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How to dominate SEO for Photographers

How to dominate SEO for Photographers

If you’re in the photography business, you won’t need to be reminded that the industry is very competitive, and is becoming increasingly saturated with professionals all grappling for business.

Just like it is for you, photography is everyone’s dream career, and many people attempt to dabble in it, perhaps earning some extra spending money here and there.

But only a very select few people really manage to make it to the top of the industry, making a living from what they have their true passion in.

So, what does it take to be one of the bigger competitors in photography?

Well, the obvious answer is skill, creativity, hard work, and the motivation to make your dream job become your lifelong career.

However, unfortunately those incredible characteristics are enough to make it to the top in photography, and even if they are, if they do not know of your existence, they won’t be able to use your services.

In this day and age, the majority of people find the services and products they are looking for via the internet, often performing Google searches for relevant keywords. In fact, right now as you are reading this article, your potential clients are probably out there right now searching for keywords which involve photography services.

The question is, how likely are they to find you?

If you are struggling on page 56 of the Google search results, the chances are that it is not very likely you will be found in this way, and you are therefore constantly missing out on business, every time a potential client searches for photography searches.

In fact, even if you are on page 2 of the Google search results, you are still unlikely to be found. Research shows that over 90% of Google traffic click on the first page of results, with the top 3 results obtaining 60-80% of the search results traffic. What’s more, if you think you can pay your way up to the top in no time by starting a Google Ads campaign, you still won’t be gaining much, as 85% of Google searchers choose to click on the organic results as opposed to the paid results.

So, the most efficient and effective way to become the most found photographer and start raking in the business is to increase your search visibility.

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What is SEO for Photographers?

You have probably heard the term SEO bandied around as one of the most popular growing innovations currently. SEO stands for search engine optimisation, and means using various tactics to increase your rankings for targeted keywords.

If your website has good SEO, you will likely rank highly, whereas if your SEO is not very effective, you might not rank very highly if at all, falling behind other businesses and not gaining much traffic.

If you suspect that your clientele will search a term such as ‘photographer Northampton’, you may choose to target this keyword in an SEO campaign.

If your website achieves good SEO, you will rank highly, and on searching for this term, your website will be in the top few results.

seo for photographersYour potential customer is then likely to click on your website, and from there they may convert to a client.

The more traffic you gain for the website the better, because more traffic generally equates to more clients.

To decide who gains the top positions on Google search results, Google use many complex algorithms and complexities to allocate positions.

Google robots crawl web pages and websites, analysing the quality, authority, relevance and trustworthiness of your website, and from there your website is ranked in particular positions accordingly.

Where to Start?

So, now that you’re completely sold on the idea of SEO being the next step to success for your photography business, we’re guessing you’ll want to get started as soon as possible. But where do you start?

The first step to starting your SEO campaign is to work out exactly what it is that you are aiming for. What are you trying to achieve with your SEO campaign?

The basic answer is to make more money by gaining more traffic. However, in order to have success with your SEO for photography, you need to be slightly more specific.

You may be aiming to sell more prints, gain exposure for your photos, or get leads for services that you offer such as wedding, portrait or commercial photography.

The best way of doing this is by asking yourself what your main services are, what currently makes you the most money, and what you would like to be making more money from.

If it is the case that wedding photography is your most lucrative service, you could target this service primarily.

From here, you can then start thinking of the keywords you are looking to target.

Think from a potential client’s point of view, not your own, and think about what they are likely to search for.

If you are not to include photography jargon in your ideas, ask others what they think and if they understand the terms you are searching for.

For example, you may consider a word such as ‘portrait’ to be a potential search term, and target key term such as ‘family portrait’, however a client may not know the word portrait, and they may instead be more likely to search for a term such as ‘family photos’.

As well as considering the popularity of your search terms when choosing them, it is also important to consider what people will search for when they are likely to convert.

For example, a person searching for ‘photography ideas’ is less likely to convert to a paying customer than a person searching for ‘commercial photographer prices’, and you should therefore target the keywords which are most likely to convert.

A good tactic is also to target keywords which people are searching for, but are not very competitive, as in not many people are ranking for them. Start small, but aim big.

