Photography Website SEO Essentials | How To Get Discovered (And Hired!) – The Photographer’s Guide To SEO
Photography Website SEO Essentials | When doing your research and reading articles on web design, you’ll hardly find an article that doesn’t at least mention search engine optimization, and for good reason – in this day and age, getting your website discovered by potential clients can be a challenging task. There are almost one million photography websites out there, and a new one pops up pretty much every time a new photographer joins the industry, so if you’re serious about your photography business, search engine optimization is no longer optional!
However, there are countless misconceptions, myths, and a lot of misleading and downright incorrect information surrounding it, which makes it difficult for your typical photographer to figure out what it really is, how important it is, and how to tackle it. With the right guidance and some extra effort, you too can make sure your photography website is optimized for search engines. And no, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, or expensive! To help you get a better idea how to get the most out of your website, we put together a list of the most important search engine optimization tips for photographers. Let’s dive right in!
What Is Search Engine Optimization | Photography Website SEO Essentials
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the catch-all phrase that means the stuff you can do to do make your website as easy to index (or crawl) and help search engine get a better idea what each page is about. This way, the search engines will include your website in the results for relevant search queries, sending potential clients your way, and not, say, people that searched the web for benefits of virgin coconut oil. However, to do that, you first need to have a clear idea of how search engines crawl the web and index pages.
SEO can be boiled down to three seemingly simple steps: search engine bots crawl the web, index the content, and rank the pages. Crawling is essentially following a path, or in this case the links, and it depends mostly on the structure of the website, so when a bot gets on any page on your website, it checks for duplicate content, redirect loops, 404 errors, as well as links to other pages, following those links and crawling the linked pages as well. This is why setting up a sitemap is a good idea, as it will provide the bots with all the links and help them crawl the website deeper.
Your Navigation Bar Can Make Or Break Your Ranking | Photography Website SEO Essentials
Many designers and developers feel that sitemap is no longer a vitally important element of a website, which is true only if the navigation bar has been set up well. Whenever we set up a website for a client, we make sure we limit the number of items in the navigation bar to no more than 7 as to avoid overwhelming the visitor, and we ensure the link to the homepage is always featured in the navigation. Not only will this help visitors find their way back to the start, but it will also point the bots in the right direction, no matter which page they arrive to.
What’s Indexing? | Photography Website SEO Essentials
Indexing is, in layman terms, adding pages into Google search. You (or your developer) can decide whether to index a particular page, or not. And believe it or not, there are pages you will not want indexed, such as the category, tag, or archive page of your blog – instead, you’ll want only the important, content-rich pages indexed. Then, based on the textual content, search engines will determine what the page is about and rank it appropriately. This is how search engines know which websites are relevant for the query and include them in the search results, so make sure your target keywords and content in general are photography-related.
Know Your Target Keywords | Photography Website SEO Essentials
Keep in mind that search engine bots are practically blind when it comes to photos and videos, which means they can’t look at each photo on your website, figure out they’re all wedding photos, and assume you’re a wedding photographer. If you want to pop up on the search result page for the term “wedding photographer,” you will need to use the phrases such as “wedding,” or “wedding photographer” throughout your website, from the page titles to the actual page content, as well any other relevant term. When it comes to the page content, you can these on your About page, in service descriptions and in photo captions, as well as the ALT tags and description of each photo you upload to your website.
Your Blog Is Your Ultimate SEO Tool | Photography Website SEO Essentials
Photography websites are notorious for the lack of text, which makes them slightly more challenging to optimize for search engines that the standard websites. However, if you add a blog and regularly update it, you won’t even notice the difference. The benefits of a regularly updated blog are practically endless – not only will it keep you visitors coming back for more, even if you do update your portfolio only once or twice a year, but it will also give the search engine bots plenty of content to index. Not only that, but search engines also pay attention how often a website is updated, which means your blog alone can considerably boost your rankings.