A splash page is used by 48% of photography websites according to a recent poll I conducted with a couple hundred photographers. Not very surprising, right? What surprised me was that few to none of the splash pages I reviewed had any of the essential marketing elements one should provide during a potential client’s first impression!
I think of a splash page like a book cover at Borders bookstore. How you should market a book to sell is the same way you should market a website to sell. The cover design (splash page design) including imagery and color makes me pick up the book (or look at the page). The summary on the back (webpage text) tells me if the book is a genre or style that interests me. The review from New York Times (client testimonial) and the Oprah Book Club seal (badges of your affiliations) tells me that the book should be a popular one. The author bio (about you section) inside the dust jacket flap looks interesting… I think I’ve read other books by the same author. The table of contents (splash page links) let me know what to expect inside. All of these things on a simple book cover you can mimic on a webpage to get potential clients to a purchase decision immediately. Here’s my rundown of the 10 best marketing ideas for photography splash pages.
Of course it’s essential to use a logo immediately. They may be speed dating photography websites looking at 10 a minute for the perfect photographer. Your logo will deliver a significant first impression about your business. it may take seven of those impressions before a user remembers who you are. Check out Melanie Pittman’s logo – she is all about fun and fresh, a breath of fresh air for a visitor who came from a bunch of cookie cutter websites. her logo may only take two impressions to deliver a memorable impact.
2. Links to important web pages
You have a limited amount of real estate to get users where they need to go quickly. If you have one web visitor and they will click one thing, what will it be? Hint: it is not a huge image linking to a full screen version of your site or a big ENTER MOBILE WEBSITE link. I wouldn’t even dump people into a big flash site or blog homepage where they have to hunt around for my best work. Link directly to your best web gallery, or best 5 blog posts. Not only do these homepage links help the landing pages rank better in search, but they get potential clients into exactly what you want them to see. Chances are it’s the award winning post you wrote last year about a major wedding and not a random recent blog post from last week.
People who look at pricing, testimonial, and contact pages are probably considering you for hire. Make it easier to get people into those pages by linking to them prominently from the splash page.
3. Contact information
If you have a splash page, then you have a Flash site. What happens to users who can’t see Flash but want to get in touch with you? You’re contact information better be clear on the homepage, especially for return visitors who don’t want to hunt around your Flash site for it.
In every consulting call I ask photographers what is the single most important thing a potential client could do after visiting their website? Invariably, they say they want to be contacted to book a session. I agree. In that case, let users know you want them to contact you by making it clear from the moment they arrive at your site. Make it clear for Google as well. One factor in ranking on Google Places is a consistent physical address and phone number across the internet. Start by listing this information on your homepage.
4. About you information
Once a web visitor likes the quality of your photos they move into the purchasing cycle. The first thing anyone wants to know when paying for a service is who will they be hiring? Especially in the photography space where photos have an emotional consideration. If someone is going to photograph my family, or spend the most important day of my life with me (my wedding day), then I want to know that person beforehand. A simple face shot and bio delivers this essential information instantly. A homepage without an about section is like a book with no author information – everyone wants to know!
You should also use your bio to influence the types of projects you will receive. If you’re looking to get high end clientele, then the bio should be “esteemed” and professional. A pet photographer might have a photo of you and your dog, with a bio that talks about the types of dogs you like. People will hire other people that look and act like themselves, it’s human nature. Use this to your advantage by explaining yourself well.
Liz Bradley does this well. She doesn’t have a splash page, but you can see how her “About” material says a ton about her style and personality. Dane Sanders tells about himself in video. Think about how you can represent your face on the homepage and let customers get to know you. They will more likely hire someone they know than a business.
5. A handful of your greatest images
If a friend asks for samples of your work so she can refer a friend, would you email her just one image? No way. There’s little chance one image tells enough about you or represents all the styles you can achieve. Most photography homepages have a bounce rate of 25% or more, meaning one-forth of people on the page don’t click into the site – they look at the homepage then leave. Show these users more examples of your work with an embedded slideshow on your splash page, thumbnail gallery, or a minimum of quality images that represent each of your major websites (flash, blog, etc). Images are the most important piece of content to generate new business, so don’t limit your most viewed page to a single image.
Homepage photos should showcase the type of work you want to achieve, not the work you’ve done in the past. Don’t show a baby photo is your goal is to book more weddings. Doing so will turn away all the brides who may hire you. If you’ve never shot a wedding but are trying to break into the market, you may have to do one free or at a discount to get some great shots to add to the homepage.
6. Testimonials or awards/media/press
Do Oprah’s Book Club books sell because they’re great books, or because she told you to buy it? I think it is a vicious circle. The point is people buy what others tell them to buy. here are different ways to showcase what others think about you, reinforcing to users that you provide trusted, quality services:
- Awards, honors
- Media mentions
- Affiliations, memberships
I like how JONETSU Studios put badges on top of the splash page images.
7. HTML text for findability in search engines
According to Scribe SEO (a great WordPress tool that I’m an affiliate for) and other reputable sources, Google wants 300+ words of HTML text on a page to have confidence to rank the page for its searchers. After all, if there are 2 pages about wedding photography, one with 10 words, and one with 300 words, which do you think the searcher would rather see? The one with a decent amount of content.
Summary of 10 Best Photography Splash Page Marketing Ideas
When your photography splash page tells users who you are, what you do, why they should hire you, and how to get in contact with you, potential clients are much more likely to pick up the phone and book a session. Photos, testimonials, and links to your best work are some of the most important things to get users quick information.
After reading this article – what changes did you make to your splash page? Share your examples with others now below.
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