How to Strategically Use Your Website Sidebar
The sidebar is an important part of your website. It can add to the beauty of your design and it can help you guide your website visitors to specific elements of your website that are important to you, like your signup forms, your Instagram profile, blog post categories, etc.
Below, I listed some elements that are great options for your website sidebar. There's one thing to note with this, though: Oftentimes, the elements that you place in your sidebar are pushed all the way to the bottom of your website, when someone is viewing it on a mobile device. This is something that automatically happens with most mobile-friendly designs to make it easier to navigate for your website visitors. So keep this in mind and remember, you shouldn’t add too much to your sidebar to prevent people from having to scroll on and on for too long, when viewing your website on a mobile device.
1. Welcoming and authentic photo of you
If you don’t have a photo of yourself in the main part of your web page, it’s good to have a photo of yourself in the sidebar. This helps website visitors to "put a face with a website" (instead of a face with a name lol). You can link to your “about” page using the photo to make it super easy for someone to learn more about you. This will allow them to simply click your photo to go straight to your about page. Be sure the photo captures your personality and be sure it comes off as welcoming to help people connect with you.
2. Sentence or two about you or your business
If you include a photo of yourself in your sidebar, include a sentence or two about you or your business. What are you passionate about? Who do you help? This helps to paint a more clear picture of your website to your visitors. You can also emphasize the main benefit that your readers or customers will be getting from you, in these sentances.
3. Social media icons that compliment your design
Be sure to include social media icons that lead to your social media accounts. This will help website visitors to get even more social proof from you by checking out your profiles. It can also help you to get more social media followers because it encourages people to follow you after they've been impressed by your website.
People will sometimes include previews of their most important social media feeds in the sidebar, as well. This really helps them to get more followers where they really want them by showing website visitors the best highlights of their social media reels.
4. Blog post categories for easy navigation
If you have a blog on your website, it’s important to include blog post categories, so you can help easily guide readers to the topics that they're interested in. This can also help you get more page views because you're encouraging them to view more content.
5. Link to your best opt-in incentive
It's crucial to link to your opt-in incentives in multiple places on your website. Including a link to yoru best incentive in your website sidebar is a great way to call more attention to it and to help it stand out. You can create a simple graphic for it and then place that graphic in the side bar to lead people to the signup form.
There are other things that you could include, like popular posts or links to shop your favorites, if you’re a fashion of lifestyle blogger, using an affiliate link program. The sky is the limit! Just be sure to think strategically about the elements that you're including because you always want to design every area of your website with a purpose in mind!