- Step 1: Get Listed (Free)
- Step 2: Yoast Plugin (Free)
- Step 3: Choosing Right Title, Headings and Keywords
- Step 4: Meta Description & Meta Title
- Step 5: Image Optimization (Free)
- Step 6: Links (Free)
- Step 7: Submit to Google Search Console (GSC) (Free)
- Step 8: Mobile Friendly
- Step 9: Speed of Website
In this post, I am going to teach you how to boost your ranking on google at zero cost.
I will also provide you step by step instructions with the screenshots including
- Finding the right keywords for your post.
- Image optimization for SEO.
- Free plugin to optimize content.
- Internal links.
- Submitting the article to google for faster indexing.
- Info about my Ebook.
- and more.
So let us get into the details.
We as wedding photographers or maybe photographers of any genre are happy with our Instagrams and 500px. We don’t really care to have a website. Even if we care to have a website, Is it good enough that we have a regular schedule of posting on the website?
Whenever we are posting, we don’t care if our website is sending the right signals to google so that we have the right traffic (clients).
These “right signals” to google is called SEO. A service dedicated to SEO for wedding photographers is expensive. SEO is an ongoing game and not a booster shot of immunity that a lot of us assume. Don’t treat it like a booster shot we can have once in a year. It has rules that need to be followed consistently.
SEO for photographers is as important as it is for any industry.
Let us explore why SEO for photographers is as essential as a good well maintained camera in your kit.
Here is a simplified version of a wedding photography business in any corner of the world.
For wedding photography to be a viable business, it has to be a combination of good contemporary photography and clients.
If you have been in the wedding photography business for some time and have seen ups and downs. We all can agree, good photography alone is not the only requirement to run this business
A steady influx of client inquiries is a must.
Wedding photography business in 2020 (including the impact of Covid19) has taken a new turn. As a business owner, we cannot rely on one channel or source of getting client attention. Every client source needs your attention. Any such source cannot guarantee results for life. What happens if social media organic reach gets limited ( remember Facebook) and you need to pay to reach more people?
Putting all eggs in a basket is too risky!
Here are some major channels which attract clients to your wedding photography.
“The website is a real estate you own in the virtual world.”
And its impact gets a major boost if it is optimized to caters the needs of the people searching for your service. This process of optimization of the website is called SEO.
Today, I want to equip my fellow photographers with this magnificent skill so that they can leverage the power of SEO.
Who it is intended for?
If you are on a budget or cannot spend monthly charges for SEO services.. read on maybe you don’t need to.
This article will equip you with some less talked about golden rules (SEO tips) that seasoned SEO professional use regularly. And most importantly all these SEO tips are free and won’t even cost you a penny.
I working on a SEO ebook. The book goes into more detail without using any paid tools. Drop-in your email id to know when it is available.
How do I qualify to be an SEO Photography expert?
Okay so some details about me, I am an ex software guy. I have written code for a few years before switching to full-time wedding photography.
Secondly, I have been associated with a few digital marketing and affiliate businesses on and off in the last few years to help them scale up their web traffic. Thirdly, I handle my wedding photography website.
All these endeavors have kept me updated on the changes and evolutions of search algorithms in the last decade.
I am putting my experience in a format that is easy to understand and implement for any non-techie person. The idea is not to overwhelm my fellow wedding photographers with technical jargon. In short, SEO made easy for the photographer community.
If you are following the guidelines mentioned in the next section, you will see results in a week to three months. You can always come back to me for help if they don’t. The time period depends on how old your website is on the internet.
Any website under the age of one year will take more time as compared to the other older ones.
Platform of the Website: This SEO guide uses examples with WordPress websites in mind. WordPress website is the most used platform across the web. But the tips are as useful and as applicable for any platform including Squarespace ( another common platform used by photographers).
Let us move on to the beginner’s SEO guide for Photographers
Step 1: Get Listed (Free)
Probably the easiest step of this guide with a lot of value.
Make a list of 5 to 7 popular wedding-related websites where you can make a profile or get listed for your services.
- You need to shortlist only which cater to your genre ( wedding photography in this case).
- Select a popular website if it allows you to link back to your website directly in the profile. For eg: you click the link and it directly takes you to your website.
- Avoid any random low quality (read spammy) websites for making such profiles.
- Don’t overdo the number of listings.
It is the easiest backlink hack.
Step 2: Yoast Plugin (Free)
It might sound a little technical but I will simplify it for you. You need to install a plugin in case it not installed already. This will be used in the next few steps.
- Install the free versions of the Yoast Plugin.
[BLOG Post Writing Phase]
Step 3: Choosing Right Title, Headings and Keywords
Every (blog) post has a title and a few headings.
Choosing any random title and headings is going to hurt your chances of ranking on google.
- Choose a title around 50-60 words.
- Shortlist 4-5 keywords you want to target in the post.
- Use relevant headings (H2, H3, etc) in the article.
Let elaborate on how to choose SEO friendly keywords.
Finding high-quality SEO keywords is an art (more tips in my ebook). It becomes easier and more targeted with paid tools. Although paid tools are quite expensive and may require some tweaking in the code.
