As a voiceover artist your website is an essential tool. Here are ten ways you can improve your website to improve customer experience and boost your SEO ranking.
Responsive Mobile-Friendly Design
Having a website that works well on a mobile or tablet is essential. Gone are the days of having to code a separate site for mobile use, these days any decent website theme or template will be responsive. Around 52 percent of global website traffic is from mobile devices – which includes tablets. If your site is not mobile friendly you’re effectively stopping half of your potential customers from accessing your site. Get your own mobile out, load your website. Can you easily find your contact form? Your showreels? Your social media links? If you can’t find those things, no one else will either.
As a voiceover artist, your demo reels are usually the number one reason someone is visiting your website. So make sure it’s easy to find them. Have a small selection on your homepage and an easy-to-find page with more reels and live examples too.
Name Your Showreel Files With Your Name
When you’re naming your showreel make sure you add your name in the file name too! If a client does download your showreel, they need to be able to know who voiced it in a few days/weeks time. As an added bonus, your file names also helps with SEO. The best way to name files that are used online is all lowercase letters with a dash in-between each word, for example “helen-bee-voiceover-commercial-reel.mp3”. Search engines find it easer to read the file names in this format, so it helps your SEO results. (NOTE: usually your reel wouldn’t have ‘voiceover’ in the file name, but it can help with SEO so it’s worth adding in for the files on your website).
Make It Easy For People To Contact You
Every website needs a contact page – how else are people going to get in touch and start working with you? But it’s also really important to make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with you. Most people will have a ‘contact me’ button in their site menu, but is it just at the top of the page? If you have a page with lots of content on and people scroll to the bottom, can they still easily find the contact button? If you have pages explaining your services, are there obvious ‘contact me to talk some more’ buttons too? The easier you make it for people, the more likely they are to get in touch.
It’s also important to have contact details as well as a contact form. Why? It builds trust and makes customers feel that (if something does go wrong with a product or service) they know how to reach you. Add an email address, phone number and postal address.
Don’t want your home address on your website? Use your registered business address (if different), get a PO Box or check to see if your accountant offers a business postal address service.
Check your links work
You know the ones – annoying broken website links that bring up the “404 error” when you click on them. These can be more damaging to your site that you may think. They are very frustrating for your site visitors and potentially means clients take their business elsewhere. They stop the Google spiders searching your site which impacts on how your site appears in search results – if the google spider bot can’t find your site link it won’t be able to show it in search results.
What to do? There are paid and free broken link checkers available – go and check your site now!
Add a Site Map
Google uses Spiders to scurry through your website creating paths that it uses for search results. But, Google Spiders are idiots, so make their job simple and add a site map to your website. The easier it is for a Spider to map your site, the better the search results will be.
Name Your Images And Add Metadata
This is all about increasing your SEO. As much as Google Spiders search your site for key words and phrases, they also search your images. Keep image file names and metadata simple and descriptive.
Image file names should be lower case with a ‘–‘ between each word (this-is-how-to-name-a-file.jpg). “IMG_748369.jpg” will not help a search engine, but a photo named “helen-bee-website-design.jpg” will.
Image metadata should be in sentence form with a full stop at the end to help search spiders and text to speech readers, for example “Photo of Helen Bee website designer.”
This small and simple change to your website image can help your SEO results.
Don’t link to personal social media profiles
Social media is ever blurring the lines between colleagues, clients and customers. It’s really important to remember that your personal social media profiles are just that – personal. So if you do want to use social media to promote what you do (and I do think you should!) then make sure you have business profiles and keep it professional (for example, use a Facebook page rather than a Facebook ‘profile’). Why? Firstly it keeps you safe (no one wants the world to have access to their personal details) and ensures you comply to data protection laws. Secondly, there should be a difference between what your friends and family know about you and what your clients know. I’m not saying don’t share anything personal. I’m not saying don’t send Facebook friend requests to people you know in your industry. Do those things – it’s great to build relationships after all.
I am saying is do not link your personal Facebook profile or your private Twitter or Instagram account from your website. Keep those links professional.
Humans are visual creatures. Colour plays a huge part in our lives, and use of colour is key to a strong brand. Yes, your carefully chosen brand colours should be used on your website. But only if they work. If you use a colour to show links on your website, make sure they stand out and are different to other colours used on your site (for example, don’t have headings and links as the same colour – it confuses people). It’s also good to keep in mind that some colour combinations don’t work well on screen. Yellow text on a white page is difficult to read. Green text on a red background can clash.
Don’t forget that colours will look different on every single screen and device they are viewed on and those colours also change depending on the amount of light in the room too.
Fonts / typefaces
It can be great to use fancy fonts on your website, especially if these are also used in your logo and branding, but here are a couple of things to keep in mind when using fonts on your website to ensure visitors can read it. Can it be easily read on a mobile phone? Not all fonts work at small sizes – if it’s difficult to read when it’s small – don’t use the font. You also need to ensure any fonts you use don’t have a negative impact on your accessibility. Would someone with a visual impairment be able to read your site? What if your site isn’t their main language? Will the font choice make reading the words more complicated?
Another thing to keep in mind is any non-standard font is likely to slow your website speed, meaning a longer load time, potential errors when loading the fonts and a potential lower google ranking (google likes fast sites).
Avoid Animated Intros And Decorative Backgrounds
Waiting for traffic lights to change to green is never the most exciting experience. The same applies when waiting for a website to load. Although that animated menu or textured background may well look fabulous, ask yourself why it’s there. What is its purpose? If there is a great reason, then have one, but if the reason is purely aesthetic, it’s worth considering having a faster load time and getting rid of the animation or background image. It comes back to making your content as simple as possible to find. If anything slows or stops a customer from accessing the information they want, get rid of it.
okay – that’s more than 10, but that’s not a bad thing is it?!