How to Grab Peoples' Attention on Your Website


How to grab peoples' attention on your website

Wake up your visitors with an attention-grabbing website!


There's nothing worse than scrolling through a website and being bored by what you see, or not knowing what to do once you're there.  

With your business website, you don't want your visitors to be floundering around wondering what to do - or worse - falling asleep at their desks because your website isn't doing anything for them or showing them why they should get in touch or buy from you.

People are lazy, they need clear direction and stimulation, so give it to them!


Announcement bars

This is really simple to do in Squarespace (and in WordPress you just need an easy plugin like Hello Bar). Simply go to Design > Announcement Bar, and then fill in the text you want! You can edit how it looks in the Style Editor.

Announcement bar
Announcement bar

I find that announcement bars give website visitors an instant focus; it tells them immediately what their purpose should be on your website and brings it to their consciousness more than if they just landed on a normal website.

Announcement bar

Even if you have a clear message/purpose on your home page, what is people land on a different page like your 'About' or blog section? Having an announcement bar that shows up on every page until someone clicks to close it is like having a Call to Action that is always present, which is a good thing!

Buttons in your navigation

If you don't want a bar at the top of the site for design reasons, but you still want clear, attention-grabbing Call to Actions that appear on every page, try turning the last one or two navigation options in your header into buttons to really direct peoples' eyes and focus to that function! We did this on the Dolled Up website to draw peoples' attention to phoning in:

Dolled up

Some templates on Squarespace are built specifically with this feature, such as Bedford, Hayden, Bryant, Anya, Margot, Maple, Miller and more.

Read more about Call to Actions and what they are in my other blog post.

A dynamic home page banner

Everyone and their mother has a full-width image home page banner - and for good reason! They are eye-catching and beautiful, but there are definitely ways to make them more interesting than just a stock photo with some text on the top.

Midnight office

I personally love video background banners (we did this on the Midnight Office website); I think they look great and give an instant 'wow' when people land on your website. Whether it's something with subtle movement, or a really dynamic marketing video about your business, it's always more interesting than a flat image. Again, there are specific Squarespace templates that offer this as a feature.

If you don't want a background video, be sure to use an image that is really eye-catching. Usually images with people work best for this, and it's even better if it's something about the process of your own business! Also, rather than just text on top, try adding a button so that people know what their next step should be.

Interesting fonts/text/graphics

I love using graphics and fonts to catch people off guard; sometimes an unexpected illustration or handwritten font adds something fresh and interesting to an otherwise standard page, and brings peoples' focus back to the message and purpose.  I've done this throughout my own site:

Anna Clark

I'd suggest using these sparingly and only for important effect though! Otherwise it can look busy and overwhelming. 

pop-up Message (use with caution)

I usually recommend against using pop-ups on websites, because I personally find them annoying and distracting. Imagine if a website visitor is focused on your website and about to take action, when a big pop-up appears in their face and makes them forget what they're doing? Not cool!

However, if you have an important message that will be useful and APPRECIATED by your visitors, then I think a pop-up can be effective. Particularly for retail businesses, where you're offering a discount code off someone's first purchase, as this will be appreciated by your visitors who were going to purchase from you anyway. We created one on the Meghna Jewels website:

Meghna jewels

Or for example, an announcement about a certain offer or giveaway you're running at the moment. Just make sure the pop-up is easy to close on desktop AND mobile (really important!) and won't keep popping up for people every time they go on your website. On Squarespace you can create a pop-up by going to Settings > Marketing > Promotional Pop-up and go through the design/text settings there.

Pop up message
Pop up

Be unexpected & intriguing

Try something that people won't expect, or create an element of mystery like we did on Marina's website. When you land on the page, you simply see a dark background with a quote and an arrow directing people to scroll down. 

Marina Fasoli

This creates a sense of interest and makes the visitor sit up in their chair a little as they may not have seen a layout like this before. Sometimes being more subtle is more intriguing!


Need help with a website design? I'm your girl!

Getting Your First Clients as an Online Business


Getting Your First Clients as an Online Business

So you've set up your new online business, now it's time to find some clients!


I've been running my business for around 2 years now, which isn't really that long in the grand scheme of things, but I've been getting a few questions from people wanting to start their own online business but not knowing where to start in terms of getting clients.

Of course I also want to point out that this is from my experience running an online, B2B (business-to-business) service-based business. So some of these things may not be relevant if you are B2C (business-to-consumer), if you sell physical products, or if you have a physical shop/purely local demographic.

Figure out who you're targeting first

The key to getting clients is working out WHO your clients actually are. How can you find them if you don't know where to look? By getting clear on your clients' demographics and interests, you can better understand where they are more likely to find your marketing messaging. Make sure you know:

  • Age, gender, locations
  • Family/background (do they have children or are they single professionals, for example?)
  • A rough idea of income level (high/low/medium - be specific if you can)
  • Career and what industries they're likely to be in
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Other brands & things they like

Read my post about client profiling for more info!

talk to friends & family

It seems so simple and obvious, but it's always worth asking around people you know to see if there are any potential clients to shake out of the woodwork! You never know, your dad's friend's cousin might just be looking for exactly what you're selling, so it's worth a try if you're struggling to begin with.

