View Full Version : New Website- How to Increase Traffic

Brian Vuillemenot
19-Oct-2004, 13:42
Hello all,

My website is online, featuring color landscapes done in the 4X5 and 6X17 formats. There's also a gallery of my work from the Bisti Badlands. If you want to check it out, here's the url:


Any comments and/or suggestions on the website would be appreciated. I registered with several search engines a few weeks ago, but have yet to be listed in the searches. Any ideas as to how long it takes? Does anyone have any other advice on attracting traffic to your photo website? Thanks!

19-Oct-2004, 15:01
One way to increase traffic is to do what you've done and posted on this forum ;)

It's a nice friendly URL, although I am not particularly discerning when it comes to websites. The only prob. I found was waiting for ages for the thumbs to load (these are more like hands, compared to most people's smaller thumbnails) on dial-up. You might want to ditch the reference to self-agrandissement with the PhD epithet - just a thought. My own reading of it,plastered on the front page of your website is that you do photography in your spare time.

Can't offer any help on attracting traffic: maybe post it in every forum you find in google? You could offer to swap links with other photographers.

Best of luck on your website.

Paul Butzi
19-Oct-2004, 16:38
When your site is starting out, it's possible to generate traffic by posting in forums like this. When I lauched my website in 1998, I could see spikes in traffic that corresponded to specific posts.

Once you get beyond a dozen visits/day, though, I think you'll find that promoting your website on forums will generate little increase in traffic, UNLESS you offer compelling new content that would draw people back.

In the end, much of the traffic that comes to your site will be delivered there by search engines. Roughly 40% of the traffic to my site lands there because of a hit from Google. It's an unusual day when response to specific post I've made somewhere produces more than, say, 5% of the total traffic to the site.

In the end, it's all about content. If your site has content people want to see, they'll look for it. If not, they might visit the site once but will never return.

I have lots of advice on building websites - too much, really, to even begin to cover in posts here. My first take on building a website is in this article http://www.butzi.net/articles/website.htm

Later thoughts, several years later, are at http://www.butzi.net/articles/website2.htm

Some thoughts on copyright infringement and related concerns at http://www.butzi.net/articles/infringement.htm
Note that my views on copyright issues have moderated somewhat, particularly with respect to deep linking - you will note that I now attach borders with copyright info on most images - that way, deep links serve as free advertising.

My personal take? I've noticed that website which have primarily images, and no articles generally do not seem to take much traffic.

I'll be very interested to see what other folks with websites have to say...

19-Oct-2004, 17:02
"I could see spikes in traffic that corresponded to specific posts."

Which direction were the spikes pointing? ; > )

QT Luong
19-Oct-2004, 17:06
Paul is correct in pointing out that traffic is mostly generated by SEs.
The most important factor in generating traffic is to have LOTS (think thousands of images for a photography site, not hundreds) of interesting contents. If your site is mostly images, in general
it is difficult to do more than 1 visit per day per image (example: if you have 1000 images, expect to max at 1000 visits per day). The second most important factor is having
lots of HIGH-QUALITY links pointing to your site. Note that writing an article for lfpi provides you
with one such link (hint, hint). Then there are a number of other technical considerations on how your pages are designed, which can be learned at webmasterworld.com.

Brian Vuillemenot
19-Oct-2004, 17:31
Thanks for all your advice,

Your articles gave me a lot to think about, Paul. Tuan, it seems to me like thousands of images would be too much- wouldn't it be better to just put my best quality images on the website? Perhaps I should try to increase the diversity of my images to attract more hits? I have seen quite a spike in visits for today, after I posted this question, so thanks to all of you for visiting! I have several articles currently in mind for lfpi, so I will definately have to take you up on the offer in the not too distant future, Tuan!

