May 29, 2023

Your Photography Website: Best Practices, SEO, and More - Photo Authentic Podcast #3

1 min read

Show Notes

In this episode, host Lincoln Barbour breaks down everything you need to know about creating a successful website for photographers. This comprehensive guide covers everything from website design to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and beyond.

Key Takeaways:

Importance of Websites: Your website should be the heart of your marketing efforts. It's the one place on the internet where you can showcase your work without any distractions or competing content.

Website Content: In addition to showcasing your photography, your website should also include detailed information about your services, your unique approach, and how potential clients can contact you.

Website Design: Lincoln advises that photographers use a clean, minimalist design for their websites. He suggests that your website should resemble the websites of the clients you wish to attract.

SEO: SEO is a powerful tool to help you appear more prominently in search engine results. Utilize SEO practices such as title tags, descriptions, and inbound and outbound links to help increase visibility.

Sales Funnel: Your website should guide visitors from learning about your work, to becoming interested in your services, and finally to contacting you. This is the concept of a sales funnel.

Capturing Emails: Providing an incentive for visitors to sign up for your newsletter can be beneficial in building an email list and staying connected with potential clients.

Platform Suggestions: Lincoln recommends platforms designed specifically for photographers, like Pixpa, Squarespace, or Format, over open-source systems like WordPress which can be susceptible to hacks.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Get a discount on the best website builder for photographers: Pixpa.


 It's so important that people get to your website because it's its own ecosystem and there's no distractions. There's no other photographers competing for attention. It's just the one place where you exist in the internet and you have somebody's undivided attention.

Sadly, you may only have their undivided attention for five to 10 seconds. So in that first initial look at your website, you wanna hook them in into clicking around and seeing more and getting to know you.

 Welcome to Photo Authentic Podcast. I'm your host, Lincoln Barbour, and this podcast is dedicated to helping emerging photographers like you become successful and have a long lasting career.

Episode three, best Practices for Photographer Websites.

In this podcast we're gonna talk about the kind of website a photographer needs and what's gonna be in that website as far as content goes, and the look and feel and some important tips on how to do things like, SEO the content you kind of want in there, your funnel, how you get people from looking at your site to actually contacting you and different call to actions you should have on your website to encourage people to, to actually hire you.

As a photographer, your website should be the center of your marketing universe. It's the most important piece of your marketing and everything that you do should be designed to drive people to your website.

Your social media, you always wanna have a call to action to go to your website to see more or to inquire.

If you do email marketing, you want to send out updates to your website and then have people go there.

If you do any direct mail, of course you wanna put like a QR code on your direct mail, so that just pulls up your website right away.

It's so important that people get to your website because it's its own ecosystem and there's no distractions. There's no other photographers competing for attention. It's just the one place where you exist in the internet and you have somebody's undivided attention.

Sadly, you may only have their undivided attention for five to 10 seconds. So in that first initial look at your website, you wanna hook them in into clicking around and seeing more and getting to know you.

So some of the challenges that photographers face when creating and maintaining a website include, the design, the look and feel the speed of the website. You know, depending on what platform you're hosting on or how large your images are, can affect the speed. I see a lot of photographers whose websites the content is very disjointed and confusing and doesn't flow well.

The SEO, which means search engine optimization, that's a very easy thing to do that can have a lot of benefit in helping you be more findable with, search engines like Google. And the last thing that photographer's challenged with is this concept of a sales funnel.

And that funnel basically takes people from a large audience to a small, interested party who then reaches out for you. So in this podcast, I'm gonna go over all this and, and help you when next time you are working on your website and give you some tips.

When you're making your website, you have to remember , you're not making this website for yourself. This is not, you know, patting yourself on the back. This isn't just to show how cool you are. You want your website to go after a target audience. So it's really important to know who your buyers are gonna be.

You know, if you're a sports photographer, you're probably looking for marketing people at sport teams. If you are a fashion photographer, you want your website to kind of look like a fashion photographer website. You wanna mimic the kind of client's website.

