As a pro photographer, you want to find as many clients as possible. Arguably the best way to do this is by driving traffic to your professional website. To see your traffic numbers increase, you need to improve your SEO.
With this in mind, here are some of the best DIY SEO tips for photography websites:
1. Conduct Proper Keyword Research
We’ll start with a very straightforward tip; conduct proper keyword research. This will help you figure out what keywords are actually worth your time, and which ones you shouldn’t bother with. Now, you’ll be in a position where you know which keywords are worth trying to rank for so you can focus on them when you use keywords on your site.
Keyword Research Like a Pro:
2. Place Your Main Keywords In Your URLs
An ingenious way to use your keywords so you can improve your ranking is to include them in your website URLs. Obviously, you have to make sure they make sense, and you can’t just stuff random keywords in there. But, as an example, say you have a page on your site about wedding photography. The URL for that page needs to include the words ‘wedding photography’ or you won’t rank as well as you could.
3. Get A Good Domain Name
Following on from this point, a good domain name is essential for SEO. Try and find a domain name that fits your photography website and isn’t completely random. Ideally, it should be the name of your company, and this will ensure people find your site if they search for your company name.
Need some more inspiration for the perfect domain? here is my handy guide to finding the ideal domain name.
4. Create Optimised Title Tags
Every web page should have a page title that’s optimised for SEO. This is the title of the page that people see in search engines. Keep it short and sweet – no more than 55 characters – and just briefly describe the page. If possible, use some keywords here as well for more of a boost.
5. Create Optimised Meta Descriptions
A meta description is located below the title tag in search engines and provides a more detailed description of the page. Keep it no longer than 158 characters, making sure you really convince people that this page is worth visiting. Again, this is a great place to drop in a keyword or two.
6. Always Include Some Text On Every Web Page
As a photography website, much of your content is dominated by imagery. However, it pays to have some text on almost every webpage. Even if it’s a brief introduction to a particular gallery of images; it’ll benefit your SEO. This makes your content more user-friendly, which gets a big thumbs up from Google.
Ideally this should be a minimum of 250 words and should include your targeted keywords.
7. Check website speed
One of the simplest SEO tips ever is to check the speed of your website by using Google Pagespeed Insights. You’ll see how fast your site is, and what can be done to speed it up. Consider things like a CDN to optimise your website and improve performance. Why is this important? Because slow and unresponsive sites aren’t seen as user-friendly, which is a massive black mark in Google’s book.
More reading on Page Speed Optimisation:
8. Build Links Between Website Pages
Creating links between your web pages is an excellent way to make it easy for people to navigate around your site. Consequently, you provide a much better experience for anyone on your site. As you know by now, this will boost your search engine performance and make your website more SEO friendly. Link within content to relevant pages on your site, but don’t overdo it!
9. Build Backlinks With Other Websites
Similarly, link building is one of the oldest and most effective SEO tips out there. Try and build backlinks to your site from other authoritative sources. Ideally, you want links from websites that are somewhat linked to photography. The best way to do this is through an outreach program where you connect with bloggers and ask them to provide links to your site in their content.
10. Optimise Your Photo Titles
Clearly, it wouldn’t be a photography SEO guide without touching upon images. When you upload photos, make sure you include the page’s target keyword in their name. This goes a long way to making your site easier for search engines to find and ensuring you rank for the right keywords.
11. Use Alt-tags in your photos
Likewise, use Alt tags whenever you upload a photo onto your site. This is basically the term used to describe an invisible description of your images. None of the users can see the description, but search engines definitely can. Use your main keywords here to really describe what the picture is portraying. It’ll help Google index your images, and you will rise up the rankings.
12. Create A SiteMap
SiteMaps are another incredible way of improving your site’s navigation. It makes it easy for people to move from page to page, while also painting a pretty picture of your site for search engines. They’ll love this as it makes it easier for Google to find all your pages and index them. So, you’ll appear in search results much quicker than if you didn’t have a sitemap.
Tip, if you use wordpress – use a plugin like YOAST to create this automatically.
13. Deliver Engaging Content Via Your Site
Content is everything when you’re thinking about SEO for photography websites. Every page must deliver some value to the user, which encourages them to stay around. Engaging content can lead to a dramatically reduced bounce rate, and a positive user-experience, both of which are vital ranking factors.
14. Ensure Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly
These days, a considerable proportion of searches are conducted on mobile devices. Google will penalise your website if it isn’t mobile-friendly and optimised for mobile devices. So, ensure your site has a responsive design so you can rank well in the mobile results as well as desktop ones.
15. Host A Photography Blog On Your Site
Blogs are such an easy way to drive traffic to your site and improve your SEO. Seeing as you run a photography website, it makes sense to add a photography-themed blog to it! This is an excuse to use target keywords, create articles on trending topics, and deliver more engaging content. You can use a blog to focus on niche keywords as well, which helps you target searches that maybe aren’t that competitive, allowing you to rank really high.
16. Put Dates In Your Blog Content
When it comes to your blog content, there’s one very simple trick you can use to improve the SEO-friendliness and possibly rank higher. All you have to do is attach dates to your content that shows when it was published or last modified. Google really likes to rank sites that are new and updated. So, if you publish posts with current dates, or keep going back and replying to comments or making edits, then you will start to rise up the rankings.
17. Set Up Google Search Console & Google Analytics
Both of these tools help you take a look at the state of your site’s SEO. They can show you so much data which you can use to then address specific issues on your site. For example, it may show you that you’ve got a massive bounce rate on one particular page, which is costing you ranking spots. Now, you can work on fixing that and improving.
18. Don’t Use Adobe Flash On Your Site
Adobe Flash used to be essential for photography websites as it helped load up images and videos. Now, it will only slow down your site, and people on iOS mobile devices won’t even be able to see your images. This leads into a running theme of user-experience on your site. Flash provides a poor one, so use HTML or CSS instead.
19. Avoid Irritating Pop-Ups & Adverts
When someone lands on your site, it’s natural to try and throw things at them right away. A lot of people use pop-ups on their photography sites to advertise special offers or services. You may think this is a great marketing ploy, but it can be ruining your SEO. When people are bombarded with pop-ups and ads, they will leave your website right away. The more people that leave, the worse your site looks and Google assumes it’s a ‘bad’ website so you’ll rank poorly. Keep people on your pages for longer by relying on great content instead of pop-ups and ads.
20. Always Have A Detailed ‘About Me’ Page
With an ‘About Me’ page, your photography website will do two things. Firstly, you will provide important information to users, which they deem valuable. This builds trust, keeps them on your site for longer, and improves your SEO. Secondly, it’s another excuse to produce SEO-friendly content with targeted keywords, headings, and links!
Having a professional photography website is such a great way of gaining more exposure for your projects and showcasing your talents to a broad audience. To ensure you see as much success and traffic as possible, you must improve your photography SEO! Run through all twenty of the tips above, and try any of the ones you haven’t already attempted. You will be amazed at how much your SEO improves, and the amount of traffic you see as a result.
Want to learn more to help boost your photography website? check out the best seo courses online.