Tablets and smartphones now have built-in cameras that produce great photos, giving people easy access to cameras. Even DSLRs are becoming more popular for the everyday consumer. The Web is awash with photos of all kinds, from cuddly pets to massive architectural designs. Many of these enthusiasts take it a step further by publishing their own photography blogs or making their hobby into a business and creating a site to advertise it.
You can just imagine the thousands of photography websites around. To stand out from the rest, you need to incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website. Why does SEO matter? How does SEO work? How do you increase your website’s SEO?
With the right SEO techniques, you can:
- Attract the right target market
- Increase traffic to your website, which helps to acquire more clients
- Develop a client base that can refer you to even more prospects
- Reduce paid advertising and subsequently, save money
- Establish yourself as a credible and authoritative entity in your industry
- Get connected with influencers in your industry
- Provide great value to your clients
- Answer common questions your clients or leads are asking
That’s a lot of advantages you can enjoy! So let’s start optimizing your photography website by following these useful and proven tips.
1. Insert keywords in your website’s page titles.
Check out your main page titles. Do they contain essential keywords? Do they describe exactly what the page is?
EXAMPLE: Rather than “How to be a Better Photographer” which is vague and too general, use the title “Tips in Becoming an Effective Real Estate Photographer.” The keyword being inserted is “real estate photographer,” which is easily crawled by search engine bots.
Also, rather than force keywords or search-friendly titles on existing pages, why not create new, search-engine friendly, and keyword-optimized pages? Each page that ranks in a search engine is like opening a new gateway to your website.
EXAMPLE: Let’s use the same keyword in the example above. Rather than inserting “real estate photographer” in an existing article or web content, create a new page or an article about essential photography gear or necessary skills that a professional real estate photographer should have.
2. Use the right keywords to optimize images.
You might think that only text-heavy websites use keywords to improve their online visibility. But no, the same principle also applies to image-rich websites. Thus, insert keywords in the following sections of your images:
- image title
- alt tags
- filename of the image
- text near the image
HINT: If you are using captions (and you should), include keywords here as well.
3. Use long-tail keywords.
Most likely, you won’t rank favorably for competitive keywords, at least not right away. That is due to the saturation of competition. Being a new player in the space, your content will take some time and traffic in order to gain traction.
A good option is to utilize longer phrases that include multiple competitive keywords; in SEO terminology, these phrases are called long-tail keywords. They include three or four keywords that are very specific to what you are selling or offering. Long-term keywords are a good option since specific multi-word phrases have the tendency to rank well and more easily than generic single- or double-word keywords.
REMINDER: Make sure your caption, title, or description isn’t more than 60 characters, including spaces. This is because search engines, like Google and Bing, truncate phrases and sentences that go beyond this limit.
Let’s consider the title “Tips in Becoming an Effective Real Estate Photographer.” It has 54 characters, including spaces, which is adequate. Do not use “Excellent Tips in Becoming an Effective and Award-Winning Real Estate Photographer” as it has a character count of 82, including spaces. Google will truncate it at the 60th character.
Also, remember that the idea of keywords is to target words or phrases that people might type into Google or another search engine. While you might not rank favorably for “Boston Wedding Photographer”, you might have a better shot with a long-tail keyword phrase like “outdoor wedding at Boston golf course”. This is something a person looking to get married outside at a golf course near Boston might actually type in their search engine. Always remember that you should only use these long-tail keywords when appropriate like when you’re blog post is showing an outdoor wedding at a Boston golf course.
We will publish more tips in Part 2—tips that focus on how to get quality links. We will also give you some pointers on how to make your website more SEO-friendly and how a blog can help you get on top of the game. Stay tuned!