Updated JANUARY 02, 2017. Seo for photographers
I get it—SEO seems so overwhelming and wild, sort of like that genetically made dinosaur in Jurassic World. It’s big, it gets more attractions for the park, but if it’s not taken care of, it can eat you. Just kidding it does not bite, I promise. Many photographers have no idea where to start when it comes to SEO, so they may join a Facebook group where there’s more advanced information, and then they feel dumb and stumped. I have been there, and over the years I have made SEO practical and easier to understand, but it still can feel daunting and confusing. Like where do I even begin to optimize my website? my blog? which keywords should I be using? How do I list my business in Google? Don’t fret, Fuse to the rescue!
I am happy to announce that I have put together this 30-days to better-ranking DIY SEO challenge for your photography business. I created a challenge for each day, making it easy to accomplish in bite size chunks varying topics so I don’t bore you til death. The challenge involves tips for website optimization, blog optimization, and social media optimization (which is vital). If you wish to also get this information as a PDF, PLUS an extra 10 BONUS CHALLENGES and reminder via email. Sign up below.
Get 10 extra days plus PDF checklist!
WHO IS THIS FOR?
For photographers who have not done any S.E.O optimization or are not sure if what they are doing is correct or just need to double check some things. This challenge is also recommended for those wanting to step up their social media optimization game.
I HAVE SOME GOODIES FOR YOU
//1. Checklist //2. Adult H.W- //3. Videos- Many challenges have mini videos you can follow or listen to //4. Email Support Group with some bonuses. If you want to be reminded of the challenges via email, then you can sign up for the email support group here. That will be a total of 10 emails in 40 days //5. Questions answered for those that write in the comments section all the way at bottom.
SO ARE YOU READY! TAKE THE 30 DAY DIY SEO CHALLENGE
Day #1: Getting started!
SEO is all about text.Create your go-to text for your business as your go-to main keywords. Answer the following:
- What kind of photography services do you provide?
- Where do you do it? List some cities.
- Where are you based out of?
- What is your style?
Now, write out a sentence with the above answers. For example: Feuza Reis Studios is a Conway, SC based wedding and portrait studio offering wedding, glamour and senior photography in Conway, Myrtle Beach and Pawley’s Island. Her photography style is modern, fun and candid. Save this for the next challenge.
Day #2: Location SEO and website check up.
Most photographers’ goals for being found have to do with local SEO, but ironically, most photographers do not have local information listed on their sites or blogs. Today’s challenge involves some website checklists.
H.W. Add your text on at least 2 pages of your website. I recommend your homepage and about page. Feel free to create a variation of your text on the second page you add it to.
*Also, check your website, then comment below to tell me how many pages you have on your website. Do you have an About page? An Info page? Gallery pages? An easy Contact page?
Check out this blog post where I discussed 4 essential pages every blogger needs here.
Day #3: Photo gallery pages should have text!
Don’t leave it with only photos. Add text on at least 2 gallery pages of your photography portfolio pages. You can discuss your style of photo for that genre and why you you shoot that genre of photography. For example, with engagement photo sessions, it’s important to add where you usually do those kind of photos. The key is to write text about what that page is actually about. In WordPress, this is easy to do above the gallery or below it. In some website platforms, there may be design issues. You can make the text small, but never transparent or the same color as the background, as that is BAD SEO.
I go over additional types of pages you should add on your website or blog for better chances of showing up in Google Results in my Get your Blog found in 30 days course.
Day #4: The 8-year-old website test!
For today’s challenge, you need to find a child—yes a child. Around 8-11 years old is fine. You can also ask a mother-in-law or a grandparent. (If you do boudoir photography, then um, no children. Ask an adult.) You will ask them to navigate your website and then watch what they do. See if they understand where to go next, and if it’s easy to navigate. Why, Feuza? Because at the end of the day, it’s humans that book us, and our website needs to be easy to navigate (which search engines also look for). We must lead our customer as much as possible on where to go. Sometimes I see websites with very few pages, which means a person will only be on your site for a quick moment, and your bounce rate could get higher, indicating to Google that you are not a good fit, and this could bring your ranking down. Please post your findings in the comments here.
