Here’s the deal. Building your portfolio page and writing project descriptions can be the worst.
As a business owner, they can feel tedious, and maybe even like you’re taking a step backwards — that entrepreneur voice in your head keeps telling you “I finished this project, let’s move on already!” To help you silence that voice and get your former projects do some heavy lifting, let’s talk about why your portfolio page is prime real estate that should be given the time it deserves.
What does my portfolio have to do with SEO?
While SEO is a big topic, two important elements in good SEO are keywords and fresh, useful content. Many businesses utilize a blog to accomplish these two SEO facets, however, there are some industries in which a blog doesn’t make sense. And, not to mention, blogs are time-consuming and require a dedicated blogger, which isn’t always possible in a small business where one person tends to wear many hats.
However, if you’re in an industry in which you’re moving through projects and can talk about what you’ve accomplished, your portfolio page has the potential to do what a blog does – boost keywords and supply new content.
Before you write off your work as not portfolio worthy, ask yourself a few questions – “Does my former work prove that I’m good at what I do?” “Do I produce work that has a before and after?” “Does my work make a difference in the lives of my customers and clients?” From plumbing, to welding, to accounting, there’s a very good chance you have projects that clients would be interested in seeing and/or hearing the outcomes.
So how do you put your portfolio page to work for you?
First thing to consider is which projects to post. While you may be tempted to post them all, quality over quantity is ideal. When it comes to search engines and your clients, they’re only interested in the most interesting, most helpful information. Projects where you made a difference to the client with a clear before and after, jobs where you have great photography, and work that you’ve done that has interesting and unique details, are the ones you want to prioritize. These will help your clients trust you while legitimizing you to the search engines.
Next, go the extra mile to get good photography. Smartphones have come a long way, but for selling your work and how awesome you are, it’s worth it to spend a little extra to hire a professional photographer. Your prospective clients and customers are often comparing you to your online competitor and, more often than not, they’ll choose the business with the good quality photography than the one without.
While the photography is super important, your project descriptions are where your portfolio can really shine with SEO. Since your projects will be industry-specific, it’s easy to insert keywords without sounding forced. And, with a great description, you can even convince your crustiest client that you’re good at what you do.
If writing isn’t really your thing, do your best to write confidently and as clearly as possible. And follow this handy outline for strong project descriptions:
- Explain what your client’s goals were for the project.
- Describe how you achieved their goals and whatever specific roles you played in it.
- Provide a summary of the project, including necessary details while excluding anything too technical or uninteresting.
- Include any verifiable results.
- Dates are helpful but not totally necessary.
To give you a few ideas of what a good portfolio page looks like, here are a few examples to check out —
One of our clients who specializes in heavy duty vehicle body repair. Body Worx’s portfolio is a great example of using before and after imagery with descriptions that are on the shorter side but still contain good keywords: https://bodyworxrepair.com/projects/
An architecture and design firm who highlights their projects with a descriptive paragraph and excellent photography: http://sheadesign.com/what-we-create/
And, of course, our portfolio page integrates good imagery and extensive product descriptions: https://controlyours.com/portfolio/
I know with all the things on your plate it’s difficult to make your portfolio page and project descriptions a priority, but with a little time and effort, you can deepen your credibility with both your client base and the search engines. Over time, I guarantee you, it will be time well spent.
As you probably know, your portfolio page content is just a drop in the bucket of good SEO. If you’d like to go deeper, check out our free Get SEO Fit guide that covers the bases of good SEO and includes real ways that you can improve your website’s ranking in the search engine results.