Top 10 Mistakes Photographers Make On Their Websites And How To Fix Them
Photographers tend to make a lot of mistakes on setting up their websites correctly. Most photographers simply don’t understand what they need to know about getting business on the web!
Using Mainly Images On Your Website – Fixing Mistake Number 1
To make your webpages visible to search engines, you must have text, lots of text! Each page should have a minimum of 300 words of text containing your keywords and variations of your keywords. If your current website won’t let you put text on your pages, dump your website!
How To Optimize Site Titles For Search Results – Fixing Mistake Number 2
Your home page must have a title, it is the most important part of any webpage but it is mandatory for your home page! What is in the title is even more important. Most template based websites use your name or business name as the title on the home page. This doesn’t do you any good for search. Sure people searching for your name could find you, but those people know you already and how to find you. Your title should contain your keywords and should be around 90 characters long. For instance if I were a wedding photographer, my title might be “Wedding Photographer Indiana – Ken Kneringer” This way people searching for “Wedding Photographers in Indiana” could find my website. If you can’t control the title on your home page, it is time to dump your website.
How To Optimize Site Descriptions For Search Results – Fixing Mistake Number 3
Just like titles, descriptions are used by Google to help understand what your page is about. Your description should also contain your keywords. Descriptions should be no more than 160 characters and is your opportunity to entice a potential client to click through to your web page. Again if I were a wedding photographer, I could use “The Wedding Photographers In Indiana! Amazing Wedding Photos By Photographer Ken Kneringer”.
Below is a screen shot of my search results from Google. It shows how Google displays the Title and Description of my home page. You can see how important it is that you have the correct title and description on your webpage. If you can’t change this on your site – you guessed it – time to dump your website!
How To Optimize Blog Titles For Search Results – Fixing Mistake Number 4
Just like your home page, all other pages including your blog posts need relevant titles. Many photographers tend to use blog post tiles like “Amanda And John” when writing about a wedding they just photographed for Amanda and John. Problem is that nobody interested in wedding photography searches for “Amanda And John”. A better title may look something like “Indianapolis Wedding For Amanda And John – Ken Kneringer Photographer”. With this title anyone searching for “Indianapolis Wedding Photographer” or “Ken Kneringer” may find this article and click through to your website.
How To Optimize Blog Descriptions For Search Results – Fixing Mistake Number 5
Descriptions for all pages including your blog posts are just as important as titles. Many template style websites are not capable of custom descriptions. Many use the first 160 characters of your post. While this provides a description, it isn’t necessarily optimal. Your description should contain your keywords, and I like to add a couple of additional keywords. So a description for the above blog post for Amanda and John could look something like this – “Indianapolis Wedding At The Grand Ballroom – Amanda And John Smith – Photographer Ken Kneringer”. The addition of the keywords “Grand Ballroom” adds additional search possibilities. Now people searching for “Indianapolis Wedding Photographers”, “Ken Kneringer”, or “Grand Ballroom” may come across your article.
How To Optimize For Click Though And Bounce Rate – Fixing Mistake Number 6
Another On The Top 10 Mistakes Photographers Make On Their Websites List – The next thing to understand is that Google indexes webpages not websites. Each page has to stand on it’s own. That means that once a potential client clicks through from a search result to your page, you have to give them somewhere else to go. If they land on your page, then just leave after glancing at your article, your bounce rate will go up. Bounce rate is important because it lets Google know that people are interested in what you have to say. The longer people stay on your site and the more pages they click on, the better it is. Google then thinks that people found what they were looking for and more when they clicked on your search results.
Some examples for giving people options to see more of your site is your menu and to add links to your article. “See More Photos From The Grand Ballroom” linked to another wedding article that you shot at the Grand Ballroom. “See Amanda And Johns Engagement Photos”, or “Tips For Great Wedding Photos At The Grand Ballroom” linked to other article work great. Links to other sites are great too. “Check Out The Venue At The Grand Ballroom” linked to the Grand Ballroom site would work as well. It is very important that links going to other sites be “nofollow” and open in a new browser that leaves your site open! If not they will leave your site and go somewhere else and defeat the purpose.
How To Add A Call To Action – Fixing Mistake Number 7
When discussing Top 10 Mistakes Photographers Make On Their Websites this is one of the most common mistakes and the most costly! Make sure that you give your potential clients a Call To Action! Depending on the page your call to action may be different, but each page and article should have one! For example, on the article above about Amanda and John, your call to action could be “Email Me For Special Pricing On Wedding Photography At The Grand Ballroom”. Another may be to offer a guide to “Get Better Photos On Your Wedding Day”. Before downloading the guide, send them to a form to get their email address and wedding date. Add a check mark on the form to find out if they have had engagement photos done yet.
How To Optimize Images For The Web And Search Results – Fixing Mistake Number 8
There are several places that you can add text to help search engines understand what your images are. The first is in the name of the file. When you offload your images, they normally have a name assigned by the camera. Mine would be something like D3X_50001.JPG. The problem with this is that potential clients looking for, let say “Senior Pictures” are going to type D3X_50001.JPG into the search bar. They are going to type “Senior Pictures”! So to help the search engines, start by naming your file, something like senior-picture-ella-j.jpg.Now google has a better idea that this could be an image about “Senior Pictures” and may index it in the Google Image Search. This allows people that are searching for “Senior Pictures” to see your images, that when clicked on should bring them to your website!
The next thing to do for images is to place text in the “alt tag”. If you are using WordPress this is easy. There is much, much more to optimizing images than I have room for in this article. Check out my other articles about Sizing Images For The Web.
How To Create A Home Page That Will Get Rankings – Fixing Mistake Number 9
The first thing to understand is that without text, search engines simply can’t understand what an image or a webpage contains, who made it, or anything else for that matter. Image recognition is coming along, but you can make it easy for search engines to find your photos and your web pages. You may be asking why it is important that the search engines know what you images and your pages are about. Simple – Traffic to your website! Without people viewing your site – there is really no reason to have one!
Another biggie when talking about Top 10 Mistakes Photographers Make On Their Websites. Template type websites often have masonry style (Pinterest style) photo pages or a slide show on the home page and nothing else. This is a very bad design (for several reasons) if you want to get rankings on your home page. First reason is page speed, lots of images on your home page increases the size of your page and the load time. Second reason is click through, if they see what they want to see on your home page, they won’t click through to other pages and your bounce rate goes up. Third, without text you simply can’t make page one for any search term. Unless you are a well known photographer and people search for you only by name, you need a home page that can be understood by the search engines.
A well designed keyword rich home page, with a proper title, description, menu, and links will beat pretty pictures every day and twice on Sunday for search results!
How To Choose The Proper Website – Fixing The Biggest Mistake Photographers Make!
So you have found out that your website isn’t working for you the way it should be. The obvious question is how to fix it. The correct answer will depend on you, your finances, and your goals as a photographer. It is not a one solution fits all answer. The first step is to see what the capabilities of your current website are and it’s performance. Get your FREE Website Ranking Report by filling out the form. I will send you a report with my recommendations based on your individual needs. It’s easy and it’s FREE!
So now you know the Top 10 Mistakes Photographers Make On Their Websites
Hopefully you have gained some insight on how to fix the issues if they are affecting your site performance! Take some time look around the site, and don’t forget to share this article with other photographers and to leave a comment if this article helped you in any way.