A professional-looking website is a must for all types of authors today. Marketing your written works to audiences that have mostly moved online without a website can be tricky. A website gives you credibility, helps you engage audiences, and directs them to where they can buy your books.
But then, developing a good author website can be an uphill task. The design should help you inform, teach, and connect with your audience. Every element should embody your values and reflect what people should expect in your books. This article focuses on some of the best author website design tips.
Read on for the best design ideas that will help you build a perfect writer’s website.
1. Prioritize Site Speed
The most overlooked website design feature by authors is site speed. You can never get the results you desire with a slow website as users won’t be patient enough to wait. According to SEMRush, a good goal for the time a website takes to load should be 1-2 seconds.
Good website loading speeds increase visitor dwell time on your website. Search engines also consider this factor when ranking sites because user experience matters to them. A fast-loading website increases the chances of your visitors buying a book from you.
The internet marketplace has become too competitive. Sometimes you may not know what it takes to build a responsive website. Thankfully you can hire a web design company that will professionally blend style, functionality, and speed to create a website that embodies your brand image.
2. Keep it Clean and Simple
An uncluttered website looks good and professional to its users. One of the best design elements that have worked for big brands is the use of white spaces. Too much graphics and unnecessary textual content make your website lose its appeal, which can hurt your reputation.
Keep it as simple as possible because users don’t like browsing complex sites. Sticking with standard layouts helps enhance the simplicity of your website. You can also consider using a single-column design in place of sidebars. That’s because sidebars are getting phased out slowly in modern designs.
3. Have A Sign-Up Form
Email marketing is a growing trend that has helped different businesses increase conversions. As an author, you need to build your email list of dedicated readers. Most of the people clicking on your website love reading, and having a sign-up form on your website can help you collect their emails.
It is vital to make it as easy as possible for interested people to join your email list. Giving incentives can be one of the best ways to attract people to fill your sign-up form. Once you have a substantial number of readers, send them regular updates and content to build trust with them.
4. Use a Content Management System (CMS)
Using a CMS gives you maximum control over your website. You can update the website with fresh content effortlessly at any time and even make changes to existing content. You need to ensure that the web design company you work with configures the site to work with a CMS.
There are several CMSs available in the market today. The CMS you choose for your site depends on your needs and the features that it offers. According to the latest data, the most popular CMS today is WordPress that hosts over 75 million websites. You can consider it for your writer’s website as well.
5. Make it Mobile Friendly
Many internet users today access the web on smartphones and tablets. An author needs to build a mobile responsive website to give these users the best browsing experiences. A responsive website detects the type of device that someone uses and adjusts to display correctly and be navigable.
It is therefore vital to invest in making your website as friendly as possible. Remember, most people may not be seeing you at your best if your website design isn’t responsive. Your website may take too long to load or may show broken menus if not well optimized. That affects user experiences and can hurt trust.
6. Prioritize Scrolling Over Clicking
Presenting information on your website can sometimes be tricky. That is especially when you want to compress it into sliders for better navigation and visibility. The secret to making things look better is putting them on one long page. It can increase your conversions significantly and boost your revenue.
Most internet users prefer scrolling over clicking. You should therefore avoid tucking away important stuff such as a display of the books you’ve authored. It is time to reconsider your design if you’re still using slides and small pages.
7. Include Social Share Buttons
Social media platforms play significant roles in marketing for different businesses. Combining the power of your website and social media platforms can increase your chances of success. You should use your website to make users find and follow you easily on social media.
It would be best to make it possible for people to share content from your website directly to their social pages. You can also write excellent content that attracts people to your website. In the end, you will increase the number of people finding your website through social media.
8. Have a Blog
A blog is another essential feature for every writer’s website out there. According to HubSpot, businesses with blogs get 55% more traffic than those who don’t have blogs. A blog makes it easy for you to create content for your audience and better reach your audience.
Blogs help make businesses more visible, making them worthwhile investments. A writer with a blog establishes themselves as an authority in their niche and industry. It also helps them appeal to potential customers and sell books to them.
They also help you engage your audience in the comment sections. That helps increase your conversion rates. As an author, engaging your audience should never be an option; it is a necessity.
9. Do Search Engine Optimization
Having a blog isn’t enough to guarantee you a huge fanbase. It is vital to invest in the blog so that it appeals to your audience better. One of the best things to do is optimize your blog for search engines. That includes posting relevant content focusing on keywords that your audience regularly searches.
You also need to optimize your primary site for SEO if you blog on a different platform. Good website design, good loading speeds, and mobile-friendliness are some factors that determine your place on search engines.
Ensure that you do good SEO both onsite and offsite for the best results. Having a good grasp of the types of SEO can help you fully optimize your website.
10. Publish a Contact Form
Another design element that you should never forget to include on your website is a contact form. A contact form is what will make it easy for your audience to reach you for inquiries. Dedicating a page that displays your contact details can help you build a wider audience and increase book sales.
It would help if you made the contact page accessible easily from every page on your site. Ensure that you also include as much contact information as possible. It would be best if you also had multiple ways through which people can find you. Include your phone number, email, and clickable links to your social media pages.
11. Include a Testimonials Page
Social proof is vital in today’s online environment. Even before people read your content, they do an online search about it. The internet has negative and positive reviews of different authors. With this page, people can know what to expect from you and decide whether to reach out to you or not.
If they come to your site, they also should find a testimonial page there. You can screenshot positive reviews from past clients and post them on this page. It is also possible to allow users to review you directly on your website. A testimonials page is no longer optional in this time and age, as building trust is now essential.
12. Direct Attention with Visual Cues
Another trend that’s growing every day is the use of visual cues. Images and videos are becoming popular as website owners look for easy ways to reach out to their target audiences. These visual cues communicate information that could have been put in large chunks of text more easily.
You can consider using these cues in your website content. But then, you need to be careful not to overuse them as they can also irritate your audience. Proper use of visual cues can help you pass messages easily without cluttering your website or affecting its responsiveness.
A good writer’s website needs to have all the elements that appeal to the author’s target audience. Primary design elements like responsiveness, mobile-friendliness, and excellent site speeds are no-brainers. There needs to be a blog with relevant content that’s also well optimized for search engines.
We have mentioned most of the design elements to include in your website as a writer. Ensure that the overall design represents your brand correctly. Good search engine optimization can help to take your website to the next level. The tips mentioned above are good for SEO and good rankings on SERPs.