Don’t Make These Mistakes
Your website is your number one marketing asset. It’s your storefront. It’s what the world sees as they speed down the digital highway. You only have a second to capture their attention. The right message with the right design is what it takes to break through the noise. This is where creativity kicks in. If you’re a musician or an artist you’re in luck. Creativity is a hot commodity and you most likely have plenty of it.
Below is a list of 12 things to avoid on your website. Do this (or rather DON’T) today to put your website in a position to break through the noise.
1. Cluttered homepage
Your homepage is the first thing that visitors see when they land on your website. Too much stuff, too many options, too many messages requires too much effort. They’ll bounce off your page and hop over to your competitors. Don’t make people think. Guide them from point to point on your website without distractions.
2. Slideshow and carousels
Eye tracking studies have shown that slideshows serve as more of a distraction than an asset. James Royal-Lawson claims that “banner attention and retention is a secondary task for our brains, so even having a slider containing a series of branding images and messages might not be anywhere near as effective as you think.”
3. Too many menu options
Hick’s Law says that the more choices you give someone, the longer it will take for them to make a decision. Too many choices can confuse website visitors. Keep your main menu options limited to 3-5 choices. Keep it simple, short and sweet. (note to self. Keep this list simple, short and sweet.)
4. “Contact Us”or “Request Info” as a call to action
“Contact us” is an invitation for a conversation. It’s like saying call me when you get a moment. “Request info” is a stall tactic. Be direct and inspire action. It’s called a call-t0-action for a reason. “Get Started”, “Enroll Today” and “Take the first step” guides your website visitor to the finish line. Be confident. Ask for the sale. Customers are looking to buy.
5. Photos of instruments
Close up pictures of piano keys and guitar necks send the wrong message. It says “we sell instruments.” It lacks emotion. It fails to stir desire (unless you’re looking to buy a piano). A photo of a happy kid playing an instrument allows the reader to dream a little. It allows them to imagine their child in the photo.
6. Lengthy text
Visitors are scanning your web pages and looking for relevant information. Lengthy copy (especially on your homepage) is often skipped over. All that hard work you did has gone to waste. Make your copy lean and inviting. Save your lengthy copy for your blog.
7. Product-centric copy
We live in a customer-centric world. People want to hear about how your music lessons will enhance and enrich their lives. No one wants to hear about how you offer the best lessons in town. Anyone can make that claim. It’s empty talk. Not everyone can align themselves with the customer and express empathy.
8. Multiple font types
This is a signal to prospective students that your website, and business, is not operating on a high level. It sends the signal that you paid as little as possible on your website. They’ll expect to pay as little as possible for your lessons. Pick one clean font and stick to it. Arial or Helvetica are great choices.
9. No contact info in the footer
What’s a footer? It’s the bottom section of a website. Your footer should contain your address phone number and email. An embedded Google map is also a nice touch.
If your website is 3 or more years old it might be a non-responsive website. A responsive website resizes itself for each device.
11. A photo of yourself as the featured image
I see a lot of single teacher studios taking this approach. Save this photo for further down on your homepage or in the about section of your website. Your featured image should always be of a child playing music and looking happy.
12. “Year-Round Enrollment” or “Now Enrolling” as a tagline
This is information that is only relevant to the prospective customer who is ready to engage. It’s arguably completely unnecessary. It’s assumed that since you’re open for business your accepting students. You might have better luck with the scarcity model “Limited openings” might get you the reaction you are looking for.