Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Your website is often the first encounter potential clients have with your music business. In this age of fast moving content and ever-fleeting attention spans, you have only a few seconds to grab their attention and entice them to explore further.
In this blog, we’ll delve into tips for designing a website homepage that will “hook” potential clients, encourage them to stick around to learn about your biz, and move them to take action. (If they are the right fit — because that’s important!)
Grab your audience’s attention.
Website homepage tip #1! You gotta hook their attention quickly.
Picture this: you’re handed the front page of a newspaper. The most important information — the headlines — are listed “above the fold.” Within seconds, you know what the big news is and you either decide, “heck yeah, this is worth reading,” or “meh… I’m gonna skip to the arts & entertainment section.”
(Regular people might skip to the sports section, but we’re all creatives here, right? Right.)
Just like the front age of a newspaper, your website’s homepage gives you the opportunity to provide a “snapshot” of your business. Within SECONDS of being on your site, clients should be able to quickly discern things such as:
- Who you are,
- What types of lessons / services / products you provide,
- The benefits of working with you / your business, (aka how you can solve their problems!)
- How your business is different than others in your area, and
- The first step to purchase / get started working with you.
Yes, that might feel like a lot — but remember: you don’t need mountains of text to communicate these things. IN FACT, the more concise you can keep it, the more likely you are to keep the attention of your audience.
Keep language simple, clear, and relatable.
While industry jargon like cricothyroid or arpeggio might make sense to you, using lots of these words can leave potential clients perplexed. When writing copy, continuously come back to language the client would use. This helps the client see themselves in your copy, and allows us the opportunity to write more engaging copy.
Let’s compare two sentences:
At our Sara’s Music Studio you’ll learn how to smooth out the gap in your middle voice so you won’t feel like you’re struggling to shift car gears.
In lessons you’ll explore the relationship between cricothyroid muscle and thyroarytenoid muscle dominance in vocal register control.
The first one is much more relatable and fun to read!
Writing relatable copy will not only meet your clients where they are right now, it will also help you identify keywords that will improve your search engine optimization (SEO for short), which can lead to your website popping up in more searches.
For example: a client might be more likely to use the phrase singing lessons than voice lessons.
By using the client-centric term on your website, you’re more likely to show up in Google searches for singing lessons near me. (Wanna learn more about SEO? Check out this blog later.)
Focus on the reader, not yourself.
Here’s a website homepage tip that past-Sara was definitely guilty of breaking.
It can be tempting to lead with sentences like, “Sara Campbell holds a master’s degree in musicology from Youngstown State University and bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Westminster College. She’s served on faculty at YSU and has over 20 years of private lesson teaching experience.”
This is what we call me-centric copy, and while some clients might be interested in your credentials, you know what they’re WAY more interested in?
Clients want to know that you are the person to solve their problems.
Instead of starting with all about you / the business, lead with client-centric copy that speaks to their goals, desires, and challenges.
Writing client-centric website copy takes practice, and requires us to REALLY know the needs and wants of our ideal clients. Not sure if your website is speaking client-centric language? Our website audit service can be a great starting place to get assistance.
Use real photographs.
Now that your visitor is hooked with concise and compelling copy, it’s essential to lead them through your virtual space! Visual appeal is paramount: the design of your homepage is as important as the content it holds.
Let’s start with photos.
Stock images might look good, but they lack the authenticity that can build trust. Instead of grabbing photos from Canva, Shutterstock, etc, — try using real, engaging photos of you, your teachers, the studio space, and action shots of working with students / clients.
Real photos provide a genuine glimpse into your world and allow clients to visualize themselves working with you.
And hey… if you run an online studio, take photos of your setup and shots of your students working with you through your online platform! Want examples of this? Check out The Princeton Piano Teacher’s social media — she has great examples of online studio photos.
If you haven’t done so yet, I highly recommend getting professional branding photos — it will be a worthwhile investment. If photos are not in the budget this year – that’s okay! Grab a student or friend to help you take photos with your cell phone. Those real photos will work in the interim.
Website navigation / menus.
You’ve got the copy and the pictures… now it’s time to talk about navigation! Intuitive website navigation is crucial. We want to guide clients to action without overwhelming them with too many options.
Here are three navigation areas you’ll want to examine:
(1) the top (or side) navigation menu
Keep your website’s navigation menu clean and easy to use — my rule of thumb is try to stay between 3-5 links in the menu. If you have more pages consider “nesting” the links into topics. (Wanna see an example of that? Try the top menu of our page.)
(2) your calls to action
A “call to action” is whatever step you want potential clients to take: filing out an inquiry form, signing up for an email list, purchasing a product, or emailing / calling your business.
Keep your calls to action upfront and compelling. If your “get started” button is buried at the end of a long page, visitors might lose interest before they get there. And avoid LOTS of calls to action — too many choices can result in inaction.
(3) the website’s footer
Website footers are unsung heroes! When well-crafted, your site’s footer can improve your website’s SEO, navigation, and user experience.
They’re an important place to put information such as:
- your studio address / location area,
- site map (fancy name for links to other pages on your website!),
- copyright notice, and
- links to your social media.
Footers also give you an opportunity for a final call to action — Sign Up Today, Subscribe to our mailing list, Contact Us, etc.
Mobile responsiveness is a necessity.
In a world dominated by mobile devices, ensuring your website’s mobile responsiveness is non-negotiable. If there is ONE website homepage tip that you take away from this article, I hope it’s this!
Not sure how your website measures up? Load your site on your phone and experience it as a visitor would!
Mobile Responsive Checklist:
- Is the font size comfortable to read?
- Does the content layout adjust correctly?
- Is the navigation menu easy to use?
- Are photos, videos, and audio showing up?
- Are your forms and input fields working?
These factors that can make or break a visitor’s experience! With the majority of internet users browsing on their phones, neglecting these aspects can lead to a significant loss of potential clients.
In addition to the manual checklist above, there are many tools you can use to further explore your site’s mobile responsiveness. Google has a free handy tool for evaluating this aspect. (Sadly, that tool will be retired at the end of Nov. 2023. I’ll have to update this blog with a new option!)
Let’s wrap it up…
Whew! That was a lot of information. I hope you find these website homepage tips helpful when evaluating your music business’s site. Got questions? Pop ‘em in the blog comments!
Remember: in the fast-paced world of the internet, you have mere seconds to make an impact.
Let’s make those seconds count and keeps visitors coming back for more!