**All websites created using the Websites For Photographers system include a mobile friendly, responsive layout. This now helps to improve search engine rankings on Google and pass the Google mobile friendly test. Test your website here. If your website does not pass this test then you should consider a new website.**
Most photographers will operate in a local area and therefore your website should be optimised to target towns and cities within that location. A Google+ profile is very important in generating local traffic as it will list you on Google maps as well as placing posts directly within Google search results for specific phrases.
Take ownership of your Google+ profile or create a new one. To see if you already have one search for your business name and town and include 'Google Plus Page' in the search. So search 'Your business name, town, Google plus page'. Once you have ownership you should then optimise and post to regularly, linking back to relevant pages on your website.
Google+ Reviews are very important in improving the ranking of a listing within the local map searches. photographersa re generally very well placed to generate reviews from their clients.
Google+ can be a very frustrating and time consuming to set up correctly. If you would like assistance with this please Contact Us Here.
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO may seem daunting to some. SEO agencies may be in many ways to blame for this. However, most website owners are perfectly capable of performing the main SEO tasks, assuming you have the time to do so.
One of the main issues with SEO is it is very time consuming, particularly when monitoring and tweaking.
On-page SEO can be done in house by the website owner quite easily assuming you have access to the html of the website files or you use a content management system that allows you to edit the META content of pages. There is no need to keep changing the SEO sections of pages or submitting to hundreds of search engines on a monthly basis as some agencies would have you believe.
The larger search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing will index your pages periodically and pick them up from other links on the web.
The main thing to concentrate on is fresh content, adding new pages with fresh, descriptive information and who better to do this than you?
On Websites For Photographers, each content page can be edited in such a way.
The very basics of on-page SEO is to get in to your pages the search phrases you want to rank for.
Decide on a main phrase you want to concentrate on and the home page should be optimised for this. This phrase may be 'Wedding photographer in (area)' where (area) is the area you cover. If you cover or a based in Essex your main targeted phrase may therefore be 'Wedding photographer Essex' and similar phrases.
Whatever the targeted phrase this should be included in the <head> tags of your pages for Title, Description and Keywords. Try and place a call to action within the Description tag.
In your Websites For Photographers account, simply select a page you wish to edit and click the Meta content / SEO link and add the Title, Description and Keywords in to the relevant fields. Keywords should be separated by commas. Try not to try to cram too many phrases in but concentrate on your main phrase with each page.
Once these are done, good quality textual content should be added to the page and include the main phrase you are targeting. Also try to use this phrase in Title's within the page content.
Search engines use the Title and on page content to decide what a page is about and attempt to rank accordingly. Description and Keyword tags are less important for SEO. Many photographers do not include text on the home page but prefer to allow their images to do the talking. This is all well and good if you promote your website in other ways but a decision needs to be made.
If you are focusing on free search engine traffic then good quality, descriptive text should be used on your home and throughout your website.
As an addition, any images on the page should ideally contain an Alt tag. This is less important than other factors but can help in some small way. Add alt tags with all images and include the main targeted phrase with different variations on the same theme for each. Remember Google picks up images and also has an image search so this can be valuable source of traffic.
To add an Alt tag to an image on Websites For Photographers simply go to the page you want to edit. Select or upload an image and click the Upload Image icon . In the pop up box enter details in the 'Image Description' field. Click the Update button and this description is added as the Alt tag for that image.
When creating a page, try to include a number of heading tags such as H1 and H2. The main phrase you are targetting for that page should be a H1 or at least included in it. On Websites For Photographers, the Title of the page is created as a H1 so try and include the main key phrase here. Within the copy of the page add at least one or tow other headings as H2's. These should be slight variations to the main phrase but relevant to the subject and copy below. Any less relevant headings should be set as H3.
Once you are happy with SEO on the home page you should then concentrate on internal pages of the website following the same format. Create as many pages as required depending on the number of services you provide. An About Us page should go in to further detail about your services and location. If you cover other areas or venues create new pages for each of these. Ensure you include the new area and/or venue name in the SEO META sections and text.
