When it comes to your photography business website — or any business, for that matter — not all traffic is created equal.

For example, someone randomly popping onto your site after a generic Google search doesn’t hold the same lead-generating potential as someone who was referred specifically to you.

Understanding those different types of traffic and the driving forces behind them visiting your site will help you refine your marketing efforts and increase your chances of turning photography leads into a booking.

So who are these different visitors, and how should you approach ‘em? Let’s break it down.

Imagine your photography website is your in-person studio and the following five types of people are the visitors you see most often:

Paid Traffic Pam

Pam is the type of visitor that saw a billboard off the street — or in the case of your photography website, clicked on one of your promo ads — and wandered into your store on a whim.

Visitors like Pam aren’t ideal because they’re interest-based rather than intent-based. For instance, if you buy a Facebook ad, Facebook will show it to people its algorithm determines are interested, based on things like location, age, page likes, etc.

That’s all well and good, but what it’s missing is the critical component of timing. If someone is merely interested in photography services rather than intent on booking a photo session for a particular reason, then it’s extremely easy for them to bounce off of your site if they don’t immediately see something that makes them want to take action.

To increase your chances of turning Pam’s interest into intent, make sure that the site she lands on is quick and to the point. Offering one easy, actionable item will help combat the short attention span of Pam-like visitors.

Google Search Gus

Gus is a high school student who’s looking around to get some photos taken for senior year. More than anything, he wants to know about your openings and your cost. He doesn’t know you and, quite frankly, doesn’t care who you are. He simply found you by searching for senior photography online.

This is the type of traffic generated from the SEO content you share, which has some positives and negatives.

On the positive side, you have complete control over the content that brings leads like these in, which typically comes from your blog posts because that’s where you can rank for keywords.

While it’s great that this type of traffic doesn’t require spending a lot of money on something like the aforementioned Facebook ads, it does require a lot of time and energy with no guarantee on returns.

Social Traffic Sam

When someone like Sam comes to your store, they haven’t decided to come in; they’re just sticking their nose against the window and offering support from afar. In other words, this is an online visitor that likes you on Facebook but isn’t committed to action.

They’ve heard you’re great and loved the photos you took of their friends, but for the most part, their interest stops there. These days, these type of photography leads are extremely common.

The problem with banking on Facebook likes for new clients is that likes don’t carry the value they used to.

They’re easy to come by but don’t offer much in return, especially given that Facebook will only show 7% of the people who like your page anything that you post on it. To make it even tougher, your posts will only continue to be presented to page fans for about 90 minutes — the shelf-life of a standard Facebook page post.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should stop posting on your page. Not only is it a great way to get real-time info out there, but it gives your clients an opportunity to interact with you and each other. Just keep in mind that it’s limited in terms of conversions.

Online Referral Ali

Ali saw pictures you took of her friend Sarah and loved them. Now she wants you to take the same photos of her.

Someone like Ali will contact you directly, either by leaving a voicemail, calling you up, or filling out your contact form. They might mention that Sarah showed her your app and it indicates a promo you’re offering, such as a free 8×10 at the mention of the app.

Of course, these are great inquiries to have because they’re from people who are ready to book your services right away. However, one of the potential obstacles comes from whether you’ve raised your prices since the referral.

In such cases, you want to be careful with how you manage those expectations and have a solid answer as to why your prices have gone up.

Shoulder-To-Shoulder Sarah

A visitor like Sarah wants to share her photography session experience with her friend. So she brings her into your store, i.e. your website, to talk about the meaningful moments that happened during the session. Maybe she felt like a model for the day or tripped on a branch, which ended up leading to a great photo.

These visitors are great because they come with built-in credibility. They’re already interested in your services, and their close proximity to your client means they’re invested in the experience itself versus merely the result.

The best way to capitalize on these visitors is to know when your clients are likely to be with their friends and reach out then. For example, our StickyAlbums customers will text a high school senior a link to their StickyAlbum when they’re at lunch with friends, so they can easily share it.

As you can see, not all traffic is created equal. Knowing the benefits and obstacles of each type of photography lead will help you refine your marketing efforts and give you a more well-rounded understanding of your growth. And our StickyAlbums customers know that getting only 10 unique views on a StickyAlbum are among the most valuable views you can get.