A professional photographer’s website is their most important marketing tool. I am on my third website since going into business for myself in 2010. Back then, responsive sites were non existent, or at least not offered by designers. With the proliferation of smart phones, tablets and laptops, websites that would adapt automatically to the users device and it’s screen size necessitated website number two. Interesting, in this age of documentation and accessibility to personal history, I can’t remember what my first website looked like nor can I google it to find out. It has disappeared. As I write this, my second website will soon be gone. It is being replaced within the next 24 hours with the latest and greatest. Photography is about images so in my new site, I decided to go big. There are many style choices out there to begin with but my research found that the trend for professional photographers presently is big imagery. My previous website was beautiful with black as the background making the images stand out in dramatic style, like a slideshow in a darkened room. I have replaced the black with bigger images that fill the space. There is little room for background. This seems to be the trend and I like it.
Ease of navigation, interesting visual appeal and choice of images are the components to a successful photography website. Contact information on each page is important as well as links to active social media platforms.
The biggest difference with this new website and previous ones is with the amount of text I have included. At the recommendation of my designer, search engine optimization can only be achieved if key words are located within the site by search engines in the browser. Images alone will not do it. After all, the point of a website is to be found by prospective clients. If I just wanted to show my pretty pictures, I would post them on Flicker or Instagram and gather likes and followers. A website is a tool to generate business.
To remember where we came from in such a short time, my new Appleton telephone book was just delivered last week. I dropped it in the recycling bin today.