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30% OFF
30% OFF
COUPON CODE:
BLK30
Save on BLACK FRIDAY!
Get 30% Off any website theme with the code "BLK30". Or save $100 on a Theme + Advanced Setup bundle. Code "BLK100".
Sale ends November 27th!
Posted by Nata Leto
4 weeks ago

Everything a Photographer Needs to Know About SEO

A Must Have SEO Guide for Every Photographer. Most of these key topics and tactics are ever green, and we’ve been debunking and recommending you to implement them for months now. Make sure none of these tips skipped your SEO To Do list:

1. Use Alt Tags and Alt Titles

What is an alt tag? Why use it and how will it benefit my SEO?

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-alt-tags-and-alt-titles

It’s very simple, Google can’t read or understand images. Alt tags and Alt tiles are a description for your images, they translate your image for search engines. Without them, your images are pretty much non-existent for the world wide web. For more details about choosing Alt tags and Alt Titles, check our Ultimate guide to saving Images for the Web, under #3 Image SEO.

Now imagine, your potential client, a bride is beginning her planning for the special day. She runs a search on google for specific keywords. Since you are using alt tags, a series of your images pop out in the search result. She loves them and pins them to her inspiration board on Pinterest. Three awesome things just happened:

1. You got found, so you have a potential lead.
2. Now your work is also on Pinterest, which means other brides and potential clients may stumble upon your work (read as: more exposure)
3. You just earned new backlinks (read more about backlinks below)

You can also read more about Alt tags, alt titles and the importance of labeling images before importing them to your website in this article by Yoast SEO.

2. Optimize All Images Before Uploading Them to Your Site

We cannot stress this enough. It’s not just recommended, it’s crucial for photography websites!

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-Optimize-Images-before-uploading-to-website

If you keep your images in original sizes or high resolution, and upload them in those immense file sizes to your website – you are slowly killing your website, the user experience of your site and your business overall.

Why? Because the heavier your website gets, the slower it loads for your users. Nobody is going to wait 50+ seconds for your homepage to load (perhaps only your mom). The story gets even sadder when somebody tries to access your website from their mobile, it takes forever, it consumes their mobile data and they will eventually get frustrated and exit your site for good (remember, over 60% of web traffic comes from mobile these days).

There is no point in uploading 4K images, for a little iphone or ipad screen. Think about it, how many of your potential clients, not peers, not publishers – regular people who are interested in your services own a 4K screen? Not many.

This is why it’s important to keep your images optimized. Don’t worry, if you follow the guidelines from our Ultimate Guide to Saving Images for the Web, you will significantly reduce your image sizes without any visible changes to the quality and crispness of your photographs.

Just for a test, go right now to tools.pingdom.com, enter your website link and run a quick test. Pay attention to your load time, page size, performance score, etc. As an example, we used the website of our dear clients Days Made of Love (built with Trento theme).

A good loading speed for your pages is anything below 5 seconds. A good page size is anything below 5MB. Looks like Fanis & Jenny are doing a wonderful job with keeping their site light and beautiful.

SEO for photographers, pingdom-test-seo-tips_

Scroll down, snooping for more information. If your site loads slow, or has a very large page size, pay attention to the file sizes. identify the troublemakers (see image below), optimize them, and re-upload to your site.

SEO for photographers, pingdom-test-seo-tips_1

As mentioned, you will find a more thorough guide on How to Optimize Your Images for your Website here.

3. Create Backlinks

A backlink is a lead from another website to your website.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-build-quality-backlinks

There is only one golden rule you need to follow when building your backlinks – Quality over Quantity. One single backlink from a popular, trustworthy and relevant website can add a lot more value than 50 backlinks from spammy, dodgy websites.

Long gone is also the trend for backlink farms (yes, you could pay for batches of backlinks, also coming from unreliable sources). This type of behaviour will only hurt your ranking, if not get you completely penalized by Google. So invest some time into reaching out and building relationships that can get you mentions and features with quality backlinks.

But to be honest, as a photographer you already have access to so many opportunities for building backlinks. Think about it, you work with tens of vendors for each wedding (videographers, makeup artists, event organizing teams, desert and candy bar companies, florists, venues, musical bands, etc). Be nice, and while blogging about the event, mention and give credits to each and single one of them. Most will return the favor and share your work on their blog or social media (all backlinks), bringing more quality traffic your way. Simple.

