Photography Website SEO Guide | Optimize Your Photography Website For Search Engines In 5 Simple Steps
Photography Website SEO Guide | Setting up a portfolio website for your photography business is a vitally important first step towards success, but it’s far from being the only one. At the end of the day, even the most appealing website won’t do you much good if no one ever visits. Sure, you can share the link with your friends and family, and even your friends, fans, and followers on social media, but the real traffic will come from search engines. Or it won’t come if you don’t optimize your website and land on the first page of search results.
Unlike what many marketing agencies will have you believe, optimizing your website for search engines doesn’t have to involve a team of dozens of experts and endless amounts of money and time. In fact, there are things you can do from the comfort of your living room to boost your search engine rankings and get your website in front of your potential clients. We put together a list of the most essential fact about search engine optimization to help you become a SEO whizz, so let’s dive right in!
How Google Works | Photography Website SEO Guide
In order to get a better idea of what you need to do to optimize your website, you need to know how Google and other search engines work. Unlike your visitors, search engines can’t really see – but they can read. They scan the Internet page by page, analyzing the text to figure out what the page is about, indexing everything, and raking each page. Say you type in Newborn Photography in the search field and hit enter. Google accesses its database, pulls up all the websites mentioning newborn photography and ranks them.
Get Your Keywords Sorted Out | Photography Website SEO Guide
Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your website. In other words, it’s important you do your research and optimize your website for the right keywords. What are you potential clients likely to type into the search bar when searching for the services you’re providing? This is a vital step that will affect your entire search engine optimization strategy, so make sure you get it just right. If you don’t feel like doing all the heavy lifting, consider signing up for Google’s AdWords to check out which local and national keyword combinations are the most popular.
The Number One Problem With Photography Websites | Photography Website SEO Guide
Now, can you already tell what’s the biggest problem with most photography websites? Lack of text! These are photography websites we’re talking about, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that most of the content will be about the photos. However, search engines can’t “see” the photos, and they have no idea what the photos are all about. So, you need to cheat the system and find a way to include enough text throughout the website to give enough written content to the search engine to index. But there’s one thing in addition to short blurbs throughout the homepage and other pages you can use – a blog.
A blog is a photographer’s best friend for several reasons. First, it gives you a chance to use your target keywords in an organic way. However, there’s another factor search engines pay attention to when ranking websites that a blog can help you with – freshness! Photographers usually update their portfolio once or twice a year, which won’t get you to the front page of search results. However, a blog page will allow you to update your website on a more regular basis, which will send a signal to search engines that your website is updated and maintained, earning you better rankings.
Optimize Your Photos | Photography Website SEO Guide
It doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about the photos, just because the search engines can’t see what’s in them. You can give them hints. For example, before uploading the photos, you can rename them and use your target keywords in the file names. So, instead of the default file names, you can rename the files to key-west-wedding-photography-1 and simply change the number for each file. Once you upload these files, you can use your target keywords in the ALT description. ALT description isn’t visible to your visitors by default, but search engines will read them and index the keywords.
Another thing you can do when preparing the photos for your website is to optimize the actual files. There’s really no need to upload a photo that’s 10 megabytes, when you can optimize them to be just as crisp and detailed, yet keep in under a megabyte. If you upload one large file, it won’t necessarily affect loading time, but if you upload a dozen of large photos, that’s more than 100 megabytes the browser needs to download in order to display all the photos – and that will affect the speed.
Mobile Optimization Is Crucial | Photography Website SEO Guide
The number of people using mobile devices is about to surpass the number of desktop users, so in order to provide them with seamless browsing experience, regardless of the device they’re using, you need to make sure your website is responsive. This means it will automatically adjust to fit any given screen size, and you won’t have to set up two different websites. However, it’s not just your visitors that pay attention to this – even Google’s algorithms were tweaked recently to give higher rankings to responsive websites, which means it will affect your ranking as well.