It is a good idea to create a main Services page linking to different pages for each individual service such as Portrait Photography, Studio Photography etc.
All additional pages should be optimised specifically for the content on that page and not repeat the SEO sections of the home page. All additional pages will introduce new phrases to the website whereby it may be found on search engines. Remember many people will arrive at your website on pages other than the home page and may not even go to the home page during a visit. Therefore it is important that as much attention is paid to internal pages as the home page.
Adding fresh content to a website is very important as far as Google and other search engines are concerned. Therefore new pages should be created regularly. This could be in the form of new content pages or blog posts. Adding the blog to a Websites For Photographers website and posting regularly with details of new events or different venues is a great way of creating new content as well as introducing additional key phrases. Try to be original and descriptive in all your copy and remember CONTENT IS KING with SEO.
On-page SEO will be an ongoing process in that fresh content is important. Also, monitoring rankings and analysing data from Google Analytics is important in understanding the traffic or impressions your website is receiving in order to tweak to ensure the best results and this can be a long term, time consuming task.
If you would like us to assist with your SEO work, please Contact Us Here.
Once you are happy with the on-page SEO you then need to consider off-page SEO to promote your website.
Search engines find your website by submitting your details to them or by following links on other websites to yours. The larger search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing etc will quickly find your website via links on other websites already indexed by them and this is more beneficial than submitting.
Acquiring links has been a very important part of off-page SEO for some time. With changes made by Google, while link building is still a very important factor, it must be done properly so as not to fall foul of a penalty.
Previously any link pointing to your website would be classed as a vote in favour of it. If the linking website was relevant to your own content then this would carry more weight. The more quality links you had pointing at your website, the more votes and more authority your website would have with Google. This would show in a higher ranking for competitive search phrases.
Due to this, businesses grew selling links on low quality websites set up simply to link to other websites but with little relevant content. Other's would provide link acquiring services to quickly generate a large number of links on such websites to boost the performance of a client website. At this time, link building in quantity was a legitimate practice and recommended by Google as the best way to achieve a high ranking.
However, much of this was soon classed as link spam by Google and websites could be penalised where they had a large number of such links pointing to them or a large number of new links in a short space of time.
This of course began a course of link removal requests and companies selling a service to 'clean up' a websites link profile.
We believe that links pointing to your website still offer great benefit not only in an SEO aspect but also for sending visitors directly to your website. However, links must be carefully selected and only purchase or request links from trusted, quality and relevant websites. These may be smaller websites but of genuine businesses you are familiar with but not competing or larger organisations with high authority with Google. The main focus of link building should be 'Natural' as far as it can be. The nature of the internet is such that links will be generated naturally as certain websites, such as search engines, will automatically index pages and link to them. There will be other less quality websites linking to you also.
As far as acquiring links yourself, we suggest as a photographer you look for similar websites, but not competing. For example you could request a link from a photographer performing a similar service as your own but covering a completely different area of the country or indeed the world. Likewise if you are a wedding photographer, look for other wedding related businesses such as stationers, wedding cars, jewelers etc and request links from them.
This process can be extremely time consuming and in many cases thankless with little response from website owners. However, it is worth spending some time on it. SEO or link building companies can perform this task but you should be extremely cautious as to who you use and the type of links they generate.
As well as links on other websites, a social profile is increasingly important. Build a good facebook page and twitter account and post regularly to it. With some posts include a link back to your website. Post to other relevant facebook pages and again include links to your website. Quality twitter posts, including a link to your website, may be re tweeted, in some cases many times. While these links generally won't have any bearing on your actual Google rankings, they can be a good source of traffic and referals.
Again it is time consuming but an important tool in this day and age. SMO (Social Media Optimisation) companies can provide a service to build your social profile and you can also by page likes etc directly or through other businesses. However, no one knows your business like you do and the whole point of social media is that it is social. You should build your own social profile and with it brand awareness by being personal and social with your audience.
By following the above steps of quality content, new content added regularly and a good link and social profile should see some good quality traffic and business being generated by your website.
