On February 12, many of the world’s greatest musicians will gather to be honored for their craft. Many of those musicians aren’t just good at music though; they (and their marketing teams) have built websites that offer great examples of how to do web marketing well. To honor their skills at another type of craft, we at HostGator have decided to provide our own awards to Grammy nominees based on the marketing savvy on display on their websites.
Without further ado, here are 2017’s winners of the Snappys.
Best Landing Page
Winner: Lukas Graham
A good landing page is focused on trying to get visitors to do one specific thing. That means the action you want your visitors to take should be clear, the case for doing so briefly made, and the page designed to minimize distractions.
People who navigate to Lukas Graham’s website are hit with a page that is a perfect case study in all the best practices of a good landing page.
First, you know right away what action this page wants you to take: Sign up. Then, they sum up in just a few words what you get when you do so: exclusive updates and special offers. Other than those words and the sign up box, the only other thing on the page is the small link in the top right to enter the main website. The page checks all the boxes for a high-converting, well-designed landing page.
Most Intuitive Web Design
You want anybody landing on your website to be able to find whatever they’re looking for easily and quickly. Drake’s website has a simple, clean design that puts all the navigation options front and center (well, to the left) where any visitor can find them.
All the information you could need is right there in the left-hand menu. Our only complaint about Drake’s website: he falls prey to one of our top ten homepage mistakes by including an autoplay video.
Most Unique Web Layout
Part of the appeal of a pop star like Rihanna is that she’s always bringing something new and fresh to the scene. In her website, as in her songs and style, Rihanna doesn’t bother with the conventional. She does something entirely different.
While she keeps the left-hand menu for intuitive navigation, the rest of Rihanna’s home page provides a unique visual layout that looks great and allows users to navigate the site via images. When you scroll over each image, you get a little more information to help you decide whether or not to click.
In spite of being different than the design choices commonly used on websites, Rihanna’s layout is easy for visitors to figure out and it looks good.
Best Website Visuals
Winner: Sturgill Simpson
Sturgill Simpson’s website has a distinct illustration style that immediately gives the website character and provides a visual theme that ties back to the artist’s album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth.
The whole website keeps up the visual style, making it thematically resonant and attractive throughout.
Best Website Photography
While Simpson does a great job with illustrations, Beyoncé is the queen of great photography. Her website’s design centers on beautiful photos of Queen Bey herself, her costumes, her performances and any other great visual mementos she chooses to share with her followers.
When you photograph like Beyoncé does, why not make that the centerpiece of your website?
For bonus points, her website also has a whole section, #Beygood, devoted to highlighting the singer’s philanthropic efforts and actions fans can take to do good.
Best Website Animation
Winner: Anderson Paak
Some basic animation turns a colorful, alluring image into something you can hardly take your eyes off of, in spite of its simplicity. For a cool touch, the animation on Anderson Paak’s home page is even slightly interactive.
On top of the neat effect the animation has, the page manages to clearly communicate the main thing it wants every visitor to know: where to buy the artist’s music.
Best Mobile Site
With nearly 60% of all searches now happening on mobile devices, no website can afford not to have a mobile friendly version. Adele’s website works great on mobile. It’s visual, the CTA buttons are all big enough to see clearly and click comfortably on a mobile device, and you can scroll down to see your different options.
Just as the Grammys do, we’ve left the most important category for last. With so many websites to choose from, all of which show different strengths, this isn’t an easy category to choose a winner in, but decisions must be made. For 2017, our choice for Best Website from a Grammy contender goes to….
Winner: Sturgill Simpson
The illustrations on the website look great, they tie into the album’s theme, and the website checks a lot of important marketing boxes.
The main page has clear CTAs:
The navigation options are clear and intuitive:
Every page has a CTA to sign up for email updates at the bottom:
And it’s optimized for mobile:
To some degree, musicians have different marketing goals and best practices than a lot of other brands, but every business can learn from looking at good website examples and analyzing why they work. Consider if there’s anything you can borrow from this year’s “Snappys” winners to make your own website stronger.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.