It’s estimated 80% of visitors will skim your website. For wedding photographers – who focus on showcasing their visual products to would-be clients – the percentage may be even higher.
But an incredible website is so much more than a collection of your images. They have an app for that. It’s called Pinterest. Oh wait. There’s another one that’s popular too: Instagram.
Those are the first step in the buyer’s journey. Your website is the next step couples take on their way to pick a wedding photographer. So you have to share more than a beautiful image that grabs their attention. You have to share 1) the right information at 2) the right time in 3) the right way.
If it’s that simple, where do many miss the mark when it comes to sharing information on their websites? Here are the top eight mistakes on wedding photographer websites we see all the time:
- Relying too heavily on photos to sell services
- Pricing page in the main navigation
- Blog without any copy content
- FAQ with late-stage information
- Too many non-wedding gallery images
- Non-wedding links in main navigation
- Detailed packages and pricing
- No Services page explaining what you do
Relying too heavily on photos to sell services
Yes, couples are on your site because they want you to deliver incredible photographs of their wedding. But it’s not the only thing they’re looking for. Depending on where they’re at in the decision-making process, they could be searching for any number of insights, including:
- What they really want from a wedding photographer?
- How to describe the style of photography they’re drawn to?
- How much to spend on good photography?
- What makes you different than others who offer the same services?
- Why can they trust you?
- What is the process to buy your services?
- What is it like to be a client?
- What values do your company share with them?
And so many other things. Which is why you can’t put up a bunch of images on different pages with a bio of yourself and expect to get the right info to potential clients.
Your photos start the conversation, but your site has to carry it on. Do yourself a favor and make it easy for visitors to learn the basics about you, your brand, and how you meet their needs better than the other 12 tabs open on their browser. That is how you’ll stand out. Not with better images.
Detailed packages and pricing
It’s important to let potential buyers know how much your services are – but not before you know what they need. In fact, when a couple is first looking on your website they might not know what they need.
If you present specific details on your packages and pricing you can scare away even the most affluent consumers who can easily afford your services.
That’s because they’re not ready to buy, they’re “just looking.” Don’t bog them down with all the details and don’t start by showing them the price tag.
Instead, highlight how you help them and list a “starting at” price on the bottom of your Services page (more on this down below).
Pricing page in the main navigation
Speaking of priming the conversation to focus on pricing, don’t put an entire page about it on your site. And for the love of all we know about how the nonconscious mind works, please don’t draw their attention to it with a link in the main navigation. (And, no, calling it “investment” isn’t fooling anyone. In fact, it could be scaring them away even more…)
The fastest way to lose control of the conversation you’re trying to start with a potential client is to make it about money right away. What you should be focusing on is either a) helping the buyer identify their surface-level and deep-seeded needs and/or b) what services you provide to meet those needs.
If you’ve got a pricing page on your site, go take a look at it. Chances are you’ll find copy that talks about how much you do for your client, how well you take care of them, why you’re worth it, and why your approach is different (and better) than other photographers. All these things are important…and belong on a Services page, not a Pricing page.
No Services page sharing what you do
Call it “information,” or “experience,” or “details,” so long as it accomplishes the functional goal of telling couples what you do and how it helps them. We believe the number one reason your business exists is to meet the needs of your customer. Otherwise, it would be a passion project or hobby. And we can assure you that your clients fully believe that you exist to take care of their needs, not fulfill your own creative calling.
So tell them what you do for them! Shout it from the rooftops over Internet Ave. Give them what they want, which is to know what kinds of solutions you offer to the problems they’re experiencing. Showcase how your services differ from others in your local market. Make it easy to see why you’re an easy choice to get them what they want.
Blog without any copy content
The best blogs on photographers’ websites do more than just highlight recent portfolio additions. Aside from boosting SEO (which helps you no matter what audience you’re marketing to, including luxury), it’s a top place to demonstrate authority and showcase expertise.
Use a blog to build value and create reassurance that you’re the best choice in the group of photographers they’re considering. And when you do, focus on what your favorite clients care about most. If you do, they’ll start to trust you’re the one who can make those things happen for them, too.
FAQ with late-stage information
Our position on FAQs has moved from 🙁 to 🤔 over the past year. What we like about FAQs is that you can convey snippets of important information in short, direct copy. It’s a quick way to get straight to the nuts and bolts of what you do, which is very useful to Boss buyer types.
The key is to choose the right questions to answer. Too many times we see FAQs that focus on questions better left for later in the buyer’s journey. These tend to do with pricing (including deposits, refunds, cancellations, contracts, etc.), package features (turnaround times, sneak peeks, copyrights, etc.), and BTS business info (insurance coverage, gear, etc.).
If you’re going to do an FAQ:
- Put it on your About page
- Answer questions like “How would you describe your style?” or “What does all that experience get me?”
- Highlight your voice and values throughout
- Create a call to action to inquire
Too many non-wedding images
If you make most of your money photographing weddings, showcase images primarily about weddings. If you want to grow the number of bookings for weddings, put out images primarily about weddings. If you want to catch the attention of someone who wants a photographer for their wedding, give them images primarily about weddings.
Seems simple, but a lot of photographers do otherwise, especially if they do more than weddings.
If you photograph corporate, commercial, branding, interiors, families, maternity, seniors or other subjects, we recommend putting a landing page for other photography services like these linked through the footer navigation.
But even photographers who focus exclusively on weddings often include a bunch of galleries highlighting engagement sessions in their galleries. Certainly, share with clients that you offer these in packages, and put a gallery link or two in email correspondence or in your proposal. But don’t bury the lead with an avalanche of what are essentially portrait sessions rather than weddings in your portfolio.
When couples are searching online for a wedding photographer they’re skimming for information through that filter. Make it easy for them to see you can give them what they want at that moment.
Non-wedding links in main navigation
Many wedding pros have moved into the education space recently, especially with all the pivots during the pandemic. Others expanded what they offer to include non-wedding print stores. Some even got into presets and IG filters. If you’re one of these, good for you.
But reconsider putting all your wares in one storefront. Most companies have a hard time selling to more than one buyer at a time, because marketing messages are most effective when very narrowly targeted. It’s called an “ideal buyer” – not “every buyer” – for a reason. Site copy and messages are most successful when they’re targeting your One Reader’s biggest concerns and desires.
Unless your brides and grooms are also buying online courses about lighting or OCF, it’s best to push links for your education or products to the footer navigation.
We hope you learn what not to do from this list. If you’re interested in what to do, check out other blog posts – or hit us up with a free consult to see how we can develop a solid site that delivers more of the right kinds of inquiries to your inbox.