communication between you and your customers.
Your website is another you, working to sell yourself online when you aren’t actively there yourself. Don’t blow your chance to connect to a patron or gallery owner! These four mistakes are easy to make, but they’re also easy to fix.
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