Another strategy, requiring a bit more time, patience and effort is submitting your work to popular wedding and bridal magazines and online blogs, such as Junebug, Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, etc.

Sure, it’s not easy getting featured on these sites, but keep trying and refining your portfolio. You will get featured sooner than later, and these are powerful links, since they are from the same industry as yours and weigh a lot due to relevancy. Therefore they will have a bigger impact on your SEO and ranking.

One of the easiest ways to get backlinks, is to be active online, on social media, on various relevant platforms from your industry (the blogs you want to be featured on), on websites like Quora and Reddit. Comment, engage in relevant discussions, be genuinely helpful, share your thoughts, opinion and experience, and drop a link to your website here and there. If traffic is good for these discussions, you’ll surely get new users coming to your website soon.

Eager to dive deeper into the world of backlinking strategy? Learn how to identify quality backlinks first. Also, check out this tutorial explaining how to check backlinks in Google Webmaster Tools.

4. Create content for your viewer

Content is crucial when it comes to SEO, or as people say, “Content is King”.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-blog-like-a-pro,-drive-traffic-to-your-site

We can’t stress this enough. Don’t blog just for the sake of having content on your site, do it with a purpose. It should be informative, entertaining, new, curious, sad or fun. If you’re blogging about a wedding, write about your experience, tell a story, describe the couple, the venue, the atmosphere and people.

These blog posts aren’t only good for showcasing your work, and pinning keywords for SEO – they also help users learn more about your personality, your values and philosophy. This is how you spark their interest and connect with them.

Do check out these 6 steps to becoming a Pro at Blogging, or follow the list of top recommendations described below:

– Use catchy titles. Write articles for the title, not just for the keyword. It’s preferable to use your focus keyword in the title, but not crucial. Don’t sacrifice your titles’ catchiness and ability to attract more readers, if the keyword simply doesn’t fit in there.
– Avoid keyword stuffing. Google got really good at understanding keywords (synonyms and similar/related word combinations). If you use the same keyword everywhere (keyword stuffing), it will be perceived as spammy.
– Focus on using just 1-2 keywords (and their synonyms) throughout a blog post. If you try to include all your keyword list into one article – you will dilute your content, thus reducing your chances of ranking higher for any of these keywords. Keep it simple. One post can be focused solely on promoting your destination wedding photography work in Italy (or even more narrow – Tuscany). Another article will promote your wedding photography work in France, or Scotland.
– It’s highly effective to use your keywords within the first 200 characters of your blog post, then a few times throughout your article, and finally one more time in the last paragraph, at the end of the post.
– Pay attention to your blog post’s structure. Make sure it’s easy to read and navigate through. Break up content into short paragraphs and sentences. If possible, add an image(s) every 300-400 words, to break up long texts. You can also use supporting content such as videos, slides, social embeds, quotes, etc.
– Make good use of Headings (H1) and subheadings (H2, H3, H4), structure is important for user experience.
– As explained in the Backlinks section (read above), mention and link back to all the vendors and brands that were part of this event. Some of them may reach out to use your images for their own portfolio and social media. Guess what, more exposure and backlinks for you, as they will surely include the photo credits.
– We’ve talked about Image Optimization, alt tags and alt titles in the previous sections. Just make sure your alt attributes also include your keywords.
– Write everything in your own words and style. Don’t copy paste paragraphs from other blogs.
– And finally, always write for the client. Not for Google. Readers need to understand, like and want to share your articles.

5. Avoid Duplicated Pages (aka. How to rank fast for multiple destinations)

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-how-to-rank-for-multiple-destinations

A few years ago it was popular to duplicate your pages, add a few new keywords to it and try to rank higher for multiple keywords at once. Don’t do it. You can get penalized for this. There is a smart way. Create similar pages (can be multiple blog posts) but create unique content for each of them.

Feature your own work, weddings, elopements, style shoot, images you took at a workshop, or on your holiday trip. As long as it’s your images, and there is a short story with those key destination words – you’re on the right track.

6. CDN

What does CDN mean? How does it work? Do I need it?

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-why-use-a-CDN

Well, there are Pros and Cons to getting one. Easiest way to explain you the benefits of a CDN (Content Delivery Network), is through an example: let’s say you’re a wedding photographer based and working in London.

Most of your clients are also located in London and nearby. You have a good hosting provider, with servers in the UK, therefore your website is served very fast for everyone based in your country. However, if a potential client tries to access your website from Amsterdam (even thought it’s not too far away) – it will take longer to load.

