In the past few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing and auditing wedding photography websites. Throughout the process, I’ve seen some really good websites, and I’ve also seen a number of websites repeating the same mistakes.
In order to help as many wedding photographers as possible, I decided to create this wedding photography website template. The purpose of this template is to show you the 15 most important elements you need on your homepage from the perspective of conversion-based web design.
I decided to discuss only the homepage and not all pages for two reasons:
- The homepage is the heart of your website and should be your first focus
- Creating a post for all the optimizations needed on a website would be exhaustive and would lose the practicality and manageability of a post like this
I hope you all enjoy this post and I hope it helps you capture many more magical moments.
Wedding Photography Homepage Template Introduction
The order of the template will be from top to bottom to make it easy to follow and implement. There are of course other effective ways to layout a homepage. And there are other elements that could be included.
This is just my interpretation on an effective wedding photography homepage, and the 15 elements I would makes sure to include. The main thing I want to express is the strategy behind the layout. After you understand the strategy, you should feel free to customize the template to your liking.
Wedding Photography Homepage Template
1. CTA Top Right
For those of you who are unfamiliar, CTA stands for call-to-action. On most websites, the CTA usually takes the form of a button. Your CTA is the intended action you want a visitor to take on your website.
For wedding photographers, this probably means getting someone to contact you. On your button you can say, contact, book now, get in touch, or any other similar derivative. The exact wording is up to you and your style, just make sure it’s clear and obvious.
For most people, they need to see information a few times before they process it. Because of this, we will be using our CTA generously throughout our website.
And because people scan websites instead of reading them, we want to make our CTA a color that stands out. That way even if they scan our website quickly, they will see our CTA multiple times.
2. Best Image\Image Slider
As a photographer, the image on the top of your website is the most important first impression you will have with potential customers. This can be a single image or a slider of multiple images, just don’t go too crazy with too many images since too many can slow down your website.
Whatever you do, you want to make sure you only put up your best work. Additionally, the photo or photos should be of a happy wedding couple. People like to see the emotional destination your business can take them. Seeing a photo of a happy couple shows them right away what they can expect from your business.
Some wedding photography websites make the mistake of emphasizing the wrong things like a ring, wedding venue, or bouquet of roses. I agree these can make for beautiful images, but it doesn’t show our potential customers the emotional destination we are trying to help take them.
3. SEO Headline
Even though I named this the SEO headline, this headline is useful for users as well. In fact, most SEO best practices are rooted in making websites better for users, but I’ll go into more detail on that in another post.
For the purpose of this blog, the SEO headline is where we simply tell search engines and our users what our business does. Without over complicating it, this first headline should include your location and your profession.
So, if you’re a wedding photographer based out of San Diego, your headline should be, “San Diego Wedding Photographer”. If you’re using a website builder like WordPress, you probably know that you can change how text looks by labeling it as either a paragraph or a header.
Furthermore, there are six different headers, H1-H6, that are different sizes and are used to separate titles from subtitles. H1 is the largest header on the website and should be reserved for the title of the page. “San Diego Wedding Photographer” is the title of your homepage and therefore should use an H1 header.
The reason this is important for users is because we want them to know very quickly what our business does. By spelling it out very simply, and by making the text large by using an H1 header, we let our customers know exactly what our business does within a second of them coming to our website.
The other function of making this title an H1 header is for search engines. The H1 header is one of the first places search engines look to see what our website is about. When we use our main keywords, “San Diego Wedding Photographer”, inside our H1 header, we are efficiently letting Google know what our website is about.
This makes it really easy for them to show us for relevant search queries on Google.
4. Solution Headline
The solution headline is where we show customers we have the solution to their problem. To get a better insight of the problems engaged couples are having, I enlisted the help of my good friends and exceptional wedding photographers, Bree and Stephen.
“They’re trying to mitigate risk by choosing the right wedding photographer who
- They can trust to capture/safely store their wedding memories
- They feel comfortable around so they don’t feel like they’re with paparazzi for the day
And since there’s 10,000 photographers in every city, it’s overwhelming for a bride when she’s window shopping – what if I try to go cheap and I book an unprofessional person who ruins the day? What if I invest a lot of money and the photos aren’t great? What if I feel awkward?
So they’re super skeptical and trying to avoid risk!”
There is a ton of good information here. We will use some of this feedback later on our website, but for now I want to address the two main things Bree and Stephen mentioned: trust, and feeling comfortable.
Now that we know the main pain points for our customers, we want to be direct with our headline. You can use a little style and personality but make sure the headline is still clear.
If we confuse we lose. So, we want to avoid creating a headline that is too vague and is making our customers think too hard to understand it.
Here is how I would write my solution headline. “Photographers you can trust to take high-quality photos, who won’t make you feel awkward”.
It’s nothing fancy, but it’s effective because it’s clear and directly answers my customers primary pain points.
5. Reinforcing CTA
Like I mentioned in section one, we will be using our CTA generously throughout our website. The next most important spot for your CTA is around the middle of your feature image. For visitors looking at our website on desktop, they will immediately see two identical CTAs and will know right away what the goal of our website is.
