Google, Bing and Yahoo each have their ongoing, ever-changing search engine optimization algorithms that most people do not understand.
What I mean is, Google and Bing/Yahoo are now using Social Signals for their rankings. They are also looking deeper at where your links are coming from. They want to see that you have Open Graph meta within your pages and posts. They want to see movement (fresh content). They’re integrating microformats into their search results. The list can go on forever.
While there are so many new SEO topics that we will talk about, I want to start at the beginning. The reason for this is because if your website is not doing the SEO basics, then there is no point in trying the more advanced tasks.
So where do you start?
The first thing you should do (if you haven’t already) is to sign up for the 8 part SEO eClass available on the Photographers SEO website.
The SEO Basics
As I got through the SEO basics, you can verify that the on-page optimization is in effect by using your browser’s View Source function and searching for the various components.
- Did you pick your most important keyword for your home page? For instance, Arizona Wedding Photographer.
- Make sure every page (and post) on your website contains a unique meta titles and description. The meta information not only helps your ranking, but also is how your page will show in search results. (also known as SERP)
- Do your pages (and posts) contain a H1 tag and H2 tags? Every page should contain only one H1 tag but multiple H2 tags are ok. The H1 tag is what search engines first identify as what the page is about.
- Do your photographs and graphics all contain an alt tag within the html? If not, be sure to add them.
- Is your text one bulky paragraph or broken up and styled in a more user friendly way? Did you know that search engines like to see paragraph breaks, line breaks, bullet points, and bold and italic text? It’s true. Make sure that you have diverse text flow.
- Are you linking internally from one article to another, from a page to an article or vice versa? This is important for on-site SEO and the user experience.
- Make sure your URLs contain the keywords you are trying to rank for. (e.g., RandomNamePhotogrpahy.com/Arizona-Wedding-Photographer/ – this can make a fantastic about page URL)
- Are your image file names titled correctly? (e.g., sedona-arizona-enagement-portrait.jpg instead of IMG123445.jpg)
- Did you create a Google Places and Bing Business Portal page? If not, stop reading and set them up. Then come back here for the next step.
- How about Google Webmaster tools and Bing Webmaster tools? Have you set those up yet? If not, go to so and then come back when you’re finished.
- Have you implemented off-site SEO measures like social profiles, appropriate (and SEO friendly) directory listings or guest articles on complimentary websites?
The last item I would like to suggest is our Photographer SEO Book. For just under $40, you can read 100 pages of SEO tips, tricks and instruction. The book will cover all things SEO from the basics to the most difficult and important, like Link Building.
Like SEO, the book is evolving. New updates will be coming and everyone who purchased the book will receive the update for free.
To conclude the SEO basics article, I want to point out that there are many WordPress plugins available to assist your SEO efforts. In fact, we shared 27 of them on the blog. In future articles, I will be talking about many of the plugins individually.
Before concluding this article I want to mention a fantastic article by Paul Kerins. In this SEO article, he mentions how content is king and that a photographer should use a blog to boost SEO.
Thanks for reading and please comment with how you’re doing with your SEO efforts.
How We Help You Rank
You'll understand SEO.
- The Photographer's SEO Book is the industry standard reference guide for optimizing photography websites.
- The Virtual SEO Workshop is the same one we give to expensive in person seminars.
- Blog Zen SEO and 7 other ebooks and videos.
And get exposure, links, and contacts.
- We promote you from our sites, which means exposure and links.
- Because we promote you, we only work with established, talented photographers and photography-related businesses - those who deserve to rank. We decline membership for those who don't fit. That means you're in a community of equals.