Your site speed decreases even more for someone living in Cape Town or Indonesia. This is where a CDN comes in handy. Basically, it’s a network of servers that delivers a cached copy of your website all across the world. Remember site speed is important for SEO.

Apart from boosting your page loading speed, CDNs are also used for creating multiple domains for downloads. Web browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc) can open only 4 connections at a time for a single domain. This means that if you need to load 20 different files from one domain (read as website), it will do it in batches of 4. When you’re using a CDN, you have 8 connections, allowing you to load content much faster. The caching for the CDN is much faster as well.

Therefore, if you want to get more international clients and destination photography work – you’ll need to compete with local photographers from those areas, and have a beautiful BUT ALSO a fast performing website. This ensures not only a pleasant user experience on your website, but also impacts your ranking for Google and other search engines.

You can also check out this article by WPBeginner explaining what a Content Delivery Network is and how it can help your SEO.

7. Get Good Hosting

Invest into a good hosting provider. It will pay off in the long run. Don’t pick a shared plan that doesn’t use the latest technologies, doesn’t have the latest PHP versions, and doesn’t use SSDs on their servers. Hosting should never be a decision based solely on cost.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-choosing-a-wordpress-hosting-provider

There are many hosting companies comparable on cost, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for you could get one with slow loading times, site downtime and bad customer service.

Check where your provider is based and where are their servers located. Make sure that it allows you to use an SSL certificate, in the case that you need have a secured, verified website.

Your hosting will affect your site’s loading speed as well as your site’s security. Make sure you do your homework and know how to choose the right hosting provider for your WordPress site.

8. SSL Certificates

Though moving to HTTPS is still a small SEO ranking factor – we’re pretty positive it’s going to grow, you only need to look at browser providers adding the warning sign to sites without HTTPS to know.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-SSL-certificates

Online security, website verification and SSL certificates got a lot more important over the last few years. But before shopping for an SSL certificate (yes, there are various types), you need to understand why and when it’s important to use HTTPS on your website.

Basically, if you have an online shop, or are collecting sensitive, personal information from your users – you must guarantee that all these details will be encrypted and securely stored on your site. You can do it by getting and implementing an SSL certificate.

There are paid and free options available (sometimes offered by your hosting provider). Since it’s a more complex and tedious process, we recommend seeking help from an expert – to avoid any website errors or issues. Think of it as of a new website. Your url changes from http to https. All your old links need to redirect to your new website, otherwise you’ll be loosing a lot of traffic.

Note: After implementing the SSL certificate, you’ll need to reach out to your hosting provider and check if everything was done correctly. You’ll also need to update your Google Analytics and Google Web Master Tools to add the new https url (it’s recommended to keep both http and https).

9. Low Bounce Rate

Your bounce rate is a great indicator of the quality of your website traffic.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-low-bounce-rate

Bounce rates show how many of your website visitors “bounce” away from your site as soon as they’ve accessed it, without clicking through to the next page. If your bounce rate is high, you’re probably doing something wrong. You’re either sending the wrong type of users to your site (from social media, publications, guest blogging, etc), your current website/homepage doesn’t trigger interest and motivate users to continue browsing, or it’s slow and people become impatient and leave.

Not sure what your bounce rate is? It’s easy to find out. Go into your Google Analytics account and find the info under Acquisition >> Overview. A bounce rate somewhere between 40-70% is considered to be average.

If it’s over 70%, you may want to follow these 9 techniques to improve your bounce rate. If it’s extremely low – below 5%, put that Champagne bottle back in the fridge. Most likely you’ve misplaced or added twice your Google Analytics (GA) code to your side. This article will explain how to check whether you have a duplicate GA code on your site and how to remove it.

10. A SEO Friendly Homepage

Obviously your homepage is the most visited page on your website.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-SEO-friendly-homepage

Based on the way it looks, feels and works, your site visitors decide whether they want to stay and keep browsing (yay for low bounce rates) or leave you site for good. This means you have to put some thought and logic into crafting your homepage, so it’s user and SEO friendly.

