by Mark Weber, M.Photog.Cr, M.Artist, CPP Summer is just about…
Time to Clean Up Your Website…NOW!
Over the years, I’ve done at least 500 website reviews. From top to bottom, home page to contact page, here are the most common mistakes so many of you are making.
- A visit to your website isn’t fun. A trip to your website should be a fun experience. You’ve got a choice – is your website like a trip to Nordstroms or Walmart the day after Christmas?
- Dead features: Check your website on different platforms EVERY day. Also, check to make sure you look as good on mobile as you do on a desktop!
- Poor navigation: It starts with your home page, then your galleries, about page, blog link, and whatever else is left.
- Stop wasting valuable real estate! Your home page is what everyone sees first. Put your best images right up front and remember to keep as much above the fold as possible. Don’t make your audience work to find what you want them to see most.
- Get rid of mediocre images in your galleries: The first issue is too many images. You don’t need more than a dozen stunning shots to make your point. Those of you sharing hundreds of photos are killing the excitement you can create with ONLY your best work. Only show “wow” photographs. A “wow” print is one that’s so good, it’s the only one you’d need to show to get hired.
- No Relevance: I’m a fan of diversity in both technique and specialty, but it’s got to be logical in the way it all flows. A wedding photographer who’s now offering maternity, newborn, and family portraits hits the sweet spot for so many clients. But if that same artist is trying to capture commercial clients with tabletop work – it’s a different audience.
- Different specialties deserve different websites or pages. Let’s expand on my previous point – if you’re trying to hook commercial clients, the buyers for an ad agency, for example, are going to walk away from your wedding site. And a Mom and bride looking for a wedding photographer aren’t interested in tabletop or car shots. So, keep it logical with relevant connections.
- Irrelevant About pages: For most of you, Mom is the target. She’s not interested in what awards you’ve won and doesn’t know what PPA or WPPI is. It means nothing to her that you scored well in print competition. She also doesn’t care what you shoot with or how your grandfather gave you that very first camera. What she does care about is why you’re an artist. She wants to know if she can trust you to capture the kinds of images she wants of her family.
- Stop writing in the third person! Do your About page in the first person, like an artist’s statement, and include a facsimile of your signature. Be romantic and talk about why you love the craft, how your clients trust you to see through their hearts, and how important memories are to capture and savor.
- Too many policies: I get that you got burned once on a deposit but save acting like a hard-ass for the contract discussion. Too many of you have strict policies on your website that would scare an IRS auditor. They don’t belong in the first visit to your “store.”
- Weak contact information: There’s no such thing as too much contact information, especially a phone number. Contact forms on your website are acceptable, but so often, you don’t respond quickly enough.
- Link to your Blog – but then what? Your website is about what you sell, and your blog is about what’s in your heart. But a link to a blog that’s old and only has new posts every other full moon will hurt you more than help. Keep your blog up to date with information that’s helpful and relevant—post at least twice a week.
Because of the pandemic, there have never been as many people online as there are today. That means a great website is even more critical than ever before. Your website is your storefront. Think about your own shopping experiences. Make a visit to your site something that people remember and, in turn, share with other clients!