SEO Matters and why you shouldn’t ignore it anymore.
If you do business on the internet, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an essential part of growing the business. The best SEO, which includes incorporating keywords into your website copy, can give your business a boost by helping potential clients find you.
The internet is a loud and overy crowded stadium. Every single person who browses the web is vying for attention, so how does someone like yourself, a photographer trying growing your business, get noticed amoungst the noise? That’s where SEO can stop in and help.
SEO might seem confusing at first, but it’s a valuable tool and worth learning. Once broken down and explained in ways that anyone can understand, it’s really not that scary.
SEO is a vastly extensive topic, and you can find tons of guides, books, and websites that lead you on the winding path and deep into the inner workings of search engine optimization. But the tips and tricks that we have outlined here are a good place to start and will act as the building blocks of your SEO.
Optimize All of Your Images
This might be the most essential step for helping potential clients find you and hopefully stick around long enough to contact you.
Before you upload your photos to your website you’ll need to optimize them. All this means is saving your images in a reduced size (without decreasing quality) so that your website doesn’t get bogged down, load slowly, and use up mobile data (for all those people who do most of their browsing on their phones – which accounts for almost 51% of the worlds web traffic). This ultimately affects your SEO strategy, as it can lead to a high bounce rate (people leaving your site), slow loading times, and low ranking.
We have used JPEGmini for the last few years and have loved the results we’ve gotten!
Use Alt Tags and Titles
Once you’ve uploaded your photos, you’ll then need to label them with alt tags and titles. An alt tag, also known as “alt attribute” and “alt description,” is an HTML attribute applied to image tags to provide a text alternative for search engines. Alt tags act as descriptions for your images, which ultimately allow search engines to find and recognize them. Without an alt tag, your photo might as well not even be there, as the search engines cannot read images on their own.
For the best results, use descriptive keywords that provide information about the photo. Google provides this example:
- Bad (missing alt text): <img src=”puppy.jpg” alt=””/>
- Bad (keyword stuffing): <img src=”puppy.jpg” alt=”puppy dog baby dog pup pups puppies doggies pups litter puppies dog retriever labrador wolfhound setter pointer puppy jack russell terrier puppies dog food cheap dog food puppy food”/>
- Better: <img src=”puppy.jpg” alt=”puppy”/>
- Best: <img src=”puppy.jpg” alt=”Dalmatian puppy playing fetch”/>
When you apply alt tags to your photos you help potential clients find you through search terms. That may lead to Pinterest saves, more exposure, and new clients.
Understand and Use Keywords
While keywords in your image alt tags help people find you, keywords within your web copy can also help bring those illusive potential clients to your website.
To understand and implement keywords relevant to your photography business, you’ll need to research keywords that are the most searched, and use those terms in your webpage copy (your paragraphs within your website), headlines, and blog posts.
Create High Quality Content
Your photography website is a domain YOU OWN. If Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc all disappeared tomorrow, your website will be only THE PLACE for your clients and/or potential clients to view your portfolio and learn about your services, but it can also be a place to entertain and educate people, potential clients or not. A simple way to achieve that goal is to maintain a blog on your site. This not only engages your audience/ideal clients, but helps your site rank well with search engines.
Ideally, blog posts should be high quality and consistent, contain keywords, and be easy to read and understand. The topic can be anything you think is relevant to your photography business. (See our post about Budgeting for Small Businesses).
For the best results, make sure your posts include:
- Catchy or Relatable titles
- 1-3 keywords
- Readability (short paragraphs and sentences, bullet points, subheads, lists, etc.)
- Your images
Link In and Out
Quality links, both within your website and from outside sources, will boost your search engine ranking.
Link within your website: This simply meants to drive traffic to other parts of your site like your investment page, related blog posts, contact page, mailing list sign up, etc.
Link to outside sources: This could mean giving credit to wedding vendors you’ve worked with and recommend, blogs you enjoy and trust, and rs. Not only does this help out other businesses, but provides an opportunity to receive backlinks and shares.
Collect quality backlinks: Backlinks are leads from another website. When links come from trusted, quality sites, backlinks can boost your overall ranking and bring your ideal clients. You can get backlinks by investing in sponsored blog posts, guest posting on your favorite blogs (where you’ll provide a link back to your site), trade another photographer a guest blog post on your website for blog post on their website (again where you’ll provide a link back to your site), submit your photos to popular blogs, and sharing on social media and forums.
Think quality over quantity here. The point isn’t to rack up a bunch of links from unreliable sources, but to build relationships and bring quality traffic to your website. I like to quote Gary Vaynerchuck here… “Give Without Expectation”.
Implementing your SEO strategy may seem like a monumental task. at first, and there will be a bit of time you’ll more than likely need to invest, but doing so will separate you from the photographers not taking advantage of optimizing their websites. My advice would be to break your SEO strategy into little chunks and take it one step at a time. There is no need to have it all done right now. I wish I would have known these few simple tips when I first started my website 5 years ago. Start incorporating these tips into your daily business practices today and see the difference for yourself!