So what I do is I, you know, I'm an architectural photographer. And I went to a dozen or so of clients that I work for and clients I wanted to work for. And I looked at their website and I said, well, what's the common thread here? And, you know, it was very minimal design. It was very bright and open, had a lot of heavy content. And it was very graphic. You know, architects are like that. So I modeled my site to kind of look like an architect's website, so it would feel familiar.

When you do this mimicking, you're basically associating your style of photography with your clients' industry. And they'll have more familiarity with you when you talk and look like them.

So that's very important that you define who your target audience is, who your, your niche, who kind of work you want to do. And make your website look like those websites from the clients you're gonna work for.

Nowadays it's relatively easy to create a visually appealing website. There's lots of great templates. I use a platform called Pixpa that's designed for photographer's websites. And there's a link in the show notes that will give you a discount on signing up. But you can also use something like Squarespace or Format, you know, there's other ones out there that all have great templates and are designed for photographers.

That part is not as hard as it used to be, . What I would stay away from is websites that are done on WordPress. WordPress is an open source system, and so you're susceptible to a lot of hacks. You need a lot of plug-ins to get the things to do you want it to do. It's generally just more than a photographer would need. Also, in order to keep it safe, you have to pay for a lot of hosting and somebody checking in to make sure it's not being hacked. So go with a closed ecosystem, and this is 2023. Things may change in five years, but a closed ecosystem like Pixpa is a great way to go.

When you design the site, you want your logo and your fonts to be all readable and clean, you want nice colors. I typically find that, for most photographers, a white themed website works better than a black themed, I'm not quite sure the science behind this, but I just know from experience. I've done both black sites and white sites and when I had a white site, I got more inquiries. When I had a black site, I got less. So go with a white background.

Make sure your images are big as possible filling up as much as the screen as possible. You can do thumbnails and grids, or you can do thumbnails in what's called like a waterfall. Kinda like if you ever seen a Pinterest wall, you know, that's kind of like the waterfall effect.

The layout is more of a personal taste, but just make it really easy. Set the images so that you can enlarge 'em so they're basically full screen.

Another important thing is to make sure that your website works just as well on mobile as it does on a desktop. It's called a fluid design. The design changes based on the resolution of the visitor. Most modern photographer theme websites have this built in, but always when you're designing your website, check the mobile version. While you're designing the desktop version, .

Let's talk about the importance of the funnel of your website.

This is the whole way you drive people to contact you. So you have your landing page, which is typically your homepage, and on that you wanna put your best work, you want to have your top three images and maybe in a slideshow. Or just have one. Your absolute signature shot that tells you people what you are.

You also wanna include information like you're a photographer, what your niche is and where you're located. For example, I'm an architectural photographer based in Virginia. You know, that's all you need to say. So you want people to be able to look at your homepage and know exactly, what kind of photographer you are and where you are based.

From there, this is your format for your navigation. You want to have a portfolio. And a portfolio can be broken into sub-portfolios. But typically one, you know, overview is really good. And then maybe some more niche specific portfolios.

After that you wanna include case studies. You can also just call it, I call it work on my website. So it's, there's samples of a single shoot for a client. You can include a little text to talk about the shoot if you want. But if you really want to just sort of showcase what you did for one client, for one job, I think that's really important for clients to see that, see like what they're gonna get when they hire you.

So after your case studies, before your blog, you should have an about section. An about page is a bio or an artist statement, a client list and any sort of social media links, this is where you'd want to put.

Just a side note, you don't wanna put social media links in your navigation. You work really hard to get people to your website, and the last thing you want to do is send them to instagram to get lost on some other photographer's website. So put your social media links just on your about page and maybe on the footer if you really think it's important.

But I, I would just keep it on your about page. I know blogs kind of seem dated, but having regular content and using that as a way to link to other things and have people link to you is a great way to make your search engine optimization better and get more traffic into your site. It also gives you an excuse to send out emails or social media posts talking about  a new blog post in your site. I'll go deeper on this in a future podcast, but it can be anything from, what it's like to work with you behind the scenes. If you post a new work, then you can promote it on the blog. So there's a blog is very varied in what you can post on there.