Ralph Barker
19-Oct-2004, 18:00
There is ample discussion of web techniques within those circles, but what is the most effective approach evolves over time. So, I'll take a contrary view by saying you only want 1 hit per day . . . from a person who wants to purchase five prints. But, if it's just capital-T-traffic you want, include phrases like "naked teen girls" in your Meta tags. ;-)

In other words, Brian, my suggestion is to figure out what you want the site to accomplish, and then design and market around those objectives. Clearly defining your objectives will point you toward methods that will work for your target market. Make the site appealing and easy to find for the people you want to attract, and ignore everyone else. That might entail more thought about your Meta tags, and it might involve legwork at other sites where those people visit. In most cases, subtle marketing works better than blatant. For example, simply including your site URL in your signature when you participate in those other client-rich fora may be more effective than taking every opportunity to make a blatant sales pitch.

Paul Butzi
19-Oct-2004, 18:15
Tuan makes a compelling point - we can probably quibble about the exact number but 1 visit per day per image is close enough that I would agree that in the rough it's a useful rule. In the end it makes little difference if it's .5 hits/day or 2 hits/day - the point is that if the site is fixed in size, there's a natural limit to the traffic.

Articles, I've found, are a significant draw. The big issue here is that a site which has ONLY images makes it very hard to get hits from search engines, which are primarily text based. Text indexes well, images do not.

Also, I think that quality is essential. Ten thousand lousy images will produce little return traffic. Two hundred images like the ones Tuan has - that's a huge return draw.

Tuan's point about links is also worth reinforcing. Surprisingly, many of the pages of my web site get a fair amount of traffic from search engines, and the reason appears to be links to those pages. The strange thing is that the links don't deliver much traffic directly, instead they force the page to land higher in the page rankings, so that it appears in the search engine's first page of results - a key to getting search engine hits. So it's worth having a link to your site even if that link does not seem to deliver much traffic.

The biggest draw, and the hardest work, is to always have fresh content on your web site. Monthly updates would seem to be the minimum for adding new content. Daily would be far, far better.

QT Luong
19-Oct-2004, 18:16
Brian, I replied precisely to your question "how to attract traffic". As Ralph pointed out, attracting traffic and attracting business are two different things. It might be that for what you want to achieve
with your site, having just a portfolio of selected images would work fine. However, there is little
doubt in my mind that the amount of traffic is correlated to the quantity of material on the
site, everything else being equal.

Ed Pierce
20-Oct-2004, 10:19
Hi Brian,

I've had my site up for about six months (www.edpiercephoto.com). My goals are publicity, easy showing of my work to prospective galleries and clients, and direct sales of prints.

Getting good rankings in the search engines is key. Having a lot of text helps, so post those articles. Also, try and get as many links out there pointing to your site as you can.

I've been doing this by trying to get one link per week. I just don't have the time for more than that...I try and squeeze in some photography around all the web work! So far so good, averaging 50-300 hits a day, several print sales so far, and two gallery shows by galleries finding me on the web.

Frank Petronio
20-Oct-2004, 11:13
If I were a landscape photographer who sold decorative - err... fine art - prints, I wouldn't be concerned about the quantity of traffic, only the quality. And to build the quality, I would look at my marketing as a program, not simply as "I got my website on the search engines!"

An example of an effective marketing program might be to develop a mailing list of prospects from the interior design and architecture fields, natural history museums, exploitive resource companies, environment consultants, tourism and regional development agencies, etc. Or buy a targeted mailing list (not as good, but easier) from a list vendor. Send a series of postcard mailings advertising your new website to the prospects, followed by continual updates (like a travel blog, perhaps?) of your exploits. At the same time, you purchase space in stock photo galleries and submit to the better stock agencies. Send out press releases to magazines, get coverage and articles, and always include your website in the photo credits.

Looking at your work, it looks ideal for stock photography, and you could sell it that way quite easily. In turn, you could sell the "fine art" prints directly to individuals for display as well. One feeds the other...

Oh yeah, make the type a "3" not a "5"!