Once you are ranking for some easy keywords, such as longer tail, specific keywords to your services, you can then start to think about the more difficult words.

Starting off with a very general keyword such as ‘photographs’ is unrealistic, you will struggle largely with ranking, and you are likely not to get any converting clients.

Whereas, a term such as ‘model photography Northampton is more specific and is likely to attract people who are actually looking to spend their money on your services.

It is also important at this initial stage to make sure that your domain name is good enough for your campaign.

Make it short, memorable and if possible include your brand or business name. Many photographers opt for a domain name which includes their first and last name followed by the word ‘photography’, for example johnrobertsphotography.com.

It is best not to venture to other suffixes such as ‘photographer’ or photos’, because these tend not to rank as well, and it’s also better to leave any hyphens or other complications out of the mix.

At dapa Marketing, we research your business, industry, competitors and from there we can help you to decide which keywords will be most lucrative for your photography campaign.

This also involves considering other factors such as the competitiveness of the keyword, and how many people search for the keyword.

We will work with you to research what potential customers are likely to search for, whether the campaign will be national or local, and we tailor each campaign to the individual client, using different strategies to suit each.

Onsite SEO

SEO consists of both onsite elements and offsite elements to make the campaign a success.

The onsite element of your SEO campaign deals with the quality website you are trying to rank and everything which is on your website, both visible to visitors and issues behind the scenes.

Google robots crawl websites in order to rank them, and the quality of the website itself contributes highly towards this ranking.

The quality of your website is also highly relevant to your business’s success when visitors reach your page.

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Even if a potential client sees your results at the top of the Google search results, and they then click on your website, your clients are not likely to convert or spend any time on your website if the onsite SEO is poor.

If your website looks unprofessional or unappealing, you are likely to have a high bounce rate, meaning that customers are landing on the page and immediately leaving again without clicking elsewhere on the site. A high bounce rate can significantly reduce you rankings.

Onsite SEO also includes the optimisation of loading times, having appropriate and original meta tags for each page, fixing any errors on your pages, using alt tags and having a generally up to date, modern layout and website design.

Onsite SEO also involves maximising the usability for visitors.

This means fixing any bugs which occur, fixing broken links, and making sure that everything is running smoothly.

With devices such as smart phones and tablets becoming more and more imperative for everyday use, it is highly important to make sure that your website is suitable for use on all devices; computers, mobiles and tablets.

If your website is mobile optimised, it will be preferred by Google and you will rank higher.

Not only that, but visitors who are on their mobile will also be more likely to convert if your website is still usable on their device.

If you’re not a pro when it comes to website design, hosting and SEO, it may be wise to get your website made and hosted by a web developer.

At dapa Marketing, we also offer web hosting alongside our SEO services so you will have the chance to get your website optimised particularly for SEO purposes by our highly skilled, professional in house web developer.

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Offsite SEO

Although it remains largely unseen by your clients, the offsite element of your SEO photography is just as important as the onsite element in terms of SEO for photographers.

This involves creating great backlinks to your website, including top notch, relevant, original and quality material from high authority sites.

When creating back links to your website, you need to be careful of your strategies, because if it is done wrongly you could end up being in a worse position than you were before you started the campaign.

It is best to use an agency who specialise in SEO for photographers, like dapa Marketing, to create your back links for you.

If your back links appear irrelevant, look like spam, or make your campaign look unnatural, you may experience worse rankings than you had before you started, and you could even get a penalty from Google, meaning that your photography website will fail to rank at all.

The first consideration before creating a link is to focus your ideas on relevant material. You could look for relevant articles for inspiration.

Searching for photography blogs, tips for photographers, and photography events could be a good place to start.

When creating back links, your campaign is likely to look a lot more natural if your links vary in authority.

For example, create some links which are low authority, such as comments on articles linking to a relevant page of your website, and some which are of high authority, including mini sites and guest posts.

Content is key to the success you gain from any back links you create.

Make sure that the content you write is always original, contains useful, interesting information which people are likely to genuinely actually want to read, and is well-written.

Within the content you write, include the keywords you are targeting, but be careful not to over-stuff your content with keywords, as again this will make your campaign look unnatural.

