I get it. As photographers we are creatives. We are artists and we want to showcase our beautiful images to the world in the form of a stunningly presented website. But unfortunately, for many photographers, this can also be our downfall. We make some crucial website mistakes because we are focused more on aesthetics than on what our clients need to see.
Over the last year, I’ve spent a lot of time learning about how to create a killer website (and yes, mine is still a work-in-progress), but I wanted to share with you the most common mistakes that so many photographers making, so that you can make a review of your own website and see if you are making these too.
5 Common Website Mistakes Photographers Make
1. Thinking Your Pictures Alone Will Sell You
Do you think your clients book you just for your photography? Of course they need to like your style, but the chances are they are looking at at least one or two other photographer’s website as well as yours, and unless they are photographers themselves, they probably can’t tell the difference between your editing or your shooting style and someone else’s. In an ever-increasingly saturated industry, you need potential couples to connect with you. And simply showing them your entire back-catalogue of images isn’t going to do that.
There are also some SEO consequences of having an image-heavy homepage. Firstly, and most importantly, Google is looking for good quality sites and good quality is usually associated with written content that is relevant to the service you are offering. Secondly, lots of images can slow your site down. How long do you think someone is going to wait for a page to load?
2. Making It All About YOU
Yes, people need to connect with you BUT talking about yourself before the conversation has even really started isn’t the way to do that. Your homepage is like asking someone on a first date. If you talk about yourself the whole time, you’re probably not going to get asked out on a second date. Simple. Before you start talking about yourself, talk about them. Talk about them. Their dream wedding day. How you understand what they are looking for in a wedding photographer. Don’t start with why YOU love weddings, how long you’ve been a wedding photographer or what your favourite snack is. They aren’t yet invested enough in the relationship to care. That comes later. First you need to get them curious about what you do and then you can tell them more about you.
3. Using Industry Jargon & Poetic Language
Most couples don’t speak wedding photography jargon, but so many photographers have it all over their website. Your clients probably don’t know what “fine art wedding photography” is, what makes your photography “cinematic & timeless”, or what “wedding photojournalism” is.
Another common thing I see is photographers describing what they do in an overly poetic way as the first thing someone reads on their website. You know what I mean. I’m sure you’ve read something like this before:
“Crafting timeless memories that will be cherished for generations”
That all sounds very lovely, but what does that actually mean? Oh, you’ll take photos of our wedding day so that we have something to show our kids in 10 years’ time. Why didn’t you just say that? Speak to them using real-world terms that anyone can understand (without the help of a thesaurus).
4. Holding Your Prices To Ransom
When I first started my business, it was considered standard not to put your prices on your website. The idea was that you’d get a couple to contact you to find out your prices and you’d have the chance to pre-approve them, sell them on the benefits of working with you and build a relationship before you even talked about pricing. But there’s one big problem with this approach. Many couples planning a wedding lead busy lives, cramming in wedding planning during lunch breaks or maybe on their commute. By not giving them any indication of your prices on your website, you’re making it just that little bit harder for them to take the next step. And for a couple who are super busy and overwhelmed with different options, if they can’t find what they are looking for, they might just click away from your site and not come back.
If you don’t want to put your full prices on your website, consider having a “Starting from…” or “Average spend…” so couples know right away if they are willing to pay what you are asking.
5. Not Directly Asking For The Sale
Do you assume that everyone who comes to your website knows what to do next if they want to find out some more information or book you? Can they easily find what they need to do to take the next step? I’m really surprised at how difficult some photographer’s contact forms are to find, and how coy a lot of people are about asking for the sale.
Be clear with people who are visiting your website what you want them to do next. Have a big, bold CONTACT ME button in the top right corner followed my multiple calls to action as they navigate through your site. Be direct and clear. Instead of those cute “Connect” or “Let’s Chat” buttons, try changing them to “Reserve Your Date” or “Schedule A Consultation”.
Try showing your website to a complete stranger. Give them 5 seconds to look at it, then take it away from them and ask them the following questions:
1. What does my business offer?
2. How do I buy it?
If you’d like someone to take a look over your website and give you some feedback on how you could optimise it to convert more browsers in to enquiries, I’m now offering mini 1-hour mentoring sessions where you can “pick my brain” and ask me anything.