Think of your website as your virtual studio. It houses images of your art, speaks volumes about you and your company and, if positioned correctly in the search engines and social media sites, can be visited hundreds of times per day. Typically, your client will “land” on your homepage when they come to your website. The Homepage is the proverbial front door to your online studio. It’s the first impression your potential clients receive when they come to visit and it’s very important that it speaks clearly, looks inviting and grabs their attention.
What does your homepage say about you, your product and company? Is it covered with hazy photos or does a busy background making it difficult to see your work? Is there too much text and information to comprehend quickly?
If a customer is confused, bombarded with speech or uninspired by the product photography, they’ll leave your website within seconds. Here are five simple ways to keep a client engaged in your website and more apt to purchase:
1. Unless your homepage is your product page, place no more than five images on your homepage but make sure that the product pages are linked to the images and the product page is listed clearly in another part of the homepage.
2. Keep the text to a minimum. We are bombarded with information and most people skim through the Internet. If they see an image, concept or keyword that catches their attention, they’ll spend time in the site. If you have text in every crevice of the homepage and tell your customer everything about you, your product, charity events, shipping/return policy, your dog’s name and breed, they’ll run away screaming. Keep your homepage limited to one-to-three short, informative, engaging and concise paragraphs and make sure your personality and brand personality shine through. Say “just enough”, not too much. You have the rest of the website pages to go into detail.
3. Images speak volumes. Clear images. Images that show your product in the best light, literally. Make sure your art is lit correctly with minimal shadow and colors that best represent the product. If each product has the same background color, that would be the least distracting to the potential client and will allow your work to be the focal point. You’re not selling the granite rock you shot your work on, you’re selling your art. On the homepage, one focal point will do but on the product page, if you can offer different views of each product, it will give a better understanding of your 3D piece on a 2D screen.
4. You’re a creative. You love images and you want your background to represent Art in some way, I get it, but remember that if you place a busy background behind your text and product images, your client won’t be able to settle their eyes on the important things you’re trying to tell and show them. I know white can be boring but it truly is the best background. If you want color, try something neutral (neutral doesn’t have to be limited to grey or tan) that fits your website theme and brand image and in a hue that contrasts with the text and product colors. If you need movement and fun, keep the images light and off to the side of the screen.
5. Why do you have a website? Well, to promote, share and sell! If your customer can’t figure out WHERE to purchase your art, they will leave empty handed. Have multiple links to the product pages. Link images and keywords throughout the text. You may not want to shout, “BUY MY WORK HERE” but make it easy for your client to purchased the lovely pieces they found while surfing the web.
Your website doesn’t have to be boring to be clear. It can be extremely creative and “over-the-top,” just make sure it’s easy to read, not too overwhelming visually, easy to navigate, informative without bombarding and shows your art and where to purchase, clearly.