SEO for Photographers
Are you ready to start ranking in Google with you photography website?
You want anyone who lives within a 3-block radius of you to know that you have the best photography services around and that you are wanting to take pictures of their family, wedding, or cute pups.
This comprehensive guide goes through some key things you can do to start bringing in traffic fairly quickly to your site.
Although this guide is written for photographers, it can be used for any creative who has a site they want to update. Just so you know.
But before we dive in I want to say the following: Search Engine Optimization is not just about slapping on keywords on a page and forgetting about it. It is so much more. It is a process that takes some thought process and creativity to make sure it is working right for you website.
My invitation is to take your time with this. Implement some things today but bookmark this page so you can come back to it and improve the content over time. Give it the energy it deserves, and over time you will be rewarded.
Ready? Let’s do this!
SEO for Photographers Guide
Identifying your top landing pages
Pick your content
Placing keywords on your site
Identifying your top landing pages for your photography site
You might be like “landing pages?! Cinthia! I thought we were going to talk about SEO!”. Well, knowing where your people are landing is crucial to doing SEO because you need to understand how you are getting your traffic today.
So shimmy on over to your Google Analytics , open it up, and in the top left corner Search “Landing Pages”.
Now you have a list of the most popular pages your users land on when coming to your site. Pretty cool right?
This exercise might bring up some weird emotions because a) maybe you haven’t updated the blog area of your site in ages and b) what? That post is getting traffic?! I want you to take a deep breath and realize that when it comes to doing SEO in 2018 it doesn’t matter if you publish tons and tons of content. What does matter is that the quality of content is good that people actually want to spend some time on your site.
As long as you are seeing some traffic coming on there, it is a worthy content that we can optimize for SEO.
Pick your content
The next step is choosing which piece of content you want to focus all your SEO energies on. I recommend it being a blog post page, since that will be easier to look for keywords.
Also, pick something you are actually excited to work on. This should be a fun process so if you see a blog post that is outdated and it gets you jazzed to improve it, do that! Or maybe there is a topic that you’d love to write a sequel piece of content for, pick that one.
Finding keywords for your photography website
Next, we are going to find additional keywords to improve that page or blog post. The simplest way to find keywords is to go to Google, search for the main topic for the keywords and scroll down to the bottom to “Searches Related to” section.
This is what I got when I searched “cat training”:
This is where you pull out a new document on your computer and copy/paste all these words. For now, don’t worry about where you are going to use them, just pool as many words as you can.
Try searching for different keywords and variations and see what comes up. You should have between 30 - 50 keywords to start off with
Once you’re done searching for all the keywords (and are a bit sick of it!) look at your list and cross off any that are obviously not for you. These may be words that are completely unrelated or just don’t vibe with you.
Go through the list again, and this time pick the keywords that seem related to what you are talking about or are something you’ve never mentioned in your content but would like to write about.
You should have at least 10 words left over in the list that you like enough to include on your page.
Placing keywords on your site
Now comes the fun part! Actually placing the words on the page. What I recommend, is opening a new Google document, copy/pasting the old blog post there and rewriting it from there before updating the actual site. This way you won’t get distracted by other site things (ahh! That opt-in is old or I want to update that image of me) instead of working on this.
So, there are a couple different areas you can use keywords on a page:
Body of Content
Note: The URL is another great way to integrate keywords but since we are working on a post that is already created, I do not recommend updating the URL since that will create a 404 error on your page.
Ok - let’s go through each of these!
Pick the keywords that seem to have the most repetition for the title since this is one of the most important areas to add keywords.
In my cat training example, I noticed that “cat training” is repeated so that will be the main part of my title:
I want to include these words at the beginning of the title as much as possible.
For example, if I’m writing a post on 5 tips for training my cat the title might be : “Cat Training: 5 tips you need to know”. Of course, spending some time with the title is important but finding a balance between the keywords and something that is interesting to read can take some creativity.
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer is also great for titles, emails subjects, and anything important you want people to click on!
2. Page Description
Depending if you have Wordpress or Squarespace, you will have to find the appropriate area on your site to update the page description. Again, spend some time thinking about what you want to add here since this is the little blurb that people see when your site comes up on Google. Make it something interesting that they want to read. And don’t forget to include those keywords!
It is important here to note that adding keywords to the headings is one part of using this as an SEO strategy. The other part is using the headings as a way to organize the text so that it is easy to read.
One thing we want to ensure is that people are spending as much time as possible on the page and readability is a key part of that!
When you are building your headings, think about how you can organize the information in a way that is interesting as well. A lot of times I know I will scan the entire page before going in and reading so creating compelling headings, can be a way to catch the reader’s attention.
4. Body of the content
Adding keywords to your actual text content is important. Some of the keywords you picked out might be already in the text and if they are, don’t worry about adding too many more. Integrating additional keywords should feel natural and fit in with the original text. Don’t force anything if it doesn’t fit.
Keyword stuffing does not work! Google will actually penalize you if anything looks spammy or repetitive.
If you need to write some additional sentences with new keywords, do that. Just make sure it all works towards the same overall goal of the content.
Adding text to images is a largely overlooked part of doing SEO. And with image searches becoming more popular, you definitely want to get on this sooner rather than later.
So where do you add the images to your site? Again - depending on what site platform you are, the actual place you need to go to will change but essential there are three areas you can add keywords:
If you see all three options on your particular platform, I recommend adding keywords to all.
Also remember that if the image is of an object or person that is related to one of the keywords, that is best. Going back to my example, if I have an image of a cat with a toy, I could name the image “cattraining.png” as part of my SEO strategy.
If the keywords are more conceptual, it might be harder to link specific images with them but it is still good to use as many of the keywords that you originally uncovered.
Finally, adding keywords to links is another great way to improve the SEO on your site. This could be internal links going to other parts of your site (which I recommend including in your blog post by the way!) or external links going to other references sites. Contrary to what some might say, having some external links is actually a great way to boost your SEO since it tells Google that your site references other quality sites. Basically, this improves the overall quality and usefulness of your post, which in Google’s eyes is awesome!
You might want to just make links out of the keywords you already integrated into the content body or add additional keywords where a link would be great. Whatever you feel called to do.
Once you are done making all these changes, set a date in your calendar a month from now to check in on this particular blog post. Check if anything changed: the landing page traffic, and the bounce rate. If it seems like more traffic is coming in, keep working on this particular post.
If nothing seems to have much, that’s okay; giving it a couple months of time and trying to optimize several posts will keep you busy.
There are so many things I could say about doing SEO but at the end of the day, it is an ongoing thing that can help bring more quality traffic to your site.
Have any other questions? Send them to me on Instagram here.
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