Putting your business on the internet An introduction to the web & marketing your business online Liam Byrne OnSight.ie Section 1: Overview An introduction to the web & marketing your business online Liam Byrne OnSight.ie Why invest in an online presence ? ● Broadband - where do you go first ? Google ● Potential global audience - Ireland : 2.06 million - Worldwide : 1.043 billion ● 24hr advertising medium Why invest in an online presence ? ● Cost / benefit analysis - compare to colour newspaper ads, radio, ● tv, brochures Golden Pages, etc... ● Image-friendly medium - potential to show multiple images Protection of .ie domain names joebloggs.com vs joeblog.com vs joebloggs.ie IEDR require registered business names, protecting your investment There is no similar restriction on .com or .net Your own site vs photo-sharing site ● Own your own website & domain - professionalism - unique design & branding - copyright concerns - compare one-off cost vs ongoing subscription costs Use & own your own email address Imagine the customer's perception: email@example.com vs firstname.lastname@example.org Which would you prefer to pay a deposit to, or buy a €2,000 product or service from ? Have your own “look and feel” ● branding, logo, colours & fonts ● your own unique “look” ● easy-to-use navigation Other Design Considerations Photographic websites have relatively unique requirements; they should have a professional look, but should allow the images to be the main focus of the viewer What makes a good website ? Rate the following from 1-7: ● clear & professional-looking ● quick-loading & easy to navigate ● provide sample photographs & information about your business ● make it easy for viewers to get in touch & make enquiries ● easily found in search engines like Google ● easy-to-update ● animated content and interaction Section 2: Plan Your Site Content An introduction to the web & marketing your business online Liam Byrne OnSight.ie What should be on your website ? ● sample images ● your background information / profile ● contact information / contact form ...... anything else ? What else ? ● details of your style & approach ● available packages, albums, frames, etc ● opening times; how to make an appointment ● hints on what (and what not!) to wear ● directions to studio / location map What else ? ● details & examples of award-winning images ● testimonials - quotes from smiling, satisfied customers, accompanied by their photos! Section 3: Ensure that people, and Search Engines, like your website! An introduction to the web & marketing your business online Liam Byrne OnSight.ie What sites do you visit most often ? ......ones that are regularly updated ? Don't hide great images in a drawer or a hard drive where no-one can see them! Add them to your website! ● Modern sites can be updated in seconds! ● Encourage vistors to return What sites do you visit most often ? Search engines love regularly-updated sites! Up-to-date information is more relevant in any search results How can you use this to your advantage ? Have a “Latest News” section Add photos & images from recent events & weddings Caption Your Images Tag your images and have your site display that information - include location, category, etc – whatever someone might be likely to search for “a picture paints a thousand words..... ...but Google can't find them in a picture!” Section 4: Ensure that Google continues to like your site An introduction to the web & marketing your business online Liam Byrne OnSight.ie Things to Avoid..... ● DON'T build a website completely in Flash - search engines won't index these properly Modern technology and browsers can allow fades & animations without using Flash ● DON'T have just images - the images are the most important part of a photographer's site, but remember.... “a picture paints a thousand words.....” Avoid Generic, Standalone Galleries These will not have the professional look or navigation of your overall website If someone goes to an “orphaned” page from Google, they won't be able to access your main website and contact information! ● DON'T open other “popup” windows – these will annoy & frustrate the visitor, i.e. your potential client & cause them to leave Don't hide text or lie! The “white text on white background” trick! If Google discovers you have attempted this, THEY WILL BLACKLIST YOU! All text and information on the page should be relevant and useful to the visitor Get Inward Links Add your site listed in appropriate directories Get hotels & venues to link to your site Only incoming links improve your rankings - reciprocal links might be a necessary evil - Section 5: Additional Marketing Ideas An introduction to the web & marketing your business online Liam Byrne OnSight.ie “Recommend an Image” Feature Let your visitors do your marketing for you! Free Marketing Downloads Provide free – branded - downloads; screensavers, jigsaws, etc Promote Your Website ● in newspapers, via adverts & photo credits ● on business cards, stationery, vouchers, etc ● in radio ads Make it easy for people to find your website Promote one image vs promote them all! Section 6: Make your site even more useful An introduction to the web & marketing your business online Liam Byrne OnSight.ie Promote Your Activities Get your site to display seasonal promotions ● December: “Portraits make great Christmas gifts” ● February: “Engagement Portraits for Valentine's Day” ● May/June: “First Communion Portraits” Modern sites can be set up to display all of these automatically, along with appropriate galleries, with no additional work for you! Online Viewing & Ordering Upload images from weddings & events ● Allow clients to log in and order their album or prints OR ● Allow potential clients to see what types of photos you can take at that venue Online Viewing & Ordering A proper viewing & ordering system will allow: ● viewing & comparing of images in colour, black & white, or sepia ● separate sets of images to be chosen for wedding album & individual prints A standard “shopping cart” or ordering system will not have these facilities Search Facilities If your images don't fit neatly into categories, or if there are lots of images, consider providing a search facility so that visitors can quickly locate and access the images that they want to see. Online Viewing & Ordering If you sell bordered or mounted prints, you can allow clients to view the images either with or without the border If you have landscape or product images, or event images with competitors, allow visitors to search for a particular location, content or competitor ID. Other Ordering Facilities Consider allowing visitors to order gift vouchers online, or order images from a particular event Section 7: Internet Etiquette & Best Practices An introduction to the web & marketing your business online Liam Byrne OnSight.ie Don't Send SPAM EU law does not allow you to send marketing emails without the recipients' permission ● DO NOT subscribe or source any marketing email lists without written confirmation that the seller has obtained these via an opt-in mechanism ● DO NOT send marketing emails “on-spec” to companies or individuals with whom you have not previously dealt; if you absolutely must do this, ring them to get permission ● DO NOT use client emails to send marketing material unless you have previously obtained their permission Avoid incoming SPAM ● Use a junk mail filter to divert the bulk of unwanted mail ● DO NOT deal with companies that send unsolicited marketing emails, unless they are acting on a referral from someone that you know ● DO NOT reply or click a supposed “unsubscribe” link in an unsolicited email; this will just confirm to the sender that the email address is valid and that a real person has received and read their email – they will then send more! Protect Your Web Forms If your website uses forms, make sure they are protected from attempted abuse by “spammers”. These emails will appear to come from your email address, and could get you, or your hosting company, into trouble, preventing future emails from your from getting past junk mail blockers. Since mid-2006, OnSight's web forms are protected against the most common attempts at spamming. Beware of “Phishing” “Phishing” is the practice of sending emails which are designed to appear to be from bank or a service like PayPal, asking you to log in and confirm your details. Most of these emails are from criminals who are trying to gain access to your account details. While SPAM is much more prevalent, phishing is much more serious with financial implications. Don't Get Caught Out! ● NEVER click on a link in an unexpected email which asks you for financial account details; the site will be a copy of the real one and will record your username and password. ● ALWAYS open a new browser window and type in the web address youself. REMEMBER that banks and credit-card facilities do not send out emails asking for your account details. Section 9: Conclusion An introduction to the web & marketing your business online Liam Byrne OnSight.ie Conclusion A well-designed website is an amazing resource which, if designed properly and regularly updated, can promote your photography business in a way that no other medium can. When combined effectively with more traditional marketing methods, your website, email and marketing techniques can reward a small effort with significant returns. Further Information For further information on all of the concepts introduced here today, as well as our complete portfolio, visit www.onsight.ie You can also talk to us after the remaining presentations or sign up to receive an email containing all of the key points of this presentation.
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