From landscape photographers to wedding photographers – whatever your niche and whoever your customers – we can all agree that a website is essential. That’s how the world works these days: if people are looking for a product or service provider, they Google it.
Your website ranking on the first page of a Google is a huge factor in ultimately driving sales. Ninety one percent of people don’t ever click through to the second or subsequent pages of search results. So how do you get your website up to the top? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key. There are a few basic tips for SEO for photographers that could be the difference between prospects never knowing who you are, or signing on the dotted line.
Keywords and Content
The SEO game is difficult because there’s no set rules, and the goal posts frequently change. Google doesn’t just tell you what its search bots want. But the one thing they do tell you is that they want good, regular, up-to-date content. And it makes sense; they want their customer (the searcher) to find results that help them answer their search query.
So the first step to higher search engine rankings for your photography business is to regularly post relevant content. A blog section of your website is the easiest way to do this. Find out what people are searching in the world of photography, and post blogs about that. This could be anything from photography tips and tricks for budding photographers, to advice for how to choose the right photographer for people looking to hire.
The keywords that people are searching for need to appear in your text. That’s how the search bots find your webpage. Including links to relevant external sites, as well as other pages on your own site, is essential too. It demonstrates to Google that you are interconnected on the web, rather than just a dead-end site.
The good thing about driving people to your site through your blog is that the more people who click on it and the longer they spend on your site, the more Google interprets that activity to mean that your site is relevant and useful and pleases its searchers. This boosts your rankings. Not necessarily your business immediately or directly.
To really capture the attention of people who are searching for a service you provide, you need to think about local keywords. If someone in your area is looking to hire a photographer, they are more likely to search “wedding photographer + YOUR AREA HERE”, because they don’t want to sift through photographers who aren’t based in the right area. You need to capitalize on that local keyword. Post blogs and articles that mention your area so that the Google search bots know where you are and can list you right up the top for people looking for photographers in that location.
Alt-Text On Every Photo
Here’s the thing with search bots: they can only search text. These bots are blind; they can’t see images and they can’t watch videos. So if your website is mostly image based you’ve got yourself an SEO nightmare. But it’s easily fixed, and you don’t even have to remove those images.
Search bots are clever in that they can read text that is invisible. That is, text that doesn’t appear when someone is looking at a webpage – it’s all behind-the-scenes stuff. Alt-text is a function where you can label images with relevant words to describe the image, but this text doesn’t actually show up on the webpage. Use alt-text on all of your images so that the search bots can find these images and display you on the results page for relevant queries.
SEO can be as complex as you want to make it, but you’re a photographer, not a tech-head. These three basic changes to your website will make the world of difference to your search engine rankings, and they are super simple. You don’t have to have an IT degree to put these into place, and the pay-off will be huge. Getting seen on Google can drive so many more customers through your door. In business, as in photography, the right exposure is essential.