Day # 5: Today’s focus is to get listed on Google Business and get 1 new Google
Review (more powerful for local SEO than other review sites). First of all, your business should be listed on Google. If not, then sign up here: https://www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness/. There is an option for those that don’t want to list their full address, for example, if they work from home. In that case, you would select the option that you provide your service at people’s homes and you set the zip codes or miles that you service. Once your business is listed, you will find it in maps.google.com. Direct customers to that link, or have them Google you and do a Google review. If you need further help on this, check this blog post here.
p.s Your Google Business listingf is linked with your Google plus business page which can be confusing and annoying. Just follow the steps and get notified then work on getting reviews. You technically don’t need to use your Google Plus business page like ever 🙂
Day #6: Let’s chat about Google ranking goals.
What page of Google is your website being found on today? First, learn how to check your Google ranking HERE. Then, choose 5 main keywords you would like your website or blog to be found for and make a tracking document you can fill in to compare with later. It can be in Google Drive as an Excel sheet or even in Evernote. Write the date, the keyword and what position is your website or blog being found on. If you need help with establishing your keywords, I do sell some photography keyword kits here.
Day #7: Pinterest, baby!
If you are not using Pinterest for your photography business, you are missing out. It is pretty much its own search engine and can send traffic back to your site or blog to increase your rankings. Your challenge is to watch this video and do a Pinterest check up with the tips provided. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrU26WNK_OE&feature=youtu.be.
Also read these Blog Posts I have on Pinterest:
Power of Pinterest Group Boards
7 Unique things to do on Pinterest
Day #8: Google yourself and make sure your website has a description.
If it doesn’t, then find the place in your website tools where you enter the description of your website and do it. Usually, it should not be over 150 characters, but regardless, it should have some keywords! It looks like I can improve mine, as my blog description is not showing properly. So I will check on mine, and I’m still building my reviews. How about you?
Day #9: Sign up for Youtube and optimize your slideshows and videos.
I’ll bet you didn’t expect this one… YOUTUBE! If you are not signed up to YouTube, then please go and create an account. Then, watch this video on how to optimize your YouTube account. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQq7NRdCQZE&feature=youtu.be
Day #10: Are you renaming your images for your blog posts?
You can bulk rename right from Lightroom. Your challenge is to rename your images for your next blog post. Remember, if you’re using Blogstomp, make sure under the output settings it does not rename it to “stompdate.” Keep the original file name. If you have not used blogstomp you are missing out? Check out side bar for affiliate link where you can purchase it! If you have not signed up to receive the image rename cheat sheet, you can do it HERE. Use the cheat sheet for image rename ideas because your blog posts should have variations in the image names. If you need help starting with keywords for your photo business, then check out this blog post with a downloadable guide I created HERE. I also have a free Keyword Mini Course. If you need more tips on image rename workflow, just post a comment. I also have an Image SEO free email course.
Day #11: Start an Excel file in Google Drive or a new note in Evernote:
make these columns: DA – Domain Authority and PA- Page Rank
Go to http://www.opensiteexplorer.org, put in your URL, and make a note of what your DA (domain authority) is from the info on the left. Write this number down. This number can take some time (like years, sometimes) to change, but it is an indicator of how likely your domain is to rank for certain keywords. Post your results in a comment.
Also, check your page rank here. Don’t be sad if your page rank is a zero. The goal is to increase this number, which takes time, by following the challenge and doing. DIY SEO to help Google notice you.
Day #12: Add alternative keywords to your keyword lists.
In this challenge, you will use Pinterest to find some alternative keywords for your photography and creative business. Watch the video and post your findings below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9K2ZZ-Q0C8&feature=youtu.be
Day #13: Get Featured Online.
Having a “backlink”, which is a link back to your site and blog from someone else’s page, is like getting votes in the eyes of Google. So submit your work online to blogs, BUT don’t forget to rename your images. I get submissions for the blog that I run, and it’s usually just the name of the photographer, the DCIM file, or the name of couple, so thats your challenge. And if you need help knowing where to submit to, here is a great list by Chelsea from Tidewater and Tulle here.