Go to networking events & Workshops

Even better, talk to people you don't already know and start meeting people in (and out of!) your industry. Making connections and getting to know local business owners can only ever be a good thing; you can recommend clients to each other, learn new things, collaborate and find synergies in other ways that you may not have expected. You could try heading to Facebook to find local groups and meetups, or even places like Meetup.com, and don't forget to check out industry trade shows and conferences too.

Read my 10 tips for getting the most out of going to a conference.

Direct/Physical marketing

Once you've done the background research into who your customers are and where they're likely to be hanging out to find your messaging, it's time to start sending out that messaging! As an online business, you may be able to work with clients all over the place, but it's still a good idea to build a reputation locally as well. From car decals/wraps, flyers and print advertising, to asking relevant local businesses to stock flyers or business cards, there are plenty of things you can do to get your name out there with physical collateral.

Facebook groups & Forums

I believe my first ever two clients came from a Facebook Group! I knew that my target market were interested in learning about marketing and freelancing, so I joined a couple of Facebook Groups for entrepreneurs and start ups and started chatting to people. On some of these groups, people will openly post requests for recommendations, but if not it's important to just engage in the conversation so that people start to recognise you as an expert (and remember not to self-promote in groups where it's not allowed!).

Read more of my tips about Facebook Groups.

HOST a competition/giveaway/OFFER

Another one of my first clients was someone who had won a giveaway I ran! When I was starting out, I really wanted to build my portfolio, so I offered a free logo design as part of a giveaway. This helped me grow my social following a bit (as I asked people to follow me on Facebook and Instagram as part of the giveaway) as well as my portfolio. But it also helped me develop a relationship with someone who later became a paying client because they liked my work so much!

DIGITAL MARKETING/ADVERTISING

Digital & social media marketing is a massive topic and I won't be able to condense it into a paragraph, but for online businesses this really is an important one as it helps you to get seen by people all over the country or the world! As well as social media marketing, there are avenues such as digital ads, influencer marketing, blogging, and email marketing to explore as well.

Some resources:
18 Twitter Tips
Creating Your First Facebook Advert
How To Build an Email List
What Could Pinterest Do For Your Business

Which Social Media Platforms Should You Be Using Anyway?

PR 

Great for start-ups and companies with high growth plans, doing some PR (Public Relations) is a great way to spread the news about your business and get some of your first clients. You could start by creating a press release about your launch or something different you're doing and sending it out to relevant media outlets, or you could create a launch event or publicity stunt that builds hype! The possibilities are endless and you can get as fun and creative as you like. 

Cold emails

When all else fails, there's no harm in doing the 'cold email' or 'cold call' slog. Everyone with a B2B business has to do it at some point, so don't feel embarrassed. Create a list of relevant potential clients (based on your target audience of course!) and come up with some attention-grabbing copy to send in an email to them. I'd recommend keeping contact details and information organised in a CRM system too so you don't go crazy! The subject line of your email and the first sentence are absolutely crucial when pitching your services via email, so have some other people look over it to help as well.


If you haven't already, grab my FREE marketing plan template to help with planning these activities :)


Modern Meets Traditional Craft | Brand & Website for Second That Emotion


New in design portfolio

What happens when you mix modern minimalism with playful creativity?


Local creative, Colin, has recently moved down to Cornwall with a passion for traditional crafts and showcasing local tradesmen and women. He came to me wanting to create a brand and landing page to serve as a jumping off point for his business and help him build a foundation for his ideas.


Brand design

Minimal modern branding byRosanna

It was important that the logo and branding were extremely flexible, so Colin could adapt his business in the direction it takes him without hassle. He had a vision for something modern with strong fonts, that could be paired with different colours & patterns, but that also had a creative/playful element to it.


Business card design

Business card design byRosanna
Business card design byRosanna

Opting for textured & embossed letterpress business cards, we tweaked these until they were just right, and I love the finished result! It's minimalist, but striking at the same time and they definitely feel like an item you wouldn't throw away in a hurry.


Landing page/Mini website design

Squarespace website design

Colin just wanted a simple landing page that would give people an essence of the brand without being too overwhelming or in-depth. We opted for a template that would utilise large, beautiful imagery to speak for the business, but still added a crucial mini 'about' page and contact page with a sign up form too.

I wanted to find a designer who would be open to a strong brief and client involvement during the design process and have found that in Anna, the results are wonderful. Anna bolsters her service with a highly professional attitude and provision of marketing information of real value.
— Colin B

Interested in a brand or website design?

View my full portfolio

or