The advice related to search engine optimization tips for photographers can’t get more authentic when it is shared by a photographer who has already implemented it. Here is a wedding photographer sharing SEO tips in this blog post to get more traffic.
In my research, I found not many photographers are interested in the business side of photography. This article is for those niche audiences who wanted to leverage the power of search engines and are looking for SEO tips for wedding photographers.
In this blog 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 on some of the key ranking factors with the screenshots including
- Right Photography SEO keywords for your post.
- Image SEO optimization.
- Free SEO plugin to optimize quality 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 photographers of any genre are happy with our social media handles, be it Flickr, Instagram, or 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.
Interestingly, as you start ranking better on search engines, people start referring you in their posts (link building). It increases your domain authority. Your online presence is all about domain authority.
We still have a few people who feel keyword stuffing is the hallmark of SEO. You need to write articles for your target audience with valuable content. The search rankings are dependent on your SEO efforts and the kind of blog content you posting.
SEO for photographers is as important as it is for any industry.
Let us explore why SEO and google ranking is as essential as a good well maintained camera in your kit.
Why SEO for Wedding Photographers
Here is a simplified version of a wedding photography business in any corner of the world.
Here is a simplified version of a wedding photography business in any corner of the world.
To start wedding photography business and make it viable, 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 2021 (including the impact of Covid19) has taken a new turn. As a business owner, we cannot rely on social media or a single 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 to the needs of the potential client 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 professionals use regularly. And most importantly all these SEO tips are free and won’t even cost you a penny.
I recently wrote an SEO ebook that gets into a more detailed SEO strategy. Additionally, the book goes into details without using any paid SEO tools. Check out the book info at the end of the blog post.
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 the photography SEO for 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 photographers with technical jargon. In short, the idea is to make SEO efforts 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 is 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.
Title tags are important and choosing any random title and headings is going to hurt your chances of ranking on google.
- Choose a title of 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 SEO 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 these relevant keywords appropriately to add more to the user experience.
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 ” vs “ and 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 the 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 external links.
An internal link is created when we link back one of our posts on our website in the current post. Internal linking should be done only among related and relevant posts.
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 a 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.
Also, make sure your website doesn’t have any broken links. Broken links affect user experience and stop search engines from crawling the website. It is not a good ranking factor.
Use 301 redirects if you delete any old blog posts. 301 redirect is nothing but pointing google traffic to your other relevant post. This is can be done through the Yoast plugin setting of a blog post you plan to delete.
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 Google Search Console.
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 manually to important blog posts/pages.
- Goto https://www.google.com/webmasters
- Enter your URL under URL inspection.
- Click “Request Indexing”
Step 8: Mobile Friendly Site
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 a website that does not properly support mobile devices.
In 2021, 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 and the load time of the website is one of the key aspects. 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 then 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 SEO rankings. 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.
Did you find these tips useful? If yes, I have few recommendations to further increase your traffic by self learning SEO.
1) SEO Ebook
2) SkillShare Class
This is a premium class for beginners who find it easier to learn through videos. You can access this class free of cost by clicking on the picture and enrolling for a trial period. You can cancel at any time.