Originally published on LinkedIn in November, 2022.
Your portfolio could be working against you if you aren’t paying attention to your analytics. That’s why I took a dive into mine and came up with 5 things I found which could help as you develop/redevelop your book.
The common refrain is that a CD will only spend 2 minutes looking at your book. So it’s ridiculously important that you are designing your site in a way that engages viewers and gets them to want to spend more time on it. Some of these might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many books I see that fail even the most basic best practices.
1) Your About Me/Bio page is super important. It’s the second most looked at page on my site (the front page being the first). Your bio is your chance to say/show something about yourself that makes you memorable. Don’t waste it.
2) No surprise here, but my most viewed project is my A1 project (top row, farthest left). Make sure your A1 is THE thing you want people to look at as it could be the only thing they view.
3) My blog is more viewed than my next most viewed project. This is where I stash odds and ends of things I make for myself that don’t necessarily warrant a full page. People do want to see what you do outside of your day job.
4) My third most viewed project is actually my photography section. I’m a former photographer. It’s also the very last thing in my book, so don’t assume just because something is at the end they won’t get to it. I recently redesigned my site to emphasize my photo credentials so this may have increased interest in that section and people were seeking it out.
5) My A2 project is my second most viewed work. I purposefully laid out my site in a way to draw attention to my top two projects, but views on every other project are fairly scattershot.
This tells me two things. Hierarchy matters when you lay out your book. Making everything the same size de-emphasizes any single project. But since my A1 and A2 are bigger than everything else it draws more attention to them, especially the A2.
Secondly, people will look at what they find interesting once they look past what you have dictated is interesting (generally your A1). Make sure your thumbnails are engaging, especially later projects in your book that might normally get skipped over. If it’s in your book, I assume you wanted it there for a reason, so show something that makes viewers want to click something on your bottom row instead of skipping over it because it’s in your bottom row.
Now go kill it.
– Josh D. Weiss is a Co-Founder of The Side Show and Freelance Associate Creative Director