It’s pretty simple to boost SEO, we’re doing it right now! The first thing you want to do is make sure that your website's content is interesting! Don’t just try and write something for the sake of hitting a few keywords. Rather your writing, whether it’s for a blog or your about section, should flow and be interesting to read. It’s more important to capture your website's visitors with interesting content than it is to cram as many keywords onto your page. To do this, make sure you are identifying your ideal client and writing with them in mind. You may be tempted to try and hit as many points as you can, listing yourself as a wedding, portrait, headshot, and pet photographer, serving Toronto, Mississauga, and Hamilton, but a jack of all trades is a master of none (at least according to google). While it’s true that listing multiple locations and styles of photography will help you appear in more searches, unless someone is looking for a wedding, portrait, headshot, and pet photographer serving Toronto, Mississauga, and Hamilton, you aren’t going to be anywhere near the top of somebody’s google search. But, if you focus on one type of photography and one specific area (wedding photographer in Mississauga for example), you’ll rank much higher in the searches you do appear in. So niche down who your ideal client is, and make sure you write to them directly whenever you’re writing any kind of copy.
Now that you’ve got your ideal client and copy down to a T, it’s time to make sure the website you’re taking them to is easy to navigate. Enter on page optimization, an important factor for how high search engines rank you. It doesn’t matter how well written your copy is, if your page takes forever to load or is buried deep down a one way rabbit hole then nobody’s going to bother trying to find it. As a photographer you obviously want to show your best pictures, but it’s important to remember that you’re not publishing wall art here. You really don’t need any images more than a megabyte. Having large image sizes, or lots of images on a single page will dramatically increase loading speeds, especially for your mobile users. Speaking of which, our research shows that between 50% and 70% of visitors to your site come through their mobile phone. If you’ve never experienced the feeling of forgetting your mobile version until after you’ve designed the perfect desktop layout, imagine finishing all the dishes and getting all the countertops lovely and clean only to turn around and find a cast iron pan half full of sauce, a pot half full with pasta, and a stove top covered in rapidly hardening drips of tomato. If you want your business to succeed, you’re going to need to get the grind out of the way and build out that viewpoint for your mobile clients. Google has become smart enough to recognize if your website is usable or not based on things like button size or internal linking. So make sure that your site is designed to be circular, and that the buttons are large enough for people to click (especially on the mobile version).
So, you’ve got a beautifully designed website with perfect copy for your ideal client. Now you can sit back and wait for those bookings to roll in, right? Unfortunately this is the part where I tell you that SEO is about the journey as much as it is the destination. Search engines love a website that is regularly expanding and growing, and the easiest way to expand your website is through blogging. Yes, I know you’ve heard this all before, but there’s a reason blogs are so important for SEO. They are the quickest and easiest way to keep your website regularly expanding. These pages will also help you further niche down as you write more and more about your specific type of photography at specific venues, studios, or locations. So what type of blog should you be focusing on? Well that depends what you want to target. The lowest hanging fruit is to post some pictures from previous galleries (we recommend a small sample of no more than 30 or so) with a brief description of the shoot, something you learned from it, and/or a funny story from the day. Does this mean you need to have done a shoot at a location in order to write a blog about it? No. Let’s say you’re a wedding photographer trying to shoot at a specific venue. You could write blogs targeting the venue’s name and the words “photography” and “photographer”. If you scout out the venue, you could have a blog about the best locations for golden hour bridal portraits at the venue. You could write a blog about how to relax in front of the camera when getting those bridal portraits at the venue. Whatever you do, just make sure you are blogging regularly, and that you are targeting specific types of photography and/or locations. You should also make sure that your name and your business name appears in all your metadata and title tags of these blogs. Just remember what we learned earlier though, and spend more time making the blog interesting, and less time agonizing over keyword selection. And there you have it, you’ve mastered the basics of SEO. Once you’ve built your beautifully optimized site, don’t forget to make sure google can read it. Check out our blog on How to Set Up Your Google Search Console.