As photographers we want the world to see our work; we want them to visit our photography website. But what makes a great photography website? There is no magic formula, no template to follow etc. It takes hard work to put your work out there on your photography website. I’m going to give you 5 tips for a better photography website that will help you catapult you and your website to the forefront of the customers you are seeking.
Keep the Flash on Your Camera and Not Your Photography Website
Remember when Flash was the big thing online? It felt like every website was flash based. Today, not so much. Flash is a dying breed. A majority of the market share of smart phones and tablets don’t support Flash and with the number of people browsing the web via their smart phone or tablet it’s a better safe bet that if you have a Flash website no one will see it. You can achieve the same effects of Flash by using the latest in CSS and jQuery technologies. And if you hired someone to build your website and they mention Flash, run. Run fast. Run far. Just run!
Blog Then Blog Some More
Blogging is a great way for potential customers to see your latest work and not to mention your personality. Be yourself when you blog; readers will appreciate it. WordPress is a great blogging platform for your website. It’s easy to use and there are plenty of themes and plugins out there to help customize your website. Here is a list of essential WordPress plugins for photographers I put together to help get your started. Not to mention the more your blog the more of your content is out there for people to look at which helps with your SEO.
SEO, SEO, SEO
Ah SEO. The one thing all of us photographers need for our website to show up on the first page of results on Google and the one thing that many of us are not so educated about. Without SEO, you can forget anyone finding your website when they do either a Google or Bing search. What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. How does one improve on SEO? Well, it’s not an easy process or a quick one either. SEO takes time and effort. And SEO is always evolving so you have to be on your toes. Before links to your website were a major factor in SEO, but now it has taken a back seat to content. Not to say links to your website aren’t important, because they truly are essential, but it is not the main thing you need to focus on. Here is 5 tips for better SEO that should help get you on the right path.
Choose Your Photos Carefully
There is nothing wrong with being proud with every photo you have taken; that just doesn’t mean you need to share them all on your photography website. Prospective clients don’t want to sit through hundreds of photos of your cat Muffy or of your niece’s recital just to see the work they’re interested in hiring you for. Your photography website is your resume and if your resume is 25 pages long, no one is going to take the time to view it. They can go elsewhere where someone only has a a handful of photos to show and those are the types of photos potential clients want to see. So keep your photos to around 10-15 per gallery. That way it loads fast and your potential clients don’t have to spend hours scrolling through photos.
It is also imperative that you only select your best work. A good practice is to send either friends or family, people you trust, and/or even to some photographers you know and have them select their favorite 15 and see which photos they choose. Maybe everyone is drawn to this one photo, but you never really thought much about it. Sure you want to show your best work, but you also want your potential clients to see your best work that will make them want to hire you.
You ever wonder why every time you go to your inbox you never see one inquiry or email from your website? Believe it or not, most people will create a contact page, but never take the time to try it out. Maybe you are getting tons of emails from your website but they’re going to the wrong email address. Image all the money you’re missing out on because you didn’t test your own contact page. Checking it once is not enough. Maybe weekly tests are needed but at least checking once a month is a must. You don’t want to be flipping burgers kicking yourself because you forgot to test your contact page and you missed out tons of opportunities.
Don’t let your contact page be the only place potential clients can contact you. Include links to your social media. In your bio section of your social media profiles, put your email address and your website as well. Have a monthly newsletter? Put a sign up form on your page. Is your photography business listed on PPA, WeddingWire, Fredmiranda.com etc? Make sure to add your contact info there is well. The more people are able to contact and reach you, the more chances you have of obtaining their business.