Anyways, now take a look at an example you can easily relate to. We will together identify the keywords from the example. It is darn easy! As a wedding photographer, the most common scenario is shooting weddings at various destinations.
When you shoot a wedding, What are the key “actors” at a wedding?
- Couple (names)
- Couple Ethnicity ( Asian, American, Indian, Afro, Mexican, etc. )
- Style of Wedding (Church, Christian, Hindu, White, Backyard, Elopement, DIY, etc)
- Wedding Location ( Hotel, City, Resort, etc.)
- Wedding Vendors.
- Brands used in the wedding ( Attire, Shoes, Jewelry, Cake, Wine, etc.)
The idea is to use each of them as a keyword in your article. The most important keyword goes into the title and URL, followed by headings ( H2 and H3 ) and paragraphs.
Common Mistake: A lot of photographers use the couple’s name in the URL and Title. Why it is a mistake? because it does not matches the “search intent” of the people searching on google.
What is “Search Intent”: The couple is the most important part of any wedding. But why we are not considering it in the title and URL?
We need to put ourselves in the shoes of the person who uses google. How many people will be using the couple’s name for searching on google versus say a destination’s name, hotel’s name, city’s name, etc.?
This is called “Search intent”
You need to make sure you write down your primary, secondary, and tertiary keywords and use them appropriately. Decide what you want to rank the post for. Those keywords should be in the title and URL. Using the right SEO keywords for wedding photography is essential for the ranking of your post.
“Wedding at <XYZ Resort>” vs “<bride name> and <groom name> wedding”
Which one is more likely to be searched? 😉
Step 4: Meta Description & Meta Title
Meta description and meta title are what you see when you do a google search. Goto Yoast plugin section and enter SEO title (or meta title) and description. Enter your primary keyword for the “Focus Keyphrase” text box.
Concerning the length of meta title and description, always be in the “green zone” [ see screenshot].
It does not contribute directly to the SEO of your post but it helps in deciding if the user will click your post on google ( it is called CTR – click-through rate). Meta descriptions and meta titles are used to catch the attention of the user. Do you remember what made you click the link to this article if you came from google? 🙂
Use title and description that will compel the user to link your link rather than the one above or below you (copy-writing).
Step 5: Image Optimization (Free)
Image optimization is the most underrated SEO tip for photographers. It makes more sense for photographers as the number of images on our websites outnumbers the text content.
- Use Alt Tag or Text for your images. The text should describe the image using your shortlisted keywords.
- Reduce image size before uploading ( 100-200kb ).
Bonus Instagram SEO Tip: Use Alt text on your images on Instagram as well. Goto any Instagram image on your profile -> Edit -> On the right side you have an option for “Alt text”
Side note: The android version of the Instagram app has a bug for Alt Text. The text box starts shaking and does not allow you to write.
Step 6: Links (Free)
We discussed easy backlinks in the first step by getting listed on high-quality photography and related websites. Now let us look at two types of links i.e internal links and outbound links.
An internal link is created when we link back one of our posts on our website in the current post. It has to be a related relevant post.
Add a hyperlink to the text in the post. The text (anchor text) used in the hyperlink should be meaningful and related to the link ( check screenshot shared in step 3)
An outbound link is similar to backlink from other photography or wedding-industry related websites to your website. In other words, it will act as a backlink to another website from your website.
An outbound link acts as an interconnection to connect other websites for google. It is a kind of social signal giving authority of relevance in your niche.
Step 7: Submit to Google Search Console (GSC) (Free)
Finally when you publish your blog post containing relevant keywords at appropriate places with optimized images. It is ready to be submitted to GSC.
You may skip this step as google will index your new post in a few hours to a few days. But it is always better to submit it manually important blog posts/pages.
- Goto https://www.google.com/webmasters
- Enter your URL under URL inspection.
- Click “Request Indexing”
Step 8: Mobile Friendly
More than 50% of google search is done on mobile. A website that is not mobile-friendly is going to lack in rankings. No amount of SEO will be sufficient for the website that does not properly support mobile devices.
In 2020, this is not a major problem as the majority of WordPress templates and platforms like SquareSpace, Weebly are mobile-friendly.
You can cross-check your URL after posting by using the tool by google.
Step 9: Speed of Website
The speed of the website is a crucial signal in SEO since the beginning. Google wants a great user experience for its users. Hence mobile-friendly and speed of the website is essential.
Most of the photography websites are slow. It is due to the enormous amount of images. But as mentioned in the image optimization SEO tip, every image size needs to be reduced so that the page loads faster.
Among the slow photography related websites, if you have a faster website than you will be preferred by Google (better ranking). A slow website will be pushed down the ranking as Google doesn’t want its users to keep on waiting for the website to load once he clicks in the search.
The speed of the website has to be evaluated both on desktop and mobile. So the easiest way is to check manually by opening it. If you find it to be slower than it requires further optimization which may or may not involve some coding.
There are two free and reliable tools to test the speed of the website.
These are the 9 steps if followed properly (without skipping any step) will guarantee a boost in ranking. These steps have been personally tested on different websites including photography websites.
It is a proven result-oriented beginner SEO tips that can be implemented by anyone. You don’t have to be a techie guy.
Do check out my SEO Ebook for Photographers!
(Includes a free chapter from the ebook)