“Again, these rules apply if they make sense. You’re writing for a search engine, but more importantly, you’re writing for the people reading your website,” Walker added. “SEO is a very easy thing to do for yourself, and it will definitely help you impact on how your website ranks.”
Walker’s video and a link to the SEO template are available here.
Shop Marketing Pros’ Vice President J.R. Portman taught the webinar on “Taking Great Photos for Your Shop,” covering the basic principles behind taking a good photo, what types of photos entice people to do business with a shop, and which online platforms will benefit the most from adding photography.
A 22-year veteran of photography, Portman is a professionally trained photographer, as well as a Google Trusted Photographer.
“You need great photos! They’re useful for social channels like Facebook and Instagram, as well as online directories like Google and Yelp," Portman said. "You can use them for your website, sales collateral, shop software images, magazines, billboards and direct mailings.
"If you don’t have awesome photos, your website looks cookie-cutter, and your local listings look barren because you’re not showcasing the work you perform, your shop’s culture or your customers," he contnued. "It seems like you don’t understand technology because your social content is lame, and as a result, you may lose business to competitors with better imagery.”
Exploring the equipment needed to take great photos, Portman insisted a smartphone is all that is needed. Optional accessories for those who want even better photographs include a baby tripod, a clip-on zoom/wide angle lens and a gimbal, a tool that helps stabilize the camera when taking video.
“What’s the best camera to take a photograph?” Portman asked. “The one you have with you all the time. Forget all that other stuff---we don’t want any barriers to taking photographs.”
The “five rules for taking photos like a boss,” according to Portman, include taking control, using depth of field, implementing the rule of thirds, keeping lighting easy and changing perspective.
Taking control simply means staging a better photo by moving or cleaning items, changing the lighting as needed and telling people how they should be positioned.
To use the depth of field, the photographer should get closer or use various filtering techniques, such as the portrait mode on an iPhone. The iPhone’s portrait mode also allows users to take pictures with selective focus, meaning the important part of the photograph is a clear image, while the background is less focused.
Portman defined the rule of thirds.
“An image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections,” he said.