What is SEO and why do you need it?
SEO = Search Engine Optimization. Why on earth do you need to know about this as a photographer? Well you h ave a website. That is your calling card. Websites are where people go to make sure that you are “real” that you are the professional they need. In order to find your website, you need good SEO.
According to Wikipedia “search engine optimization is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines” like Google or Yahoo. Good SEO means people find your website on the first page of Google, Yahoo or Bing and hopefully within the top three non paid listings on that page. Remember those first few listings on search engines are not free. People pay big money for that placement.
There are services specializing in SEO and they are available for a monthly fee. They will analyze your site and have engineers work on properly coding the right words that will be picked up and move your site up the “ladders” or lists that appear when you search for a company. These fees are often out of budget for photographers. In fact, they are often out of budget for most professionals!
Don’t panic. There are many ways to get good SEO.
Put your keywords to work. Keywords are words and phrases that are essentially short cuts to information a consumer needs. Some of the keywords for the photography industry would be simply “photography”, or your particular specialty, for example; “wedding photography”, “senior portraits” or “sports photography”. Make sure you use these phrases in your site, but don’ t overuse them. Overuse has a name now, “keyword stuffing”. The search engines are on to this and it can end up harming your site. Balance is everything.
Hyperlinks are another good way to make sure you get good SEO. Hyperlinks are those words and phrases that you see within the text of the copy on your website or your emailed promotion pieces, highlighted in blue. They link to an external page or website.
Cross-linking to a site with good SEO will increase yours. For instance, your photography company is a resource service for a well-known event planning company. Potential clients like to see sources on the event planner’s sites. If you work consistently with an event planner, the beauty of hyper linking phrases and cross linking sites is mutually beneficial. It’ s millennium marketing!