It’s high time to learn the most important features of a perfect photographer website. We have already covered some steps of creating a personal brand: a brand name, a brand logo, and a target audience. We also listed you the benefits of having your own website some time ago on the blog. So now, we decided to move it forward and provide you all the features of a perfect website for a photographer. The list is quite long, so we decided to make it in two parts for you – here comes the first one:
- Contact page
- About page
- The best photos
- Protect your work
- Social media
So get ready to give your current website a serious check-out or to learn in advance what should be included in your site, so it works perfectly for you. Await the second part next week!
First and foremost, the main rule of your website’s design is to be simple. Focus on what’s the most important there – your photos – and remove anything that may seem distracting, so that your visitors won’t leave too soon. It’s not easy to achieve simplicity without sacrificing usability, but it’s really worth the effort. A good and easy design of your website provides your visitors a better experience and encourages them to come back. It’s also important to stick to single background color to better present your photos and expose them in the best possible way.
Your brand name and logo should be clearly visible throughout whole your website (including subpages) as well as all your social media accounts. That’s how you’re recognized most as a photographer so make sure it represents you fully and professionally. It’s really important to keep it everywhere the same so that you won’t confuse your visitors and followers.
How can you make money if you don’t give people the chance to contact you and become your clients? Contact page is actually the most important part of your website. Make sure that it’s clearly visible and easy to find. Add all the forms possible – telephone number, email, contact form, your studio’s address. Different people prefer different forms of communication, so make sure you’re accessible for everyone. The most important thing here though is that your contact info must be correct and updated!
Joanna‘s contact page on Photler
This is second most frequently visited subpage, so you really need to take a good care of its content. As we already discussed in the benefits of having your own website, it’s the place where your visitors can get to know you, before you even meet. And this is what an about page is about. Your bio needs to be well written and include every information about you as a photographer. It has to professional, so instead of mentioning your brand new girl/boyfriend, share your photography-story: where did you learn, what’s your biggest achievement, how do you work. Remember to be truly yourself and add some portrait or video business card (great tool, which we discussed here).
Hibiscus&Nomada‘s about page on Photler
The best photos
It’s absolutely crucial to choose only the best photos you took to put on the website. As it’s becoming more and more poplar to use it as an online portfolio, it’s essential to upload high resolution professional photos. That’s what your visitors want to see! Unless people go “WOW!” over the photo, it shouldn’t go there. It’s also very useful to add the information about the photo: what gear did you use, who’s the model, where it was taken, the company you shot for. The more details, the more passionate you’re considered. Make sure you did a good narrowing down of the number of photos and that they’re viewed in large sizes.
Herbst‘s galleries on Photler
The navigation of your website should be as easy and intuitive as possible. The number of items in the menu should be reduced to the minimum – the perfect number is 5 or 6. The menu itself works best when it’s on the top or on the left side, but no matter the place choice, it should always be in a consistent place on the whole website. Similarly, the menu button or a logo to go back to the homepage always has to be clearly visible. It’s also important for the galleries to be easy to navigate – with right/left arrows and even a keyboard navigation, as well as a quick browsing in and out of galleries. The easier the navigation, the more willingly people visit your website and become your clients. According to ForegroundWeb Blog:
83% of visitors leave a website because it takes too many clicks to get to what they want. So the important areas in the site should be accessible in 2 clicks max.
Protect your work
Today’s advanced technology gives us a lot of possibilities, but also some threads – it’s really hard to prevent stealing your work. You can disable right click or put your photos as a background images, but a tech-capable visitor will always find a way. The most powerful way to protect your works is to embed a watermark on them. It does take more time to process the photo and it may not look as good as you wish it did. But as it’s the safest way, it’s really worth it.
Photo with a watermark taken by Ross Luis Klein
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the crucial elements of the website, as it improves its rankings. This includes both on-site and off-site SEO. The on-site consists of such things, as title and meta description tags, headers, image captions and keywords. It all has to be perfected, so Google can properly index the website as well as attribute value to site’s rankings based on a particular content or keywords. The off-site SEO is all about backlinks, which means getting the other sites to link back to yours. It can be achieved by linking to your website from social media or community accounts, blogging about your website, or having others to blog about you.
The more links, the more the search engines are likely to consider you a credible search result.
Says ForegroundWeb Blog.
A built-in blog is a must so you’d better know how to put some words together. People nowadays love to hear all the behind-the-scenes stories and a blog is a perfect place for providing it to them. It also enables you to promote your works and services, as well as to share the news and upcoming events. It’s your chance to create a personal relationships with your visitors and gain their trust. Blog also has huge SEO benefits, like we said above. Remember:
61% of photo buyers use search engines to look for images.
Just make sure the quality of your writing is always the best (grammar, spelling and punctuation) and that your content varies – use images, videos, infographics – the more visuals, the more people will engage.
When it comes both to the blog and the website in general there’s a rule you can never forget – they always have to be up-to-date. The site which looks old and abandoned will never get clients. Make sure you regularly post new photos, new blog posts, events, special offers, latest achievements – everything! Only passionate photographers gain followers and clients. Even if you don’t have any new materials, there’s nothing wrong in re-posting your old content to remind of it. What’s really important for your business and yourself as well is that you should never give up. Even when you feel your photos aren’t as good as you’d like them to be, or your blog posts are too short – keep pushing! Learning how to overcome such inner resistance and fear of failure really improves your self-confidence and the quality of your work as well.
Hardly any photographer doesn’t have social media accounts – they’re such a powerful tool in today’s world, where most of people treat them almost as their second homes. So first thing you need to add are the buttons or links to your brand’s social profiles. It’ll increase the reach of your works and services, and will make your content easily available for your audience. You need to invest time and energy (maybe even money) on promoting yourself there. On the other hand, you need the share buttons everywhere on your website, so your viewers are able to spread the word about you to their own friends on social media.
There’re a lot of stuff you have to remember to put on your website – and those are only half of our picks! Your brand’s website is your online portfolio, so it’s really important to have it perfected in every detail.
Come back next week for the second part of the article – we’ll show you the rest of the most important features of a perfect photographer website! Sign up for our newsletter so you won’t miss any new post and you’ll be always up-to-date with upcoming steps of creating your own brand as a photographer.