7 quick SEO tips for Photographers to Rank Online
Finding new clients can be one of the most difficult challenges for photographers. And, if like most photographers, all of your business is coming in from word of mouth, it’s probably time to open up a new avenue to attract clients.
As a professional SEO, I might be a bit biased here… But I do believe that SEO or Search Engine Optimization, is the best approach to start marketing your business once you’ve established the word of mouth phase and have some basic systems in place. Over time it creates a system that simply works for you, with less input on your side, and no financial investment.
SEO is where new clients find us first, through search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc…
It’s something that sounds complicated, but doesn’t have to be. Really, it’s about making your site communicate the right information about your photography to Google and other search engines. This will help them understand when to show you in the search results to people who are looking for your services.
With that being said, here are 7 quick tips so you can get started today!
- See where you rank, and what you rank for right now, for free by using Google Search Console.
Google Search Console is fairly simple to set up, and will show you EXACTLY what people are searching that has a chance to, or is currently, leading them to your website. It’s also a great way to track your progress as you start working more on SEO. Go ahead and get this operational and you may be surprised by what you find!
- Make sure your homepage has only 1 “H1” tag, that it’s above the fold, and has the largest font on the page.
Heading tags are generally misunderstood, especially for those who use Squarespace. Most people think they are simply a pre-styled text and size that you can randomly place around your page. Think of heading tags as an outline, where H1 is the most important topic, H2’s sit underneath, with each one being subtopics. Paragraph tags are the basic text that lives under heading tags. H1 is the highest valued tag on a page and Search engines look at that text as the main thing the page is about. On your homepage, include your niche, location, and the word photographer in the H1 tag and ensure it’s near the top of the page to help search engines get a clear picture of what your site is all about.
- Set up your Google My Business - this is KEY!
Google my business is an absolute MUST. It shows up based on the location of the searcher + your location. So if you shoot in Boulder, CO, and your profile is doing well on Google My Business, you’ll show up in the results for Boulder, CO. This is one of the most important components of all local SEO - and it’s completely free. Make sure you fill this out completely and start requesting reviews on your GMB listing.
- Have REAL content on your homepage. A homepage with only images is going to be very tough to rank.
Photos are what we’re all about! However, it’s not what the search engines are all about… We need text to explain what we do. And we also need text to tell our story and show clients why they’d want to work with us and what to do next. Add content and take the potential client on a journey that answers their questions and concerns while painting a picture of what working with you is like.
- List your site in national and local directories.
It’s hard to believe this but the Yellow Pages are still around on the internet. There are also several other major directories where you can list your business for free. List your business here and make sure the details all match exactly to what you list on Google My Business. These directories help validate your business in the Search Engine’s eyes. Looking to do this the easy way? Grab a yearly plan at MOZ Local to list your business on all the major directories and you’ll be able to update all of them at once - it’s well worth the small yearly fee.
- Make sure your site is loading at a good speed using Pagespeed Insights and know that you may be limited here depending on your web platform.
SEO experts get caught up in this all the time. They think pagespeed is everything (I think this is because it gives you a real world instant score that can be improved with plugins and code immediately.) The main thing here is that you see your site is loading fairly fast. And if you have images that are showing as too large, go in and resize your images and adjust quality, then replace the ones that are slowing your site down. Just be aware that most of the changes here cannot be made on platforms where there’s limited control. Wordpress is one of the best options if speed is your concern.
- Research what people are searching in your area and optimize your homepage around ONE main keyword.
Are people really typing in a search like, “pet and family and wedding photographer in the west-southwest region of California”? Probably not. They likely are searching “Pet photographer in Anaheim, CA” or similar. Type in some searches in Google or Bing and see what comes up. These suggestions are things that people are looking for and should be a basis for what you put as your H1 on your homepage, the title, and reference in the text. Focus on ONE single keyword per page that makes the most sense for your business.
These tips will get you off to a start with SEO, however, this just scratches the surface. For a more in-depth guide, click here to check out the Ultimate Guide to SEO for Photographers.
*This is a guest Post by Connor Walberg