How To Improve Your Photography Website

A website is a very important business tool – not just for photographers – but for all businesses. Your website is the face of your business online and as we know, everyone is online. There are a lot of easy-to-use templates to help get you up and running, but there are important steps that often get neglected in the midst of going live quickly. Missing these steps results in having a website that gets lost in the Google abyss which doesn’t help your business. If you want to know how to improve your website so your business can stand out online, check out my website tips below.

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how to improve your business website

Tips To Improve Your Website

I’m a professional food photographer and when I was first setting up my website, I wanted something easy and pretty that I could publish quickly. As creative entrepreneurs, I think we all fall into this approach with our websites at first. You find a nice looking template, add your content and voila, you’re live! It’s really great to get a nice looking website published so fast these days, but there are still other important steps that you need to take.

My website wasn’t a very strong marketing tool for me in the beginning because I didn’t know about these important steps. My work may have looked good, but Google wasn’t finding my site in searches and I wasn’t really standing out to my potential clients.

After taking the time to work with Tonic Site Shop and some SEO experts like Brain Child Studios, my website is now my number one marketing tool. And, the best part is that I’m summarizing these important steps for you in this post so you can start learning how to improve your website today.

Tip 1: Looks Matter. Be Different.

Aside from the website basics of having a consistent, branded look, clearly visible navigation, high-quality images and an easy way to contact you, how to improve your website starts with being different. There are a lot of beautiful website templates out there that cover the standard website structure, but you’ll need to customize your site to look and sound like you.

In the beginning of my photography career, I wanted my website to look like the other professional photographers websites. I think a lot of photographers do this. Have you ever noticed that all photography websites pretty much look the same? The truth is, having a website that looks just like everyone else you’re competing with doesn’t help you stand out – you blend right in with the crowd. Looks matter. Be different.

My favorite DSLR lenses for food photography including Nikon, Canon and Sigma Art. Click through to read the tips.

Tip 2: Customize Your Website for Computers & Mobile

Once you find a beautiful template, it’s important to make sure it looks good on a computer and your mobile device(s). A computer view of a website is a completely different experience than a mobile view. A computer view is a much more horizontal experience whereas a mobile view is a vertical experience.

Luckily, a lot of templates are responsive for both computers and mobile, so they automatically adjust depending on the device used to come to your website.

However, the problem I’ve run into is being able to customize the computer and mobile views separately without some coding knowledge or hiring a developer.

The good news is I discovered Tonic Site Shop & ShowIt who provides a super easy drag-and-drop platform that allows me to customize both of these views on my own without any coding knowledge.

SAVE 15% ON TONIC SITE SHOP TEMPLATES WITH CODE: REGANSENTME

Tip 3: Get The SSL Certificate

SSL stands for “secure sockets layer” and is a level of security that websites need to safely send information over the Internet. SSL Certificate sounds like a more technical step, but your hosting provider should be able to set this up for you very easily.

Does your website have an SSL Certificate? You can check by looking at your main URL. Does it start with HTTPS or HTTP?

If your website does not have an SSL Certificate, it will start with HTTP and an alert is sent from Google saying that your site is “NOT SECURE.” This can potentially scare people away from your site or make it difficult to access, which is not a good thing. Google also doesn’t like this security alert and will not rank your website in searches. The requirement for SSL happened years ago, so not only does it make your website look not secure and unprofessional, it also makes your website look out of date.

The benefits of having an SSL certificate include:

  1. PROTECTS DATA SENT AND RECEIVED
  2. BETTER SEARCH ENGINE RANKING
  3. NO ALERTS SAYING THAT YOUR SITE IS NOT SECURE

Getting an SSL Certificate set up is easy. Contact your hosting company and they will get it done for you. It’s a quick fix on the backend and can be built into your annual hosting fee. It’s worth it to keep your site safe, secure and search-friendly.

Tip 4: Get Google Analytics

Setting up Google Analytics (GA) on your website will help you evaluate and track your website’s performance to see what’s working and what isn’t.

GA is free and full of helpful information to help you improve your website as your business grows. It includes things like who’s coming to your site, where they’re coming from, where they’re going, how long they stick around, what devices they use, demographics and a lot of other great information to help you get to know your audience. You can also set custom date ranges to see how much traffic you had during certain months of the year. Knowing these website statistics will help you make informed decisions about your website structure and information rather than just guessing what could be best.

If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, it may seem overwhelming when you first get started. I found a great online class from SkillShare that is incredibly helpful for learning more about setting up GA and how it works. I’m linking the online class for you below.

READ MORE ABOUT: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Rosé in wine glasses

Tip 5: Add Copy

As a photographer, I didn’t have very much copy on my website in the beginning. The only copy I had on my website was my name and an easy way to contact me. I figured since I was a photographer that my images could do all the “talking” for me. I was very wrong.

No matter what your business is, adding copy to your website is incredibly important for these important reasons:

  • COPY HELPS GOOGLE FIND YOU WHEN PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING
  • COPY GIVES YOUR CLIENTS AN IDEA OF WHO YOU ARE AND HOW YOU’RE DIFFERENT

What Are Keywords?

