Do you have a hard time with SEO on your photography website? If so, the tips below will help you rank higher in search results and drive more organic traffic to your website.
So, what the heck is SEO? Is it snake oil? Kind of. Will it magically make your website start to rank higher? Sorry, but it won’t.
I tend to think of SEO as a set of best practices to implement when publishing on the internet. The main goal of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is to rank your website higher up in search engine results. The top result always receives the most traffic. The first three results receive 65%-80% of all traffic for the search term.
So, how do you get there? Follow these simple tips below.
50 Photography Website SEO Tips
Think of keywords as the words or phrases that people search for at Google, Bing or Yahoo. Associating your website with relevant keywords will help your website rise in search results and will drive organic traffic to your website.
- See What You’re Already Ranking For – Use the Search Console in Google Webmaster Tools to see search queries that drive traffic to your site. Google Webmaster Tools provides a much more in-depth report of keywords and search terms than Google Analytics.
- Find New Relevant Keywords – Use Google Keyword Planner for keywords that are relevant to your business. and see the number of searches the phrase gets per month. See the competition of the keyword and much more information. Google bases their information on data collected from everyday searches.
- Use KeywordTool.io to Research Keywords – KeywordTool.io is similar to Google Keywords Planner but it will help you get a different perspective on keyword search information. Discover new keywords that relate to your product and service.
- Don’t Focus on High Competition Keywords – Most of the time when you search for something the biggest and most recognized businesses are at the top. Don’t waste time and energy trying to rank for those keywords because the competition is very high. Start with less competitive keywords and work your way up! Find a niche.
- Use Less Competitive Long Tail Keyword Phrases – Most long tail keywords are less competitive. They also give you more room to be descriptive about your company and services. This technique is good for starting out.
- Use Keywords in Posts and Subheadings – The keyword will give the reader an understanding of what the context below will hold. Make sure to not only include the keyword but grab their attention with the header. It’s the first set of information the viewer sees and could be the only.
- Put Your Keyword Early in the Title – When titling a blog post or product put the keyword early. This allows people and search engines to quickly catch and understand the relevance of your post.
- Include Target Keywords in URL – Display keywords that relate to the page and product in the URL. Doing this gives people more information regarding what the page is about.
- Be Keyword Specific When Naming Files – Show search engines more information on what the files and images are about by being keyword specific. For example, if you have an image of a water fountain in Kansas City, title your images as follows: “kansas-city-water-fountain.jpg”.
- Caption Images with Relevant Keywords – Include keywords in your photo captions. Users and search engines will better understand what the picture is about.
- Fill in Alt Text with Descriptive Keywords – The alt text is exactly what search engines look at to understand what images are about.
- Focus on Keyword Frequency – Focus on certain keywords that relate to your website and products. Stick with these keywords throughout your site and in blog posts.
- Focus Each Page with a Single Keyword or Keyword Phrase – Focus a single keyword or phrase on individual pages, making the content more clear.
- Don’t Keyword Stuff – Don’t repeat keywords so often that it sounds unnatural. Google will actually penalize you for this.
User experience is a huge factor that search engines focus on. Users don’t like a website that takes a long time to load and neither do search engines. Simply put, a slow-loading website creates poor user experience and Google thinks that these websites deserve less promotion.
- Test Page Speed Using PageSpeed Insights – This tool will rank your page speed 0/100, show you how fast your website loads, give you a reason, and give you tips to help improve the speed.
- Reduce File Size – Reducing the file size of images will noticeably increase your website speed.
- In Stall a Browser Caching Plugin: WP Super Cache (free, but slightly confusing UX) or WP Rocket (paid, very easy to set up) – This will speed up your website by not having to reload WordPress and database information every time someone clicks on your website.
- Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly – Many people are increasingly using their phones to search the internet. It’s highly important that your website has a clean display and easy navigation on mobile devices.
Search engines notice good and relevant content. They will rank your website higher if you regularly post helpful content. People will engage and traffic will increase.
- Fresh Content – Regularly post blogs to keep users interested.
- Publish Long Content – Search engines value and recognize content that is longer and more informative. Set a target for articles with 2,500 words. That appears to be the sweet spot.