It can be tempting to be taken in by a company who claim that you can ‘buy’ a multitude of links from them, but make sure that you steer clear of these ‘deals’, as again, they are highly likely to do a lot more bad than good for your campaign.

If your website miraculously gets hundreds of links towards your website within a very short time frame, your campaign will not be analysed to be natural and you could get a penalty from Google.

The links received from these companies are also likely to be spam links or copied content, meaning that the quality of them will be very low.

If you don’t have the time to put into your content for your SEO campaign, or if you are unsure as to how to create good links which will up your rankings, dapa Marketing are more than happy to help you with your campaign.

We have a strong team of quality content writers who are specialists in creating content for any purpose, link and industry.

We do not claim to know more about your industry than you do, but that doesn’t hold us back from learning all that we can about your industry, and creating high quality links which relate back to your website and do SEO for photographers the world of good.

Blogging about photography

One of the major trends in the last few years has become blogging.

There are thousands of blogs out there, they are generally a great read, informative, personal, interesting, and for many people, a hobby.

Blogging is also great to increase SEO or photographers, and it is a fun and lucrative way to increase your rankings drastically.

New changes to Google algorithms have meant that blogging has become a must have for many, and at dapa we understand the importance of a great blog.

For photographers, blogging is also a great way to personalise your website.

It is highly likely that your brand will be based around you, and used rightly, blogging can mean that your potential clients may buy into your appeal.

Your photography blog will give people the chance to see who you really are, what potential you have in your business, your interests and what you have to offer them.

It is a chance to showcase your creativity and personality as a photographer; a quality which many photographers consider to be essential in their industry, and something many people will be inspired by.

It goes without saying that you cannot simply put down any words on a blog and expect to get results. So, how do you create a lucrative blog for your photography page?

First of all, it is important to determine who you are blogging for.

Your options could include potential clients, fellow photographers, or people who just love photographs.

From here, you can decide on your blog titles, targeting your blogs towards your audience and optimising them for your SEO for photographers.

The first few blogs may be easy to think up titles for; most photographers start with what inspired them to start the blog itself, then they move onto topics of what inspires them, and what they love taking photographs of.

The key is to make the blogs interesting; think about what you might like to read, what your audience will want to read, what is current, and include your own personal opinions where appropriate.

Also try to write about topics which other people might have opinions on, in which case they can begin to share them in the comments section.

This will add interest to your pages and you may gain followers who regularly check your blog and website.

Even though it’s important to include personal opinions on your blog, don’t make your website too personal, as you could end up being a target for abuse.

Also try to keep your blog positive.

No-one wants to read about a photographer complaining online.

People will also associate a negative blog with negative services, so it is important to stay away from negative sentiments and people will appreciate your inspiring outlook.

The blogging involved in SEO for photographers is extremely useful for gaining a fan base, and even if you achieve even a small following, your visitors might start to request blog topics and you can then carry them through.

Having a small online relationship with your visitors, for example replying to their comments and using their suggestions creates a personal touch and will also increase your popularity and rankings in the long run.

Once you have got your blog up and running, it is highly important to maintain it well.

Make sure that you blog regularly, for example once a week, fortnight or month.

This way, your visitors will get used to when you are releasing your new material and it will be easier for them to follow.

After blogging for a long time, you may find that you have started to run out of ideas. Other topics you could consider blogging about include the following:

  • Your recent work, including any travel adventures, and events you attended such as an experience photographing landscapes or a wedding, or music event
  • Personal experiences you just had to capture for your own photograph library
  • Create a question and answer session for frequently asked questions
  • What motivates you in your photography work
  • Moments at which you wish you had your camera at hand
  • Behind the scenes at your studio
  • Promotions and offers you are currently running

If writing isn’t your forte or you simply do not have the time or motivation to keep up with a blog, dapa Marketing offer a blog writing service to go with their other SEO services. We can work around titles that you give us, or we can even think of the titles ourselves and then get the blogs out there.

Social media

A great way to promote your own photography business is by using social media.

Many people search sites such as Facebook and Twitter for photography services, particularly if they are looking for someone local or who they may have some connections with.