Day #14: Wow, you are really hanging in there! Pat on the back!
If you’ve done every day’s challenge so far, this is the two week point! Sign up to inspectlet and record your website viewers’ interactions to see what they do once they get to your site! This is about blogsite/website performance and heat maps. I stumbled upon this tool which offers a free account, and it records the actual website sessions so you can see how people are interacting on your sites. https://www.inspectlet.com/plans. You can also hire someone on fiverr to do a website review or check out heat maps. Or even use the heat maps feature ( which I love and it’s free) on sumo me which is now my favorite social sharing plugin.
Day #15: Add a link to your Google Plus business page on your website and your blog.
It can be in the footer. For instance, you can say “find me on Google Plus” and hyperlink that text, or “follow me on Google Plus,” and you can use a side widget, too.
You are half way there! Don’t forget you can sign up for a checklist, PDF version and email reminders of this challenge.
Get 10 extra days plus PDF checklist!
Day #16: Sign up for free YELP listing.
I dislike Yelp because their review system sucks! On top of that, they try and convince you that you should pay them $300 a month for advertising because they see so many people visiting your profile. RUN AWAY. But wait! Do claim your free listing with Yelp, but don’t get your hopes up about the reviews. I don’t recommend the paid version, which is pricey, but on the other hand, I just got 2 inquiries within the last week, and I had not been updating my page. Update it, fill out your profile, add some photos, add which areas you serve, add the type of photography you do, and post here when you are done!
Day #17: Start a new Excel sheet called Blogging Plan.
- Make the first column for your target audience. Who is it? Women? Men? Babies? (Even pets?) What kinds of things do they care about? What are they looking to read about? What is their age group?
- The second column is for where you live. Which city is your base and what areas do you photograph at?
- Write down your blogging goal starting when you start this challenge. Make it reasonable. My blogging goal is to blog twice a week, but I don’t specify which dates because I know I would not follow them. Lol. But if you are a Type A personality, specify which days of the week you want to blog. You can also learn more about ideal client profiles in this blog post here.
- Next you need a blogging library of ideas sheet. It would be best for you to rewatch video #3 of my Blogging Matters series you can sign up here.
- Some blog posts I have written on Blogging tips:
4 reasons why blogging matters
- Understanding Email List Blog Lingo
- 4 Essential Pages Every Blogger Needs
- How to become a more consistent Blogger
- Non-cheesy Blog Promotion Ideas
- How to create pretty graphics for your blog posts
- How to blog 70 times faster using Blogstomp
- 21 Day Blog Detox Challenge
- 4 Blogging Mistakes you are making and how to fix them
Day# 18: WordPress basics.
Log in to your dashboard and go to Settings > General and make sure your Site Title is filled out. This should be a set of loose main keywords not longer than 60 characters. (If you want to learn WordPress SEO and all the tricks and tips I use to get my blog found online. Check out the Get your blog found in 30 days SEO Class HERE.)
Day #19: Go back 4 blog posts on your site and see if you’ve used the word “photo” in it.
Most photographers tend to use the word “session” and sometimes forget to include the word “photo,” “photos,” “pictures” or “photography.” Find ways to add these keywords instead.
You can also add some LSI words. Learn about how to revive older blog posts.
Day #20: Verify your Pinterest Account.
So your challenge is to make sure your Pinterest account is a business account, if you have not done so and to verify it. (Don’t make two accounts, but convert your existing personal one to a business one.) Then check out your analytics to see what the interests are! And Verify your account. https://analytics.pinterest.com#I preferable use my blog to verify because there are Pinterest Verify Plugins.
Day #21: Google Search Console.
Sign up for Google Search Console which was the old Google Webmaster Tools. Use the Yoast SEO plugin to connect the Google Search Console. This is different than Google Analytics and analyzes how Search Engines see your site. You can find some keywords your website is ranking for by checking the Search Traffic then Search Analytics.
Day #22: It’s pinning time.
Go to 3 of your blog posts and pin your photos to your Pinterest boards, or create new boards with a location in them. Use descriptive sentences about the photos and write out long descriptions for those pins. You can also now update your Pinterest profile name to have more keywords. Go to Profile then Business name and add more keywords to stand out.