Here are a few things you have to keep in mind when designing your homepage (listed in no particular order):

– Use Call to Actions to encourage users to visit your subpages: your portfolio, your blog, your about page and obviously your contact page to submit an inquiry. Make sure they are visible and attention grabbing.
– Show your Latest Work. Recommend 3-6 fresh articles or galleries for your user to check out.
– Full screen sliders – keep them short and impactful. Don’t add 20-30 images, nobody will have the patience to see them all scroll, and it will slow down your page loading speed. A selection of 5-7 best images is more than enough to create a good first impression.
– Use headlines. Make it crystal clear for your audience what’s this website about, what is the product/service and the benefits? Figure out what most of your clients want and need and promise to deliver that. If possible, mention your area of work and the type of photography you do – so your site visitor knows if you are a good fit for them, immediately.
– Don’t forget to include your main Keyword(s) on your homepage. It can be in your headline, page title, a short intro paragraph, your brief about section, etc. Just make sure it’s there.
Social Networks and Newsletter opt-in. This is not mandatory, but if you want to build a relationship and continue a dialog with your site visitors, offer them an alternative way to connect with you. If you’re building a mailing list, include a subscription form on your homepage, and make it visible. If you’re active on social media, add social icons to your page, linking back to your accounts.
– Usually, right after you capture a user’s attention with your work, they want to find out a bit more about you, the owner. Therefore, including a photo of you, a short bio or a welcome message is always a good idea. It helps users put a face to the brand and learn a bit more about your personality. Include a Call to action to your about page for further details (yay for lower bounce rates again).

This is a list of elements we recommend including on your homepage, for better performance and conversions, but know that there is no single golden rule. If you’ve found other methods that works best for you – keep and polish them out. Also, for inspiration check out a few Homepage layouts built by our designers for our theme demos: Trento, Crowd, Osaka, Cube, etc.

11. Plugins

For SEO purposes, there are 2 plugin categories that you need to know about and use.

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SEO Plugins
Simply installing and activating a SEO plugin won’t be enough. Take some time to read and learn about its features and capabilities, set it up correctly, and only then start enjoying its effects. Out of all available SEO plugins, we recommend one of the following two:

Yoast SEO – It allows you to add keywords and meta descriptions to each of your pages. Also this is your solution to choosing proper description and featured images for your site and pages, when sharing them on Facebook. You can check out their own documentation or follow the steps describe in our Guide to Your Yoast SEO plugin.
All in One SEO – Another great SEO plug-in, allowing keywords, meta descriptions and social sharing options. WP Beginner provides a good article on setting up All in One SEO.

Caching Plugins
Caching plugins can help you speed up your website’s loading speed.
Note: Some hosting providers do not allow caching plugins as they already provide caching. Check with your hosting provider if it’s ok to add a caching plugin to your website before proceeding to install one.

WP Super Cache – Here’s a guide on how to set up WP Super Cache correctly.
Better WordPress Minify – It allows you to combine and minify your CSS and JS files to improve your page loading time. Note: If after minifying you are getting javascript errors, then you may need to manage enqueued files order manually.
WP Performance Score Booster – it adds expiry headers to all WordPress files, making them more cacheable.

Bonus: Too many plugins can also harm your site performance and loading speed. If you’re a more advanced user, here’s another way to leverage browser caching.

12. SEO Friendly Permalinks

Permalinks allow you to bring more structure and cleanliness to your website page links. A clear url structure also helps search engines link easier to your website.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-SEO-friendly-permalinks

Luckily, WordPress makes it very easy to define and adjust your permalink structure. Access Settings >> Permalinks in your Dashboard, to find the following setting window.

SEO for photographers, permalinks

For SEO purposes we recommend choosing the Post name option. This makes your url readable for users and search engines, and allows you to through in your keyword into your post url.

Voila, your url turned from something sloppy and ugly, such as “https://yourwebsite.com/?p=123Bghd&sd36” into “https://yourwebsite.com/your-awesome-page-including-keyword/”.

Wondering whether you should include categories or dates into your permalink structure? Read this article by Yoast about the Perfect WordPress SEO permalink structure.

13. Your 404 Page

Ignoring your 404 Page or leaving it as it comes by default from WordPress is a big mistake. Errors happen, pages get lost or deleted, but if somebody bumps into a 404 on your site, it means they are interested and were looking for something (probably some of your older content).

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-404-page-design

Use your 404 Error Page as an opportunity to convert lost users into fans or leads. Use design, humor, and your favorite images to intrigue and drive more traffic towards your website.

Not sure how and where to start? We’ve compiled a list of inspiring and fun 404 Page design examples, as well as a list of plugins you can use to create your own 404 Page. Enjoy!

