Whether you’re starting your own blog or your developing a website for a client. It’s always a good idea to have some important elements featured in your websites sidebar.
When I first started out, I could never think of what to add to my websites sidebars. My goal was to fill out the blank spaces of a website that lacked content from the client. Then realizing the importance of a website sidebar and knowing that it is more than just a place to fill up with e-junk.
After developing about 5 to 6 websites, I created a basic structure of what I could add to my websites sidebars. The thing that helped me the most was planning each sidebar as much as I planned the rest of the website.
The Importance of a Sidebar
Some people do not realize how important the website sidebar is. Yes it’s a good place to add those fancy extras to your website, but is also a place where you can implement some strong and effective marketing techniques.
You can add newsletter subscriptions, integrate your social media presence, display convenient contact methods and many more.
I think we are focusing more on filling the sidebar up rather than being creative and using it to its real marketing potential.
Your fun widgets may be very entertaining, but if they have no relevance to your websites content and are not helping promote your products and yourself then don’t bother using them.
Remember that the sidebar is where you are going to be featuring a majority of your money making techniques. Displaying advertisements, recommending products and possibly promoting your own products. So it’s a good idea to keep it clean and simple.
What To Add To Your Sidebar
There are many things that you could add to a website sidebar each of them having their own uses. Here is a list of some of the things that I have seen on other peoples websites and you may want to include on your own website.
- Search area
Convenient place for your website visitors to search through your pages and posts. You can feature this in the sidebar.
- Social Media Icons
It’s always a good idea to include your social media widgets in your sidebar. Giving your users the option of keeping up to date with your website through their social media pages.
- Social Media Feeds
You could include your social media feeds showing the updates that are taking place on your fan pages.
- Like/followers counters
Giving users the opportunity to like and share your page then and there without going directly to your page is a handy widget to use.
- Email Newsletter Signups
Make it easy for visitors to quickly subscribe to your email newsletters. This way they can keep up to date with all your latest content.
- E-book promotions
Trying to sell your promotional e-book to your visitors? The best place to feature an e-book is in your sidebar. You could also offer your e-book for free to those who subscribe to your website or blog.
Those of you who are signed up to advertising programs like Google Adsense, where you earn a revenue per click. One of the most popular click through ration locations is located in your websites sidebar.
- Affiliate Products
Signed up to ClickBank or have some amazon products you would like to recommend to others? Write your own personal reviews and promote the products you receive a commission for in your sidebar.
If you’re a business owner and have had some satisfied clients, you should think about adding some testimonials into the sidebar to show the world how good your business is. Ask as many clients as you can to write you a business testimonial.
- About Me
It’s a strong promotional technique to write a personal short bio page for your website. I would add a link to the about page in the sidebar or a brief self biography to display to your audience.
- Related posts, articles, categories
Promote more of your articles through your sidebar.
- Upcoming events
Any special business events you may be hosting and would like your audience to attend, add it to your websites sidebar.
You could add a short marketing video to your sidebar, which will help promote your business and products.
- Contact Information
And add your contact information if you would like people to call or email from the website.
Consider your target audience
I would like you all to consider your audience when you are adding elements to your websites sidebar. Your users may not be impressed if you have a cluttered sidebar that scrolls down the entire page, yet you have a paragraph of content.
You want your sidebar to be a place where they can find and keep up to date with new information for your website or blog. Don’t overwhelm them with tons of widgets.
With each and every element you add to your website sidebar, remember to consider the needs of your visitors. What do you think they would like to hear more about? What interests them the most? What products do they want? Start by asking your visitors these questions throughout your content.
What do you guys think should be added to a website sidebar and why? Leave your comment below.