} SEO Tips for Photographers: How to Improve Google Rankings Like a Pro

SEO Tips for Photographers: How to Improve Google Rankings Like a Pro

November 7, 2019

SEO, Showit

Navigate This Post at Lightning Speed

  1. Design: Design Your Website to Convert Visitors into Leads
  2. Authority: Submit Your Work to Reputable Websites
  3. Content: Write for the Reader (Visitor) THEN Optimize for Google
  4. Blogging: Speed Through Yoast’s Yellow Lights
  5. Offsite SEO: Regularly Update Your Google Business Listing
  6. Research: How to Investigate Any Website on Google

This year was my second year offering 1:1 SEO Coaching Sessions at Showit United and I’m already excited to go back again! I love helping photographers with their SEO especially when they’re so interested in how it all works. Makes me feel like less of a nerd.

Most of the photographers I sat down with had similar questions and usually started off the conversation with, “I don’t know where to start with SEO.”

Need help with SEO or content? Schedule a chat!

Here are the most helpful SEO tips for photographers using any platform that I found myself giving over and over. If you use Showit, you’ll want to also read 4 Ways to Improve Showit SEO. Add your own questions to the comments and I’ll continue building on this post!

Design Your Website to Convert Visitors Into Leads

You could spend hours or thousands of dollars to improve your SEO, but if you don’t ensure that your website is designed to make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for and book/contact you, then most of it has been a waste. At least until your website’s user experience is improved.

Your money would be best spent on a designer – find a Showit Design Partner – or at least a well-planned template so that visitors can easily navigate your site, understand what you’re offering, and make that final step on your website towards actually paying you for your services.

Because if all of this marketing isn’t focused on keeping you in business, then you need to realign your strategies. ASAP.

Submit Your Photos to be Published on Relevant, Reputable Websites

Seriously, photographers and creatives. This should be the most exciting SEO task! You get to be featured, shared around social media, AND reap the benefits in a rankings boost?

Submit weddings and sessions to online publications like Offbeat Bride or TheBump to increase your brand’s exposure AND your site’s ability to rank. You can submit your work directly through their websites or use 2BrightLights to efficiently and regularly get published.

How Does This Help SEO?

Websites that have built authority with inbound links from reputable sites have a better chance of ranking for competitive keywords, which is why you might notice websites ranking for competitive keyword topics even though they’re ignoring Google’s best practices for on-page SEO. Websites with strong authority often rank in spite of their on-page tactics, not because of.

Inbound links (links to your site from another domain) can play a significant role in your ability to rank.
Google wants to see reputable websites “vouch” for you by linking to a page on your site. And when that website has content similar to yours and your target keywords, you can expect a jump in rankings, particularly if you’ve optimized the page for relevant keywords.

Most common objection to submitting work: “I don’t have anything good enough right now.”

Everyone that said that to me had GORGEOUS weddings and shoots that hadn’t been published yet! Even if it’s not the right fit for one website doesn’t mean you can submit it to a website with a more specific niche.

There’s something for everyone, really. So stop being such a photographer and get your work out there!

Write for the Reader (Visitor) FIRST.
Then You Can Optimize for Google.

Just like with your design, the content written for your website should be prioritized to benefit of the visitor.

Tip 1: Make it clear WHAT you do and WHERE you’re located.

Don’t make us guess what you mainly shoot or where you are. And most people know that photographers are open to traveling. Specifying a location won’t hurt your chances of getting that unbelievable destination wedding. NOT specifying a location can hurt your local SEO, though.

Tip 2: Write the way you would speak to a potential client in person.

Conversational writing will resonate with your visitors while keyword-stuffed content will land on deaf ears. When your content sounds like it was written by a real human and not a robot, THEN you can look for opportunities to include carefully planned keywords and optimize your content to fit keyword searches.

Google’s best practices for content are based on what would help real people find what they’re looking for. If your visitors are happy, Google is most likely happy.

A little louder for my Type-A clients:
It’s okay if you don’t get a green light with Yoast!

Use Yoast as a Guideline,
Not a Hard & Fast Rule

Yoast should be considered a helpful guideline for optimizing blog content. It’s also useful for specifying how you want social media shares to display the preview.

But that’s all it is, a tool and a guideline.

If you’re including the keyword phrase you’ve chosen to target everywhere Yoast recommends but you have a connecting word, Yoast won’t count that and your green light will be downgraded to a yellow light. And that’s okay!

Don’t let Yoast tell you to reword the page titles and heading tags to awkwardly fit a phrase that just doesn’t belong.

Google Business Listing insights graph

Update Your Google Business Listing to Increase Local Traffic

Hopefully, you already know to set up your Google Business Listing and fill out as much information as you can. Keep your Google Business Listing fresh with recent photos and posts could help you increase your local SEO rankings.

I don’t see this advice promoted as strongly as I think it should, but I’ve watched my clients’ local rankings (photographers near me, map pack) improve significantly after adding new photos and regularly posting about a monthly special or a helpful blog post like a venue feature.


Use Google Search to Research SEO & Content on Any Website

Nothing makes me feel like a professional investigator more than using Google Operators. I use these operators when I need to research a client’s website and their offsite SEO. I can find indexed pages of a site, business listings and mentions on external sites, and websites looking for specific content submissions.

Directions: add the bold text to the Google search bar and replace with your own domain and business name.

  1. How to find the pages on your website that are indexed by Google
    site:domain.com
  2. How to search for your business info mentioned or listed on other websites:
    “business name” OR “domain.com” -site:domain.com
  3. How to search for websites looking for photo submissions:
    Enter: location/style of photography photography “submit”

My nerd heart was so happy to witness photographers, many who said they weren’t “tech-y,” learn how to use Google operators to find helpful info for their SEO and marketing.

Comment with your questions about SEO!

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