14. Internal Linking

This is a good way of keeping users longer on your website, by offering them some recommended additional galleries/articles to check out. It’s also a great trick for improving your bounce rate.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-internal-linking

Interlink similar and related posts, offer more inspiration and showcase more of your work. It can be hyperlinks inside your text (best is to have a keyword in there too), or a “You’ll also like..” type of block section at the end of your post.

SEO for photographers, internal linking

image source: www.moz.com

For better results, don’t just keep this advice in mind for your future blog posts. Do it now. Pause reading this article. Open your last blog post, and try to link it to some of your older related galleries or articles.

If you’re really curious to see the results, add a utm tag and check out in a month – how much traffic came as a result of this exercise.

15. Local SEO

If you’re aiming to get visibility and good ranking for your local area (city, state or country), you need to be reading, learning and working on your Local SEO. This is how smaller businesses usually manage to compete with larger brands, and it’s a strategy based on a few key elements + Google Ads if you must.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-local-seo

Local SEO of course includes the keyword startegy that you’ve already put into place, but also is highly influenced by reviews you collect from clients. Ideally you’re collecting Google reviews via your Google Business Account (assuming that you have a Google Business Account).

Specialized platforms for reviews, such as Yelp can have a good impact on your Local ranking. As well as Facebook reviews. The last ones are much easier to gather, since that’s where most of your clients “live”. For the first two, you’ll most likely need to send your customers a link, and ask them to Rate You and leave some feedback. Many photographers don’t feel comfortable or like asking for reviews, while Facebook feels more natural, and users usually do it without being asked.

And lastly, there are paid options to get ahead of competition and rank higher than competition in your local area. These are Google Ads. Google doesn’t hide its paid advertising, but being ranked in the top 4 on the search results page does offer you a competitive advantage.

SEO for photographers, local seo

Read more about optimizing your website for local searches in this article by Moz.

16. Mobile Site

It feels weird still stressing this, but if your site not responsive, getting a new responsive photography website should be the first thing on your To Do SEO list.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-speed-up-mobile-site

Since Internet usage on mobile devices has increased with over 600% since 2010, there’s a good chance that at least one third of your site visitors access your website from their mobile device.

You can actually check these stats from your Google Analytics account, under Audience >> Mobile >> Overview.

SEO for photographers, Google Analytics, mobile site overview

Always do a check on various devices, when launching a new site or updating your existing one, to make sure everything looks good and works properly. If your website building platform allows, customize your mobile site, hide certain page blocks, so your user doesn’t have to scroll forever and ever on their tiny screen.

We’ve actually introduced this type of mobile flexibility with some of our latest themes (Trento, Crowd, Osaka, Cube, Kyoto), to offer our clients more freedom and control over the experience they provide their users on phones and tablets.

Worth reminding you here is that you MUST optimize your images for the web before uploading them to your website (see point #2 for more details).

17. Send Your Sitemap to Google

If a page is not indexed, it won’t be found by Google or your potential clients.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-how-to-submit-sitemap-to-google

Google has its own crawlers that visit your website and index changes and fresh content, to serve it on Search Result Pages. However, there is no need to just sit patiently and wait for it to happen. You can manually submit your sitemap to Google, so the indexing process happens faster.

All you need to do is access your website’s sitemap via your Yoast SEO plugin, and submit it through Google Webmaster Tools Console. Use this permalink to get your sitemap – http or https://yourwebsite.com/sitemap_index.xml

Login to www.google.com/webmasters and follow these steps:

– Go to Crawl >> Sitemaps
– Click add / test sitemap (button in the top right corner)
– Enter sitemap_index.xml in the value field
– Hit submit

SEO for photographers, Google Analytics, send your sitemap to google

That’s should do the trick.

Since Google is the preferred search engine when it comes to SEO efforts, we’re guiding you only through these steps. However, you can always submit your sitemap also to other search engines. Yoast describes on their blog how to submit your sitemap to Bing, Yandex and other search engines.

18. Removing Old Plugins, Content & Creating 301 Redirects

First of all, check your website for old, unused plugins or extensions and get rid of them, as they may be slowing down your website. Outdated plugins may also put at risk your website’s security. So do take this seriously.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-how-to-remove-old-content-and-create-redirects

Back in 2011 Google introduced Google Panda, a change to its ranking algorithms, meant to identify “content farm” types of websites, and lower their ranking – in order to promote high quality content on high quality websites. What does this have to do with me, you ask? Well, if you’re keeping a bunch of old content on your website, which brings you low to no traffic – these old posts may hurt your overall website ranking (via Google Panda). So better remove them, and create:

– 301 redirects if you have a newer, relevant article on that same topic.
– 410 if you have nothing to replace it with, but want Google to stop indexing it.
– 404, especially if you’re following point #13, and crafting a fun and highly converting 404 page.

