If you have an active blog for your photography business, chances are you’ve read all you can about SEO. If you’re going to write day after day to try and attract new clientele, you might as well make sure the search engines love it, right?
And while I agree SEO may still have a place in your overall business marketing model, if you’re doing it the “old school” way, you’re probably not having much success. Here’s why.
[If you’re just getting started with SEO, here’s a great place to start: Best SEO Practices and Tips For Your Photography Business.]
People that follow the “old school” method of SEO love to use keywords. They fill up their titles, meta tags, descriptions and content with as many keywords as they possibly can.
If you look at the title of their blog posts, they look something like this:
Wedding Photography California: Jim and Kelley – Engagement Photos at Laguna Beach
Or something along this line of thinking. Then if you hover over the photographs they’ve included in the post to see the meta tags, you’ll find something like this:
Jim and Kelley Engagement Photos in Laguna Beach California Wedding Photography Wedding Photographer John Smith with Smith Photography Inc Image 1
And of course as you read through the post, you’ll find those same keywords listed again and again. And again.
Its enough to make you back out as fast as you can. And its enough to make Google back away as well.
While this “old school” method of SEOing may have worked in the past, Google has been watching these sites for years. And they’ve decided that they have less value than a site that speaks directly to their audience. So they weight them differently, don’t give them top value, and throw the ranking down below those that are concentrating on quality rather than keyword stuffing.
What To Do Instead
Whether you’ve been doing this type of SEOing for months, or have recently read about it and were thinking of adopting this strategy this year, think again.
Instead, focus in on what you can do to make your content that much richer; that much more valuable to the people that want to read it.
Start with your domain name. If the word “photography” is already in your domain name, it will be a part of every page you create. And while you can use it as a keyword, its not necessary to over use it.
Create motivating titles. People like stories. So start the story with a great title.
A Fun Day At Laguna Beach Celebrating The Engagement of Jim and Kelley
Regulars to your blog will be instantly attracted to a title like that because it concentrates on what it is “engagement” and where “Laguna Beach”.
From there, you can really play it up.
How To Get Romantic: Jason and Crystal Showed Us How Its Done
Fun In The Sand: Did You Ever Think An Engagement Shoot Could Be Like This?
That’s where the interaction comes in. That’s where people come back to your blog again and again because they love what you have to say AND what you produce.
Tag your photos the right way. Then tag your photographs with an appropriate tag for the post. You don’t have to tag the photo with your name, the business name, unless it’s a photo of you. Instead, focus in on what it’s a photo of:
Engagement photograph at Laguna Beach
Simple keywords will attract an exact target, and help you rank overall much better than if you are “stuffing”.
Then focus in on your local market. Who do you know? And more importantly, who do you work with?
Let’s say you’ve photographed five wedding in the past two months. Head back to those five weddings and look at who you worked with – florists, coordinators, cake companies, limo companies, reception venues and more. Do any of these companies blog as well? If so, you can begin blogging together.
Start with the florist. Gather up all of your images from the past wedding in which you showcase the flowers. Then create a blog post
“How Flowers Impact Your Wedding Day”
Make sure you include the name of the florist in your post, and include website information and possibly contact information.
Your potential clients will love it because they can now gain valuable ideas at your site – and see how you photograph it as well.
Once the page is built, shoot it over to your contact at the florist and let them know its online. If they blog regularly, they will probably comment on your post. They may even link over to it in a post they create.
And the interaction will begin.
So how does the title “How Flowers Impact Your Wedding Day” help you? Again, Google is looking for an authority when it decides to rank a site. It knows that as a photographer, the words “photographer, photo, image, wedding, etc” are important to you. But it also looks at the big picture, “florist, reception, venue, wedding day” and knows those words are part of the overall wedding process as well.
And more importantly, you are connecting up with people that can send you business. You are helping your blog grow by networking with those in your community. In other words, you are working both sides of the issue, and will be rewarded by seeing people come to your site in a variety of ways.