Plus, Google wants to see that your services are popular, engaging and trusted by actual consumers.

For many photographers, social media does not play much of a role in their overall rankings, however it is a good platform for increasing your visibility.

Even if you feel overwhelmed by the thought of putting your photography services on social medial, there is no getting away from these massive platforms. Instead of shying away from social media, use it to your advantage.

When setting up your social media pages, makes sure that your profile picture, page name and information all relate back to your website branding.

Many photographers tend to use their logo as their profile picture, and this generally works well to link your page back to your website.

But if you have a main event coming up, or have just been involved in photographing a big event that people will recognise, you could use a picture which you feel represents your work well and also appears on your website as part of these events.

Make sure that your social media pages all link back to your website.

Share photos and pages wherever possible, including any offers and big events that you have coming up.

When posting, make sure that most of your posts are generally relevant to your business, for example you could post about a particular photography job you have coming up, or you could share photos from a shoot you have done.

Also, make sure that your posts are relevant to what is happening in the world. If Mother’s Day is just around the corner for example, you may choose to remind people of your family portrait services, or canvases that you offer in relation to their potential gifts.

If your favourite inspiration photographer has been involved in a big event, write a post about it to show your interests.

Also include a lot of your photos on your page so that your potential clients have examples of what you have to offer them.

dapa Marketing offer help on your social media campaigns as part of our SEO services, so if this is something that you struggle with, we are here to help.

Your images

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and for a photography business that certainly is the case.

However, your images only stand a chance of making an impression when your website is ranking. SEO for photographers also includes optimisation of all the images on your website.

As a photographer, your images are obviously going to be one of the main focuses of your website, so it important that they make a good impact on your SEO and your website.

As well as being an important factor for you, they also carry extra weight with Google.

This is because they are a big indicator as to the topic of a webpage, and for a photography page, this influence is amplified, as there tend to be many more pictures than on a standard website.

Your images will be one of the biggest influencers for your clients. It is highly likely that they will need to see them to invest in your services.

If you do not optimise your images, your images may struggle to load for visitors, and they are likely to get bored and move on to a different site.

On top of that, SEO for photographers means a lot of work on your images, and if Google doesn’t see that this has bene done, it will affect your rankings significantly.

Each image on your page will be analysed by Google robots for the following attributes:

  • Alt tags

This is a small description of the image which can be read out, generally used for the visually impaired, or when the image cannot be accessed for another reason.

The optimum length for an alt tag is around 45 words. You don’t need to use keywords in these descriptions, but this may occur naturally in some instances.

  • Text near the image

Text which is placed near the image could act as a caption, and will also be analysed by Google to be a positive factor when relevant.

  • File name

If you have uploaded your photo, it is likely that the file name will be meaningless, for example it could be ‘DC15792.jpg’. For optimisation, change the file name to something more appropriate for the particular image. For example a short description, such as ‘cottage-with-scenery-background.jpg’.

  • Location

Images which are placed nearer the top of the page will be analysed to be more important to Google.

  • Image dimensions

The size of your image will also be analysed; larger images will be analysed by Google to be more significant for SEO for photographers.

  • File size

Compressed images will have a faster loading time. You can compress file size in Photoshop to reduce the loading time.

From the factors listed above, Google robots will be able to understand the image without looking at it, and will decide on the quality of the image, either increasing or decreasing your rankings from there.

At dapa Marketing, we are pros when it comes to SEO for photographers, optimising website images and making them rank, so if you want to optimise your photography website, you have landed in the right place.

Our experienced team know how to get your images ranking to increase your photography business’s online visibility.

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Local SEO for Photographers

If you are just starting out with your SEO campaign, or if most of your business comes from the local area, it is a good idea to start with a local SEO campaign for your photography business.

Local SEO for photographers can make a substantial difference to the success of your business. This is because many people who are looking for photography services will choose a business which is local to them, and even when a person does not type in their location to a Google search, it is possible that Google will pick up the searcher’s location and will show them localised search results, hopefully including you.

