Bob Baker's Book Promotion Blog

5 Book & Author Web Site Design Tips

There are millions of book and author web pages across the Internet. Most are poorly designed (and that's being kind), many are serviceable at best, and a rare handful are truly attractive and effective. How does your site stack up?

Use these five author web site design tips to make your pages more appealing and profitable.

  1. Focus on the upper left. Eye tracking research reveals that web users look first at the upper left corner of a web page, then work their way down and to the right. So place your name or an eye-catching image in this powerful upper left-hand corner. (Note Scott Turow's home page above.)

  2. Give visitors "eye anchors" lower on the page. People generally scan lower portions of a web page. So don't place lots of long, scrolling text on your pages. Instead, use short paragraphs, bullet points, book cover images, and bold sub headlines to draw attention to the things you want people to read, know about, and click on.

  3. Place navigation links along the top. You probably already know that it's a good idea to place your navigation (links to other sections of your site) in the same place on every page. But where? On the top, right side, left side, or bottom? The verdict is in: Visitors respond best to navigation links placed along the top of the page.

  4. Spell out your "call to action." On each page of your book or author web site, you should have a goal -- something you want a visitor to DO while on that page. It might be read an excerpt, subscribe to your ezine, come to an event, purchase a book, etc. Whatever it is, make that clear and include a "call to action" -- clear instructions to do that thing now.

  5. Watch someone surf your web site. Corporate types call this usability research. You can call it whatever you want, but you'll learn a ton by simply watching different people go to your web site for the first time, even if they are simply friends and family members. Don't interrupt or make suggestions. Just observe. Then ask and answer questions. This exercise will prove invaluable when it comes to making your author web site better.

For more good web page design tips, visit

Scientific Web Design: 23 Actionable Lessons from Eye-Tracking Studies

10 Landing Page Optimization Tactics

9 Common Mistakes in Landing Page Design

Creating Effective Landing Pages

10-Point Checklist for Landing Page Design

-Bob

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