It’s no secret wedding photography is the most lucrative of the photography specialties, making SEO for wedding photographers even more important for business growth. While the other wedding photographers battle it out for competitive search engine terms like San Diego Wedding Photographer, you can take the side door to a page one rank with certain and continuous traffic stream for the wedding venue where you want to book weddings. It’s true that many brides may do a generic city search for a photographer, but some may search for the “official” or “experienced” photographer for the exact venue where she is getting married.
This post offers some tips about optimizing your wedding photography blog to get ranked in Google for specific wedding or reception locations. Once you rank high and book a couple events, you will by default become the official photographer for that location and through the venue’s own promotion and word of mouth you will barely need search anymore. Did I really just say that?
1. Use Venue Name in Blog Post Titles
Use the venue name plus wedding keywords in the title of the post. It is worth it to go back and re-title old posts for the ones you really want to rank for!
Original post title:
- Jennifer + Bob: Stunning reception at Cliffs Resort
Optimized post titles:
- Cliffs Resort Lodge Wedding Reception Photos for Jennifer + Bob
- Cliffs Resort Wedding Photography Examples from Jennifer’s Reception
- Stunning Reception Photos from Cliffs Resort Wedding in San Diego
- Photography From My 5th Cliffs Resort Wedding Reception
Take a glance at the original post title. That is a great title if I want to rank high for “Jennifer and Bob” searches, or if I want to compete with all of the Cliffs Resort searches in the world (vacation, hotel, etc). Now look at the optimized titles, which still communicate my same message. Plus there are probably not too many webpages out there optimized for “Cliffs Resort Lodge Wedding Photography” making this post a perfect candidate for Google to rank high in the results.
2. Update Your Permalinks
Use longer URLs with more keywords. Do NOT change URLs for old posts as this will break any links that point to them. In WordPress for example the URL is editable by the Permalink, shown in the image below:
But your post may have been names something like this:
Original URL: /blog/2009/10/12/reception/
Optimized URL: /blog/2009/10/21/cliffs-resort-wedding-photographer/
Again, there are probably zero websites with those keywords in the URL, giving my page even more strength if users search those words.
3. Take 10 Seconds to SEO to the Images
Use keywords as filenames for the images (cliffs-resort-wedding01.jpg) and use the WordPress caption feature (captions get used as alternate text and as text on the page). There’s a whole chapter on this in the Photographer’s SEO Book, so if you like this post then you’ll love an entire guide with more tips just for photographers.
4. Sprinkle the Post with Venue Keywords
Use more text in the posts that use the key phrase you want to rank for. If you want to rank for “Cliffs Resort Lodge Wedding Reception Photographer” then these words need to sprinkle through the post. What I mean is don’t do the typical: 10 images in my post and I’m done blogging. Write about the venue, and maybe if you do a nice enough post the venue website will link to your blog as a promotional tool (hint: send them a note about your post).
5. Add External Links to Your Blog Post
Create a couple links that point directly to the post (only do these for your important ones that you really want to rank for, since it takes a lot of time to complete this step). Easiest way is to add links in forums, crosslink from the homepage and from other posts, and digg every post yourself. More about linkbuilding 101, and link SEO 201.
6. Convert Users from the Search Results Page (SERP) with Meta Descriptions
WordPress has an excerpt field that acts as the meta description, which shows to users in search engines. This text will entice users to click the link. This is your opportunity to say something clever to get users to click your search result. If you don’t put something in your WordPress excerpt field, then you are letting Google choose what the search result should say (they might choose anything, even your copyright statement). So write something cool, like
An official Cliffs Resort Lodge wedding photographer for 5 years, John takes stunning reception photos. View award winning gallery photos.
7. Create Summary Posts for Each Wedding Venue
You probably write a new post about each wedding you shoot. Am I right? Recap all your old posts for each venue you want to rank for. For example, take your 3 previous posts about the Cliffs Resort Lodge and create a Best Of post. Take one photo from each of the past weddings and create a post called “Cliffs Resort Lodge Wedding Reception Photographer: My Best Pics” and in the text give an overview of each wedding that was shot.
8. Add Internal Links
Links are critical. I hope you didn’t skip step 5. Take the top 3 venues you want to rank for (1 post for each venue) and create links from your own site(s) to each of these posts. Add a link to each post from your homepage, from a couple of other blog post pages, and from your blogroll. Did you remember to use good keywords in your link texts? If not you need to read the Photographer’s SEO Book which gives you the basics and then EXPANDS them kind of like this post does. In fact, read it anyway.
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