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Optimize Your Photography Website with This Complete SEO Guide for Photographers


Someone points a photographer at a placard that sasy SEO with lines coming off from it that point to words relate to SEO
Get Focused with This SEO Guide for Photographers

Why Did We Create This Complete Guide to SEO for Photographers?


As photographers, we all know how important having a stunning portfolio of images is. But in today's digital age, more than having a beautiful website showcasing your work is required. You must also ensure potential clients can find you online through search engines like Google. That's where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in.


SEO is improving your website's ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) so that your website appears at the top when people search for relevant keywords.


At Dream Anchor Photography, we understand that SEO is often an overwhelming and confusing subject, especially for those new to the field. That's why we've compiled this comprehensive list of free SEO resources to help you get started. These websites offer a wealth of free information and services, from basic SEO concepts to tools for analyzing your photography website.

What are the Basics of SEO for a photographer?


The first step in improving your website's ranking is understanding how search engines work. Search engines use algorithms to analyze which websites are the most relevant and valuable for a search query. These algorithms consider various factors, such as keywords, backlinks, and user experience.


Keywords are the SEO backbone for your photography.


One of the most critical factors in SEO is choosing the right keywords. Keywords are the ever-changing selection of words and phrases people use when searching for something online. By including relevant keywords in your website's content and metadata, you can help search engines understand what your website is about and improve its ranking.


Backlinks are another essential factor in SEO.

"Focus on building quality backlinks by reaching out to other photography websites and blogs in your niche. By getting other websites to link back to your content, you can improve your website's authority and boost your search engine rankings." Fstoppers. (2018, June 13). How to optimize your photography website for SEO.

Why does my photography website need backlinks?


Backlinks are links on other websites that lead back to your webpage. Search engines see backlinks as a sign that your website is authoritative and trustworthy, and as such, they can improve your website's ranking. However, not all backlinks are created equal. Each website has its own authority ranking within the Search Engine algorithms and the value they have can affect your website positively and negatively depending upon how they rank.


Last, but not least, user experience is also a vital aspect of Completing your SEO.


"Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly on all devices. This is important for both user experience and SEO, as Google favors websites that are optimized for mobile." Photography Spark. (n.d.). SEO for photographers: A complete guide to ranking higher in search results.

Search engines thrive on providing their users with the best possible experience, so they favor websites that are easy to navigate, load quickly, and are mobile-friendly. Use your internet experience as a framework. Do you prefer websites that load slow, move buttons around just as you're moving to press them, and offer everything except the answer you're looking for?


How Can I Speed Up My Photography Website?


One unique challenge photographers face in optimizing their websites is knowing what file sizes to use. We enjoy those data heavy, always-look-great files, but that's rarely ever necessary on the internet.


However, despite the various variables that come with different website hosts, there are general tips that can be applied to most platforms.


To optimize your images, follow these steps:

  • Compress your images to reduce loading times and improve SEO. Online tools can help you maintain quality while reducing file size. However, many of these are unnecessary with the image processing tools you already have on your computer. Here's an excellent article on the subject here: How to Easily Optimize Images for Web (without Losing Quality) (wpbeginner.com)

  • Name your images descriptively, including relevant keywords, to help search engines understand your content. Avoid generic file names like "IMG_1234.jpg."

  • Use alt tags to provide alternative text for your images. Not only does this improve accessibility for visually impaired users, but it also helps search engines understand the content of your photos. Use descriptive alt tags with relevant keywords.

  • Consider image dimensions, which may vary based on your website host. Check their guidelines and adjust accordingly.

  • Use image sitemaps to provide search engines additional information, such as image location and captions. Sitemaps improve your chances of appearing in relevant image searches by hand-feeding Google and other crawlers the essential information. Check if your website host offers this option and use it if available.

 

What Should I Know Before Optimizing My Photography Website?

Decide On Your Business Details Early.
  • Hours, address, etc. across pages should match where possible. (i.e., do not type in "Street" on one page and "St." on another unless necessary)

Be Aware of Traffic Thresholds
SEO is a Long Game

I'm ready to start optimizing my photography website. What's next?

  • Download this PDF with links for future reference!

Photographer's SEO
.pdf
Download PDF • 108KB
  • Read a few primers on SEO. Get Your Website on Google is an excellent place to start.

