As I spent a day yesterday updating the website based on a whole lot of recent photography marketing lessons, it only seemed appropriate to start this blog with a new edit of my first photo with a DSLR (of our old dog Basil), using some new B&W techniques I’ve learnt.
Photography Marketing and Website Updates
The key thing –
Most new potential customers will begin at a Search Engine then hit your site. Your home page will get the most visits – it’s the virtual window front to your online shop. How well does it work for you?
- Understand, focus and create for your target customer. What are your customer wants, needs and beliefs? Match their requirements to your core capabilities. That means separating the business side of your photography from the personal – if you’re focusing on being a portrait photographer then get rid of the dogs, travel and landscapes etc from your home page portfolio. All that does is confuse the potential customer (create a personal section if you have to for the other shots).
- Cut out noise and clutter – the first few seconds for a new web visitor is critical – cull ruthlessly and only select your best 10-15 images. Fix design problems and spelling mistakes. You’ll be judged by your weakest elements.
- Be consistent – that’s something we’re all continually developing but you can’t be everything to everyone. Your first page has to clearly demonstrate your core capabilities. I’ve focused on portraits. To create a consistent feel I created a Lightroom Preset containing tones, details and effects that I could easily apply across the series of home page images. Time can only tell if that works.
- Sustainable Competitive Advantage – In my marketing business I always talk about creating your sustainable competitive advantage. The photography business is highly competitive – in other words why would I pick you/me? Always aim for satisfied customer word of mouth referral. (Note: That reminds me to add a customer testimonial page)
- Track your results. Google Analytics is free and will tell you the average user time per visitor. You’ll obviosuly also track the number of enquires and jobs. At present my Average Visit Duration has increased: 43% from 00:03:56 v. 00:02:45 and Bounce Rate has dropped -5.80% from 58.78% v. 62.40% over the last couple of months. We’ll see if the update improves results.
I’ll look at creating content and website SEO (Search Engine Optiminisation) next.
Update 18th May 2012
I was going to look at SEO this weekend but a review of my web stats this morning suggested time better spent elsewhere – Total Page Views dropped 20%, Average Visit Duration dropped 80% and average time home page dropped from 1:22 sec to 37 secs! Yes, the data sample size isn’t big but the beauty of the web is that you can very quickly if something is working or not.
As a quick fix I drop the blue tone filter I’ve placed across my home page image scroll and switch back to black and white. Let’s see if that makes a difference?