I’d guess that for many photographers, the stretch from April to early-July is the busiest time of year. Given that much of that time is spent shooting, it leaves much less time for ongoing marketing. As such, our websites are left to do the heavy-lifting for us re: ongoing promotion of our photography. So, here are some website tune-up tips to ensure that your website is up to date:
1. Update your homepage slideshow and/or galleries: We should be doing this on a regular basis anyway but especially at a time of year when many agents are getting busier and might be searching for a photographer. On a related note, it’s important to remember that extensive research done by Google has found that on average, people make up their minds about how they feel about your website in 1/20th of a second! This means that you'd better make sure that your very best image is the first photo people see on your site.
2. Update your own headshot: As noted by Tony Colangelo, in his recent post on how to write a great About Me section, a good photo will go a long way in making a personal connection with the reader! So if you don’t have one, you should consider adding one. If you already have your portrait on your website, then make sure it’s a current one. You should also do this for all your social media accounts too.
3. Write new blog posts: If you choose to write them, then make sure to offer a new post weekly if possible, or at least monthly. Even if it’s just showing your favorite 3-4 images from a recent shoot, along with a sentence or two about why you liked the photo. This will go a long way to getting current and prospective clients to be more familiar with you and your style.
4. Add new testimonials: Testimonials are a great way to build trust in the reader because they validate your competence and show that you're good to work with. They’re particularly powerful if they can cite a cost-benefit (i.e., your photos were noted by the buyer as one of the reasons that contributed to the sale of the house.)
5. Update your Terms of Service & FAQs: If you’ve made any changes to the way you’re running your business, your current and prospective clients should know so as to avoid any headaches in future.
6. Change your site's copyright date: Yup, pretty much self-explanatory!
7. Make sure that your site is functional in new browsers and devices: Even though new technology tries to be compatible with previous versions, it’s up to us to make sure there aren’t any glitches. So clear your cache and test your site on multiple browsers, tablets, and especially cell phones.
8. Get feedback: Without giving friends and family specific things to look for or do on your site, ask them to peruse your site and jot down some candid notes on their experience. Find out what they liked most and what they found tricky.
9. Back up your photography website: Just in case!
Taking care of these things every few months or at least annually, will keep your website fresh. Are there any other suggestions you'd like to add to this list?