Obviously working on improving your SEO, building a strategy, researching keywords and optimizing everything is a complex and tedious process that requires some time and effort. However, there are things that you can today to bump up some of those performance indicators.
In the following article we’ll give you those 5 simple steps, with the aim of improving your SEO presence.
1. Use keywords and alt tags in your images
You include images in your blog posts to capture attention and get people to read your texts. Well-chosen, supporting images can also strengthen your voice and message. For that reason, when you’re preparing a blog post about a wedding, you pick only the best, most representative shots. You shouldn’t forget to give those images good alt attributes as well.
First thing to do, before uploading your images to WordPress, is to label them correctly, using a keyword, or descriptive title. Don’t use the regular camera named files, as they’ll never be relevant for search results with search engines. So, if you’ve shot a boho wedding in California at a specific venue, label your images boho-wedding-california-venuename.jpg. This way when someone searches for boho wedding california, there is a possibility your images will come up in the search results.
When you upload your images into WordPress, you are highly advised to set a title and an alt attribute. By default it uses the image filename as the title attribute and no alt attribute is set. With only a title, the images will actually perform poorly, as search engines use alt tags to make sense of images (search spiders can only crawl text, images don’t have any value without alt tags). Because of this, you really should take the time to craft a proper alt text for every image you add to a post.
Luckily, the WordPress interface makes it easy. You just need to click on an image, hit the edit button and make your tweaks in the window that pops up.
There’s no excuse for not doing this correctly, other than laziness. SEO for Images will truly benefit you. So get these tiny details right. Include words/keywords that reflect your website topic in the image title, description, and alt attributes.
2. Use a friendly permalink structure
Permalinks are what people see in their browser address bar. They are also what search engines use to link to your website. Due to this, they are very important.
WordPress should automatically enable the default “post name” permalink structure after you install WordPress. However, if your permalink structure isn’t friendly you’ll want to change it. Believe it or not some sites still have “ugly” permalink structures that use numbers to identify pages. Don’t use that query string structure ?p=123. It’s bad for SEO, doesn’t look good and doesn’t say anything to your visitors or search engines. Use a URL structure that includes text, and make sure you include keywords in your URLs.
To do this, go into WordPress, then go to settings >> permalinks, then select “post name” as shown above.
It should look more like this:
3. Add your posts to social networks
Many photographers are publishing content as a way to build their audiences and increase traffic to their websites. And that’s great! But please don’t promote yourself only. Promote other interesting posts and websites you like. People will honor your kindness and link back to you at some point, especially when you have some killer content.
Simple ways to get some of those important backlinks would be to include vendors, make up artists, venues, etc that you’re working with. Sharing is caring, it also educates your clients which is super important, as they’ll trust you more, which can lead to better conversions on your site.
4. Send your sitemap to Google
I bet you are using the Yoast plugin (or something similar) already. Make sure this plugin generates a sitemap of your website. For Yoast users, the sitemap address can be accessed using this permalink: http or https://yourwebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml
This sitemap_index.xml needs to be submitted through Google Webmaster Tools Console. So login to www.google.com/webmasters and follow the instructions from the screenshot below:
1. Go to Crawl
2. Click on Sitemaps
3. Click add / test sitemap
4. Enter sitemap_index.xml in the value field
5. Hit submit
5. Remove anything that slows down your website
The most important tip for today! Page loading time is very, very important. So first of all make sure you have optimized images on your website and then get rid of any unused plugins or extensions that may be slowing your site down.
To test your actual site speed, do a speed test on GTMetrix make sure to select a server closest to your own location. Share your results on our Facebook SEO for Photographers group and find out more about GTmetrix results there.
Even after applying these 5 simple, yet crucial steps to improving your SEO, you will already notice some considerable changes and improvements in your site performance indicators. We look forward to hearing more about your experience and best practices in the comments below.
Do you have any burning SEO questions? If so, join our exclusive SEO for Photographers Facebook group or send us a message to find out more about our SEO Packages and get help with optimizing your website for speed and search engines.