I'm Linnae Harris, web designer and photographer!
These are my top suggestion for improving your photography website strategy.
In today’s market, there’s tons of competition and people have less patience online. People are busy and don’t want to waste their time. They want answers and want them now. Make it easy for them!
The “above the fold” refers to the top of your website BEFORE you start scrolling. This is the most important part of your site.
This is where you NEED to capture your audience’s attention and it happens in about 7 seconds. No kidding.
You want your very best image or images combined with a killer intro. In your intro, you want to answer your audience’s most basic questions such as “Who are you?”, “What do you offer?”, “Where are you located?” This may also be referred to as a brand message.
You may also hint as to what makes you different from your competition.
This target-focused message combined with your amazing photography, will ensure those who land on your website will instantly know if you are a good fit for them.
What to learn more about creating a strong brand message? Read this blog article.
Your brand story is created using information about who you are, what you offer and combining that with your ideal client and their problem or “pain point”.
In my Super Strategy Sessions, I coach my clients to follow the Storybrand framework. Donald Miller used to be a movie screenwriter. He developed a framework of applying key storytelling elements to create a compelling story to use for your business’s website and marketing.
You can weave this story throughout the pages of your site to create a strong emotional impact. Humans naturally gravitate to stories. Archeologists have found evidence of stories in even the most ancient of civilizations. While technology has drastically advanced, society’s love of a great story has been constant.
Sometimes the easiest step is also the easiest to forget. You did all the hard work to get a client to want to hire you but now what? Remember, the second they press that little “X” to close your site you’ve lost them again.
Make sure you give them an easy way to contact you while you have their attention. Be direct and tell them exactly how to reach out to you.
Don’t be shy with those “contact me” buttons!
Ideally you will want a CTA (call to action) button at the top and bottom of each page. If the page is long, consider adding one or two more. Make sure your button stands out visually!
This may seem like common sense, but often photographers will have older images on their site that no longer fit their business. Perhaps the photographer has developed their editing technique and is moving in a new direction or shooting a new genre.
It’s important to keep your site updated and current. If you website is classically posed outdoor family portraits but now you like to be a little more spontaneous and have families move and play during a session. If your website is filled with a lot of posed and directed shots, you will attract client that aren’t a good fit for you.
Weed out the images that no longer feel like you.
I use the Showit platform. It’s very easy to add and subtract images from your galleries and pages. Check it out if you feel like your platform doesn’t make this task easy.
There are some tasks you will do ON your website and some things that you’ll need to do outside of your website.
This is a complex subject so it’s impossible to give a short answer but at a minimum you will want to make sure you have (1) only one H1 tag per page (2) have the title using key words and your brand name (example -Linnae Designs | Photography website designer) (3) create metadescription for each page. This is used to entice the viewer to click on your page. (4) use file names and descriptions for many of your images.
I have an article that gives a little more info HERE.
The evolutionary wiring of our brains makes us respond to certain emotions in a fairly consistent and predictable fashion. We like to hire and do business with the people we like and trust. We like to be in control. We like to avoid risks. We’re influenced by social proof and what others say.
According to “The Psychology of a website” by Matthew Capala, “….trusting and liking are usually triggered subconsciously, almost automatically, during the first few seconds of an interaction with a website…”
This is why I think it’s so important to add testimonials, reviews, “Featured on” and awards on all the websites I create. Even if your prospects don’t read it all, they’ll pick up on it subconsciously and will be influenced by the kind words and accolades.
Testimonials are best to sprinkle throughout your website rather than having a dedicated page of “love notes” or a block that someone has to click through. Most likely they won’t do that.
If someone lands on your site but isn’t ready to book, do you have a way to capture their name and email so that you can continue to communicate with them?
Successful photographers usually have multiple ways to market themselves. They don’t just rely on one strategy. Having a newsletter is one great way to market yourself.
If you don’t have a email capture, I suggest you create one. What topic do you think your ideal client will be most interested in? You can direct them to a blog post, a pdf or make a quiz like I did. I made my quiz using the free version of Interact and then embedded on my site.
HI! I’m Linnae! 😉
Seriously, though, there is nothing wrong with knowing your strengths and limitations and getting outside help if you need it. Professionals are out there for a reason and sometimes the best decision you can make is to take a helping hand that can help ease the process and take you to the next level. If you need help with your photography website strategy, give me a hollar.
Break up with your bland vanilla website that is just NOT working!