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. A little further down in the post you'll find an infographic we created that you can save as your SEO cheatsheet. Stay to the end of the post to read some expert advice from some fantastic photographers who offer SEO courses, specifically geared for photographers. And now, let's get started!
Ready to optimize your photography website for search engine results? Here are our top tips for on-page, technical, and local SEO practices.
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 2023, 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.
Photographer Sara Dunn suggests that photographers "make sure to think beyond just "photographer" keywords. How about ranking for advice keywords or topics your ideal clients might be searching for? Provide advice on your blog to rank for way more keywords and get more traffic." For more amazing SEO tips, check out Sara's post on how to get started with SEO for wedding photographers.
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.
This is huge for your photography business and one of the most important tips for photographer SEO. The majority of people who are looking for a photographer will head to Google and type in "photographers near me," focusing on local SEO will help your name be the one that pops up in these searches. There are several ways that you can improve your local SEO game for your photography business. A few of the most important ones are:
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:
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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:
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.
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.
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.