A portfolio website is an important tool to get more business and develop your brand. In today’s digital world, a portfolio is arguably more important than a resume, no matter what industry you work in. Whether you are a freelance journalist, a recent college grad looking for a job, or even an accountant, when people Google your name, your portfolio will provide the most powerful and comprehensive perspective on you.
A portfolio is especially important when you are working in design – an independent web designer or part of an agency. An online portfolio helps to give a potential customer, like an art director, a sense of who you are, what you can do, and whether you are the person they would hire to execute their project.
How to create a portfolio website?
WordPress also happens to be the platform of choice for 35% of the internet, an increase of 2% compared to early 2019 and a 4% rise from the previous year. If you just consider the CMS-built pages, then WordPress is around 60%. Every month more than 400 million people visit the WordPress page.
What your portfolio website needs?
There are no rules to dictate what your portfolio website should include, but there are certain things visitors will expect to see to learn more about you and your work:
The obvious one. Your site should lead with your best work. You can choose to make your portfolio as the homepage of your website or have the homepage provide an overview, with your work given a dedicated space, but your work needs to be prominent.
Studies show that it takes as little as 50 milliseconds for a visitor to form an opinion about your website, so you need to use this page to impress them instantly.
Your visitors want to know about the person behind the work. Use this page to sell yourself and your accomplishments, but don’t get too wordy.
Keep things precise. Give a brief introduction, then get into focusing on what you do, what you’ve done, what you’ve achieved, and why your accomplishments matter.
Include a photo too — people like to put a face to the name.
If your work resonates with visitors, then there’s a good chance that they’ll want to get in touch. A contact page shows people an easier path to reach out to you.
Your contact page should include an email address, contact form, and social media links. If you’re happy being contacted by phone, then you should include that too.
You should place social media links prominently throughout your site and place your email contact in the footer, so it’s visible on every page.
Also, it is worth considering these optional extras.
A blog is a great way to keep people in the loop with what you’re doing and establish authority by providing useful content. It’s also a great way to increase traffic to your website and improve your search engine ranking.
Studies show that websites with blogs receive 97% more visibility and have a 434% better chance of being ranked highly on search engines, so it’s certainly something to consider. That said, you should only add a blog if you plan to add fresh content consistently. An outdated blog can give the impression that your site has been abandoned, and you don’t want to give that kind of impression.
In terms of getting work, your portfolio does most of the talking but creating a page for your resume won’t do you any harm. A resume gives potential employers details on your work experience and educational background — things that might swing a job opportunity in your favour.
Tips for creating a website that stands out for the Portfolio –
So now that you’ve got the software, here’s what to do to create a portfolio website that a) people want to visit, and b) gets you work.
Show off your personality
A portfolio website is all about you — your work, your style, your identity. Include personality into your design and content. Write how you talk and use good headshots to give visitors an insight about you. Personality provides warmth and builds trust — the opposite of what a faceless, bland corporate website brings to the table.
Give people a reason to stay
As mentioned earlier, you have to create a positive first impression. When someone lands on your website, give them a reason to stay by portraying your most important content — who you are and what you do. The quicker you get their attention to stay on your page, the more likely it is that they’ll stick around to check out other parts of your site.
Keep it clean
Good user interface just makes sense. And that’s because 88% of users who have a poor experience are less likely to come back to a website.
Keeping it clean and simple is the best way to offer a good user experience. Focus on the designs that reduces distractions and makes it easy to use, on your smartphone and desktop.
Keep pages consistent to avoid confusing users and use plenty of white space. White space (the areas on a page left blank), helps focus the reader’s attention on the content so that distractions are avoided.
If you have clients that are willing to say nice things about you, then use their words to sell yourself. Testimonials create social proof that backs up the quality of your work. They’re a proven way to add trust and authenticity, increasing leads and conversions.
Tailor content to your audience
Who is your website aimed at? What kind of people do you want to hire you? Figure out who your audience is, what their interests and motivations are, and tailor your message to them.
Add fresh content
This is an easy thing to do. You may consider adding a blog to your website or freshening up your website every so often. The reason being: Google loves fresh content. Keeping your website up-to-date gives Googlebot (the tool Google users to crawl and index web pages) the new and/or updated content it looks for and gives you a better chance of ranking higher in search results.
However, fresh content also keeps your site relevant to visitors, showing them that you’re active.
Make it SEO-friendly
Search is where a large percentage of your traffic will come from. Optimizing your website and content for search engines gives you a better chance of showing up in search results when people enter keywords related to what you do.
Enter terms related to your niche into a free tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find keywords to target and place them throughout your content in: