If you’re starting out in the photography business creating a website is a must for anyone serious about bringing in business and attracting new customers. A website is not only your virtual shop front but is usually the key decision maker for a progressively digital world of potential customers.
Your website is not just a great way to get leads, but it is also one of the cheaper forms of marketing your business and is easily edited when you want to refresh your content and portfolio
So what do you need to include in your website to ensure it is professional and brings in lots of business?
Here are some simple steps for setting up your website:
1. Set up your domain name and hosting
This is essential and is your virtual address for the business. Choose a domain that is simple to remember and spell and works to showcase your business. Be aware if you are looking for a dot.com domain you might need to be a little creative or look for alternative domain options such as .co or .net.
Your hosting can also be set up using simple and affordable online hosting companies such as SiteGround or any other online hosting group that is cost effective and reliable. In this step, you can also run a keyword search in Google Keyword Planner to find out the suitable keywords for your photography business and which words rank higher than others so that when you write the text for your website you include relevant keywords.
2. Choose your website program
Once you have your domain and hosting sorted now it’s time to choose the type of website you are going to create, and the options are all based on your budget.
If you’re looking to avoid the expensive outsourcing of your website and create something that is professional without the hefty price tag you can look at options such as Wordpress, Wix or Squarespace – all of whom have some great themes available for photography businesses that can be easily tweaked to suit your needs.
If you have the money available you can get a custom made website however you’re probably looking at around $3000 or more, while you can fully customize your site, if you are starting out your marketing spend could be better used elsewhere.
3. Find a theme
Now it’s time to choose a theme and make your website look professional. There are plenty of great themes available that you can buy rather than creating your site from the ground up. The theme includes the design and visuals and allows you to have a pre-determined look and feel so that you can tweak it to suit your branding and photography business.
4. Add in your imagery and content
Next you next to flesh out the content for your website and also add in your services and portfolio. Having an idea for your sitemap is a great idea too. Consider having pages including home, about us, services, blog, portfolio and contact us as mandatory and if you sell things online, you can also include a shop if you have an e-commerce store or you have a payment gateway. If you have a way with words, you can create the content yourself, or you can get a freelancer copywriter to help you craft the copy to ensure it has a call to action and sets you apart from your competition.
5. Ensure you have keywords throughout and the areas your service
Once you have set your content up and your imagery it’s time to add in your meta descriptions, title tags and run a quick check to ensure you have adequate keywords in your text. You should also ensure you have clearly outlined where you service including the cities and suburbs so that this shows up when individuals are searching for photography services.
6. Proofread and check all your contact details are clear
This step is probably one that is forgotten the most, yet proofing your website and ensuring your contact details are clear and easy to understand is essential. Whether you want people to contact you via email, phone or online form, test this is working and all your details are easy to spot. Send your website to friends and ask them for feedback too.
Your website will evolve and grow over time, however, there are some essential elements when you are in the setup phase that you should be aware of. Most importantly make sure your contact details are easy to spot, and you have a great portfolio of your work so that your target audience feel compelled to book your photography services and lots of photography work flocks your way.