So keep it going. Try to do two to three posts a month and that will really help get traction on your website. And the last page you want on your site is your contact page, and this should be the last page in your navigation. And that's because in America, and most of the world, we read websites from left to right.

So your left side of your website is your logo. It's your name. At the far right side of your logo is the last thing that you want them to do. In this case, it would be to contact you.

  On that contact page, it's super important to have your phone number, your email address as well as a contact form. And I like to have a very detailed contact form that gives a starting point to the conversation about a shoot. So I ask for things like, budget, scope of the work, I'll ask people to include PDFs of any job description or creative brief, timeline, and do you need models? Do you need location scouting? As much as whatever your sort of typical photo shoot is, try to incorporate some of those questions in. And that way it gets everybody kind of thinking about the job and what it means to work with you and shows that you're gonna be more prepared when you have that first phone call with them.

The funnel is, in simple explanation, is landing page, homepage. Look at your work, see what you've done for other people and then learn more about you and then contact you.

One important thing with your website is to try to capture emails. And you can do an email signup, you know, just like a newsletter signup form. You won't get a lot of traction with that. They usually work a little better if you include some sort of like PDF or a guide, or maybe you send a photo a week or a desktop background of the week. Try to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter by giving them something.

Those are the main key bits of information to have on your website and the calls to action.

Let's talk about SEO and how to utilize it to improve your search engine results and to get more people to your website.

There are various tools and techniques that you can do to improve your online visibility.

I'm gonna go with the basic stuff and then we'll talk about a little bit more detailed things.

The two basic things on every page of your website, there's two meta descriptions, one's a title tag and one's the description. So if you go to Google and you do a search, what you see in the results is the title tag and then the description is the little text that comes underneath that link.

That's what you want to have on all your pages. And it has to be short cuz you know, Google doesn't show very much. So your title tag needs to be like maybe five to 10 words. Your description should be 150 characters or less. For example, if you have a portfolio about cars, you know, you could be like, Jane Smith is a automobile photographer and this is her portfolio of race cars.

You know, that would be the description. And then the title tag would be "race car portfolio, Jane Smith". Having very succinct and, clear to read title tags description tags that include some of the keywords, like the type of photographer you are, like automobile photographer, architectural photographer. Those will all help your SEO.

In your site, you should definitely have a local focus. You should definitely mention where you're based and areas that you serve. Especially if you're small to medium sized photographer.

Talk about that on all your pages. Like always mention the where you are so that it kind of, Google gets that you are a photographer in this area and this will help when you register your business with Google as a Google My Business listing, and then you can tie the two together.

There are two types of links that you need on your website. They're inbound links, so if you have source sites or directories linking to you, that's good. And then outbound links, which is like when you link to Wikipedia to talk about something. As much as you can, you want to have these inbound links that say you're a photographer and you can be found here and you want outbound links saying, Hey, this is some resources if you're more interested more about what I do or more interested about, you know, any kind of thing. You wanna make your site more webbed with everything else in the world. Google likes that. Google likes your site to be a resource. So look at your site, figure out where you can have these inbound links. Figure out what sort of places you can get inbound links, and then also figure out where to go with outbound links.

And the last thing with SEO is, like I mentioned earlier, you want to blog. If you stay on topic and you stay in your niche and you just talk about what you do, the more you do that, the more you become an authority in Google's mind for your particular niche. And so it's really good to do it and it's also just a good habit and it really helps with all your content marketing in general.

And that's the end of the podcast about the best practices for photographer websites.

In conclusion, keep this in mind: you want good design. You want fast loading images, you want clean content that's simple and easy to follow. You want to funnel people from seeing your work, to contacting you and do these small SEO things to really help make it easier for people to find you.

If you need help with any of this, I'm more than happy to talk to you. Reach out to me, go to, fill out the contact form. I also offer a service where I do a 30 minute review of your website and offer suggestions on how to make it better.

If this podcast was helpful and you wanna share it with other people, I'd greatly appreciate 📍 it.

Also, please leave a review and the comments and happy shooting.


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