Tips for Up-ing Your Website Game
Hello LoweCo readers! I’m Emily Wells, the gal behind the LoweCo. website design. I am so excited to be popping in today with some of my favorite website and SquareSpace tips! I am really passionate about helping small business owners gain clarity, confidence, and success in their business, and I do that by helping them build a strong brand, which of course, includes the website! I understand that it can be a daunting task to build and even update your website, so, here’s 3 easy tips that you can use today to up-level your website and turn browsers into buyers.
1. Make it a home run… on your home page.
You have about 8 seconds to capture someone’s attention and keep them on your website. While that may initially sounds scary, it's ok because with the right tools, you can capture their attention and keep them scrollin’ scrollin'. Your home page should immediately give your visitors a few things.
1. Quickly show or tell visitors what you do.
If you are a service based business, at the top of your home page, you should say exactly what you do right off the bat. If you are a product based business, show them the goods right away, and get them as close as you can to the “shopping cart” as quickly as possible. While they may not purchase immediately, it will get them used to how it all works by the they are ready to hit "Add to Cart".
2. Show your beautiful face.
Come on now, don’t be shy! Whether you are product or serviced based, potential buyers connect so much with the people and story behind a brand. Show them your pretty face and they’ll automatically want to know more! It doesn't have to be a professional headshot. It can be fun or serious, looking at the camera or looking away. Whatever is on brand for you, boo!
3. Give them quick access (through links) to the most important areas of your site.
That may sound like a lot of information to fit into a small space, but you can showcase it beautifully in a few different ways. Have a slideshow at the top of your page, have a gallery grid with quick links to each area of your site, or do a magazine type layout with several pages stacked on top of each other.
Use Index pages to create long, scrolling pages, with beautiful imagery and different sections. Index pages can be found on most of the new Squarespace templates. We did this throughout Catherine’s website to really draw users in and keep them on each page. Index pages are great for mobile devices too, because it's easier to keep scrolling on one page, rather than switching to lots of different pages. You can break up each section using images, or even add in a color block for variation. We used images all throughout Catherine's site, and used a color block on the "Haute off the Press" section.
2. Beef up your About page
Did you know that other than home page, your about page is the most viewed page? Your customers want to see your beautiful face and get to know what your brand is all about! Use this page to let visitors know about your services or product , but also really let them in on you personally. Share your story, why you're passionate about what you do, and even your history (like we did on this website!). Don’t be afraid to be funny, deep, quirky, emotional, etc. Be you!
You can make your pages fun and interactive by adding in different sections that your visitors can enjoy. Consider adding a scrolling image gallery (a Carousel Gallery in SquareSpace), or even a slideshow that shows fun facts about you instead of images. Within SquareSpace you can even add in your instagram feed, maps to your location, and detailed forms that you can use to gather important customer information, or even for a fun “quiz” your visitors could take.
3. Good Photography is Key
A website is only as beautiful as the photography! You can have the most gorgeous layout and typography, but if the photos aren’t up to par, the website will fall behind. A great idea is to set up a brand photoshoot with a professional photographer, or even set aside a day to shoot some photos yourself. Make sure that all of the colors in your clothing, props, backgrounds, etc. are consistent with your brand and the feel you want for your website. Consider also the layout of your website. For instance, a lot of sites (like this one!) use horizontal banner images at the tops of the pages, so your photos would need to be horizontal. Check out my article here for more tips on how to prepare for a brand photoshoot!
You can easily change the focal point of your image with a quick move of a button in Squarespace. This is especially important when viewing on mobile. This keeps heads from being cut off, or your most important elements from being left behind when someone is taking a scroll through your website. All you have to do is hover over the image to reveal a small circle, that you can then move to whatever part of the image you want to focus on.
If you are ready to give your brand or website a refresh, I would love to hear from you! You can find me at emilywellsdesign.com or on instagram @emilywellsdesign. In my small corners of the internet, you’ll see my designs, and hopefully get inspired with helpful tips, blog articles, and free downloads. All of which you can access today to gain more clarity and confidence in your brand. I’m cheering for you!