The winter season is often slower for family photographers and it’s the perfect time to do some website maintenance! Many photographers spend their winter reflecting on the past year by collecting the best images to showcase, making adjustments to packages and pricing, or possibly doing a complete design overhaul. Whatever the case, it’s a popular time for website updates! While images can make a big impact on any website, they play an even more critical part on a photographer’s website. However, there are some common mistakes many photographers make when it comes to using images on their website that can cost them views and eventually business. Let’s talk about how to avoid these costly mistakes!
What is the biggest mistake photographers make with their website images?
Not optimizing images for SEO.
SEO is a tiny little acronym but it has a big impact on your website. “SEO”, or “Search Engine Optimization”, is the way you set your website up to communicate with the search engines so that your website can rank higher in searches. Search engines use complex algorithms, or formulas, to read and understand the information on your website. From there they translate the findings and rank your website with others to present the best, most relevant options when a user does a search.
A well-optimized website can get you in front of more clients.
Every element of your website contributes to your SEO, including your images. Many photographers will make the mistake of overlooking the importance of optimizing images for SEO. Here’s how to make sure your photos are working for you!
1 — Not using alt text.
Make sure you are incorporating keywords into your image attributes, this is the behind-the-scenes work in the back end of your website. Every image needs alt text – this describes your images to the computer running the algorithm. Remember, computers don’t have eyes. They need alt text and image attributes to know what’s being posted on your website.
2 — Using too many images.
It’s easy to get carried away when trying to narrow your best photos for your website. Sometimes it just feels like more is better when trying to figure out what images to include but I encourage you that less is more. Limit your images to your very best work only. Be critical of your images in choosing the ones that are your best technically. Think about our use of light, composition, exposure, and edits. You need to also make sure you are choosing images that not only have the most visual interest but ones that can evoke emotion. Choose images that will relate to your ideal clients.
3 — Not showcasing the images in the best way.
The way in which you display your images will also affect the impact they have on your website and how they resonate with your viewers. Strong images should be showcased. Make sure you are designing your website to highlight and promote your images. Also, be sure your website colors are complementary. Make sure you don’t clutter your web pages with too many photos or else you risk distracting from the impact of your photos. When needed, give your images the white space around them to breathe.
4 — Using images that are too big.
Sizing your images too big hurts your SEO, but it can also have a huge impact on the overall health of your website. Make sure you are sizing your images appropriately for your website. Cameras today deliver images that are insanely large and exponentially larger than needed for any website. If you don’t size your images for the web, you risk slowing down your website which can impact user experience and hurt SEO.
5 — Not showcasing a consistent style.
As a photographer, you earn people’s trust and their business when two things happen: 1) They feel connected and attracted to your style of work, and 2) They feel confident that you can deliver the same types of photos you showcase in our portfolio for their family. In order to accomplish this you need to make sure you are showcasing a consistent portfolio of work on your website. If you have a mix of editing styles, and a lot of variation in the consistency of your work, clients will not feel confident booking you. Make sure you are sharing a consistent portfolio of images with your current editing applied…even if this means re-editing older images to match our current style.
When it comes down to it, choosing and adding photos to your website is an important part of marketing your business. By being mindful of HOW to add your images to your website, you’ll boost your SEO and create better connections with your potential clients. A win-win in my book!