Websites aren’t static. Much like shag carpeting, they’re prone to go out of style. Websites are also your own personal space on the web to do whatever you want with. And much like real life, first impressions matter.
So how do you make it great? First up, your website should have a goal. If you don’t know why your site exists, how will you know what to do with it? Whether your goal is to attract new clients or simply to express yourself to the world, make sure you’re aware of the purpose that lies beneath your HTML, and let that drive your decision-making from selecting a theme to content strategy.
Keeping your goal in mind, edit your content – your portfolio, your sidebar categories, your widgets, your About page. Take a look at each part of your site, and if a piece of content doesn’t further your goals, get rid of it. Be ruthless. Just like you edit and make selections in your art, do the same for your presence online.
Now, once you’ve added your secret sauce in and subtracted the extraneous and outdated information out, take ten steps back. Literally. Take ten steps back from your computer and squint your eyes. What do you see? What’s popping out and commanding attention? If that something is not helping you reach your goal, start back at the beginning of this process.
Because you only get a few moments (seconds!) to attract and keep your visitor’s attention. Seth Godin once described web visitors as little monkeys; they hop all over your site, they’re distracted and funny, they’re quick to leave. You don’t want to give them too many options, lest the poor little monkeys get confused. You do want to give them a banana.
Your site needs to have a definitive and clear action that you want your visitors to take, whether that’s exploring your portfolio or booking an upcoming session with you. Can you see that from ten steps back?
We want to hear from you, so let us know in the comments. What are your website goals? Does your current site meet those goals?