Here’s a tutorial by Yoast, explaining how to create a 301 redirect, which is also called a permanent redirect, and lets Google and other search engines know that the the old url needs to be assigned to the new url you redirect your users to. But keep in mind that 301 redirects are great when you can replace an old post, with a newer one on the same topic. Otherwise, if you’ll be redirecting users to a random page (even if it’s your homepage) – you risk bumping up your bounce rate, since users will be accessing for one piece of content, not finding it, and exiting immediately. In this case, a 410 or 404 are a way better alternative.

19. Fixing Broken Links

Some of your old content may have been removed, or the websites/articles you have linked to – might have been deleted.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,fix-broken-links

Broken links happen, and it’s not always in your area of control. Ignoring them on the other hand will harm your users’ experience and Google Ranking. While you can go ahead and do a manual check, scan each page, click on each button and hyperlink – there are easier and faster ways.

Free or paid online tools, that do the check for you (ex: Dead Link Checker). Identify the problematic urls and create a redirect for them. If they are external links, make sure to update, or remove them.

20. Multi-Language Sites & SEO

Multi-language websites are a bit more complex and complicated to implement, if you want to focus it around building your SEO strategy. You need to be careful with the structure of your website links. A common mistake is doing 2 languages on the same page. Better invest a bit more time on building 2 separate pages for each language.

Luckily, with WordPress you can easily create subdomains or configure 2 separate domains for each language version of your website to use the same shared database. This offers easier management and control over your websites. Meaning, if you tweak the design or an element on one of them, the changes will be applied to both.

For SEO reasons, it is also recommended to link pages to their equivalent in the other language (a feature that not many CMS platforms allow, but WordPress does).

If you want to dive deeper into the multi-language SEO world, build a solid strategy, find proper keywords for each language and test them out, read this comprehensive Multilingual SEO article by Ahrefs.

Note, that it’s also worth investing into a specialized plugin, such as WPML, especially now that all our new themes (Trento, Kyoto, Crowd, Osaka, Cube, Rosemary, Monte) are compatible with it.

21. Being Active on Social Media

Nope, it’s not just a Marketing and PR move, it’s SEO as well. As mentioned earlier in this article, being active on social media, participating in discussions, and occasionally (when relevant) linking back to your website or a specific post on your site – will bring quality traffic and new leads to your website. Besides, being consistent and posting regularly on social media keeps you connected to your audience, and keeps reminding them about your brand and awesomeness.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-being-active-on-social-media

Facebook’s and Instagram’s algorithms try to calculate what type of content you’d be interested in, based on your past engagement with different people and pages, posts that you’ve liked and commented on. For this reason, you only see certain updates in your news feed, while the rest of the information stays hidden (you need to manually visit brand pages and friend’s profiles to see their recent posts).

If you’re active on social media for a month or two, then suddenly disappear for a few weeks – when you’re back online, posting, you may notice a significant drop in your post reach and engagement. This is why we encourage you to analyze your insights for each platform (which is super easy to do, with Business accounts), identify the time slots when most of your fans are active online, and post then.

Do it regularly. Treat each social media platform as a separate “individual” and adapt your posts for it – image size, text, with or w/o hashtags, etc. Be sure to respond to your followers’ comments, and engage with the posts that others share. It will pay off, both SEO wise, and number of followers/engagement rate wise.

22. Using Keywords in Your Domain Name

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We get this question in almost every SEO Facebook live video and SEO consultancy call, so we’d like to debunk it. It’s a Myth. Google doesn’t really care if you include the word “photography” into your domain name (website url) – so it’s up to you.

We’d recommend promoting your brand name through your domain name, to strengthen brand recognition and awareness.

23. Run Speed Checks Occasionally

Just as you do occasional checkups at your doctor, your need to monitor your website’s state and performance. Especially after some major updates of your theme, WordPress version, plugin updates, new hosting provider, etc. The updates may include new features, bugs or load java script differently – which may impact your website speed and ranking.