- Make Your Content Clear and Easy to Read – Make sure your content is readable and keeps the readers attention. Entice them to continue reading and possibly take action.
- Relaunch Old Content – Repost blogs that have resonated with users. Make sure previous viewers are reminded and new viewers are interested.
- Update Old Content – Update posts that have not performed as well to reinforce your point better. Grab the attention of someone who might find the new version more helpful.
- Check Grammar with Grammarly – Make sure your posts are grammatically correct.
- Put Attractive Adjectives in Titles – Increase the possibility of a click by making sure the title/headline is eye catching and attractive.
Here are some of the most popular and useful WordPress SEO plugins. You don’t need all of them. Choose the one that works best for your website needs:
- SEO by SQUIRRLY – This plugin helps you make content that is recognizable by human and search engines, increasing your rankings in search engines.
- YOAST SEO – This plugin will help you optimize your website for maximum search engine optimization.
- SEO Friendly Images – This will optimize your images for the best website speed and help you gain more traffic.
- SEO Pressor – Helps you gain organic traffic to your site, better optimize your website, and much more.
Other Helpful Tips
Listed below are many more tips that will help you have success in ranking your website and increasing organic traffic.
- Interlink Your Blog Posts – Add links that bring users to another part of your website. This will help reduce the bounce rate.
- Link Out to Authority Sites – Linking out gives you a chance of being linked back to. It also makes your website a more valuable resource.
- SEMrush – This website will help you find highly profitable keywords to focus on, review competitors practices, and much more.
- Use Short and Descriptive URLs – Use short and descriptive URLs in order to increase relevance and readability.
- Avoid Numbered URLs – Avoiding numbers in URLs will make the URL readable and increase relevance.
- Anchor Text Specificity – When other websites link to you, ask them to link to you using keywords that are important to your business. For example, if you want to rise in search results for your name, ask website to put the link on your name. If you want to rise in search results for keywords, such as “NYC portrait photographer” ask sites linking into you to include this in their link.
- Replace Spaces with Hyphens in Filenames – This will make the name and URL of the file much cleaner and easier to read.
- Link to Other Relevant Resources – Linking to other helpful websites that helped you will make your article more informal and will increase the credibility.
- Be Sure Homepage is Relevant to Your Product and Business – Search engines highly value relevance as a ranking factor.
- Have Clear Navigation Through Site – Having clear and easy navigation will better the user experience. As stated before user experience is a key factor.
- Don’t Annoy Your Users with Too Many Pop-ups – Too many popups will annoy customers, affect user experience, and increase the bounce rate.
- Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication – Nobody likes going to a site that has too much going on making it hard to read or see what you clicked for. Be sure that your website has a clean and simple display making it easy to see your products. This will increase website traffic, reduce the bounce rate, and rank you higher in search engine results.
- Provide a Compelling CTA (Call-to-Action) – Any business wants its viewers to convert to customers. Provide a bold and enticing Call-to-Action that dares the reader to take action and become a loyal customer.
- Create a Free Google My Business Listing – Put your business on google maps where users can click on the map and get directions to your business.
- Get Other Sites to Link to You – If other sites link to you it will increase your traffic, relativity, and search engines will recognize your site in higher authority.
- Have a Readable Domain Name – A readable domain name will make it easier for users to remember your website. Your website will also look more professional.
- Link to Your Popular Blog Posts in Sidebar – Displaying helpful blogs in the sidebar can catch the attention of a user and they will click to another page on your website. This will reduce the bounce rate and make your site more helpful.
- Don’t Use Flash – Flash was a popular technology for creating interactive websites in the past. It created elegant interactive websites, but search engines couldn’t index them. Don’t use Flash for your website or slideshows. Use WordPress, and choose a properly coded HTML5 WordPress theme.
- Make It Shareable – The future of business is sharing, according to Lisa Gansky. Make sure to share your blog posts and images with the world.
- Quality Matters – Success doesn’t happen overnight. Be consistent with your website content strategy, post content that your visitors find useful and everything else will fall into place.
What do you think of the tips above? Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below.