In Part 1 Photographers SEO and Social Marketing I wrote about how the content you create and share is can be more important than SEO. In Part 2 I wrote more about SEO and useful WordPress plugins to help. In Part 3 I’m going to discuss how the look and functions of a photographer’s website helps their marketing.
The layout for your blog should be very clean. It should not have too much going on, but at the same time you don’t want it to be bare. Advertisements are acceptable but you don’t want too many. People do click advertisements but when there are many scattered on a single page you will find yourself losing visitors rather than making money. Affiliate links work the same way. Some are good, too many are bad. Also, don’t be afraid to tell people about your advertisements and affiliations. In fact, FCC wants you too.
In the footer of your website you should have copyright information. Depending on your advertising strategy you could take advantage of this space for possible income. I will explain more later on.
On each individual post there should be a way to share your article on various social websites. Remember I said that you can share on StumbleUpon in one minute or in seconds depending on your website? The way StumbleUpon works is they ask for the link and a review when submitting a page. After you enter that information it then asks for keywords or tags. The way to bypass “the review” is by using a Stumble button on your website. Then all you need to enter are the keywords. Simple!
Here are some of these tools:
- ShareThis.com (script and plugin)
- AddThis.com (script and plugin)
- AddToAny.com (script and plugin)
- SexyBookmarks (plugin)
- Socialize (plugin)
- ShareDaddy (plugin)
- Sharebar (plugin)
You also want to make sure that whatever button you are using has the most popular social sites most visible: Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc. You will also be surprised that people will take advantage of the “email this” feature.
Many of these sharing tools have tracking systems built-in but you should also be using your own stats system for your website.
Too many extras
Would you keep your house that messy?
Many people like using the Wibya toolbar, Twitter and Feedback float boxes. Using all three of these things on one website is really ugly and adds too much bulk to a design. Try sticking with one, or hire a developer to combine them all.
They get annoying quick
Turn them off or you will lose visitors. Marketing like that doesn’t always work like it used to. People are smart and will stop coming back. If you really want the pop-up box make sure that it logs IP addresses so the next time a person returns they do not get the same pop-up.
Keep them around
When you have someone on your website, you don’t want them to leave. One of the ways to keep people interested is to show similar posts and popular posts on your blog. Many themes have these built-in but for those that do not there are a few ways to carry out the job.
Use a WordPress plugin: A simple search of the WordPress directory reveals many plugins that will show similar (or related) posts. Same goes for popular posts.
Another would be a customized script that would be written by a person with knowledge of PHP, SQL and WordPress to accomplish.
The third way is to use a script like LinkWithIn. They do a great job of displaying your related posts, however their name will be underneath the list.
Somewhere in your layout could be something called “Breadcrumbs”.
“Breadcrumbs typically appear horizontally across the top of a web page, usually below title bars or headers. They provide links back to each previous page the user navigated through to get to the current page or—in hierarchical site structures—the parent pages of the current one. Breadcrumbs provide a trail for the user to follow back to the starting or entry point. A greater-than sign (>) often serves as hierarchy separator, although designers may use other glyphs (such as »), as well as various graphical treatments. Typical breadcrumbs look like this:
Home page > Section page > Subsection page or Home page >> Section page >> Subsection page”
The reason for using Breadcrumbs is very similar to popular and similar posts. A reader might see that small link and say “Hey, there could be other good articles under the same category”
But is it?
There are those that believe breadcrumbs are good and there are those that do not. WPCandy.com published an article, “Why WordPress breadcrumbs are almost always pointless” that talked about a user experience and what types of websites should have breadcrumbs. If done correctly there is no harm in a UI. If done poorly a website can look quite ugly and turn a viewer away.
Tell them where to find you
Or how to get in touch
So you’re now on a bunch of social media websites and want to interact and communicate with other people right? One of the best ways to let people know where you can be found is by placing icons on your website. There are many ways do this. One of which is to use plugins like similar to the social media sharing plugins however they would link to your social websites instead of sharing your posts.
Another would be to manually insert each icon with a link. In my opinion that is better because it is one less plugin to use. Further optimizing could be made by using CSS Sprites but that would take some web design knowledge.
There are many plugins in the WordPress repository that can help improve a website, keep readers on the site and increase engagement. Browse, research and experiment. See what works, see what people enjoy and get rid of what does not. Until next time…
Thanks for reading and happy shooting,