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SEO. Three little letters that can be so intimidating and confusing. Whenever you talk about your website, there they are. It seems there is no getting around talking about SEO when it comes to growing your website- and there is a good reason for that.

There are a lot of photographers trying to be seen on the internet. If you want to rank in Google, get traffic to your website, and convert an audience into paying clients, the first step to achieving all of those things is having strong SEO practices in your business. 

In a nutshell- No one can book you if they can't find you. SEO is your best bet for helping your target audience find you online. Read on for our top ten SEO tips for photographers. Stay to the end of the post to read some expert advice from some fantastic photographers who offer SEO courses, specifically geared for photographers.

Best SEO Tips for Photographers

Ready to optimize your photography website for search engine results? Here are our top tips for on-page, technical, and local SEO practices. 

1. Identify the right keywords for your photography business

In the simplest terms, keywords let search engines know what your content is and that it answers a search question for your particular niche. Gone are the days of shoving in random keywords to increase traffic to your website. In 2022, you need to be strategic when it comes to using keywords in your blog posts and on your website pages. Using tools like Ubersuggest can help you identify keywords that you will have the best chance to rank for in search engines. But don’t overdo it. The average article is around 1,000 words, so you’ll want to use keywords no more than 6-10 times. 

2. Make sure your URL is clean and easy to use

As with any marketing strategy, the easier you make it for your clients or potential clients to find you, the better. Make sure your URL reflects your business and is simple for people to search. Use familiar words related to your business in your URL. Avoid odd or quirky spellings as well. Following these guidelines will make your website easy to type into a search, as well as help your business show up in a search for those particular keywords. For example, www.janegoodrichphotography.com is better than www.Janegoodrich.com. It is also a good idea to add keywords related to your business into the subdirectory part of your URL. This is the text that appears after your domain (.com,.org) and is preceded by a (/). For more information about using technical SEO to optimize your website, check out this short article.

3. Focus on local SEO

This is huge for your photography business and one of the most important tips for photographer SEO. There are several ways that you can improve your local SEO game for your photography business. A few of the most important ones are:

  •  Map yourself on Google, 
  • Have a google map on your website
  • Focus on your on-page SEO
  • Be sure to add local elements, towns, and cities, to your keywords
  • You can also create separate pages for each location you want to target and the type of photography you offer in those areas. This is a great way to add keywords that will boost your SEO for wedding photography or SEO for newborn photography. When you are creating these location pages, use specific examples for each town, such as your favorite place to shoot, your favorite places to visit, and shops or restaurants to try. You can also add in any images you have from clients from that town. 
  • Another way to improve your local SEO is to add in the town what type of photography you are offering. For example, if you are writing a location page about wedding photography you could write “wedding photography in (your location)”. The same goes for any other type of photography. You could also use this technique for special offers or photo events like mini sessions that you are hosting on location.

4. Build backlinks

Backlinks are crucial to increasing your domain ranking. So what are they and how do they help your website SEO? Backlinks are links that point to your website from another website. When a website links to you from their blog post or web page, it gives you more authority in the eyes of search engines and helps you rank higher in search results over time. Getting backlinks is a slow climb and not a quick process (like most SEO practices!) but it is well worth the effort. Some of the most effective ways to get backlinks to your website are: 

  • writing top 10 or round-up posts of local businesses and events, and reaching out to the people you mention and asking them  for a social share (this is not a direct backlink, but could lead to one, and in the meantime, social shares help your SEO as well)
  • Reach out to other websites and ask them to add your link to a section on their blog where you feel your post can add info and value to their readers.
  • Answering requests for quotes from people in your industry and sharing your link and bio with your submissions.

Photographer looking at Picsello.com on their phone.

5. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

This is one of the technical SEO issues you will want to be sure you are always on top of. Mobile traffic is thought to be nearly half of the entire sum of total website traffic so it’s important to have your website loading quickly and looking great on mobile devices. In addition to simply looking on your phone or iPad to check how your website looks, you can use Google's mobile-friendly test to make sure your site looks good on mobile devices.

6. Utilize SEO keywords for photographers in your titles and descriptions

Another on-page photographer SEO tip is to make sure you optimize your Meta titles and descriptions. If you use WordPress for your site, you can use the Yoast plug-in and at the bottom of each post, you will see an area to type in your meta title and description. Make sure to include your keyword in the title and one or more keywords in the description for your blog posts for website pages.  

7. Spruce up your Google Business profile

This ties in with making sure your local SEO is on point. Make sure that your Google business profile is up to date and share the best way people can book with you as well as any upcoming special services you have available. If there are any holidays or special events that you know people will be looking to have photos taken for, like Christmas, wedding season, graduations, or back to school, be sure to showcase these offerings on your Google business profile.

8. Optimize your images 

(ALT tags- ranking in google images) Google image search results are easier and many people get to a website or business through an image search result. This is why it is crucial to optimize every image on your website so it can be indexed by search engines. 

9. Create and optimize location pages

We mentioned in a few points above how important it is to optimize your website for local searches. As a photographer, this is one of the most impactful ways that you can help your business show up on the first page of search engine results.  Even if you don't have multiple brick-and-mortar locations for your photography business (or any at all!) you can still create location pages. How? You can create a location page for each major location that you want to get clients. There are a few things you want to do on each of these pages to optimize them for photographer SEO:

  • Use a location-specific image and use that location and other keywords in the description of that image in your ALT tags
  • Include a call to action
  • Use keywords in your copy and try to have each page be no less than 500 words
  • Put a map on each location page, along with your social links, address, phone number, and hours
  • Use local keywords in your Meta title and description

10. Add inbound and outbound links to your posts

Both inbound links and outbound links will help boost your SEO. For inbound links, you will link to other blog posts or pages from your website. For outbound links, you will link to outside sources. This is a great opportunity to include links to businesses or influencers that you would like to share, via social media, a backlink, or both, your content. When you link to someone, make sure to reach out to them and let them know that you linked to their awesome content and if asked they would share it on their social media or with a backlink on their website.

Boy with glasses at school.

Photographer SEO: Courses For Photography SEO by Photographers 

Looking to dig deeper in SEO for your photography business? We’ve rounded up some courses  about photography SEO below that were created by photographers for photographers who want to learn more about using SEO to grow their business.

https://kylegoldie.com/seo-course

https://www.ninamacephotography.com/seo-for-photographers/

https://shekseo.com

https://saradoesseo.com/wedding-seo-services/

https://dylanmhowell.com/seo-for-photographers/

Wrapping Up

SEO is a long game, but well worth paying attention to if you want to grow your photography business online. Both on-page and technical SEO are important and it pays to learn a little bit about how to optimize your website for both. Good things take time and your site doesn't land on page one of a search engine overnight. BUT, if you are intentional and consistent with these SEO tips, you will see positive results in your photography business. 

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