  • Get a Google My Business Page

  • Get an account with Open.ai and use it to kickstart your text content (the majority of this article began as an AI response). One of the primary ways Google and other Search Engines can find your website is through the text on your site. Open.ai's Chatbot GPT can create articles, blurbs, headlines, and more. AI generated text is not perfect, but it can help you get started and something is better than nothing (for now).

    • Best Practices:

      • Tweak and personalize the content where appropriate.

      • Verify everything before posting (it gets details wrong sometimes.)

      • Tell it what style of writing you want (i.e., two adjectives like "friendly," "welcoming," and "professional" are good starters.

      • Use Grammarly or another service to check spelling, grammar, and plagiarism.

  • Create and claim business accounts where it makes sense, and always put your website link in your profile and forum threads. Fstoppers, Alignable, Honeybook, are good places to start.

  • Consider opening your marketing to "service platforms" such as Thumbtack that put your business into the marketplace. Your Mileage May Vary, but this is where we get most of our out-of-state leads.

How Do I Know My SEO Efforts Are Working?

Analyze your photography website with these free tools:


Analyzing your photography website is an important step in the SEO process. Once you've started implementing the basic SEO strategies mentioned earlier, it's essential to track your website's performance to see what's working and what needs improvement. Here are some tools that can help you analyze your photography website:

  • Ubersuggest will start identifying SEO problems on your site, among other services.

  • Moz — has a few services, but this one will help you know at a glance when your efforts have an impact. For example, your website pulls no data yet and therefore doesn't rank. Actioning the items I present here will, in time, get you started. Use my website and competitors to see what a ranking website looks like. Dream Anchor Photography is not necessarily far ahead of you in the game, but it's something.

  • ahrefs like Ubersuggest will start identifying SEO problems on your site

  • GTMetrix tests single pages for load times. I.e., Slow sites get pushed down on Google, so once you figure out how well your site is doing, it'll benefit you to learn how to speed up your site.

By regularly analyzing your photography website's performance, you can identify areas that need improvement and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly. This can help you improve your website's visibility in search engine results and attract more potential clients to your business.


What SEO tools does Google offer for my photography website?

Google offers a range of free tools that can help you analyze and improve your photography website's SEO.


Here are some of the most useful tools:

  • Google Lighthouse analyzes your web pages for speed.

  • Google Search Console tells you how well Google likes your website, and although the interface looks pretty simple, understanding the underlying principles requires some serious "interfacing" to be more evident.

  • Google Tag Manager does what it says; It manages your tags. More on that in a minute.

  • Google Analytics will analyze traffic to your website. To do this requires the tags mentioned above, and there are several different ways to create them.

  • Google Ads does what it says.

    • Best Practice: Set up analytics so you can analyze ad effectiveness.

Also see these SEO guides from some of today's most popular website design services:
 

Optimizing your website for search engines improves your chances at ranking higher in search engines, attracting more clients, and, ultimately, grow your business. As you can see, SEO is critical to any photographer's online presence. We hope this comprehensive list of free SEO resources will help you start your SEO journey. Happy optimizing!

See these additional resources for more helpful tips and tricks on improving your photography website's SEO:

  1. Google Webmasters - https://www.google.com/webmasters/

  2. Moz - https://moz.com/learn/seo

  3. Ahrefs - https://ahrefs.com/academy/seo-basics

  4. Yoast SEO - https://yoast.com/seo-blog/

  5. SEMrush - https://www.semrush.com/blog/

  6. Backlinko - https://backlinko.com/blog

  7. Search Engine Land - https://searchengineland.com/

  8. Search Engine Journal - https://www.searchenginejournal.com/

  9. Neil Patel - https://neilpatel.com/blog/

  10. HubSpot - https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/topic/seo

  11. SEM Post - https://www.thesempost.com/

  12. SEO Book - http://www.seobook.com/

  13. Rank Watch - https://www.rankwatch.com/blog/

  14. CognitiveSEO - https://cognitiveseo.com/blog/

  15. SEO Roundtable - https://www.seroundtable.com/

  16. BrightLocal - https://www.brightlocal.com/blog/

  17. Serpstat - https://serpstat.com/blog/

  18. GoDaddy - 8 blog SEO tips and tricks - GoDaddy Blog

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