There are between 100K to 1M searches in the United States alone for the keyword ‘Photographers near me,’ indicating a significant demand for photography services. The challenge is how to position yourself in front of potential clients conducting these searches and making queries.
In this article, we will guide you on how to optimize your photography website for search engines, driving organic traffic and converting it into potential customers.
4 SEO Areas to Optimize on Your Photography Website
Are you wondering why I’ve prioritized local SEO at the top and placed the others at the end? This is because, for 85% of the services customers are looking to acquire, including photography, they consistently search for the term ‘near me.’ With my 5 years of experience in the search engine optimization, I guarantee that if you follow the roadmap I’m providing you for photography SEO, you will see results within the next 3 months.
So without wasting time, let’s dive into photography SEO!
Local SEO For Photographers
Local SEO matters for Google ranking in local searches, and as we know, we are doing SEO for a photographer’s website, so it’s essential. We will cover these three things in local SEO:
Step: 1 – Setup Google My Business
Setting up a Google My Business profile is the first step because it’s free and has the potential to cover local searches, such as ‘photographers near me’ and ‘photography service.’ So, visit the Google My Business homepage and list your photography business on it as soon as possible.
Step: 2 – Customer Reviews
Encourage your customers who have already availed themselves of your photography services to write a review. This will help you gain visibility in the business listings on Google My Business, as the rating ranking system plays a crucial role there. Moreover, 90% of customers look at reviews before acquiring any kind of service. Therefore, it’s important to ask your customers to leave reviews for your services. Doing so will not only help you scale your business but also enhance its credibility.
Technical SEO For Photographers
For technical SEO, you can read the Google start guide to SEO; they have full documentation on the technical SEO aspects. So initially, we will focus on the sitemap and robots.txt file.
Step: 3 – Submit Website in Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a highly useful tool for website indexing and insights. There are several compelling reasons to submit your photography website to GSC:
- Indexing: By submitting your website, Google becomes aware of its existence and initiates crawling through Google bots.
- URL Inspection: Occasionally, specific pages on your site may not be indexable. In such cases, you can utilize the URL inspection tool to request indexing.
- Ranking Keywords: Within a few days, you can gain insights into keywords for which your website and pages are ranking.
- Image Insights: Considering that our site is dedicated to photography, it undoubtedly contains image content. Through the Google Search Console image report, you can assess how well your images perform in Google image searches.
To get started, navigate to the Search Console and initiate the website verification process.
Step: 4 – Check Robots.txt & Create Sitemap
The robots.txt and sitemap are not meant for users; they are created for search engine crawlers. Here, I will explain one by one why these are important for your website.
The robots.txt file is created to manage web crawlers and spiders. For example, every website has some pages that are not meant for users and search engine spiders; these can be backend areas of your website. The robots.txt file provides instructions to crawlers about which directories they can and cannot crawl.
The sitemap.xml file is like a directory of your website’s content, including pages, posts, videos, and images. It is created for search engines, similar to the navigation you have on your website for users. It serves a similar purpose for search engines. And for a photography website, it’s important to have an images sitemap because our goal is to rank in every place, not just in Google search but also in Google Images.
On Page SEO For Photographers
Now we have come to the most important aspect of SEO, which is on-page SEO. Does it really matter? Yes, it does. In fact, up to 50% of your ranking depends on on-page SEO activities.
Step: 5 – Keyword Research
Wondering why keyword research is important for photography site SEO? Let me clear your doubts first. As you know, people search for services in various ways, such as:
- Photography studios near me
- Photography store near me
- Photography for kids
- Pre wedding shoot
- Pre wedding photographer
- Pre wedding photographers near me
- Newborn Photography Packages
But people also search for these terms:
- Pre wedding photoshoot dress
- Photoshoot ideas for women
- Best photoshoot locations in [country]
- Photoshoot clothes for baby girl
- Photoshoot clothes for baby boy
- Pre wedding photoshoot poses
- Newborn Photoshoot cost
Along with services, these queries are also informational, and we have to assist our customers in finding the best poses and dresses for photoshoots. That’s why keyword research is important.
Hence, start using keyword research tools that best fit your budget. There are also free tools available, such as Google Autocomplete, Google Trends, and Google Keyword Planner. Additionally, you can consider paid options like Ahrefs and SEMrush.
Step: 6 – Content Quality
Google algorithms love content freshness and expertise, and Google dislikes duplicate and copied content. So, no matter what, consider hiring a content writer or writing from your own experience. Your goal is to provide the best information to your customers. For instance, while creating pages for different types of photoshoots like photography services for kids or pre-wedding photoshoots in [location], consider these things:
- Write about the cost and how many photos you will shoot.
