How current and relevant are our photography websites today? I'm not referring to our images (even though keeping our artwork current is important). Instead, how current and relevant is the presentation of your work, services and mindset as an artist to your customers? Content, in addition to great images, needs to relate to your viewer and customer. (Blogpost image photo by NordWood Themes)
Today, we're sharing how to elevate the visibility and ultimately sales of our photography and related services. This includes:
- Who is our audience and how they are finding us
- Websites that stand out: trends and examples
- Tips and tools to elevate our brand
1. Our Photography Website: Our Audience
Is your audience increasingly engaging in your content? What do you know about your audience? And, are you watching and tracking the following:
- Your customer's initial impression and experience?
- Your website's performance?
- How visitors are finding you?
- What content is interesting your visitors and holding their attention?
2. Yesterday and Today: How do You Stand Out From the Crowd?
Starting several years back and even today, many photography websites feature welcome screens with a big image and menu. Or, they feature a rotating slideshow with the menus at the top taking visitors to our art galleries, blogs and services.
These sites look great with beautiful images, bodies of work and other information showcasing the artists' work.
At the same time, with all of the similarities across artists in look and feel of websites (even though the work is unique to the artist), attracting and retaining our audience is a priority. What worked yesterday benefits from a fresh look and update.
The well known photographers, the veterans, continue their following. There are also amazing, emerging photographers that are successfully navigating the visibility quagmire. They both continue to add to their following using their social media, their network.
But, there's something in common with the new, fast rising photographers and successful, established photographer's websites. Let's take a look at five different sites:
What do you notice? How do your eyes flow across and down on their sites? How many clicks do you go through to discover what the artist is about? Where do their sites take you, in addition to the photography work? Where is their work found in addition to their website?
The artist's websites above share their work, their services in a format that's natural, easy on the eyes. There's a unique vibe when landing on their home page. That vibe threads through their site too.
It's content. Clear, effective content.
We get some insight into who they are as people, the experiences that shape their creativity. They're also sharing their work and services across Instagram, YouTube, TicTok, and through representation in galleries.
Our Photography Websites, like many products and services, go through trends.
Today, photography relevancy is more than great work. Relevancy starts through you creating visual content that's relatable about your work and you. Yes, you.
Blending your brand is a trend and expectation. This includes your both your photography work and you the individual, across multiple channels. At the same time, this melding needs to feel easy and seamless to access and navigate across all channels.
3. Elevate You and Your Brand
Our photography websites and overall visibility relies on accessibility, performance and overall vibe.
Our Photography Website's Visibility and Performance: Inspect & Correct
Verify that users know how to find you. What pops up when you Google your name? Try googling your website's name too. Ask your friends to do the same and get their feedback. Today, I googled a local photographer who shares great work on IG with a very big following (over 50K). She also maintains a website. When I typed in her name in search, her website didn't show up until page two. Not where you want to be!
Validate the performance of your website. What is the user's experience when they land on your site? How fast is your website? How does Google view your website's performance? To know how websites perform on Google, enter your website and a few of your website's URL's in Google Pagespeed Insights (analyzes mobile and desktop for free) and GT Metrix (desktop for free).
Both of these resources analyze the structure and performance of a web page. Within several seconds, a grading along with suggestions are provided to help you know what's needed to make that page faster.
What are my results? I have two distinct websites that I continue to update. My photography website is through a turnkey provider who's responsible for providing performance, templates and visual tools (ex. Zenfolio, SmugMug, PhotoShelter,). When I enter my website into Google Pagespeed Insights, I'm not thrilled with my results but it's ok for now.
My lifestyle, travel and photography blog site is a different story. It's a WordPress Site. It's up to me to understand and manage performance in addition to content. For the most part, when I moved into the ‘green rating' in Google Pagespeed Insights, the volume and traction increased significantly.
What is Your Vibe?
Revisit and confirm your brand today. When we started in this photography craft, we were, well photographers. Since that time, our skills grew and offerings expanded.
We're also writing, freelancing, licensing our work, selling on multiple outlets. Plus, social media arms help us reach new audiences. They also require work and consistent action in promoting our work. Does both your website and social efforts reflect you, who you and your brand are today?
When it comes to your brand, you're the boss and in control of making it shine.
How does the vibe of your photography website and other channels complement your work? What's the message you're sending on your site's landing page? How well does it hold your audience? Color schemes, landing pages, images, content, finding your services need to feel inviting and interesting.
Our brand also needs marketing, visibility and accessibility across social media channels. Showcasing work using those channels is both a challenge and opportunity.
Add in, social media images fly in droves to our current and potential customers. There's a gazillion websites and blogs and online art portals. Etsy, Great Big Canvas and many, many other online art selling companies offer art in all forms, competing for mindshare.
With all of the competition, standing out requires that we're unique and creative in promoting and communicating our work, business and ourselves.
Our Photography Websites: Streamline Station for All Things About Us
A streamline station? Exactly. Today's photographers and our online businesses are not just about taking photographs, conducting workshops and/or creating and sending portfolios of events and occasions. While that's what we love to do, our hard work in the background continues to evolve.
Today, we as photographers are Twitterers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, Bloggers, Exhibitors, Instructors, Content Creators, SEO experts, Social Media Contractors, Imaging Licensing and more.
Our brand and work requires us to leverage and integrate our chosen channels to make it easy to find, follow and buy our products and services.