SEO for Photographers

First thing first…what is SEO?  SEO is Search Engine Optimization.  It’s the way you are found online in the platforms that you are on.  It’s how Google finds you. It who your potential clients find you!  You have one chance for your clients and potential clients to find you and that is the first page (really the first few lines) when they search.  So how do you make that happen?  Well, it’s long, hard and to be honestly complicated, but you can do it, you need to do it!  The fact is that you can not rely only on social media, as their algorithms change all the time and they are making it harder and harder for businesses to be seen organically. (meaning not paid) So if you want to create a presence online, you need to put some time, energy and yes maybe a little money into SEO!

Blogging:  I know it’s hard and tedious, but it’s a way that you can have a leg up!  In your industry, that is probably saturated, so many don’t blog, so it behooves you TO blog!  Here’s why!

  • Google loves new content
  • Google loves a great user experience
  • Google loves links
  • Google loves a history
  • Google loves Alt Tags (you can do that through your images blogging)
  • Easy to use keywords

All of these things can be achieved by blogging and the fact is that you can blog often so it’s a great way to show Google

  • That you are an expert
  • That you have longevity and history
  • That you have other great links and resources
  • That your content is important (because others share it and like it)

IF you don’t do anything else, BLOG!!! set yourself a goal for one time a week.  If you have to outsource it, if you need ideas, look here

Alt Tag:  This is a way of tagging and naming your images, when saving your images that you are going to use online or blogging, you do not want it to say “image 1” or “Betsy 34”  What you do want is your image to be saved as “Beautiful Burlington NC Senior” or “North Carolina Senior Portraits Burlington NC”
This is a way for you to specifically keyword your image so that when someone goes to search for let’s say “Burlington NC senior pictures” then that image will come up. Things to think about when Alt Tagging

  • No more than 12 words
  • Make you are describing the image
  • Use specifics “High school senior posing against a brick wall”  “Family posed under a tree at Brightwood Farms”
  • Use locations, venues, vendors etc
  • Don’t start with “picture of” or “image of”
  • Don’t overuse keywords
  • If you use Blog stomp (which I highly recommend) you can easily Alt Text

Optimize your site: This means that your pages, your images, your text loads quickly.  Google, likes this and will reward you for an optimized site.   If you are struggling with this, here are some tips

  • Go to tools.pingdom.com and see how your site does.  You want your page to load under 7 seconds
  • Sizing your images (this is a GREAT article about how to do that, with lots of tips)
  • According to the stie above, a good page size is 5MB or smaller

Create Links: You want to create good internal links (to pages inside your website or blog) and external links (to other professionals)  This helps to create credibility for not only your reader, but Google.  It’s like having a good set of references.

  • Make sure your links work (google hates and will penalize broken links)
  • Get a few friends and professionals to link to you and vise versa (this just helps everyone) Say you are a senior portrait photographer (like me) and use a hair and makeup artist (like Adrianne of the Loft Styling Studio) then it makes sense and it’s great for me to link to Adrianne in my posts.  It also is equally helpful, if Adrianne links back to me when she writes her posts.  It’s a win-win.  In the early years, when I was first trying to improve my SEO, I had several professionals that we made it a commitment to link to each others info and pages on a regular basis.  IF you need to see results quickly, this is a key way!
  • trying

Design for Mobile Google is indexing mobile sites first.  Meaning, they will pay more attention to a site that is optimized for mobile use.

  • Think experience for the user, can a mobile user easily navigate your site?
  • craft content for smaller screens
  • Here are Google’s testing page mobile-friendly testing tool

User Experience:  It’s so important that you answer these questions for your user and they can find it.

  • I want to know:  You help your user solve a problem.  They are researching (much like you may be right now) you give them easy to understand information.
  • I want to go:  I’m looking for something close to me or in a specific location.  Your site should easily explain this.  If you are blogging, it’s easy to do this in your title, and text (and better yet link)
  • I want to do:  I’m looking for a specific thing “I want senior pictures in Burlington NC” I answer that.  Or I want a wedding planner who is familiar with Glen Raven?

So are there easy fixes? No, but with some work, you can easily improve your ranking and therefore be more visible online!

SEO for Creatives

 

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