Portfolio Website Expert Advice | 5 Principles Of Effective Photography Websites That Convert!
Portfolio Website Expert Advice | Your website is much like a digital storefront window – it’s the very first point of contact most your potential clients will have with you and your business, and the impression it leaves is more than likely to be the critical difference between success and failure of your business venture. The importance of setting up a great website becomes even more apparent once you realize there’s almost a million photography websites already out there. The good news, however, is that setting up a website that stands out and converts visitors into paying clients doesn’t have to be expensive or overwhelming.
If you do a quick Google search and check out some of the results, you’ll see most of the photography websites out there have one thing in common: they look terrible! While this definitely reflect badly on the photography industry as a whole, it makes setting up a website that keeps you a step ahead of the competition a lot easier. To help you get started on the right track and set up a website that works as hard as you do, we put together a list of the most important web elements that will help grow your client base. Whether you’re just starting out and you’re curious what makes a website great, or you already have a website up and running and you want to check if there’s anything you can improve to get better results, we’re sure you’ll find something new in this list, so let’s dive right in!
Simplicity | Portfolio Website Expert Advice
There are thousands of way we say this, but we’ll take our own advice here and keep it simple: Keep the design of your photography website simple. And no, “simple” doesn’t have to be synonymous with “boring!” The benefits of a simple design are practically endless – not only will it help you ensure your website loads faster, but it will also push your work front and center, where it belongs! At the end of the day, if your visitors can’t stop raving about the design of your website, barely mentioning your work, you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.
A complex design with tons of needless animations, shadows, textures, and other design elements will definitely stand out from all the photography websites out there, but it also might end up overshadowing your work and making the website difficult to use. Don’t distract your visitors; instead, make it as easy as possible to use your website and get from one page to another. This is why simplifying the navigation bar is critical for user experience. Resist the temptation to include every possible link in the navigation bar and limit your selection to 5-7 links to the most important pages. All other links can be tucked away neatly in a sidebar or even the footer of the page.
Speed | Portfolio Website Expert Advice
We’ve all become incredibly impatient and we expect instant gratification, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the same goes for our web habits. The average web user expects a website to load pretty much instantly, and will wait only a few seconds. This means you only have a few seconds to impress a visitor enough to make them stay, which isn’t an easy task, especially when it comes to image-heavy websites. This is why you should optimize each photo you upload and make sure you don’t upload too many of them, as it will take your website considerably longer to finish loading.
Accessibility | Portfolio Website Expert Advice
A few years ago, if you wanted to get the most out of your website, you had to set up two versions, one for the desktop computers and the other one for mobile devices. However, setting up a different version of your website for each screen size available would be an impossible thing to do, which is why whenever we set up a website for a client, we use responsive design. A responsive website will automatically adjust to any screen size by rearranging page elements and putting every pixel of available screen real estate to good use!
If you’re still not convinced you need a responsive website, keep in mind that it’s not just visitors that will take note of website optimization – even Google’s search algorithms have been updated to give higher rankings to mobile-friendly websites. This means that your visitors will be more likely to stick around and view your work for longer, but they’ll also be more likely to find your website when they google the services you’re offering. To get even better rankings, consider setting up a blog on your website, in addition to make it fully responsive.
A Regularly Updated Blog | Portfolio Website Expert Advice
Photography websites are notorious for the lack of copy, which can be devastating for search engine optimization, as they still can’t figure out what the photos are about, and can only index the actual text. By setting up a blog on your website, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to use your target keywords in an organic way. It’s not only search engines that love fresh content – your visitors will love it to, and they will have a reason to keep coming to your website even after viewing your entire portfolio. Blog about things you think they might be interested in, from tips, tricks, and industry secrets to sharing quick updates on your most recent shoots.