Photography Website SEO Checklist Part 2 | The Photographer’s Guide To On-Page SEO Optimization
Photography Website SEO Checklist Part 2 | In one of our previous posts we kicked off a mini series on search engine optimization, with photographers in particular in mind. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the first post, and once you’re done, come back, because we’ve prepared a bunch of great tips and tricks that are guaranteed to get your website noticed by search engines and your potential clients. But first, (No, we’re not going to take a selfie!), let’s review what we learned in the previous post!
So far we know that search engines crawl the Interwebs and index the text, almost ignoring photos and videos. The artificial intelligence isn’t advanced enough to figure out on its own what a photo is about just yet. By now, you should also have a better idea how to target keywords and create content to get the most out of it without turning off your potential clients. And now, we get to the good stuff! This is by no means a complete list of all the on-page optimization elements, but it’s enough to get you started and give you a better idea how you can start tackling SEO on your own. Let’s dive right in!
Help The Search Engines See Your Website Better | Photography Website SEO Checklist Part 2
This is a photography website we’re optimizing here, so it’s only natural that the majority of the content are photos and videos – the only elements search engines can’t index on your website. Or is it? While crawlers can’t literally see what’s in the photo, there are things you can do to give them hints and help them get a better idea of what the photos are about. For example, start with the name of the file – before uploading a photo to your website, you should rename it: so, instead of the default Photo-168.jpeg title, you should rename it and use a keyword. A good example would be southampton-newborn-photography-168.jpeg
Then, when you upload the photo, don’t just insert it into the blog post and call it a day. Instead, you will want to optimize its metadata. Let’s start with the ALT description. This text will appear in a blank box that would normally contain the image if and when an image link is not available because of a broken or changed URL or some other issue. The great thing is that the ALT tag appears in the HTML code, and while your visitors won’t necessarily see it, search engine crawlers will, which will improve the page’s ranking.
Bonus Tips For Optimizing The Photos | Photography Website SEO Checklist Part 2
File names and ALT tags are a great start, but if you want to take image optimization to the next level, you can also tweak other things, such as image captions. Keep in mind, though, that captions are visible to your visitors as well, so don’t try to cheat the system and randomly throw in keywords – this might not only confuse your visitors, but actually turn them off. It’s also worth mentioning the size of the files you upload to the website. Make sure you optimize each photo, because larger files take longer to load, which will negatively affect user experience and your search engine rankings.
Make It Obvious What Each Page Is About | Photography Website SEO Checklist Part 2
Here’s one area of each page you’ll want to pay attention to the most, simply because it will affect not only your SEO ranking, but also user experience – the snippet. The snippet is the content of each page you see in the search results page. As you’ve noticed by now, there’s a part of the page title and an excerpt. You can easily customize these when editing a page or a blog post, but as you probably guessed by now, it’s best to use your target keyword in these sections. So, for example, you can use something like “Home – Southampton Newborn Photographer” for your homepage. Keep in mind, though, that the number of characters that appear on the results page is limited, so keep it short and sweet!
Be Accessible | Photography Website SEO Checklist Part 2
OK, so this one isn’t technically an on-page suggestion, but it’s critically important for the success of your SEO strategy, so it’s worth mentioning. You see, more people than ever are using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to browse the Internet, and it has become such a major factor that even search engines are ranking mobile-friendly websites higher. After all, it only makes sense they list responsive websites first, because they want to provide their users with the best content and most enjoyable websites, so if you haven’t already, make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices.
Pay Attention To Your Bounce Rate | Photography Website SEO Checklist Part 2
Now, there’s one thing worth mentioning here – don’t over-optimize your website for search engines and lose sight of your visitors. Even if you do get your website to the first page of the search results and people to click on it, if you don’t leave an impression good enough on them, they will abandon your website, which is another thing search engines track – the bounce rate. The goal is to get them to click on your page and then stick around and actually check out your portfolio and other content.