Your photography business website is one way potential clients can get to know you and size you up against your competition. If you aren't putting your best face forward with an informative and easy-to-navigate website for your business, you could be slashing your earning potential.
On top of that, dialing in certain aspects of your photography website can help your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Good SEO makes it more likely that potential clients will find your photography website when using search engines, and that’s a win!
Mastin Labs CEO Kirk Mastin is a veritable fountain of website wisdom, which he has shared in the community website critique video you can watch above or on our YouTube channel. Watch the video to see his full critiques of two wedding photographers’ websites and find the Cliffs
Every photography business website has six factors to analyze to make sure you're offering your potential clients everything they need to make an informed decision about your services, while avoiding some common photography website mistakes.
Seven Important Must Haves for a Great Photography Business Website
Photography Website Navigation
Keep it simple! Above all, you want to make sure that a visit to your website is a straightforward experience. Less is more, and including too many options can give potential clients "analysis paralysis" and drive them away.
There are also a few important pieces of information that you shouldn’t miss, and that should be easy to find. For instance, don't forget to make it easy to see your location. If someone wants to book you but can't tell if you're five or five thousand miles from them, they may move on.
It’s also important to include your specialty if you have one; for example, if you have a wedding photography business, make that clear in your website’s verbiage and imagery. Including your location and specialty in your photography website copy is also good for SEO, so it’s a win-win.
Website Photo Galleries
As with the site's overall navigation, when it comes to your website’s photo gallery, it's better to keep things on the sparse side to keep from overwhelming your viewers.
Showing too many images can water down your brand and make it harder to see just what it is that makes you the best choice. Coco Chanel famously said, "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off," and you can say the same of image galleries.
Leave only the best, and only show the type of work you want to shoot more of because what you put out there is what clients will hire you to do again. Think about what you really want to focus on in your photography business, and choose your best images that fit that focus.
Learn more about how to curate your photography website.
Photographer Bio Page
There are so many photographers out there that it's hard to create work that someone else couldn't make. There's one thing nobody else can do, though, and that's be you!
Your bio page is your opportunity to show someone who's looking to hire a photographer who you are. Clients want to know if you're someone they'd enjoy spending time around and can make them feel comfortable in front of the camera. Your personality is an important part of your photography business, so let it shine!
However; don't make your website bio a novel. Your site visitors aren't going to read Dostoyevsky to distill the essence of what you're trying to say about yourself. But do include a great photo of yourself—a picture is worth a thousand words, after all.
Photography Website Pricing Page
There are two schools of thought on pricing pages. Some photographers prefer not to use so people will reach out for consultations—offering an opportunity to speak to potential clients directly about why they should hire you.
Kirk Mastin prefers the second approach of posting pricing. Including your pricing on your website eliminates the need to spend time consulting with people who are window shopping and looking for something in a different budget range.
Beyond that, showing high prices can establish your services as a luxury purchase. It seems counterintuitive if you're used to looking for the best bargain (or being contacted by bargain shopping would-be clients), but there are clients who feel more comfortable with a high price as an assurance of quality. If your work is impressive, but you put a low price tag on it, people are going to wonder what's wrong.
Beware of listing too many products and packages. It's that overarching theme of the whole photography business website lesson: simplify, simplify, simplify. Three packages are ideal—a top tier for the people who want the very best, a bottom tier for those who want to book you but simply don't have as much budget, and a "Goldilocks" middle tier that most people will choose.
Mobile devices are how most people are viewing the internet these days. It's likely that this is the way prospective clients are going to see your site, especially in the earlier stages of their research. We lead busy lives, and people are browsing with their phones on their lunch breaks or the bus ride home—they're clicking links from your Instagram or other social media while they're looking around.
Most photography website builders will have a built-in mobile view that works wonderfully for site visitors on mobile devices. Still, you need to look at your site in a mobile mode to make sure important things aren't changing in ways that don't look right or inhibit functionality. If you're working on your site on a desktop computer and want to take a quick peek, many browsers allow you to change to a phone-shaped window to allow access to a mobile view.
Having a website that is optimized for mobile is also a crucial component of good SEO. Search engines like Google will essentially punish websites that aren’t set up properly for mobile and don’t load fast enough (ideally, in under 3 seconds), and you don’t want that to be you!
Metadata (SEO Title & Meta Description)
Entering metadata for your site will help you come across as a polished professional. It will affect how search engines read your website and present it when your photography website comes up in a search, as well as how it presents when linked on social media.
Different site builders will have different ways of entering metadata, so check the FAQs for yours to see how to do this part.
Photography Website SEO
On top of metadata, there are some other important aspects of SEO to include in your photography website.
Each web page should be assigned a different keyword that represents the content of that page. You also want your keyword to be something that will help your ideal clients find you when using search engines. For example, one of your keywords might be “Seattle wedding photographer”. On your homepage, you may want to use your business name.
Each page should also have an H1 Heading including the keyword (but be careful to only include one H1 Header per page), as well as at least one H2 Heading with your keyword.
It’s also important to make sure that each page has enough content. It’s important to keep things simple and easy to navigate, but if you don’t have enough content, your page won’t be ranked by Google. Do your best to add at least a few quality paragraphs to each page, and mix in your keyword throughout, in a way that makes sense and feels natural. You should also choose a few secondary keywords to sprinkle throughout your web copy.
Some other important aspects of your website’s SEO are internal and outbound links. Internal links take the viewer to other pages on your website, and outbound links take users to pages on other websites. Any outbound links used should be to high-ranking, valuable web pages (and probably not to your competition!).
Lastly, don’t forget to include Calls to Action (CTAs) which encourage your website viewers to take an action on each page, whether it’s to check out a blog, view your portfolio, or book a session.
Here's the bottom line: The website for your photography business needs to be as confusion-free and straightforward as possible. The goal is to come across as the professional who's the best fit for the job, and you want to do it with as few barriers as possible.
Make it easy for clients to see exactly what you do, who you are, and what sets you apart. Contacting you should be pain-free. Every single thing that makes the experience of viewing your work, ascertaining your location, and talking to you about booking should be nice and smooth.
Make your photography business website awesome with these tips and watch the leads roll in!