Most photographers when they start a business only think about photographing clients and forget about the business side. With a market of incredible talent, photographers need to find a way to stand out from the competition.
Photographers can no longer hope clients see their best work and land the jobs they want – they need to improve their business strategy. As more and more creatives struggle with social media, websites are the perfect solution to finding your voice on the Internet. But simply having a website isn’t enough – you need to impress your audience.
When building your website be sure to avoid these 8 common mistakes photographers make:
1. Forgetting Contact Details
This is probably one of the worst mistakes a photographer could make. Sure, you may have the best website, image galleries, or deals. But if your audience has no way of knowing where you are or how to contact you, then all your effort is for nothing.
What you should do – Fortunately, this can be easily corrected. Simply add in your contact details on a Contact Us page or section of your website. Contact information should include your street address, city and state, phone number, email address, and a contact form that users can fill out. Take this a step further by marking your location in Google Maps as well as registering to local directories and social media.
Additionally, having such information is also crucial for local SEO.
2. Not Naming Images
Great photos speak volumes. As visual creatures, humans are instinctively drawn towards vivid, beautifully composed, and compelling images. Unfortunately, Google’s bots cannot see images the way we do. They can only “see” and index images through the image’s alt text. If your photos don’t have alt text, you’re missing out on significant SEO potential.
What you should do – Fill up the title field, alt text, and description of each image on your website. The text doesn’t need to be complex – a simple description will do. The text helps Google determine what your images are all about so it can index them. Subsequently, this will improve your SEO ranking.
3. Not Introducing Yourself
Your audience might be swayed by your impressive photos, but potential clients want to feel connected to the photographer and be assured they are booking a photographer they can trust. Clients want to know if you have the right solutions to their needs, and without introducing yourself, your website will be just as it is – a photo gallery.
Get personal – Have a dedicated About page that tells readers more about you. You can tell the story of how you became a photographer or what inspired you to take up photography. Include your specialties, awards, certifications, attended workshops, samples of your work, and other interesting information about you. Letting your reader know something about you can be the start of a more connected relationship.
4. Poorly Designed Website
Okay, you have your Contact Us page, a nice About page, and a stunning gallery. But everything won’t work out for you if your site layout is confusing, difficult to navigate, or slow to load. Using a poorly designed website will only annoy and confuse readers, causing them to leave your site and look elsewhere for their photography needs.
How to stand out – Look for an up-to-date website builder and website platform that allows you to build a professional website specifically for photographers. They will have the tools, skills, and experience to help you create a beautiful and effective website. With FolioWebsites, photographers can be assured their work will always look its best.
5. Too Many Photos
It can be tempting to put all your best images – every, single, one of your photos – on your website. The more, the merrier, right? Well, not exactly. First, your website’s audience doesn’t have enough time to check out your entire portfolio. Second, checking out too many pictures becomes confusing and more photos means your site takes a longer time to load, which isn’t good for SEO. Remember – you only have a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention.
What you should do – Think quality over quantity. For portfolios, it’s best to choose and display only the best of your work. As a rule of the thumb for portfolios, select around 20 to 30 photos to portray, that shows a variety of your work. Another great way to showcase your client sessions is by regularly blogging your work. Blog posts can feature more images, while still maintaining your audience’s attention.
6. Failing to Resize Photos
Some photographers simply upload the original images to their website. However, this causes problems like pixelation or slow loading time. In order to properly display an image, you need to make a few adjustments to your photos before displaying them.
How to fix this – Adjust the size and resolution of your photos before uploading them. This means you’ll need to compress your photos while maintaining the best quality possible. In case you missed it, here’s our tutorial on compressing images for the Internet in Photoshop.
7. Failing to Make Website Mobile Responsive
According to Blue Corona, over 50% of searches are now being done on mobile devices and if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, your results might not show up in Google searches. Having a mobile responsive site is no longer a “nice to have” but a must-have.
How to check your site – Check to see if your website is mobile friendly. There are guides online, such as this one, to help you create a mobile responsive website. If you’re tech-challenged – don’t worry! FolioWebsites can create a mobile responsive site for you.
8. Failing to Link Social Media
Your site looks gorgeous! But wait! You need a way to connect to your market, and this is where social media comes in. A large amount of business and customer interaction, in all industries, occurs on social media. By not engaging on social media, you’re leaving room in the market for your competitors to emerge.
What you should do – Add visible social media icons on your website so readers can follow you on social. It’s also a great idea to create social media share icons at the end of blog posts for viewers to share on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. In case you missed it, catch up on our 10 Social Media Tips for Growth blog post.
Building the perfect website takes time but with patience and help from skilled professionals, like Folio Websites designers, you’ll soon have a website you can be proud of. How up-to-date is your website? Have you explored how Folio Websites could transform your business?