If you have limited exposure to SEO you may wonder how it works, what it consists of and what it costs…and you might have some misconceptions. Here are three things you need (and a bunch of things you don’t) if you’re looking to grow your photography business online.
SEO Best Practices
SEO for photographers (and everyone else) starts with following SEO best practices. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the factors that come into play. You’ll want clean content, minimal errors and a website that is up to date and easy for users to interact with.
If you’re wondering how well your site is performing, start by looking at Google Search Console to see what errors pop up (you’ll need to sign up and verify if you haven’t already). You can also talk to an SEO firm like us about an evaluation. The research should be quick and affordable for a small website, which most photography sites are.
You work with images so your website is probably photo-heavy. That’s fine but you’ll need to make sure there is enough text to let search engines know what you offer and to whom. A title and at least a paragraph per static page is a good place to start. Your galleries don’t need lots of exposition, but make sure your home page, services page and about page (for example) have text on them.
The images themselves need some SEO attention as well. Make sure your file names are descriptive. Instead of HJC438567439.jpg (or whatever your camera names files) rename files to something descriptive like, smith-outdoor-family-photo-session.jpg . You’ll also want to use an alt tag when the photos are uploaded. These are designed to help seeing impaired users so describe what’s in the image. Something like, ‘parent and child photo session in chicago’.
You probably offer photography in a specific geographic area. Make sure you have local search listings in at least Google and Bing. There are other arenas you might consider like Yelp! or other local sites, but the search engines are a great place to start. Claim or create your listings and make sure you have all the relevant information added to your listings. If you don’t have a physical location you can specify a radius in which you work. After you verify your location the listings will go live!
What You Don’t Need
Unless you’re raking in revenue from your photo business you probably don’t need to invest in SEO for photographers each month. A yearly or quarterly review and tune-up is probably fine. Maintenance is necessary but throwing down $1,000 or more a month to follow every SEO best practice may not pay for itself in new business. Work with your SEO firm to find a cadence that helps you grow your traffic but doesn’t bite too deeply into your profit.