Day #23: Pinterest, go back to at least 3 of your boards and check their descriptions.
Did you fill out as much text as possible? Add location keywords if needed. If you want more Pinterest tips, check out this Dynamic Range article I was a guest writer for here. I have also written a Pinterest SEO blog post on social nerd.
Day #24: Citations- online listings of your photography business, should be updated.
Google loves what is known as NAP—name, address and phone number—so make sure your online listings have correct information. If you are in the U.S., some good places to list your business are: Hotfrog, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Manta, ServiceMagic, and Superpages. Your challenge is to list your photography business on at least 3 new online directories.
Day #25: Check on your current listings and have a local phone number.
One good way to make sure your NAP is correct on pages where you’re listed online is to Google your business via desktop and mobile. I have found some strange places I didn’t even know I was listed at, and I was able to have them fixed. Find any errors? It is important that your phone number and information is up to date. Also if you have relocated your photography business, get a local number. Google recognizes area codes so if you are using and listing a phone number from your old state this may work against you.
Day #26: Content pages.
Offering content to your target audience, or in other words, being a resource, is a great way to get found online. So who is your ideal client? Are they moms? Brides? Teens? What are they looking for? Consider offering answers, resources, tips, ideas, recipes, events, things to do, and anything else you can think of as a post or page. If you need help coming up with new blog post ideas, check out this post here or sign up for my blogging matters video series.
Day #27: CLEAN UP TIME.
- Google your business number and see what comes up. Check if it’s a correct listing or if anything old is attached to it.
- Check your Google Places page (business listing) and make sure your website, blogsite, or homepage URL is in the URL field.
- Type into Google [site:yourwebsitename.com] and all of your pages will show up.
- Also clean up any unused blog categories for your WordPress Blog. You should have some general names as categories and not cute names. Also don’t have variation of same thing: ex. natural light studio, photo studio. Families, Family Portraits. Just use one.
CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP, EVERYBODY CLEAN UP, GO GET ‘EM!
Day #28: Create a board showcasing where you’ve been featured.
For example, if you blogged that you were featured in Blog X, pin from there. Or, you can upload a pin and link it back to your website or blog. If you have a press page on your website, pin from that page, too! Add some text about how you were super happy to be featured, what wedding/session it was for etc! Create this board, add at least 4 pins, and report back here! GO GET ‘EM!
Day #29: Check your Page Titles.
Page Titles are the text above the url of the pages of your website and blog.First and foremost you need to know where this section in back end of your website platform this is located. Contact support if you are not sure where this is. Your pages should all have unique text for your page titles and descriptions so check to make sure they are not blank and they are not repetitive.
Day #30: Tag Clean Up.
Tags in wordpress blog posts are old school SEO and can actually hurt your SEO efforts if not used correctly. Some of you use more than 5 tags in blog posts. NO BUENO. and many times the tag is not even related to the post for example, wedding post and you talk about family photographer, newborn and vice versa, also variations of the same thing like natural light photographer, outdoor photographer, on location photographer, flash photography, studio lighting and so forth. So your challenge is to go back to your 5 blog posts and do a TAG CLEAN UP! This is only SEO related area where I will tell you to be repetitive; only use tags you know you will use over and over and don’t do too many variations. Keep it main keyword related tags.
PHEWW, IF YOU ARE READING THIS, I APPLAUD YOU. I HIT UP UP HIGH AND LOW. HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND. HAPPY BRAZILIAN DANCE. YES, SHAKE WHAT YOUR MAMMA GAVE YOU.
SO, ARE YOU READY FOR OUR #DIYSEOCHALLENGE? HASHTAG IT AND @feuza ON TWITTER + INSTAGRAM AS YOU COMPLETE EACH CHALLENGE AND I CAN CHEER YOU ON. I HOPE YOU HAV ENJOYED THIS CHALLENGE BUT IF YOU WANT 10 ADDITIONAL DAYS PlUS CHECKLIST PDF PLUS THIS CHALLENGE AS A PDF ALONG WITH EMAIL REMINDERS OF CHALLENGE. SIGN UP BELOW.