Yup. I know its the last day of September, but I am just so EXCITED to start October’s BYB posts…and I am so excited about them- we are actually going to take 2 WHOLE MONTHS to get through them all!!!! I can’t wait anymore. So, as you can see from the lovely pic below, we are hitting up making our websites AWESOME this month. Should I use a hashtag with this? #AWESOMEWEBSITEOVERHAULSROCKMYSOCKS
Was that too much? I can’t get the Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake skit out of my head. HASHTAG I LOVE JT. 😉 ok enough, I know. Lets do this!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS. We all know first impressions obviously play a part in any business. You go to a website and you either ooh and ahh… or have that reaction where your face looks like you just ate a sour lemon. Nostrils flared and all…WHOA… right? You see a website and want to slap the person behind it because it looks like they made it on Yahoo website builder (is that even around anymore?) back in 2002. With the cheesy, elevator music and a neon colored “Comic Sans” font, every other line in a different color. Yeah. We’ve all seen them. Crap… some of us might have even HAD a website like that at one point in our lifetime. But think about the lasting impression you get when you see websites like that now?
Yuck. Unprofessional. Outdated.
There. Do those words scare you a little? How would you feel if someone did a comprehensive overview of your website and gave you similar feedback? Yuck. Unprofessional. Outdated.
As a photographers, technology is CONSTANTLY changing, upgrading, getting better. Shoot… as soon as you buy a computer, a newer more updated one comes out within a month! So how on EARTH do we keep on top of all the changes and stay up to date with our industry? I’m going to give a few tips and tricks to give your website First Impression an overhaul!
1. NO MUSIC.
Seriously people. I know music is totally a personal choice but did you purchase the copyrights to play that on your site? No? Brace yourself, cause the music industry is cracking down on unauthorized use and charging up the wazoo in fines. It’s not worth the heartache and pain just to have 2.4 minutes of sound on your site where most likely your potential client will either turn the music off or turn their speakers off. When perusing websites, do you enjoy listening to your own music? Me too. And it drives me BATTY when I go to a website that starts blasting some music in my ear, even when it may be nice to listen to!
If you NEED to absolutely have music on your website, save it for client galleries. Give them a cutesy song to go with their photos. And WARN them about the music!!!!
2. Keep your landing page or home page simple and easy to navigate.
When you are looking for something specific on a website, such as an item or pricing, does it drive you crazy when you have to click on 3 different links just to get to the menu you MIGHT be looking for? Yeah- me too. Think about your potential customers when designing and setting up your initial landing pages for your site.
Ask yourself these questions:
– is this easy to navigate for my viewers?
– how many clicks does it take to get to my “about me” or ” FAQ” pages?
– what is my goal for viewers to see first off?
Busy websites that have a ton of links to click on to get to something important, like pricing or your portfolio, are bad for business. People are generally simple minded. We want to click and see. See what we were looking for right away… so don’t make your site too busy! Distractions cause viewers to spend less time on your site and looking at other photographers websites that aren’t as cluttered and more straight to the point.
3. Define your BRAND. Make it known.
What is your niche, as a photographer? Are you a newborn photographer, wedding photographer, commercial photographer? Is that well known as soon as you come to your site? How does your logo reflect your business name/niche? Is your website coloring flow well? Are you putting your BEST pictures in your portfolio? These are just a few questions that you need to analyze when defining your brand, nailing it down on your website (your Business Brand is a WHOLE other blog post… maybe we will touch on that soon!). You want to make sure that your site flows with your brand- that every corner of your website OOZES your brand. If you look at our website, you will see our bright, colorful and fun colors along with specific fonts and themes throughout the whole website. That is part of our BRAND at Baby Joy. We want our clients to see those bright colors or a cute heart camera and think of us. Do you see where we are going with this?
4. NO FLASH!!!!!
Please please please use an alternative to Flash, like HTML5. Flash is dead. Adobe announced it dead a year ago. It’s ugly when a client comes to your website and gets a “you must install flash” pop up- which for many, MANY people is a huge turn off your website. Why? They might not know about flash, they might think its a Trojan or virus trying to hack their computer from your website- you would be amazed. Try to keep the technologically impaired in your thoughts when designing or purchasing your website. I’m not saying get a boring, plain Jane website- but make it EASY for your clients and potential clients to peruse through without thinking too much about installing flash. 😉
5. Display your best work and keep it UPDATED!!!
Yeah, I know this one is kind of a given, but sometimes we need a swift kick in the butt reminder to UPDATE OUR WORK on our website! It’s so easy to get sucked into the blogging sphere, where all we do is post blogs about our clients, then we forget to update our portfolios. That’s what potential clients are looking at, folks. Give them what they want! Display your BEST work- and of course, always make sure you had that Model release signed and saved! (Avoid some possible headaches in the future).
That’s all for today loves. Next week we will be going over STRUCTURING your website. I hope your enjoyed today’s blog post and PLEASE ASK me anything if you have any questions!!! hugs and love! xoxo, Julie