Before you start typing away, you can’t just write whatever you want and place words haphazardly throughout your website. There are strategic ways to add copy that will help you improve your website and stand out on Google and to your potential clients. When adding copy, it’s important to think about what keywords people might use to search for your business.

Keywords are the words people use when they’re searching for something in particular and they help Google connect people to what they’re searching for. When you use keywords on your website, Google likes this and will send people to you.

To effectively add copy, you need to do some research on special keywords that are relevant to your business. Then, use them throughout your website in the areas that make sense.

How To Find Keywords

There are programs out there that can help you discover effective keywords for your business. I use KeySearch for to find relevant keywords for my business and it’s $17/month. I use it pretty frequently for my blog, because I’m constantly creating new content about photography, equipment and business.

If you don’t have a blog and aren’t creating regular content, it may not make sense financially to pay for something that you won’t be using very often. I would recommend checking out a couple of free options like UberSuggests and Google’s Keyword Planner.

Where To Add Keywords

Consider these areas of your website to start adding copy and relevant keywords:

  1. HEADING TAGS (H1, H2, H3)
  2. PAGE TITLES
  3. META DESCRIPTIONS
  4. INBOUND AND OUTBOUND LINKS
  5. SHORT FORM AND LONG FORM COPY
  6. ADD A BRAND STATEMENT
  7. INCLUDE A CLIENT LIST
  8. ABOUT PAGE
  9. INCLUDE TESTIMONIALS 
  10. HAVE AN EASY WAY TO CONTACT YOU (TIP: DON’T USE A FORM)
  11. START A BLOG WITH RELEVANT ARTICLES TO YOUR BUSINESS (SEE STEP 6 BELOW)

Short vs. Long Form Copy

There are two forms of copy: short-form copy and long-form copy. When to use one or the other really depends on the user’s intent. Why are people coming to your site? What are they looking for? For me, people are either coming to my site to find a food photographer (potential clients) or to learn more about food photography, equipment and business (creative entrepreneurs).

SHORT FORM COPY

Short-form copy is meant to be simple and direct. This copy could live on your Home Page, About Page or in a brand statement. Adding too much copy in these areas of your website would work against you, because nobody is looking to read a novel in these areas of your website. Share what you do, how you’re different and how you can help your clients.

BENEFITS OF SHORT FORM COPY

  • Short form copy is easy to read
  • People can quickly learn what you do and how you can help them

LONG FORM COPY

Long-form copy is exactly what you would expect – more elaborate, detailed copy that’s relevant to your business. Adding long form copy may feel intimidating at first. But, before you rule it out, there are some pretty awesome benefits to long-form copy.

BENEFITS OF LONG FORM COPY

  • Long-form copy makes it easier to use a variety of SEO-friendly keywords that are relevant to your business.
  • Your website will rank higher in search engine results because Google sees long-form content as incredibly valuable.
  • Long-form copy also makes it easier to get people to stick around your site longer and if you’re sharing valuable content, they’ll probably come back for more. And, the more traffic you get to your website, the better.
Cocktail Photography Styling Tips

Tip 6: Start A Blog

If anyone tells you that blogging is dead, they are oh-so-wrong! Google loves long-form copy and a blog is a pretty perfect way to add it strategically. Starting a blog within your website makes you look like an expert and Google will rank you higher. I think if each business created 10 blog posts with detailed information on popular topics about what they do, this would significantly help their website rank much higher on Google.

For example, I am a food photographer and a popular topic that people are searching for is: A Simple Overhead Setup for Food Photography. I have a post that talks about this and it’s one of my top performing posts that brings a ton of traffic to my website on a weekly basis.

Give some thought to popular search topics within your industry. Don’t forget to use KeySearch, Google Keyword Planner or Uber Suggests to help guide you towards the popular keywords that you can rank for.

Side note: another reason I decided to work with Tonic for my website & blog is that all of Tonic’s templates have a blog built into them already.

Overhead shot of coffee swirl

A backlink is basically a link from another website that links back to your website. When another reputable website links back to your website, Google likes this a lot.

For example, a lot of my clients will credit me when using my images on their website by adding “Photography by Regan Baroni” which links back to my website. If you’re a photographer make sure your clients are giving you credit with a link back to your website when they use your images.

Another way to build backlinks is to write a guest post on another reputable website. Not only do you get the backlink, but you also get your voice and work in front of more people. You can also build backlinks if you have a blog, because it’s very likely that if you are sharing valuable content, it will be shared.

READ MORE ABOUT: THE BLOGGING MASTERCLASS

Improve Your Photography Website

Tip 8: Check Out Tonic Site Shop

If you’re looking to upgrade your website, I recommend checking out Tonic Site Shop. If you find a template you like, you can save 15% on any template with my code: REGANSENTME

Not only are the templates gorgeous and completely customizable, but their platform made working through all of these website tips very easy for me to do.

I hope this post demonstrated that how to improve your website involves more than using a pretty template. Taking the time to work through these tips has been one of the best things I’ve done for my photography business. I can now confidently say that my website is my number one marketing tool.

Reach out with questions anytime!

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click or make a purchase through my site, I might make a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only promote products that I actually use and support. 

All images ©Regan Baroni 2021.

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