Just like visitors to your home, visitors to your website want to feel comfortable and have a nice time. Make sure every page of your website has these nine items, and your visitors will feel more comfortable. They'll find what they need and probably think very kindly of you!
1. A Headline or Identifying Info:
It's easy for people to get confused (and leave your website) if they don't know where they are. Put a headline or identifying info at the top of the page: Artist Statement/Bio/Resume, About, Contact, Portfolio, etc.
2. Readable Text:
Too big and it's hard to read, too small and people won't bother. Combinations of really big and really small type are hard on the eyes. People with less than perfect vision should be able to read your website easily.
3. Web-Optimized Images:
Big fat images = longer load time = bored viewer. Images for print and web are vastly different. If you're adding images to your website, learn how to optimize them so they look great and load quickly.
4. White Space:
Give your viewers' eyes a break and include some white space. Cluttered website pages are confusing, and people won't know where to look. Keep it simple, and clean.
5. Above The Fold Navigation:
Just this morning I visited an artist website and got stuck on several pages because the main navigation wasn't there. I had to keep hitting the back button to get around, it was annoying. You don't want to annoy your potential collectors. Have navigation on every page and make sure it's "above the fold," meaning people can see it without scrolling. Test your website on a small screen to make sure.
Take advantage of side column real estate, the page itself, and the header/footer areas for these critical pieces of info:
6. Your Contact Info:
At least your business phone number and email address. People don't like to hunt for what they need. Make it easy for them to contact you.
7. Social Media Icons:
Again, make it easy for people to find you. Don't waste your social media efforts by hiding the fact that you participate.
8. A Link to Your Blog:
If you have one, make sure people can find it easily by putting it in the main navigation or via a prominent link.
9. A Call to Action:
Whether it's to sign up for your newsletter, get a freebie download, or something else, it'll help keep your visitor at your website (making it "sticky") and will help them move forward in the process of learning about you, inquiring, and buying.
Can you think of anything else?
As always, all my best to you and yours!