I have designed well over 30 websites (!) now and I keep seeing the same mistake pop up on author website homepages.
It’s not pop-ups done wrong (though they were a close second!)
And it’s not having your recent releases prominently displayed (please make it easy for visitors!)
It is…. (drum roll please)
WAYYYYYY too much information on the homepage.
Yep, the homepage is arguably the most important page on your website and what I see is authors jam pack everything on there, thinking that it will help visitors find what they need. After all, literally everything is on that page. But, instead of being a helpful tool it can lead to overwhelm and your website visitors choosing to click out rather than dig for the information they need.
So here are a few helpful hints when designing your author website homepage:
- Put information on your newest release at the top of your website. If you want to add a blurb, don’t put the whole thing: put a quick (1-2 sentences) snippet with a “Read More” link
- Separate your information into sections. I see a lot of never-ending scrolling websites that have information on new releases, then some teasers mixed in with reviews and buy links – it looks cluttered and disorganized.
- Have a maximum of 2 newsletter opt-ins – one near the top and one near the bottom. Up top so they get a “taste” of the value you will be providing and on the bottom because they’ve spent time on your website and now see the value and want in!
Remember that the main purpose of your website is to sell your brand and your books. Don’t make it difficult or confusing for readers looking to learn about you by throwing too much information at them. Your homepage needs to be clean, concise and easy-to-navigate so leave all the extra for the other pages on your website.