Here are five themes that came up when I (anonymous web-designer guy) looked at loads of VoiceCouncil member websites. If you make a few easy changes to your website, I believe you’ll stand a better chance of getting noticed – and getting business.
SHORT AND SIMPLE HOMEPAGE
We liked your sites when they had brief but important pieces of information on the home page.
For example, a short piece of text, a sound-bite, a video (just one), a few relevant and recent news items and a clear indication of what is on the rest of the site.
In other words, your homepage should not be a novel and it should definitely not scroll down forever like a MySpace page.
One way to think of a homepage is as an intriguing advertisement for what people can find on the rest of your website.
QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHY AND GALLERIES
Many VoiceCouncil sites had nice photos that made you look professional.
If you’re in doubt as to the quality of your photos, look around at competitor’s websites and ask for the opinions of your friends—maybe a budding photographer will help you out.
Let your galleries become interactive—using software such as Zenphoto to enable people to comment on photos.
Zenphoto is one of many graphical forums; it’s quick, interesting and you can update the photographic content with ease.
BRIEF MISSION STATEMENT
We liked sites that featured a quote or a mission statement that told us exactly who you were; keep this brief and to the point.
If you don’t have a mission statement, you might consider using a short sentence that sells you as an artist, one that points to how you are unique, and you might consider keeping this in the header so that it is seen at all times.
VoiceCouncil’s mission statement is a good example of brevity and preciseness: “Practical Insight for the Emerging Vocalist”—it’s short and memorable and tells you what to expect.
Can you come up with something as brief and pithy to describe you and your music?
SOUND BITE WITH VOICE OVER
I liked one particular site that featured a music clip with the vocalist explaining their artistic strengths. I urged this artist to move the clip to his homepage and give the user the option of listening while navigating the rest of the site.
Remember, a site is different from a book—it’s an audio-visual experience.
We really liked it when your graphics were a part of telling us who you are.
Take a look at Over Drive’s home page—very creative, very well done!
Remember, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to do this: get a pen and pencil, make a list of ideas, take a look at other websites and think of some images that go with the sounds for which you are best known.
Then get some sleep, take a walk and let the ideas come.
Test your ideas on others before you commit to a designer.
When it comes to a designer, remember my earlier advice about price
Who Am I?
We’re still not telling you who I am—I’m swamped with web design work at the moment—but if the situation changes I’ll be sure to get the VoiceCouncil editor to reveal my identity!
For the time being, I’m more than willing to answer your questions—it will help me to write my next article for VoiceCouncil! Just leave a comment below in the ‘Add a New Comment’ section.
© Gregory A. Barker August 2009. Greg is a writer and editor living in the heart of Wales.