At the top of a localised search, Google usually lists local listings, often accompanied by a map. Getting listed in these local businesses can be a great boost, as people will be able to clearly see your website at the top of the results and can see that the business exists with a location.

When you click on the ‘more places’ links, you are presented with a larger map image and a longer list of localised businesses relevant to your search term, as well as their contact details, opening times, and a link to their website and reviews.

Below those results are other normal organic search results. These results include businesses who have good general SEO as well as good localised SEO for photographers.

To appear in local Google search results, there are several local SEO strategies to consider. You can firstly create a Google My Business page for your photography business. This will allow you to be seen in the localised results, upping your local SEO.

Then, encourage your clients to review your services fondly via Google and Yelp. Google loves websites which are trusted and supported by genuine users.

In order to rank well for localised results, make sure that your contact details are placed on every page of the website.

This could be presented as a bar at the top of each page. Google will pick up on these details and will recognise where your business is located.

Another local SEO technique is to create landing pages specific to the areas you are targeting. This way, you can target more than one area as well to rank in more than one location.

For example, if you are promoting your wedding photography services and are based in Leicestershire, you could write landing pages not only for Leicester, but also for several surrounding areas.

Examples of the titles and keywords could be ‘wedding photographer Leicester’, ‘wedding photographer Northampton’, and ‘wedding photographer Coventry’.

Within the landing pages, include the keywords which the pages are entitled with, but make sure not to over-stuff them with keywords.

Make sure that each page is highly relevant to your services and is an interesting read.

Even though links for your localised pages can be discreetly included in the footer links of your page, searchers who come through the key terms may land on these pages, so they still need to be a very high quality; they are not just good for your SEO for photographers, they could potentially be the first thing your potential clients see.

Do you need an SEO agency?

It is a well-known fact in the industry that photographers hate SEO. The reasoning for this is partially because SEO is a completely different skill to photography in itself, and therefore it immediately presents itself as a difficulty.

On top of this, the photography industry is so competitive that an SEO campaign needs to be particularly strong to take any real effect.

There is no doubt that SEO for photographers is one of the most difficult industries, due to the competitiveness that surrounds the trade.

However, on the other hand, a good SEO campaign can work wonders for any business, and when it comes to photography your website is one of your biggest assets.

It allows your potential clients to find you, and visually see what you have to offer them.

Your website is a platform which can be used to showcase all of your work, creativity and artistic licence to show your visitors what you really are about, and Google searches are the most popular way of finding a service.

If you only know the basics of SEO and are unsure as to how you will ever get your website onto the top page of search results, it might be best to employ a specialist SEO agency to carry out the work for you.

If you decide to go it alone in your SEO campaign, you risk potentially doing more harm than good for your photography business.

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SEO for photographers is a difficult task to maintain well, and f the campaign looks unnatural, poorly managed, bad quality or amateur, Google will analyse the website to be unworthy of a top position, and you could even incur penalties, meaning that you could be refused a position at all only being found by people who type your address directly into the URL bar.

SEO specialists at dapa Marketing have seen some poor attempts at campaigns in SEO for photographers, and although we are more than happy to pick up the pieces, it is better if we cut out the middleman and instead take matters into our own hands from when you decide that SEO is your key to success, to when you are flying high at the top of the search results.

SEO for photographers, and for any other industry is an ever-changing industry, with Google constantly updating and developing their algorithms.

Many independent SEO campaigns start off well but quickly get stuck in the past, leading to five minute wonders.

However, at dapa Marketing, we are committed to research, consistently staying up to date with the changes that Google enforce, thus making sure that our clients stay at the game at all times.

We are an accredited company, meaning that Google approve of our services, and we have much experience and knowledge in SEO for photographers.

At dapa Marketing, we have a great track record of achieving incredible results for competitive search terms.

We will work with you from the beginning of the campaign to choose fruitful keywords, set up your website for onsite optimisation, and continue to build on the campaign until you are reaching the top of the search results, and then we will continue working extremely hard to makes sure those results are maintained. All that will be left for you to do is sit back, relax and watch your business grow.

Contact us today on 0800 634 3007 to discuss your campaign and see what we can offer you to expand and grow your photography business via SEO, the most innovative current marketing trend.

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