On mobile though, the top right CTA will not show up since it’s part of the mobile menu and will be hidden. So, it’s really important to include this reinforcing CTA for our mobile users. If you want to see an example of this, go to my homepage on desktop, and you will see two buttons, and go to it on mobile and you will only see one.
I wanted to give the top right CTA and the reinforcing CTA individual sections because they are the two most important CTAs on our page. For everywhere else you should include a CTA, just look at the template and see where I placed the red buttons labeled, #5.
6. About Snippet
In most websites, the about page usually gets the second highest amount of attention. Because engaged customers are looking for wedding photographers they can feel comfortable around, they will definitely go to your about page to get a feel for you.
Knowing this, as a visitor starts scrolling through our website, we want them to have access to our about page right away. We want to create a snippet of our about page so we can briefly introduce ourselves to our potential clients.
The snippet should include 3-5 sentences max, a picture of you, and a link that sends them to a well-crafted about page. Structuring the snippet in this way is perfect because if we have clients that want to learn more about us, they can very easily head over to our about page through the snippet.
But for other customers that have seen enough and are ready to move on to our portfolio or other sections, we’re not forcing them to have to scroll through an extensive about section.
Like I just mentioned, after our customers look through our about snippet they will want to see what else we offer. This section and the next two should be reserved for your three most important pages after your home and about page.
Like Bree and Stephen mentioned, engaged couples are looking for wedding photographers they can trust to take professional photos. The first section they will look to answer those concerns will be your portfolio page.
This last section is a little more up in the air. I would put my blog here but feel free to put your FAQ page or whatever you think your next most important page is.
After we’ve shown our portfolio, packages, and blog snippets, we want to make sure to include another CTA. If our visitors are ready to move forward, we’re going to make it easy for them.
If not, we still have some other tricks up our sleeves in the next section.
At this point, our potential customers have seen a lot of what we have to offer. However, they may still be confused about how the process works. In this section we want to create a 3-6 step plan that shows our customers step-by-step what happens when they fill out the contact form.
This will help our customers visualize what happens in between submitting the contact form and capturing their magical moments. Try not to add more than six steps because it may do the opposite of what we’re trying to do which is reduce confusion.
Take a look at this section on the template for an idea on how this snippet should look. To make it look a little nicer, I would add a relevant icon on top of each of the steps.
If a customer clicks on learn more, they should be taken to a separate page that goes into more detail like the example shown.
11. Problem/Solution Reminder
Although the process plan we made above reduced the confusion our customers may have, that still may not be enough. In psychology, they’ve demonstrated that after you remind someone of a problem, they are more likely to purchase a solution for it right after.
In this section, we are going to remind our customers of the thing they fear when picking a wedding photographer, and we’re going to remind them that we have the solution.
Like Bree and Stephen mentioned, one of the biggest fears for engaged couples is hiring a photographer that will ruin their wedding photos. I want to directly address this pain point and then provide the solution.
As you can see on the template, what I would say is:
- Problem: “Don’t let an amateur photographer ruin your wedding day!”
- Solution: “Let the professionals at Online Otter capture the wedding moments you’ve dreamed of!”
And of course, because oftentimes humans won’t take an action until you explicitly ask them, we’re going to top this section off with a CTA.
Below is another example of a problem/solution reminder. They remind the client about the pain point of stress, and remind them of the solution, that their wedding day should be fun.
In this section and the next, we are going to mitigate any remnants of risk our customers may still have. The first way to do that is to show our testimonials.
We’ve done a lot to describe our business so far and now it’s time to let our previous customers do the talking for us. Pick out a few of your best reviews and insert them here and any last concerns your customer may have will wash away.
Additionally, using logos of awards you’ve won or features you’ve been included in is another great way to mitigate risk. If you don’t have that many awards or features, you can use statistics instead.
Show how many years’ experience you have, how many 5-star reviews you have, or how many moments you’ve captured. Anything along those lines will be effective for mitigating risk with your customers.
14. Contact Form
After all this hard work, there’s no better way to end our homepage than with a big, fat, contact form. The last time we prompted them to take an action was before we showed them our testimonials, features, and awards.
Now that we’ve shown them everything, they’re either going to fill out the contact form or not. If they’ve made it this far and they’re still not ready, they are either not your ideal clients, or they may need a little remarketing.
Either way, you should feel confident about your chances because everything we’ve done to this point has been done strategically.
Like I said in the beginning, there are numerous ways to layout an effective homepage. And while you can use this template straight out of the box, whatever you create does not have to be a carbon copy.
The main thing I wanted to emphasis is the 15 elements that should be included in your homepage. The exact order of those elements and the styling of them can be tweaked based on your preferences.
As long as you are including most of the above elements, and you’re laying out your homepage with a strategic flow, you will see your conversion rate increase.
Now that you’ve made it this far, the next step is to take action. Complete one step at a time, one step a week, or even one step a month if you have to. But always move forward.
You have the will to succeed, and now you have the resources to help you get there. So, get to work, and start creating the website you know you deserve.