week #3 the 7 point website review Friday Business Challenge(for photographers)
take the challenge! Your challenge this week is to conduct a review of your website. This one comes in two parts. Part one is for you and the second part is where you ask for help… So grab a coffee (or your beverage of choice) and off we go…
week #3: website review As photographers we often feel the need to have a visually beautiful website. We post our most beautiful images to our galleries and usually have evocative and beautiful music as a sound track that compliments those images. We tell the world about our passion for photography on our "About" page and sometimes have a special offer or two. We create a work of art, spend money on design and functionality...and then what?
do you need a website review? Is your website the best it can be? Does it attract and keep visitors? Does it attract the right visitors? Does it get shared? Do visitors return? Does it convert those visitors to buyers of your photographic products and services? If you said NO to any of these, go to the next page
look and feel typos and poor copy call to action navigation flash load times different browsers and mobile 7 steps
look and feel Who are your “right” clients. Check out this blog post! 1 Your primary goal should be to connect with the visitor right away – with branding and the overall look and style of the website and the images that you choose. Use your branding and photographic style to attract the “right” clients, those clients you WANT to work with. Carefully consider the words you use. Not only for search engine optimization, but to single out and attract the right clients. Continuity can change a web site from looking home made to professional. Compare every page within your web site. Make sure the backgrounds are the same. Compare font styles and sizes. Does the theme carry through?
typos nad poor copy 2 If you have words misspelled, and grammar that should have been corrected, your prospects may never contact you. It sends out the wrong message and it may make people question your other skills and your professionalism.
call to action 3 A call to action is a means to get your potential client to actually do something. Typically it is a button of or icon of some sort. To figure out which call to action buttons you need, really think about what you want your potential client to do after they arrive on each page. Some examples: View my gallery ★Remember: Make sure you include social sharing buttons if you want users to share your content with others Book NOW Contact me Add to cart
navigation 4 Make sure visitors to your site are not overwhelmed and unsure where to go. Link clearly to critical content – the content you want them to look at. Make sure you have your navigation clearly visible, and use words that are obvious and descriptive. If you make it too creative or too vague, they might get confused and leave your website. !!!Check that none of your links are broken!!!
flash The cons: the requirement of a flash player to be installed (first time only) you can not expect that a lot of search engines will be able to index it. This may impact on your search rankings and your site may receive less traffic flash animated content takes longer to load flash doesn’t work on iPhones or iPads 5 The pros: it’s interactive and makes pages look vivid and dynamic impressive presentation options for images no need to worry about browser compatibility Use it only when absolutely needed. Do not over-use flash and think carefully about the pros and cons before using it
load times 6 Faster pages make a better user experience. Slow pages lose visitors and money – sites lose money when potential clients click away from a slow-loading website.
How big is my image? <imgsrc="images/mine.gif" border="0" alt="my image" width=”250" height=”125" /> load times Here are just a few tips: Host files locally: Instead of using services like Flickr to host your images, put them on your own server. Local files almost always load faster than external files Reduce widgets: Even though widgets are cool and add some functionality to a website, the benefits of having many of them on a page probably do not outweigh the slow load times. Adding width and height tags to images can make a huge difference when the page loads. If the browser knows the width and height, it can let the image load in the background and can go on loading the rest of the page.
Problems? If you don’t know the cause it’s probably best to consult an expert 7 (browsers) Check your website in as many as possible of these: different browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera…) different browser versions different computer types (Mac, PC) different screen sizes Your clients and prospects will have all variations of these and you want everyone to have a good website experience (mobile) How does your site look on mobile devices? More and more of your clients and prospects are using them for their internet browsing
what next? phone a friend… Do you want to take it one step further? You may very well be too close to your website to see the things that a visitor will see. Ask friends, ask colleagues, ask clients, ask many… Do you trust the information presented on this site? Does this photographer appear to be expert and skilled? Is this site visually appealing? Does this site evoke an emotion and build a connection with you? Is this website unique and different from other photography websites? Is this the sort of site you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend? Would you book a session with this photographer?
Friday Business Challenge Business Challenge for photographers is brought to you by: Robyn Mayne, Sydney, Australia Today is Different Today is Different for photography courses, workshops, retreats and networking… for inspiration, strategy and practical how-to tactics… for business skills, photography skills and life skills...