5 Minute Photography Blog SEO Overhaul

Blog titles and descriptions are a critical element in photography blog search engine ranking. Here’s a quick way to control these SEO elements for WordPress.org blogs plus SEO recommendations for photographers.

WordPress.org with All in One SEO Pack

WordPress.org is your best chance at optimizing your photography blog, so if you have a self hosted blog with WordPress, install the All in One SEO Pack plugin. Since most generic WordPress themes don’t have SEO in mind (with the exception of the theme that I use and am an affiliate partner for – Thesis theme for WordPress), this plugin can overwrite some of the generic theme settings with search engine optimization settings for any blog. Let’s go through each element of this plugin and talk about which ones are the most important.

Homepage Title and Description

Let’s start with your homepage title and your homepage description. Your title becomes the clickable link in a search result so you want it to be very specific to what you’re trying to rank for. And your description is what will show underneath your link. The keywords in this description do not help your rank, but what you say here might compel somebody to click on that search result. So you want it to be kind of a marketing position and give a user a reason to click. So from that standpoint, a description, which gets copied to your meta description, is very important for search even though it doesn’t affect your rank. Each page, post, especially your homepage, should have its own unique description. And you never want your titles and descriptions to span all the pages of your site.

Photography Blog Meta Keywords

I don’t enter any keywords. These would be meta keywords, search engines no longer look at those so I choose not to show my competitors what my keywords would be if search engines no longer use those.

Blog Page and Post Titles

The next most important piece is the titles of your posts and your pages. A lot of themes will add to the end of the post title, the blog title, for example. So an individual post might give the headline of that post, a dash, then the title of the blog.

This is limiting for search purposes because it crowds your title with extra words and characters that you’re not trying to rank for for on that individual post. It does not help your overall search efforts to have your site title across all your pages. So the first thing I’d recommend is to take your titles out of everything – take your blog title out of your individual posts and take it out of your indiviual pages. So if you’re within the All in One SEO pack, you’re post titles, page titles, and category titles should all look like this.

All in One SEO Pack Titles

Blog Post Descriptions

Your descriptions are usually controlled through the excerpts field in WordPress. So make sure you have an excerpt filled in for each of your posts and that will get pulled into the meta description code so users will know why they’re clicking your link in search results.

Outside of your posts, pages and categories, everything else doesn’t matter too much. Your archive pages and your tag and your search pages – these are not very likely to rank in search pages so it doesn’t really matter what’s there. So if you see blog title appear anywhere, you want to take that out. And again, this is going to overwrite whatever the standard theme setting were. And in a lot of cases your standard theme wouldn’t even have used post titles, it may have used the same site title that you had up at the top here, it may have used that for all the pages of your site, which definitely isn’t helping you in search engines.

The titles of your pages, are 50% or more of what you can control as far as SEO is concerned so they are extremely extremely important. So in under 5 minutes you can install this plugin and control the titles and descriptions of all your pages.

31 Days to Build a Better Blog

31 Days to Build a Better ‘Photography’ BlogI am a proud owner of this ebook and recommend it to photographers who are looking for ideas to grow their blog traffic. Darren Rowse’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog is a must purchase for photographers who want to earn more traffic from their blogs. Darren runs ProBlogger, Digital Photography School, and TwiTip and after I read his book about blogging I became a raving fan. I admit to getting a small commission when you order 31 Days to Build a Batter Blog, but you’re the one that gets a huge reward.

Explode Your Blog Traffic and the Number of Photography Clients Your Blog Generates.

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13 Responses to “5 Minute Photography Blog SEO Overhaul”

  1. seo March 8, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    31 Days to Build a Better Blog is a downloadable e-book designed to help you revitalize your blog by giving you 31 tasks that you can do over a period of 31 days that will all help turn you blog into a solid web business. Each day in the project contains:

    1) A Task – something to DO that day.
    2) Teaching – each day you’ll be given great instruction on both the WHY and HOW of the task of the day.

  2. Radelle Jensen March 26, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    First of all, as you know im a huge believer in your book. I learned so much & tell photographers about it all the time! It helped me so much.
    For some reason today I am feeling confused about something (due to my own mental block),
    with my blog posts….. I start all of them with some version of “{City} Wedding Photography” or “{city} Wedding photographer”.,… I thought this was a huge help to my seo ranking…is it pointless? should I just put a creative/witty title up there instead?
    Thoughts? :)
    Again, awesome product. Worth every penny! I get tons of inquiries daily that I didnt get before I bought the book!

    • Zach March 28, 2010 at 10:23 am #

      Hi Radelle,

      I’m about to release a new revision of the book that clarifies this point for bloggers. You will keyword overload your homepage and site by naming your posts in that fashion. Plus, an individual post is unlikely to rank for a broad and competitive term like that. I recommend naming your blog post headlines like you would name your alt attributes of images. Have keywords in mind, but they are typically long-tail or niche phrases. I do about 50% of my posts this way (start with a niche phrase I want to rank for). The other 50% are magnetic headlines to encourage retweets and backlinks.

  3. mike finley December 1, 2012 at 2:10 am #

    There are new tools around to help WordPress blogs with SEO now – have a look at WordPress SEO by Yoast too

    • Scott

      December 1, 2012 at 6:56 am #

      New tools, both popular and not, are being added to the WordPress SEO Hub for members only. Definitely check it out.


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