You’ve made the most beautiful photography website ever. It’s so great that Picasso himself would be proud…
But the visitors aren’t coming, and because the visitors aren’t coming, the phone remains silent.
No calls, no clients, and facing the devastating reality that all the time and money you put into that site making it like candy for the eyes, could be a total waste.
There must be a solution to tap the enormous power of the internet and get it working for your photography business, instead of against it.
I’ll reveal the solution you seek in this no-fluff, no B.S. 3 part series…
Beauty Often Loses To The Beast
SEO, which stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’ is the process of making a website more highly optimized for search engines like Google and Yahoo, so that when a user types in a ‘keyword’, that site shows up highly, and hopefully in the number one spot.
The problem with many photography sites, is that they want to be extremely impressive, beautiful and professional, leaving the site without much actual content (articles and information), and instead filling it with photos from their portfolio.
The search engines absolutely hate these ‘thin’ sites, mostly because the search engines can’t read what photos are, so they simply rank those sites poorly.
Google (and the other search engines) rank you based on a few things:
- The words on your pages
- The meta description, keywords, and page title
- Tags, such as header tags (H1, H2, etc) and alt tags
- The number of sites linking to your site, and the quality of their sites
- And lately it is also believed to include your social influence – So your Facebook interactions, Tweets and Pinterest pins.
It’s a very imprecise science because nobody really knows exactly what the search engines want. And they really don’t want us to know because then people would try and trick the system…
But notice how the list above didn’t include ‘the quality of your images’.
Sure, prospects want to see that you’re a great photographer and look at your portfolio, but that shouldn’t be the extent of your site if you want to get that Google lovin’.
Use WordPress And Fatten Up Your Skinny Site
If you don’t already use WordPress to manage your site, you should install it and create a ‘blog’, or ‘articles’ section.
WordPress is free, easy to setup, and can look extremely beautiful with the right theme – most of the really amazing themes wont set you back more than $100, but there’s a heap of free ones too.
Start Acting Like The Printed Press
Google loves fresh content. New articles written daily if possible, but once a week at a least!
It’s like the newspaper. We only read it because the information is relevant today. If it wasn’t updated everyday, nobody would read it… Google wants your site to be like this.
You’ll notice that the really big, popular sites add new articles a few times each day, sometimes 5 or more!
You don’t need to add these new articles to your beautiful homepage, which you’ve probably reserved for your portfolio, contact information as well as testimonials I hope!… Just have a section titled ‘blog’ as mentioned earlier.
What To Write, What To Write…
Your articles can either be optimized for the search engines (which I’ll get into in the next part of this series), or it can be a simple update.
Your updates can include things like:
- Posing advice
- Camera and equipment reviews
- Things that happened while shooting
- Clients that you’ve worked with
- Interviews with clients or other photographers
- What clients should bring to a photoshoot
- What to avoid when choosing a photographer
Anything you can think of that would be interesting and relevant to the users of your site.
ARTICLE WRITING TIPS:
- Aim for at least 300 words per article
- Make the headline grab attention
- Add photos and even video to keep readers interested
- Invite comments and questions at the bottom of each article
- Don’t try to sound professional – just write like you’re talking to a friend
What You Can Expect
Over a few months, if you’re posting just 3 articles per week (which take around 30 minutes each – depending on length and writing speed), you’ll have 25 articles.
They’ll boost your credibility because readers will see you know what you’re talking about.
They’ll help you create a stronger relationship with new visitors who don’t know anything about you at first.
And best of all, they’ll bring in more visitors from the search engines…
If Google can see that your site has 30 pages, and the other photographers in your area only have 2-3 pages on their sites, they’ll most likely rank you more highly in the search results, because they will see that your site provides more value, and is more relevant to those users.
Very few photographers take take the time to implement search engine optimization into their businesses, so it won’t be hard to overtake your competition in Google.
In the next part of this series, I’ll explain more about the specifics of SEO, including:
- Choosing your keywords
- Plugins to use within WordPress
- How to optimize those plugins
- WordPress hacks and tweaks
- Theme your site right
If you’ve got any questions on this introduction the Search Engine Optimization for Photographers article, leave them in the comments below (see… I practice what I preach!)