Did you know that goldfish are believed to have an attention span of 9 seconds, while humans.… oh look, a doughnut!
Sadly, research shows that humans’ attention span has dropped from 12 seconds back in 2000 to only 8 seconds in 2015. How does this affect me, as a photographer you ask? Well, it means that you only have about 8 seconds to impress your potential customers and keep them scrolling through your website, hoping that they will convert into a client. As if it doesn’t sound already like Mission Impossible, turns out a lot of creatives also loose points on very simple mistakes while designing their website. Some seem obvious, others not so much, but almost every creative is guilty of at least one of these. So here it goes, a short compilation of 9 most common website mistakes to avoid and save your business and brand.
1. Your Name / About Info Is Missing
As obvious and logical as this may sound, you’d be surprised how many website owners forget or choose to remain a mystery for their visitors. This does not only create frustration for the user who keeps checking all pages, trying to find some details about the photographer, but also negatively impacts their brand awareness and recognition.
Also, make sure your users can easily find your contact details and area of work. Your client needs to know if you are available for their location and how to get in touch with you. Here’s a tip, while contact forms are easy to use and get all your inquiries structured nicely, many users prefer to have an actual email address too, so they have a copy of the message they’ve sent and can reach out if there’s an urgency.
2. Using Free Website Templates
Not the case if you are a Flothemes users. If you are not, we suggest you take a look here.
Surely we all start with a small or no budget at all, but if you want to run a successful photography business you have to be ready to invest at least a little into it. Your website is who you are, it’s your digital business card, so put some creativity into it, to stand out and get your users curious.
3. Music On Your Website
Don’t do it! Just trust us on this. Most users have Spotify, Youtube or any other source of music playing on the background while they browse the web, do research, work or even read articles. So the last thing you want to do, is interrupt that process and get them desperately looking for the close tab button. It is fine if you want to add a song to your blog posts, just leave the choice of turning the song on up to the user.
4. A Slow Website
Only 8 seconds of attention span, remember? Yes, we know that photographers and videographers have the hardest time when it comes to site speed, since there is an ongoing trade off between uploading high resolution images, which look amazing on 5k screens, or having a fast loading website on mobile devices. Though we would never recommend posting a poor quality image in your portfolio, we do want to point out that the majority of your clients do not own a 5k or even 4k screen. They will be looking at your website from their laptop (most probably a 13inch or 15inch), iPad or iPhone, so make sure you have all your images optimized and saved for web. For more guidance on this, feel free to check our tutorials on How to Speed Up Your Site and Optimize Your Images.
5. Pricing Is Hidden
Pricing is one more debatable topic. It’s not a mistake if you choose not to share any numbers on your website, but do guide your potential customers using clear wording (i.e. “For information on the prices please contact me at the following email”). Always choose clarity and simplicity over misleading complicated designs and structures.
6. No English Version
This is of course for photographers from countries whose first language is other than English. Unless you plan to keep your business local, and never get noticed on the international arena – having an English version for your site is a must! If you don’t have time or financial resources to create two language versions of your site, but want to grow big – go for the English site only. Otherwise, there are plugins that can help you translate your content, for example WPML.
7. Unreadability & Inconsistent
Nobody likes messy complicated sitemaps or a split-personality design, it gets users confused and easily distracted. Typography will help you a lot in this case. Choose a font pairing that represents your brand and is easy to read. Think about spacing and background colors. You’d be surprised how your typography choice influences the time a user spends on your website and blog. If you need more help with this, we have a Font Guide for English and Non-English Websites.
8. Social Media Presence
This is crucial when you think about how much time on average users spend on their social media accounts. What’s the point of having a Facebook or Instagram brand page if you don’t advertise it on your website? Try to minimize the number of steps a user has to take to find your business on social media. You do not want them to search for it manually, as more steps means more probability that they won’t take the next step.
9. Wait, what? Your Site Is Not Mobile Friendly?
This is an absolute necessity, we’re sure you know that by now.
Having put a great amount of time and energy to build up your website, it would be a pity to lose on new business inquiries just by making these small but crucial mistakes. We hope this article helps you catch up on your weak spots and get back into shape for your busy season.
Let us know what you think and whether you know of other common mistakes worth mentioning!