- Sign Up For a .photo or .pics Domain Name Today
- 14 Things You'll Want to Know Before Starting a Photography Business
It's no secret that online marketing is the key to your success as a photographer. Well, one of the keys, anyway...
And that online marketing plan starts and ends with having a top-shelf website to showcase your photography.
The problem for some photographers, though, is that their website is actually hurting their business, not helping it.
The other problem is that there is fierce competition amongst photographers for clients.
That means you need to stand out from the crowd with an incredible website that maximizes your value.
Here's a few mistakes you need to avoid when creating your online presence.
Mistake #1: Your URL is too Long
You can't very well expect people to visit your website and recommend that friends and family check it out if the URL is too long to remember.
And that's a problem that's plagued photographers ever since the internet became a widespread thing. That is, it's always been common practice to have the word "photography" in your URL, that way people know what it is that you do.
The problem with that is that photography isn't exactly a short word. And when you combine it with your first and last name, as many photographers do, you end up with a URL that's dozens of characters long.
Aside from being hard to remember, such a long URL is hard to place on things like social media profiles or business cards.
Well, those problems are now a thing of the past...
Think about it...
With a .photo or .pics domain name, people immediately know that you're a photographer. What's more, they're new and unique domains, which means they're more memorable than old .com or .net names.
There's just something about a photography-specific domain name that gives your business a little more credibility, too.
I mean, anyone can have a .com or .net website, but .photo and .pics have an exclusivity about them that will help you take your online marketing to the next level.
Besides, since these domains are new, that means you'll be more likely to get the exact URL you want.
That means that with one of these URLs, you can build your online presence in a more meaningful way as well.
Mistake #2: Your Website is Slow
Living in the times that we do in which we get instant gratification for so many things, having a website that's slow to load could be a death knell for your business.
The top reason why people leave a website is slow performance, so it behooves you to optimize the site to perform at its best, that way you keep the visitors you get on the site.
Additionally, search engines don't look kindly on slow websites, so this is a page-ranking issue as well.
The biggest culprit of slow photography websites is having either too many images or images that have enormous file sizes.
Remember, your website or portfolio needs to be a representation of your very best work - not every photo you've ever taken.
If you have a ton of photos on your site, thin the herd, make a bigger impact with your best photos, and speed up your website at the same time.
And what images you decide to leave on your website should be optimized for the web. No 5-megapixel images! Heck, no 1-megapixel images, either.
Resize the images and reduce the resolution so they load faster. But beware - 72dpi is the norm for web use, but since your living is made off of your photos, you might want to up the resolution a bit, that way when people zoom in on the photos they don't become fuzzy and pixelated.
Try 150dpi and see how that works, adjusting as needed.
If you aren't sure how to optimize your images for the web, check out the video above by A Better Lemonade Stand.
Mistake #3: The Navigation is Complicated
What's the point of having a website if it isn't user-friendly?
You can have an easy URL to remember and a fast-loading site, but if people can't figure out how to navigate once they're there, they will just end up leaving anyway.
In photography, the mantra "keep it simple, stupid" certainly applies because less is often more.
The same principle is applicable to web design as well.
Sure, we all want to have fancy sites that make visitors ooh and aah, but having a visually stunning website shouldn't come at the expense of it being overly complicated to use.
What's more, the fancier and more complicated your website, the less impact your images will have.
That is, don't create something that competes with the photos you've got on display; instead, develop a website that gives your photographs the canvas they need to have maximum visual impact.
I've seen a lot of incredible websites with fancy graphics and animations that were really impressive. But I tend to prefer a photography website that's clean, simple, and uses plain black or white backgrounds so that I can actually pay attention to the photos I'm looking at.
If you can keep your site's design simple, speed up your site's performance, and give potential clients a URL that they can actually remember, you'll likely find that your website serves you far better than it otherwise would!