- Provide information about dresses for babies that you can offer.
- Give users a portfolio with embedded images from your past baby photoshoots.
- Include testimonials from happy customers, showcasing what they say about your expertise.
- Create a FAQs section
Step: 7 – Image Optimization
Imagine visiting a photography site where all the text content loads quickly, but the images load very slowly. It’s quite frustrating, isn’t it? Therefore, we must prioritize optimizing image loading times. To achieve this, we should consider converting the image format to WebP. This modern image format is designed for the web and ensures fast loading times. A website that loads quickly can also enhance your Google ranking, as it significantly contributes to the overall page experience.
Images Alt Text and Caption: Consider these two aspects of image optimization, as they help both users and search engines understand what is in an image.
- Alt Text: Provide your images with understandable alt text. For instance, if there’s an image of a black cat, write the alt text as ‘black cat’ rather than adding unnecessary details like ‘black cat with a green background.’
- Caption: Sometimes images don’t load on time, so it’s essential to show users the content of the images. Write descriptive captions to help users understand the image even if it takes time to load.
Step: 8 – Title and Meta Description Tags
Titles and meta descriptions have a high impact on the click-through rate (CTR). Regardless of whether you’re ranking in the top 10 or top 5, if your title isn’t compelling, users won’t click on it. Therefore, optimizing titles and meta descriptions is important. When optimizing meta descriptions and titles, follow these steps:
- Identify your target keywords. The first step is to identify the keywords that you want your page to rank for in search engines.
- Write a clear and concise title tag. Your title tag should be between 50 and 60 characters long and should include your target keyword. It should also be clear and concise, so that users know what your page is about.
- Write a compelling meta description. Your meta description should be between 150 and 160 characters long and should include your target keyword. It should also be compelling, so that users will want to click on your link.
Step: 9 – Start a Photography Blog
Wondering why a photographer should start blogging? Look at Step 5 – Keyword Research. People not only search for services, but they also want help with things like ‘best locations for pre-wedding photoshoots’ or ‘best dresses for bridal shoots.’ They are seeking information.
And this is the opportunity to help them and convert them into potential customers. It’s also called inbound marketing.
For example, imagine you’ve published a blog about the ‘best prewedding photoshoot locations in the USA.’ Someone who is searching for the same article or blog post comes across yours. As they read, they suddenly see a banner advertising your prewedding shoot services. There is a high chance of converting the reader into a customer because they might think, ‘If this person is writing about the best pre wedding shoot locations, they must be an expert.’ So, why should I look for others?
Step: 10 – Mobile Friendliness
Statistical data reveals that a significant 92.3% of internet users access the online realm through mobile phones. In light of this trend, it becomes paramount to optimize your website for mobile devices. The following steps can guide you in this endeavor:
- Mobile-Friendly Design: Craft a responsive and adaptable design that seamlessly adjusts to various screen sizes and orientations. This ensures a consistent and user-friendly experience across different devices.
- Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test: Utilize Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to assess your website’s compatibility with mobile devices. This analysis highlights any potential issues that might hinder user experience on mobile platforms.
- Fast Loading Times: Mobile users often have limited patience for slow-loading websites. Optimize your site’s loading speed by compressing images, minifying code, and employing caching techniques.
- Intuitive Navigation: Simplify your site’s navigation for mobile users. Utilize clear and concise menus, buttons, and links, making it easy for visitors to access different sections of your site.
- Font and Button Sizes: Ensure legibility by using appropriately sized fonts and buttons. Text should be easy to read without zooming, and buttons should be large enough to tap accurately.
Off Page SEO For Photographers
In off-page SEO, we practice activities such as guest posting, directory submission, and registering websites on stock photography platforms.
Step: 11 – Build Backlinks
Well, if you are creating unique and engaging content, then there is no need to practice link building because unique content attracts backlinks automatically. But initially, you have to create backlinks through:
Step : 12 Register on Stock Photography Site
There are two highly popular stock photo websites: Unsplash and Pexels, that offer photographers the opportunity to showcase their photos on their platforms. The benefits of posting on these two sites include:
- They already have millions of users.
- You will receive a backlink to your website.
- People often hire photographers from these platforms.
- It helps in building a portfolio.
Lastly, there are more SEO practices to explore, but to begin with, it’s essential to concentrate on these 12 steps for your photography website. If you find yourself unable to manage these tasks, remember that you can always reach out to us. We are a marketing agency based in India, offering comprehensive digital marketing services worldwide. With a team of SEO specialists, we can simplify your work and help you achieve your goals.