A few great platforms to run a quick, yet thorough site speed check are:

Pingdom
GTMetrix
Google Page Speed

Watch out for page loading speed higher than 5 seconds, page size larger than 5 MB, and other low performing or troublemaking indicators.

24. Paid Advertising (optional)

This is not a Must Do SEO thing, but it can bring value and have an impact on your brand recognition and website traffic. It’s not for everyone, but you can explore its possibilities – out of curiosity or need.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-paid-advertising-for-SEO

Today, you can run ads almost anywhere, on any website or platform – Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, you name it. Most of these will ask you to install a Pixel to your website (a code snippet that will track your website traffic). The pixel makes re-targeting users that visited your website super easy and simple.

Facebook’s pixel and Ads Manager is particularly advanced. It allows you to create Custom Audiences, based on the users’ behavior on your website, as well as Lookalike audiences, based on your fans, your site visitors, their purchasing power, occupations, location, and many more. To dive deeper, read this Facebook Ads Beginner Guide by AdEspresso.

Instagram ads can be set directly from your Facebook Ads manager, so you have that covered. For Google Ads, we recommend seeking help from an expert, as Google requires you to pass a tests and get Google Ads certification.

Metrics

What’s the point of investing so much time, effort and money into SEO, if you don’t measure and analyze your results? Perhaps you don’t need it in the first place? We recommend using various tools, such as Google Analytics and Webmaster tools, to get a precise picture of what’s happening on your website, and make decisions based on gather data, rather than gut feeling.

Everything-a-Photographer-Needs-to-Know-About-SEO,-Tracking-metrics,-analyzing-results

Ideally, you’re checking the stats before you implement these tips and strategies, and then after.
Here are some of the tools we use at Flothemes and love:

1. Google Analytics (GA) – analyze everything that is happening on your website, traffic amount, where does it come from, where do your users live, which device do they use, how many bounce back, which pages are most viewed, etc.
2. Google Webmaster Tools – a toolset that allows you to easily communicate with Google, adjust and fix (in case of any issues) the way Google sees and indexes your website, adjust your internal or external links, check what type of keywords users searched for when landing on your website, what’s the clickthrough rate for each of those keywords, as well as other type of useful data. You can also integrate your GA with Google Webmaster Tools.
3. Hotjar or CrazyEgg – heat mapping tools allow you to see and analyze how people behave on your website, what do they look at on your pages, which buttons and links do they click on, what do they try to do, what do they skip.

This can be an eye opener and help you discover bumps or opportunities for improvement on your website (placing call to actions or your most popular/relevant content to places where users look and click the most) for better user experience and conversions. Both, Hotjar and CrazyEgg have a 30 day trial period, where you can test them out, and decide which one you like better.

A Few Last Things..

If you’re reading this, you’re a super star!

You’ve just got more SEO savvy. Now it’s time to apply this knowledge, strategies and tools on your own website. Join our Facebook group SEO for Photographer, to share questions, experience and get daily improvement advice.

One final note. Nobody, and we do mean NOBODY CAN PROMISE YOU A HIGHER (OR TOP 3) GOOGLE RANKING, for any cost. You can’t simply buy your search engine ranking. It’s a long term, ongoing process that requires your constant time, attention and devotion.

If somebody is offering you top ranking for a price, it’s probably a scam. What they can do, is improve your current site performance, which in turn will positively affect your ranking – but it’s not a guarantee of a first page, top ranking.

We don’t mean to discourage you, SEO is important, but it’s a process, not a tangible product. You can’t buy it like coffee. Now, our talented creative hustlers, time to roll up your sleeves!

With Love,
Flothemes Team

Diana

15:09 October 26, 2017

Thank you Sir Tom, I just followed few steps here I was missing! Always so much to learn! Awesome post! Definitely a bookmark page!

Daicar Estudio, wedding photographers

10:18 November 6, 2017

Thank you very much for this post, Nata! It's very helpful. We are trying to establish our SEO strategy and this was one of the most helpful posts we read. It sums ups everything. Thanks again!!

    Nata Leto

    12:13 November 8, 2017

    That was our goal Daicar, and I'm so happy you've found it helpful! If you struggle or need help/some insights with anything else - do let me know. I'd be glad to help and research new topics for you guys! ;)

A Guide to SEO for Wedding Photographers - More Brides

04:56 November 8, 2017

[…] This is a guest post by Flothemes which was originally titled: Everything a Photographer Needs to Know About SEO. […]

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