If you're a photographer just starting a photography business, one of the first things you need to do is create a photography website. Do you ever wonder exactly what you need to include on your photography portfolio website in order to optimize it to get photography clients? Here is my list of top 20 things photographers need on their photo websites.
1. A Way to Invite Viewers to Follow You on Social Media
Social media is more than a trend or a tactic that you can use to build an audience. It’s as essential for most industries as a website itself. And merely having a social media “presence” isn’t enough; you have to let people know you’re active on social media by inviting them to interact.
There are many ways to accomplish this; one of the simplest is to extend an invitation – “Follow me on Facebook,” for example, and include a link to your page.
2. Valuable Content
One thing you can do to make your website stand out from the competition is the create content for viewers. Even though you have a photography business and feature content on your website in the form of photos, it's also highly beneficial to feature informational content as well. Not only will it help your photo sessions go smoother, but it will help you stand out as the leader in your area. If you don't have time to blog or struggle with what to say you can take advantage of my pre-written blog posts subscription for photographers.
3. Professional Logo
Make an investment in your brand and your business with a professional logo to represent your business. Be sure to update or refresh your logo whenever you feel it's needed.
4. Easy Navigation.
Is your photography website easy to navigate? Make sure your visitors can find their way around your website quickly and easily. If you’re uncertain about how to accomplish this, then study websites that you visit often. Notice how they guide you through the site. Do they provide relevant and easy to recognize navigation tabs? Does the flow of the site seem logical? Is there a search function so you can head directly to the page or information you’re looking for?
5. Interaction / Comments
Does your website invite visitors to comment on your articles and blog posts? One of the best ways to not only measure engagement, but to also create it, is to take a look at the level of interaction on your website. With WordPress you can turn comments on and off and you can allow comments for a specific period of time.
Engage them in conversation and invite interaction and comments. You’ll not only learn a lot about your audience, you’ll help build a loyal community of clients.
Another option is to include Facebook comments. That way the conversation on your blog is continued on Facebook, where more people are likely to see and interact.
6. Search Field
It doesn’t matter what the foundation is for your website it is important to make it fully searchable by anyone who visits. One of the simple tools you can use to make this happen is a simple search field. There are different search tools you can use.
For example, Custom Search Plugin is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create custom searches. Maybe you want people to be able to search for specific sessions or tips on your site. You can use this tool to add functionality to your website and to help separate your business site from your competition.
7. Contact Form
What do you want people to do when they’re at your site and they have a question or want to schedule a time to meet with you? You might already have a FAQ page (hopefully you do), but what if the answer to a visitor’s question isn’t on that page? You want your visitor to be able to reach out and ask their question. This keeps them engaged and connected to your business.
To make this happen, it has to be easy for them to contact you. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is to have a contact form or an inquiry form on your site. They enter their email address, subject line, and ask their question. You or your customer service assistant receives the message and can promptly respond.
8. FAQ Page
Including a frequently asked questions page on your website helps make it more user friendly. Create a list of the most common questions you receive and turn it into a separate page on your site. As you receive more questions, you can add them to the page.
Also, consider occasionally linking to other important internal pages. This can accomplish two things. It can help keep your visitor on your website longer. And it can help boost the rankings for the page you’re linking to.
9. List Of Awards or Where You've been Featured/Published
If you have been featured in a publication (online or print) make sure it’s documented somewhere on your website. Awards and featured give you a boost in credibility.
If you haven’t won any awards or been featured, that’s okay. You’re certainly not alone. Consider submitting your photos to a publication or entering a photo contest. You can submit images to sites like Two Bright Lights.
10. A Free Download
Everyone loves a freebie. And offering a free download is a great way to get people to opt-in to your e-mail list. Your free content needs to provide unique value to your potential clients. It should solve a problem in an organized and efficient way. Don't forget to keep it simple. It could be a checklist or even a .pdf of your welcome guide.
Testimonials are like mini sales pitches made on your behalf by your clients. Who better to promote you and sell your services? Use these testimonials wisely and place them strategically on your website.
12. About Page
Your website's "About” page can include a variety of information. Consider including information about your vision and mission for your photography business. You can also include a bio with a few personal tidbits as well.
Make sure you have the proper keywords on your website so you can be found on google. Search engine optimization is a strategy that can drive free traffic to your website, so don't ignore this tip.
14. Fast Load Times
Invest in a good web host and make sure the photos you are uploading aren’t so big that they slow down load times. Otherwise people will get impatient and bounce off your website. People generally won't wait more than a few seconds for a site to load.
15. Welcome Video
YouTube, Vimeo and other social video sites have changed the way we interact online. People enjoy being able to put a face with a business. They also like to hear your voice. Consider including a welcome video on your site so your potential clients can connect with you. Even a simple welcome message embedded into your home page or about page would be great.
16. Contact Page
The contact page is simple enough yet it is very important. It should include your contact information even if it’s already been published elsewhere on your site. Include your name, phone numbers, email addresses and physical address (if you have a studio). Also consider including any social media links on this page.
17. Calls To Action
Include a call to action in every blog post you publish on your website – even if you merely want someone to stay on your site and read some more. For example on a blog post featuring session images you might say "see more photos from the session by clicking here" or "call to set up a complimentary consultation". Tell your visitors what to do next and help guide them through your site step by step.
18. Content from Others
Let other people contribute to your blog. Remember, each guest blogger brings their audience with them. You’ll gain more traffic and followers. You’ll also gain credibility by providing your visitors with a variety of valuable content.
19. Community Involvement
Getting involved in your community is great for business. It not only promotes you locally, it provides you with content to share online and helps your ideal client better connect with you. Maybe you have a charity you donate your photo session to for fundraising events or perhaps you donate your time shooting for a cause near and dear to your heart. If so, share about it on your website. For example, if you have a pet photography business you might get involved in a fundraiser for your local humane society.
If you aren't currently involved in any community events, consider getting involved.
Last but certainly not least is photos. It goes without saying that you're going to need photos on a photography website, but some things you need to keep in mind is that your images in your portfolio reflect your ideal client. Also, make sure that your photos are consistent. If you are using a filter when you edit your images make sure you use the filter throughout. And lastly, don't forget to feature a photo or two of you!
These are just 20 ways you can improve your website and make it stand out from your competition. Start with a few of these changes and gradually implement more of them as you are able. Each step you take helps your photography business grow, provides value to your visitors and potential clients, and attracts more people to your photography business.
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