Photographer’s Corner: How to Beef up Your SEO

August 04, 2014  •  1 Comment

Marketing your business as a photographer can be a full-time job in itself, one that is both daunting and time-consuming. That’s why Photographer Central was born. It is the most comprehensive directory of photographers available for hire online. A Zenfolio born and bred project, Photographer Central aims to drive a constant flow of potential clients to your website through SEO practices. The Photographer Central SEO team highlights what you need to know to show up first on search engines or photography-related sources, such as SWPP or PPA.  

Most professional website hosting services require a financial investment. At Zenfolio, for example, these fees go toward making sure your website is always up and running, that it can handle any incoming traffic, support features like shopping cart capabilities, and much more. By making the decision to go with a professional hosting service, it’s important to make the most of your investment by utilizing every opportunity to grow your business.

Your website is not only a way to show the breadth of your skill and experience by sharing examples of your work, it’s also your one opportunity to make a great first impression on your next client. First time visitors to your site will likely spend a good amount of time looking through your portfolio, checking out your prices, and reading through your bio to get a feel for who you are as a photographer and what it would be like to work with you.

This blog post addresses how to craft your bio and welcome message so that you can show your personality and optimize your website for SEO so that clients can find you more easily. Keep in mind that this process will be an iterative one, meaning you’ll want to spend some time trying out different strategies to figure out what gets you the most traffic and business.

Often, photographers will use their bio or welcome message to talk about their experience and describe their style of photography. This is an ideal place to do exactly that because it helps a client get to know you and start gauging whether they’d like to work with you. However, that’s usually as far as photographers will consider when thinking about this crucial messaging opportunity.

A lesser known purpose of the bio and welcome message is its ability to help your website appear higher in search results when clients are searching for a photographer like you. Google regularly indexes websites that are optimized for search results, including ones that are professionally hosted, which automatically set up sitemaps for this exact purpose. So while the behind-the-scenes work is done for you already, you still need to make sure any text you put together is carefully crafted and SEO-friendly.

To help you optimize your bio and welcome message, we’ve put together a few steps to help you create to a final product you can be proud of. 

 

Start with a foundation you can build off of. Sit down and start jotting down what you want your bio to say. This can include everything from how many years of photography experience you have to the styles you enjoy shooting to the types of locations you prefer for meeting clients. The key part of this step is to make sure your personality comes through. Don’t spend too much time worrying about whether the text flows. There’s time later for editing and polishing.

If you have a Google AdWords account, you’ll have access to Google’s Keyword Planner tool already. But if you don’t, there are tons of available resources out there at your disposal as well.

Internet Marketing Ninjas has a great blog post with a list of free keyword research tools that you can try. Most of these tools are intended for putting together keyword lists when developing pay-per-click advertising campaigns, but they’re also invaluable for research and figuring out what keywords and phrases your clients are using when searching for a photographer.

When trying out different keyword research tools, you want to find one that will show you search volume. This will help you determine which keywords or phrases are being used most often and will therefore help you prioritize. Another helpful capability is one that will provide you with keyword suggestions. Based on your industry or known keywords, a good resource should be able to give you relevant suggestions so that you can expand your list using words or phrases that you might not have considered.

Using your preferred tool, start with a standard phrase like “professional photographer” and begin compiling a list of similar keywords/phrases and their search volume. These additional findings then become your baseline searches to dive into more detailed searches.

By doing this exercise, you are discovering actual search terms that your clients are using when they go to Google or other search engines to look for a photographer like you. Including search volumes in your research allows you to rank which terms are the most popular, which will help you prioritize what phrases to incorporate into your own bio/welcome message.

Once you have your list of keywords and phrases, sort them so that the terms being searched most often are at the top. Next, simply go down the list, and try to find areas in your bio or welcome message where the top keywords can be added naturally.

You might also find that after doing your keyword research, you have a better understanding of the kind of language your clients are using, which might not necessarily be the same as your way of describing your services. Use this knowledge to add or change parts of your first draft so that your bio/welcome message speaks to clients on their terms.

After having integrated as many of the top keywords into your bio and welcome message as you can, read through the entire piece a few times to make sure it all makes sense. This is also the best time to ask a friend or colleague to look it over as well. An outside perspective can provide you with helpful feedback because they’re looking at it for the very first time and will be able to tell you any immediate impressions they get from your message. Then, hit publish.

Once you’ve finalized and published your bio and welcome message, you should give it some time to see how your site is performing. It may take a few weeks, or it could take a few months. But over time, if your keywords are in line with the search terms your clients are using, your search engine ranking will gradually improve.

Keep it mind that it’s also important to make sure you stay up to date with how the industry is evolving. Your keyword research tool is a great resource for seeing how preferred search terms change over time. If you see through your keyword research that there are new terms popping up, make sure to incorporate these into your text.

These SEO strategies can and should be applied to your bio, welcome message, and any business listings you have on directories such as Photographer Central, Yelp, PPA, and SWPP.

As a professional photographer, there are always opportunities to grow your business and get yourself in front of more potential clients. It’s important to keep an eye out for these occasions in order to continue to cultivate your skills and, at the end of the day, earn more money.

Photographer Central, the most comprehensive directory for professional photographers of all genres to advertise their business and make it easier for new clients to find them, is an effective way to market yourself. With a listing on Photographer Central, you can hand off some of your marketing work to a team dedicated to driving a constant flow of new clients to the site. Similar to your dedicated website, a listing on Photographer Central is also optimized for SEO and provides you with an additional online presence so that your business will gain even greater exposure.

Business owners have an immense burden when it comes to marketing and advertising. There’s a constant need to make sure potential clients are aware of your services in order to be considered for a booking. In this day and age, it’s also vital to use the resources available to help you reach that goal. Whether it’s optimizing your bio and welcome message with SEO-friendly terms or listing your business on Photographer Central, better use of these resources will lead to a more successful business.

 

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Comments

2.ZenBlog
Paul, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. PPA is short for Professional Photographers of America and SWPP is an organization in the UK whose acronym stands for Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers. Hope this helps!
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