- Best Business Practices for Photographers
- The Fast Track Photographer Business Plan: Build a Successful Photography Venture from the Ground Up
- Commercial Photography Handbook: Business Techniques for Professional Digital Photographers
- Tabletop Photography: Using Compact Flashes and Low-Cost Tricks to Create Professional-Looking Studio Shots
- Low Budget Shooting: Do It Yourself Solutions to Professional Photo Gear
- Starting Your Career as a Freelance Photographer
- Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age
- Legal Handbook for Photographers: The Rights and Liabilities of Making Images
- Taking Stock: Make money in microstock creating photos that sell
- Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer
A Success Series for Modern Day Photographers
In last week’s edition, we talked about “where to advertise” - from phone books to fundraising events, and how to know when you’re getting the most bang-for-your buck. We only briefly touched the surface of online marketing, and this week we’re expanding that topic to include tips on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for photographers; more specifically answering the question – “how do you get found online”? This chapter will be the introduction to SEO, and will be followed up with another edition including more detailed tips.
The first and most important piece to SEO is proper website structure. You want to lay out each page in a thoughtful way, that is user friendly for your prospective and current clients. Your pages must also be easily navigable by the search engines. Having pages such as “Home”, “About”, and “Contact” are a must. Additional pages that make a site more interesting to the user are a benefit as well. “In the Studio”, “Testimonials” and “Blog” are just a few examples. Once you get that part down, here are some tips that will help you get each page properly optimized for our tricky and constantly changing friends (or enemies) – the search engines.
Meta (a.k.a. Page) Titles: Read by all search engines – and the information is used when tagged as a Favorite or a Bookmark (in your browser). This tag can be seen in the blue or gray bar at the top of most browsers. This is your MOST IMPORTANT piece of searchable data. To see what your current Meta Title is, mouse over the tab at the top of any webpage you’re on and you will see it. Note: this is different than your url (http://www.traversecityphotography.com).
Example: Wedding & Portrait Photographer| Traverse City, MI | Mike Connors Photography
Keywords: Metadata field read and used by YAHOO.
Use words and phrases that web surfers would use to search for you. Include your location, special services or skills and your business name. Include words AND phrases and separate with commas.
WARNING: This is fairly new from Yahoo. Do not use the same word repetitively. THREE (3) times or less is a good rule of thumb, otherwise the search engines may tag that word as spam and ignore it. Limit yourself to about 250 to 300 characters.
Example: Traverse City, Wedding Photographers, Photography, Mike Connors, Senior portraits, family photos, photojournalism, professional photographer.
Meta Description: Read by Google and other engines. The snippet may be used in Google’s search results, or they may use other text from your webpage.
Be clear and concise. Pack as many keywords as you reasonably can. Use proper punctuation and a sentence format as it will be read in the snippet of the search results. Use about 250 characters.
Example: Michigan Photographer Michael Connors, owner of TC Photography by Mike, also shoots Senior Portraits, Family Reunions, Bar Mitzvahs and other specialty event photos.
How do I change these fields? Good question. If you’re tech savvy then you already know how to change them in the code. If you have a CMS (content management system) for your website, then there are often SEO fields listed for each page, or at least the home page of your site. Last resort – do the research and tell your web designer what changes you would like and they can implement them for you (there is usually a small fee associated).
Page Content: Use of relevant page content to your industry and your target search terms will help in the overall goal of getting your website well optimized for the search engines. Try to blend the techniques we’ve discussed and use relevant keyword phrases. Try to stay between 3% and 6% of total page content for any given keyword phrase in your text content.
Important: Please note that all of the above should be completed after doing thorough research on what keyword phrases are actually being searched for. You can obtain estimates of real monthly search volume via Google’s free keyword tool. Need help? Feel free to reach out to us for an affordable SEO consultation.
Stay tuned for the next edition which will cover SEO in further detail so you can start to see your website creep up in the rankings.
Drew Warner | MorePhotos SEO Specialist
Photo by DigitalArt