You also don’t need to be a photographer to learn from what I am writing! If you are a small business, wanting to improve your rank, no matter what company, specialty, or blog you have, you may find this useful to get your website ahead!
I know how daunting it is as a photographer new to the game! You’ll soon find yourself lost in the sea of other photographers on the net. Photography is a very saturated market and you need to truly stand out to get ahead, but if you’re on the 4th-15th page, you’ll go unnoticed! I’m here to help you get ahead and get you on the first page of Google!
By getting to the top, it allows you to reach more people and to be seen, thus improving your business overall! Here, in South Jersey, there are what seems hundreds of photographers! It doesn’t matter if you are a photographer or not!! In this modern-day world, you need an online presence in order to stay ahead and to be a viable business!
I am a SEO queen! No, really! I worked in IT with a Fortune 500 company and sold high-end solutions to other large organizations. I can build server rooms, design networks, build a server, and entire computers from scratch. I also have a website I have been running since 2012 and has consistently been on the first page of results. This page, right here… Jumped from the 12th page (I was lost at Google sea) to the first page in under a month! Yup, you heard that right!!! I am now ranking ahead of other photographers that have been more established in my area, some even for over a decade! You want to learn my secret?
I am about to spill the beans! It’s SEO, short for search engine optimization. You need to make your website attractive to google’s Googlebots and I’ll explain how to do that. Since I’m using WordPress as my platform, I will explain how I do it with my program. However, you can also do this on WIX and other platforms, but will take a little work behind the scenes… And using CSS. CSS is the backend coding for the general layout of your page, but guess what? Forget CSS, right now! I’m going to show you how to improve your ranking without using that! I currently don’t and should. However, I designed my mom’s website on WIX and improved her site by using the CSS function. She’s now on the top! Getting off track here!
Again, forget CSS! The number one thing you should do is….
Create a BLOG!
The first thing as a photographer that you should make sure you have… when you get set up, with your website..is make sure you have a blog! By utilizing a blog, this will get you to the top fast! Also, when you get there, it doesn’t take that much effort to stay there. A simple weekly post should keep you on top! Within each post that you do, it needs to be AT LEAST 200 words. I always recommend 300-600. It also has to be unique content.
DO NOT USE purchased templates, or copy from anyone else!
First off, it’s plagiarism essentially. Google does not like duplicate content! If they see a website with the exact wording, etc… You will be dropped to the bottom of the list!! Yes, they have these capabilities to detect this! Second… Make sure your blog heading is relevant to what you are going to be talking about and who you wish to target! A lot of my headings have photography, South Jersey, photo shoot because I am trying to cater to my market area. Google indexes this accordingly.
There is also a permalink extension. Usually with the date that you will be posting. Make sure you change your link name! For example, may have 2015 family etc. I change my link to 2015 south jersey family photography. I’m attempting to get Google to detect my link and index it accordingly! It works! I changed my permalink to cater to what I am going over in this blog!
Also, if you look at my website name, it states shootingstarsouthjersey.com, this is an attempt for Google to recognize my area and index my website into my targeted market! It was no mistake doing this and creating this website! If you are writing up a list on your blog.. Let’s say… Top Things People Say To Photographers… Make sure every number and caption is at least bold…
It is considered a header and Google puts more effort into recognizing that and helps to move you higher in their indexing game! However, don’t go overboard!! Google also notices if you are attempting to manipulate their indexing algorithms! They sometimes know that you are trying to improve your SEO and will penalize you for this!! Dropping you further down the list!
Tags & Categories
Utilize your tags and categories!!! I can’t say this enough, but again, don’t overdo it, Google knows if you are trying to get ahead. If your article is only 300 words… Use 4 tags! 400 words 6 tags tops, 600 words 8 tags tops! Now you may be asking me what tags are and what in the hay is she talking about? Okay, I will give you examples!!! My target market is South Jersey. It’s a section of New Jersey and considered the Philadelphia suburbs. My target and photography specialty is family and children and my goal is, if people are searching for a photographer in South Jersey, to be on that first page.
My tags that I will utilize are… and even look how I put this in use in this post here! Photographer in South Jersey, South Jersey photography, family photography, South Jersey, NJ, kids photography, Salem County photographer, Family photographer south jersey
I’m assisting Google in indexing my website accordingly. Also, people searching for a photographer in South Jersey, I will come up when folks search! I’m targeting my general market area! Utilizing your categories will also help and is somewhat similar! These are the rules of thumb in improving SEO. Don’t go overboard on your tags, create relevant and unique content, update your blog about once weekly and you will be on your way to the top!
Update Your Site Often!
Google also likes if you update your site often. It shows them you are active with your website and keeping things fresh! For both google and client interested! Time and time again, I have gone on to local photographer’s websites and they have not updated their blog for 6 months! It doesn’t look good from a client perspective or good with Google! Some clients may think that you actually jumped ship and are no longer doing photography!
Google does not like stagnate websites or ones who haven’t been touched in a while. Updating your site WEEKLY is key! It is also a good suggestion to update your portfolio with your latest work or to proofread some of your posts/pages. I make a point to sit down every Tuesday to go over’update both my websites!
There are other ways to improve SEO by sharing your link on other sites, or others sharing your link, on their website or vice versa (returning the favor), but Google is changing how this operates and is often a sleazy way to manipulate your SEO and get to the top. I don’t like doing this! And google is noticing!
Use Your Alt Text and description… When You Utilize Images on your blog!
This will help to get your images indexed as well as help with your overall website! I ALWAYS caption my photos too! It helps and works! My goal is to just create unique content, utilize some headers and tags and keep looking ahead. This is all you virtually need anyway!
If you keep writing, folks will start sharing your link anyway! By getting to the top, it has given me more leads in regards to my business and more business!!! It’s worth a shot! Try it out for yourself and would love to know how it has helped you! Again, I have two websites at the top… This one here in particular, I am still improving.. However, I am new to the game. I’ve been in business since October 2014! I have jumped other photography sites that have been in the business for years! From page twelve, to page one, in just a month by using this formula right here! My other website has been in the #1 spot since 2012!
Local photographers don’t get any ideas, lol! I update my blog often and I will always be here!! I’m not going anywhere, hehe!
Happy Shooting, my friends!