What do they want?
When people visit a website they have a purpose in mind. The problem is each person that visits your site may have a slightly different purpose. How do you know what will reach them? How do you know what should be on your site to attract quality, potential customers?
Take a look at these 10 characteristics of a quality, lead generating website that gains attention.
1. Easy to follow directions. Your navigation is the direction to your site. Does it make sense to your visitor? Do they know where to move to next?
2. A sales presentation. Your site is your sales team; create enough information throughout your site’s pages to inform your visitors of pertinent information. They want to see more than photographs – that’s a great start, but give them copy as well.
3. Detailed information on everything you do. People don’t always enter your site from the home page. They may have a desire for fall portrait sittings, and enter through one of your back pages. Does each page properly identify you, and provide enough information to keep them moving from page to page?
4. Contact information. Go through your site, and determine if it’s easy to make contact with you. Can a visitor call you if they so desire? Can they email you easily? Can they find your studio? This is your marketing tool – don’t make it hard to get in touch with you.
5. Give your prospects what they desire. What does it take to book a customer when you meet with them in person? Put this same information online. If they like to meet you, put up your photograph and write up a bio. If they like to find out why you became a photographer, tell them the story.
6. Put up more than a photo gallery. In this information driven world, people want information. Seeing your photographs is nice, but they want to know about you. I look through hundreds of photographers’ websites, and many are simply online galleries to showcase their photographs. As I move from site to site, simply looking at a photographer’s portfolio with little information, I wonder what separates her from the next site I look at. I guarantee you your clients are asking the very same question.
7. It’s not about the Flash. Your customer doesn’t care about Flash files, fancy graphics, lots of movement, and elaborate presentations. They want things simple, and they want them quickly. What’s impressive to you may not be impressive to your client. She would rather see 100 images from your last 10 weddings, than 10 of your best images rotating in a fancy Flash gallery.
8. Affirmation. Before a prospect does business with you, they must feel comfortable with you. Why not start by giving them some testimonials? Give names, dates, locations, and place their photographs by their testimonial to add validity.
9. It’s what you say that counts. You can’t be too wordy. You can’t include too much copy. Your clients love to read about what you do, and how you do it. I’m not saying to put a lot of information on one page; instead, build your website with multiple pages. Give them the opportunity to click to different pages to learn more. Some people may be comfortable reading 2 pages in a couple of minutes, where the next visitor will read 20 pages in 30 minutes. The important thing is the opportunity to do so.
10. What’s your purpose? Every site must have a purpose, and it should be the goal of every page on your site. Is it to fill out a form? Is it to sign up for a free report? Define your purpose upfront, and make sure every page leads to that goal.
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