Web Essentials | What It Takes To Build An Effective Photography Website
Web Essentials | One of the first things you should do when starting your photography business is to set up a portfolio website that shows off your work and gives your potential clients the information they need to hire you. Showcasing an image based portfolio on a website can be a tricky task. It’s usually a lot different than a normal business website. The more creative you can be, while still focusing on the main goal of your website, the more attention you’ll get.
In addition to stunning images, what features are found in successful photography portfolios? What are the most essential things to consider when presenting your best work? What elements will help you turn website visitors into paying clients? Building a showcase of photographs is not a simple task and most of the time the photographers have basic or no knowledge of web design whatsoever. Moreover, designing such a portfolio in which the images have to be in focus is a tricky task and even the more experienced designers might fail providing an effective layout. Here are six simple tips to help you boost your website’s performance.
Consider Your Target Demographic | Web Essentials
Your portfolio has to appeal to your target demographic, whether it is a couple looking for a wedding shoot, or an agency looking for a commercial shoot. If your portfolio gives off the wrong impression, you won’t get any of the clients you want. If you are a wedding photographer, for example, the look and feel of your website should be similar to a wedding album. It should have the softness and warmth to reflect that event.
Avoid Flash | Web Essentials
Flash websites are websites that are actually a type of interactive video file that people can engage with. They were very popular a few years ago because they had lots of fancy animations and looked super professional. Unfortunately, Flash takes a long time to load, it is not search engine friendly, some devices can’t load it, and they often look overdone. If you are choosing a photography website designer, make sure to ask first if they are going to use Flash. If so, run away.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) | Web Essentials
Search Engine Optimization is likely the most essential thing you can do for your website. We no longer live in the internet era where you can just make a website, and search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo will eventually pick up your content and start showing it for those who search. The best tip for boosting your portfolio’s SEO is to add Alt and Title tags to every image you upload! These tags are meta tags that you can add to a photo so Google knows what is represented in the image.
Showcase Your Work | Web Essentials
When a potential client goes to your see your portfolio, they expect to see high resolution, professional looking images. So give them that! The old saying is true: “Your portfolio is only as good as your worst image.” Make sure there are no weak images in your portfolio. Use only a few of your best quality images and make sure that they’re shown on your website with an height or width of at least 800px. If you’re worried about copyright use a watermark.
Make The Navigation Easy | Web Essentials
When it comes to creating a menu bar for your website with links to the different pages, DO NOT GET CREATIVE! Make the website dead simple to use. If your portfolio is too hard to use, your visitors will be easily turned off and will produce more negative feelings towards your work. Rethink your navigation, making it as easy and natural as possible to use.
Make It Easy For Your Users To Contact You | Web Essentials
Regardless of how good your work is, if your visitor can’t get in touch with you, you’re not getting any work. It is critical to lead the visitor to your contact page if possible, otherwise always make it clear that he can contact you right away. Having the e-mail address in the footer might work too, but it depends a lot on your layout. You can put whatever you want for your contact details, just make sure that whatever you do put, is correct. A simple phone number will do, although if a potential client isn’t fond of the telephone, it may be better if they knew your email address as well.