How to fix the biggest problems with voice actor websites
Creating a great voice actor website is challenging. How do you take a product from an audial medium (your voice), and showcase it on a visual one (a screen)?
Unfortunately, many voice over artists - even those who have invested in professional website design - have failed to overcome these challenges. Their websites look dated, don’t work on mobile devices, and aren’t helping them grow their businesses.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The biggest problems with voice actor websites can be fixed. And having a great website that looks current and works well can help you stand out against the competition. Let’s take a look at how to fix the biggest problems with voice actor websites.
Problem: Your website looks dated
Back in 1996, the website for Space Jam was at the forefront of design with a star-patterned background and icons for links made to look like planets. In today’s world of bold photography and typefaces, it would look totally out of place.
The most problematic design trend that endures among voice over websites is the “brochure” approach. Like a flyer you’d get in the mail, these websites try to cram lots of information into a small space. Common hallmarks include sidebars, small images, and big blocks of paragraph text.
The fix: Refresh your website with contemporary design values
Current website design trends are all centred around the user experience. Rather than leaving it up to the user to decide where to focus their attention, contemporary websites are intentional about what actions they want their users to take.
To accomplish this, well-designed websites use lots of white space, clear typography, and crisp imagery to direct the user’s attention. Give your user room to breathe and don’t make them use any brain power to figure out what they should be doing.
Problem: Your website doesn’t work on mobile devices
Did you know that more than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, according to Google?
Did you know that data was published in 2016?
That’s right. For the last six years, more website visits have come from phones than computers. Yet many voice actor websites don’t work properly on mobile - at best, it’s an afterthought.
This isn’t just a user experience problem. Google is less likely to show websites in search results if they don’t work properly on mobile - meaning you could be missing out on a potential audience.
The fix: Design your website for mobile first
Since you’re going to get more traffic from mobile devices, and you’re going to get more love from Google for being mobile-friendly, it stands to reason that you should design your website for mobile devices first, and then worry about larger screens.
Mobile-first website design puts an emphasis on ease of navigation, keeping clickable elements well spaced out, and making it easy to get to content.
Problem: Your website has lots of inconsistencies
Especially if you’re using a DIY builder to make your website, it can be difficult to keep things consistent. The result is often a website that resembles the BBQ Homer Simpson built. All the pieces are there, but it just doesn’t look like it should.
Read also: Should I use Squarespace to build my voice acting website?
The fix: Plan out a framework for your website and stick to it
People are naturally wired to look for patterns and symmetry. Often, just bringing consistency to your website can make it far more pleasing to the eye.
To create consistency across your website, plan out a framework that considers how you will approach elements that repeat themselves. Make rules for spacing (how much room will go between elements?), typography (what fonts and sizes will be used in each situation?), and colours (what colours are used and when?).
Templates can be useful for creating consistency, but only if you don’t deviate too far from the choices provided to you.
Problem: Your website doesn’t showcase you
Many voice actor’s websites don’t showcase the actor themselves. Instead, they hide behind cartoon caricatures, logos, and stock photos.
The problem with this approach is that your product isn’t just your voice; it’s you, personally. When your website doesn’t show visitors who you are, they can’t build a connection with you as a person and are less likely to remember you over your competition.
The fix: Invest in good photography
You don’t need to spend money to invest in good photography. Anyone with a smartphone can get good photos with a little bit of time and effort. Take pictures in good light (go outside for best results), and zoom out to give yourself lots of choices when adding the photos to your website. You’ll be surprised how even just a couple of well-framed photos can completely reinvigorate your website.
A few changes can go a long way
Your website is the one online asset that truly belongs to you. Make sure you're sending the right message: that you're a professional, high-quality voice artist who deserves to be taken seriously.
Embrace contemporary design values, make sure your website works well on mobile, keep things consistent, and use photography to showcase yourself, and you'll be ahead of 99% of your competition.
Most voice actor websites suck. Ours don’t.
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