So you just got your voiceover demos done. Congratulations! If you don’t already have a website, you’re probably thinking of building one. But there are a few things to consider before you start that can impact the site-building process.
As a project manager at Voice Actor Websites, I was on a panel discussion with our team on a recent podcast of Voice Over Body Shop discussing these very things, so I wanted to break them down for you here.
Let’s back up just for a second. There is one item that goes without saying really, and that is your demo(s). There are times when folks want to launch a site without having their demos, so that really is the number one showstopper for a site. If you don’t have a demo to show, you’re probably not ready for a website. Work on that first, then focus on your website.
To Brand Or Not To Brand Your Voice
You have probably seen many other websites with cool branding either with logos, taglines, caricatures, and you’re probably thinking “I gotta have a brand!”
No, you don’t.
If you have already one, great – go with it! But for most folks, especially those just starting out, a brand is not required. I have noticed that some people put the pressure on themselves to develop a brand which can lead to overthinking their site design and frustration.
When I work with talent on their sites, we always have an eye towards branding. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll land on one right off the bat. Knowing what kind of work, genres, and clientele your voice is best suited for is the first thing you need to consider. You can then tailor your site and brand towards those genres either with a logo, or image, a unique font, or a tagline. You may not know what that brand is and that is OK!
For example, you may want to work on animations or video games but end up booking more work for e-learning, corporate, or even audiobooks. All of a sudden that wild and wacky animated caricature that you spent all of that time and money on doesn’t really fit you anymore.
Take your time with it.
Cast a wide net with your site early on and keep things clean, simple, and professional. Over time, you’ll get more feedback from clients about your style and ability and you’ll start to see a common theme emerge. You can always update your site with more branding over time.
A great branding book is the Voiceover Achiever by Celia Seigel. Read that and do the branding exercises that she lays out. Make notes. LOTS of them. I have dozens of pages of branding ideas before I landed on something that suited my voice and work. Do this prior to your website design so that you have a solid idea going into it so that you don’t struggle with rethinking your design during the process.
Website Images and Headshots
Imagery is a big part of website design. It may be a headshot or perhaps a nice photo you took on a vacation. While we work with imagery all the time, there are some limitations that can interfere with a design.
Often times, headshots or imagery that you may have are low resolution images. Low resolution images do not work well on a website – they will looks pixelated when trying to fit into the dimensions of a site. Or perhaps your current photos may be cropped or have background features that interfere with the site layout. So the images that you wanted to use on your site may not work. We can help evaluate what current images might work and provide pointers so that your next photo shoot will result in some really nice photos that will work well with your site design.
How Do I Get My Voice Over Site To Rank High For SEO
I get asked this question a lot. Well, there are 2 types of sites – one that is an extension of your demos on a one-page landing site for direct marketing purposes – or an SEO heavy site that can help drive traffic to your site. They are two totally different animals. While a nicely designed and branded one-page site is great to send to potential clients, a one-page site can only do so much SEO-wise. There are literally hundreds of factors that goes into site SEO ranking – here is a small batch of factors that affect SEO ranking.
An SEO site has multiple pages and subpages – maybe dozens or hundreds of pages. Each of those pages has relevant content that folks are interested in reading. This helps with viewer engagement but it also provides content for search engines look for when ranking sites. Here is a textbook example of an SEO site. As you can see, all of the text content on these pages and subpages are what drives a site higher in the ranking.
The more content your site has, the better. This takes a LOT of time and money to develop and just about everyone underestimates the significant commitment needed for an SEO site. So it’s important to consider the purpose of your site and prepare yourself for the fact that:
1) a new, single-page site will not rank high, and…
2) there is a lot more work in store for you for an SEO site.
I enjoy the process of working with other voice talent to highlight and showcase their heart and soul to the world and I pride myself on making the process go as smoothly as possible. Hopefully these considerations will prepare you for your next website.