Photography Website SEO Checklist Part 1 | Get Discovered! Introduction To On-Page SEO Optimization
Photography Website SEO Checklist | We’ve come a long way since the introduction of the Word Wide Web less than 30 years ago. Not only is the technology behind the websites we interact with on a daily basis completely different, but the prices have considerably dropped – both hosting and web development services have never been more affordable. This is great news, but it comes with a different challenge: standing out in a time when pretty much anyone with some extra cash on their hands can have a website up and running in no time. This is where SEO, or search engine optimization, comes into play to save the day.
Search engine optimization is essentially a collection of strategies, techniques and tactics used to boost the number of visitors to a website by getting it ranked high in the search results page of a search engine such as Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo. When optimizing a website for search engines, it’s a good idea to have a checklist to ensure you don’t skip any of the many important elements. This is especially true for photographers, as photography websites are notorious for the lack of text. To help you get your website noticed by the right people, we put together a short guide to on-page optimization you can do yourself without spending any money on SEO agencies.
How Does Google Work? | Photography Website SEO Checklist Part 1
Enormous teams behind popular search engines are continuously working on improving their search algorithms, which in turn affect which pages get featured on the first page of search results. Needless to say, these algorithms will affect the success of your business. However, no matter how many changes are made and how often, the essential principles behind all search engines have remained unchanged for years now. First, they scan the Internet (yes, every page!), index the content of the scanned pages, and then rank pages. Potentially bad news for photographers is that search engine crawlers can only see text. Luckily, there are things you can do to make up for not having enough text like other types of websites, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Determine Your Target Keywords | Photography Website SEO Checklist Part 1
In order to kick off your SEO campaign, you need a game plan, otherwise your efforts will be erratic and will never reach their full potential. For example, what are the keywords you want to rank high for? Keywords are essentially the terms people type in when searching the Internet. Of course, your first idea will probably be “photography.” However, this is one of the most popular keywords, as pretty much every photography website in the world contains that word. You’ll want to get more specific – even “portrait photography” is tricky to rank high for.
So, what can you do? You can use geographical modifiers – for example, “Portrait Photographer, Palo Alto” is a much better fit, or “Southampton newborn photography.” The goal is to hit the sweet spot: you want to find keywords actual people use, but aren’t being targeted by too many photographers. Once you do your research, you can start optimizing your website. Let’s start with content!
Content Is Everything | Photography Website SEO Checklist Part 1
Just because we’re talking about a photography website, it doesn’t mean there will be no text throughout your website. For example, whenever we design and set up a website for a client just like you, we encourage them to add bits and pieces of text throughout the website. So, when you’re writing your bio, you’ll want to make sure it’s interesting and attention-grabbing, sure, but you’ll also want to keep in mind your target keywords. Make sure you mention your area of specialization, as well as your location, so the search engines can pick up what the page is about. You’ll want to do the same thing for every other page. Yes, even your portfolio.
Another great tool photographers can use to ensure there’s plenty of text on their website to satisfy even the hungriest search engine robot is to set up a blog. If you keep your target keywords in mind while composing posts, you will be well on your way to the first page, so keep the topics related to your area of specialization. It’s worth noting, however, that you’re not writing the content only for search engines, so keep your visitors in mind when choosing the topics. Share tips and tricks for better sessions, talk about funny situations you ran into behind the camera, and so on. This way, you’ll not only give your visitors an opportunity to get to know you a bit better, but you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to use your target keywords.
Links Are Good For You! | Photography Website SEO Checklist Part 1
Often overlooked element of photography websites are the links. While the navigation bar will stay relatively consistent throughout your website, there are other places you can use to feature links. For example, if two blog posts are related, or you mention a previous post in the post you’re writing, you’ll want to link directly to it, so your visitors can check it out right away. This will also affect your ranking, because links are an important factor in search engine optimization. Keep in mind, though, that you’d have to link only to your own content – you can also link to other websites, but make sure they’re relevant to the content of the page, otherwise you might get penalized by search engines.