Of course until you get those free clicks from free search engine rankings or links on Facebook, Twitter etc., there is the option of paid advertising on Google, Facebook and others.
Google has made it ever more difficult to achieve a decent ranking for competitive phrases. Sceptics may say this is to drive additional business to Google Ads. The truth is that, in order to generate traffic, particularly to a new website, then a well planned Google Adwords or Facebook ads campaign may now the better way to go rather than spending a monthly budget on attempting to achieve rankings for generic searches. After all, with paid clicks you are guaranteed traffic to your website whereas with an SEO or SMO campaign there can be no guarantees of success at any stage.
That said it is important to get the basics right for your website as detailed above.
Google or Facebook Ads can be a useful source of website traffic although any campaigns should be strictly managed in order to generate the quality required and not use up your budget quickly. Where a campaign is not managed well, funds can be quickly spent on clicks which are irrelevant and not generate any business.
For example with Google you may set up a campaign to generate traffic for the search phrase 'Wedding photographer Essex'. Setting this on a broad match can generate clicks for anything closely related to that phrase. A search for Aerial photographer Scotland could potentially display your ad on a broad match setting depending on your pay per click bid. This clearly is not relevant to you and would be a waste of funds.
If we were to set up a campaign we would use a larger number of search phrases but on an 'Exact match' setting. This way your ad would only be shown for that exact phrase.
There are too many options to mention here. For example you can set up a campaign to only display your ad on certain days at certain times on the day. When we set up a campaign we would determine the phrases to use and set these on an exact match option. These would be run and monitored for a period of time.
You would then monitor which days and times clicks to your website generated an enquiry or visits to more pages. These would be assessed as the most beneficial to display your ads. Over a period of time the campaign would be tweaked and optimised so utilising more of your budget effectively.
For example, some clicks may show that only one page was viewed and the visitor on the site only for a fraction of a second. This could potentially be your competitors using up your budget although could be attributed to other issues such as an irrelevant result. A lot of these clicks could be illiminated
Remember if you do set up a Google or Facebook Ads campaign don't simply set it to run without doing a lot of research and regular monitoring.
Depending on time constrains, in the case of such advertising it may well be worth approaching a specialist company or agency to mange such campaigns. It may be that it sounds expensive but more of your budget can be used effectively if done properly.
With Facebook Ads always use Ads Manager rather than the mobile phone App as you can better target your adverts. There are a number of advertising options with Facebook such as specific ads or post boosts. If you add a post to Facebook, try and link to a page on your website. You can then 'Boost' this post for a relatively low cost to put the post in front of a larger audience. You can set the post to be optimised fro 'Websites Clicks', 'Likes' or 'Shares', either way improving the visibility of your business
Please Contact Us if you would like assistance with your paid advertising or SEO.
There are obviously far too many do's and don'ts, as far as SEO is concerned, to list here but here is a small sample.
1. Read the information to the left very thoroughly
2. Try to add your own basic SEO to your own pages. This is not beyond most peoples capability
3. Concentrate on one or two key phrases per page
4. Keep your website fresh by adding new content on a regular basis
5. Add regular blog posts of recent events or interesting items
6. Keep your content descriptive
7. Look at acquiring good quality links from reputable and relevant websites
8. Most photographers work in a local area. Take ownership of or create a Google Plus Profile
9. Add optimised posts to Google Plus, linking to a web page and use hashtags for the main key phrase
10. Ask clients to add a review to Google Plus
11. Optimise for 'local' phrases
12. Work on your own social profile on Facebook, Twitter etc. You know your own business and what you want to say about it
13. Include links to your website when posting on social media sites
14. Host your website on it's own domain retaining control of the domain as far as possible
1. Cram individual pages with too many phrases.
2. Quickly acquire large numbers of low quality, irrelevant links
3. Instruct an agency to perform your social media activity unless they are fully conversant with your business. You know what you want to say and how you want your business portrayed.
3. Duplicate SEO information on different pages
4. Host your website with a free hosting provider. Always use your own domain and retain control of it as far as possible
5. Generate too many links on social media sites in a short space of time
6. Add hidden text to any pages, crammed with key words