Your Homepage is the most visited page on your website. It's your best chance to make a great first impression. You'll want to grab your visitors attention, and keep it! So what's the best way to create an engaging homepage?
Think of it as a snapshot of the rest of your website. You’ll want to give people a quick intro to yourself, your music, and your brand. To do that, pull snippets of content from those other pages, then make it look visually appealing. It's easier than it sounds. Let's dive in!
Header image on brand
In band website design, a great header image is your first chance to make a lasting impression. It may even be a more important way to catch someone’s interest than your songs. Be sure to choose a header image that visually represents your band, and your style of music.
This might mean booking a professional photo session or using a stock image that captures who you are. Get some images of yourself, or your full band. Try some photos that are farther away, and landscape-style (longer than they are wide). Then you'll have lots to choose from.
If you have lots of great images that work together to tell your story, make use of a slideshow header to add up to 5 images. This will give your website a bit of motion and show different sides of you.
Sam Sweeney uses different images on his folk music website, giving his visitors a glance at his serious side, as well as some high energy live shots. With these fantastic images, you can't help but want to learn more about him.
Highlight your music
This is key for any musician - make your music easy to listen to! Most people arriving to your website will already know that you make music. So add a sample of your music right to your Homepage.
You can do this by placing a compact music player on your page, or a site wide music player at the bottom of your page. Another option is to add a video of a recent song to stream on your Homepage.
The easier it is to spot and click play on your music, the more people will listen to it. So show your best track or two here, then save your other songs for your Music page.
As soon as someone gets to your website, it should be clear to them who you are and what you do. Add just a sentence or two that describes you in relatable terms.
Briefly mention your genre of music, and what it sounds like. Imagine a blogger or venue owner is coming to your website to grab a short paragraph of text about you. Write out something short and to the point, with personality.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with something, use a recent quote about your album or a live show.
Call to action
You might feel tempted to toss all kinds of information about you onto your Homepage. For a better website design, use a call to action as something to direct your visitors' attention.
Some examples of things to highlight with a call to action include: your latest album, your mailing list, an upcoming event, or a noteworthy news item. You can change this up at any time.
Your mailing list
Grow your mailing list by adding mailing list signup form right to your Homepage. Give away a free track in exchange for an email address, and be sure to put your signup form somewhere easy to spot!
Many of your website visitors will already know who you are, and a free track will be the nudge they need to sign up.
Changing things often on your Homepage is good for a few reasons. It engages your fans, and reminds them to come back for new content. Plus, it helps your website rank better in Google search.
To keep things updated, add a blog feature with recent news items. Not sure if you'll be able to post blog entries regularly? Add a Twitter widget, or an Instagram widget instead.
These will populate with content automatically whenever you post on your social media sites. It will make your Homepage appear fresh and up to date!
Social media icons
With so many social media sites out there, it's hard to choose which ones you'll want to add to your Homepage. Choose the sites that most people are familiar with, and that you are most active on.
Placing 3 to 5 social media sites in your content area is just about right. It's good to show fans that you are active on social media, but you want people to stay and check out your content. Your website is your home on the web, after all.
Keep it Organized
Remember that most website visitors will spend only a few seconds glancing over your Homepage before deciding where to click next. You'll want to be sure that they get a organized impression of you. A cluttered up Homepage will make you seem unprofessional. So pick only the best things to add to your page.
To present your content in an organized manner, make use of columns, and mix up a balance of text and images on the page.
I hope these examples help you shape your Homepage into a welcoming impression of you as an artist. Keep it organized and up to date, and your visitors will find it much easier to learn about you, and listen to your music!