The world of SEO for Photographers is a bit of a sleeping dragon, but one you’ll eventually have to wake up to get the attention that your professional photography business deserves. Trying to understand how search engines will notice you among the other photography entrepreneurs who are all seeking to gain the same attention can be a confusing process.
If you’re anything like us, the joy of photography is what got you to pursue it as business. You’ve cultivated your perspective and style, created your portfolio of your favorite images, put together an engaging website showing off your abilities, and now you’re ready to be hired by the world. But how can you get those future clients to see that your professional photography studio is ready to handle their commercial photography needs? In this day and age, getting your customers to find you means you have to be visible in the top rankings of the all-knowing Google. This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes into play.
Recently we here at Square Shooting have decided to really focus our time into maximizing our presence on the internet. After going down several different digital rabbit holes, we’ve uncovered a variety of tips on how to enhance the search engine presence of our commercial photography business, and we are happy to share with other professional photographers what we’ve learned.
The first thing we would recommend looking into is the free available tools that are created by Google. Tools such as Google Analytics which tracks and reports internet traffic on your site, and Google Search Console which allows you to monitor and maintain the awareness of your photography site in the Google search engine. Registering your website and familiarizing yourself with these tools will be your first step in understanding how your online presence is performing, and how to make adjustments to your site to increase that performance.
Over and over again, you hear the phrase KEYWORDS, these are the words that your potential client would use to search for your business. For example; Las Vegas Photographer, Professional Photographer, Commercial Photographer, Architecture Photographer, and so on, and so on. These words should have a strong presence throughout your website. This in turn becomes a little bit of a challenge because, let’s be honest, most photography sites are portfolios filled with images, not written paragraphs of how well you can take a photograph. We believe the saying is “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but this is not the case when it comes to how Google ranks your professional photography site.
Some tips to help you still get those keywords picked up by Google with out destroying the flow of your advertising photography portfolio, would be to actually name all the images in your portfolio with your selected keywords. For example instead of calling your photo “Image_001.jpeg”, rename the image to “Advertising_Photography_LasVegas.jpeg” instead. Another way to get you keywords picked up with out bogging down your site, is to add the text behind the scenes, so while they are visible to any bot crawling your site, they are hidden from the potential client perusing your portfolio.
A final way to keyword, and receive SEO traction, is to write blogs about your photography experiences and expertise. This allows you to have searchable text on your site, without disrupting you perfectly cultivated commercial photography gallery. While this may seem obvious to some, it’s not only about writing the blog, but how you write them and what to do once it’s posted. Inside your photography blog, you should include keywords, and links to other web pages that provide additional information about the topic you’ve selected. This not only helps the reader gain more information, but also allows the webcrawler bots to see that your website is connected to the larger internet, and not just an isolated cyber-island.
Another useful tool we’ve encountered to boost SEO placement is the plethora of business listing sites that are available, many of them for free. These websites allow you to create a short description of your company, including contact details, list of specialties, perhaps a few sample images, and your website address. This listing will create yet another external link pointed right to the online presence of your professional photography business, again creating another connection to the larger internet web. Check out the list below for some easy to use listing sites which can help you be found on the internet.
There are also many different browser plugins available that will help you get a better understanding of not only how your website looks to the search engines and how it’s connected to the web, but will also allow you to see how other professional photographer websites are being ranked in these matters as well. Alexa Traffic Rank is free browser extension which accompanies you as you surf the internet, providing you with Alexa data about the sites you visit without interrupting your browsing. Similarly SEOQuake is a plugin which performs a thorough SEO analysis of any webpage directly through your web browser. It will give you a detailed report on where your site is shining, and areas where you should improve to get stronger traction for your search engine goals.
Of course, we here at Square Shooting Professional Photography are still learning the ropes to the Search Engine Optimization game, and there is so much more to be learned. But hopefully, some of this information is helpful to other commercial photography studios who are looking to increase their internet visibility as well. If you want to further you knowledge even more on the subject of SEO for Photographers, we have included some additional source material below.
Best of luck and create happy!