~ SEO for Wedding Photographers ~
Tips to Improve Your Google Ranking
While it is easier to use today’s social media networks to find clients and build up your wedding photography business, when it comes to converting viewers into revenue using Google is still king. SEO for wedding photographers is incredibly important in reaching clients. Knowing how to optimize your website can be one of your most valuable lead generation assets.
Here are some SEO tips and tactics wedding photographers can use on their website along with a downloadable SEO checklist.
Is Your Site SSL Secure?
Moving your site to HTTPS is a small SEO ranking factor but the necessity to have this is only going to grow.
Now browsers provide bright red warning signs on sites letting you know if it isn’t SSL secure. By having your site secure it makes your site seem very professional and safe which is why I always recommend all my clients to move their site to HTTPS.
For sites that has either online shoppers or if you collect sensitive and personal information then you need to guarantee these details are securely stored and safe. You are able to do this by implementing an SSL certificate on your site.
Your options (free or paid) and how to implement an SSL certificate depends on your hosting provider. As this can be a complex process, consulting with an expert to avoid website errors or issues is suggested.
By securing your site, the url will change from HTTP to HTTPS and you will need to redirect the old links. If the change is not done properly you could lose a lot of traffic.
Is your site fast?
Customers today expect to see things instantly.
Its estimated that 40% of people will leave your page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. If your site takes longer than 3-5 seconds to load then your a losing a lot of potential traffic.
There are many reasons or factors causing your site to be slower. For wedding photographers it's often the photos are too large. To find how fast your site speed is and what's causing the slow speed you can use free tools like GTMetric or PageSpeed.
Your main goal should be to provide value and easy accessibility to your visitors.
Are your images optimized?
As mentioned above, large images really affect page speed.
If you have too many large photos, your page will take forever to load. As a wedding photographer, you want to show your potential clients your best work. But it won’t matter if no one will stay at the page long enough to see it. You need to resize and compress these images. You can use photo editing software or free tools online to both resize and compress images.
Another important aspect of image optimization is using alt text.
Alt text is not visible on your page but it is used to describe your images. Google’s bots that scan your website can’t see what your image looks like. You need to describe it for them using alt text. By doing this the bots can have a better understanding of your website, which could help you rank higher on search engines.
You can check out my other blog article on How to Write SEO-friendly Alt-Text for Your Images.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
More and more internet browsing is happening on smartphones. You can’t have just a great desktop website, it needs to be responsive as well.
Internet usage on mobile devices have recently increased significantly.
There is a very likely chance that at least one third of your site visitors first time accessing your site is from a mobile device.
If your not sure if your website is mobile friendly you can use free online tools like the Google Mobile Friendly Test.
If you get a bad score or you know this needs work, it should definitely be high on the SEO tasks to fix.
Is your site is indexed?
Google or your potential client’s can’t find you if your website isn’t indexed.
As very briefly mentioned earlier, Google send bots to scan and scrawl your website. If these bots aren’t able to crawl your site then those pages are hidden from search results and not indexed. To diagnose this simply type site:yoursite.com in the Google search bar.
Check to see if the number of results match the number of pages you have on your site. If there is a discrepancy then you will want to check out Google Webmaster Tools to find out which pages aren’t indexed and fix that.
Perform Keyword Research
If you haven’t already, you need to do some keyword research.
Before creating any new content or blogs, you want to know what keywords that your potential customers use. Who is your target audience and put yourself in their shoes. You should also use Google Keyword Planner and other SEO tools to make sure the keywords you are using get enough traffic. Sure you rank number one for a specific keyword, but if this keyword gets traffic of only 5 people per month then it doesn’t mean much.
Here are factors you should also think about when performing keyword research.
Type of photography (do you only do wedding or other services as well?)
Your location (what city, state, region keywords help people find you)
Specialization or unique aspects (Do you specialize in elopements or destination weddings? What makes your business different then the rest?
I can not stress enough how important it is on having a strong keyword list .
If you can’t or don’t have the time to get the list for yourself then hire a Digital Marketing Agency. If i had to recommend only one service to contact a digital marketer, it would be for providing a keyword list.
Now that you have a list of important and relevant keywords, it's time to blog!
All wedding photographers, no, all wedding vendors NEED to be blogging.
This is your chance to get creative and show your potential customers what makes you a great asset.
Each blog should focus on a key keyword phrase and mentioned 2 to no more than 3 times. Definitely no more than 4 times or you are keyword stuffing which can negatively affect your website.
Make sure the blog article fulfills the searchers intent.
If your blog article is titled “5 Top Tips for taking wedding photos” then it needs to have those tips or the reader will leave.
The article should have at least 200 words in each blog article but I would recommend to try to get close to 1000 if possible and if it makes sense for that blog.
Whatever you do, do not ever create duplicate content.
Try to make sure that all your content is original and never copy and past it from other pages. Regardless if it is from a different vendor or your own pages. Search engines do not like seeing the exact same, word for word, content all over your website.
Are there any broken links?
No matter how careful we try to be broken links happen.
Sometimes websites or articles you might have linked to have been deleted or you remove old content. Although this often is out of your control, it's something that cannot be ignored. If a broken link is not fixed it can harm users experience and your website ranking.
While you can do a manual check and click on every link on each page, using SEO tools is a much easier tactic. There are many free of paid online tools like Dead Link Checker that can check your website for broken links. For any broken links you find make sure to either create a redirect, update or remove the link.
Possibly the most difficult but incredibly (crucial) is backlinking. Its it the backbone of many SEO strategies and tactics. Backlinking done right can grow your website and bring you a sustainable amount of organic traffic.
Done wrong however, and you will lose your ranking or worse, get penalized.
The most important rule to follow for building backlinks is always quality over quantity. The larger the website’s domain authority, the more credible your website seems by receiving the back link. If you receive too many backlinks from very low or suspicious domains, this could negatively affect your website.
You want to also focus on receiving backs links from websites related to your industry. If you're a wedding photographer and you receive a backlink from a plumbing service this will seem odd to Google and may not help your website ranking.
As a wedding photographer you have a pretty large advantage compared to other businesses. For every wedding you photograph, you work with tons of different wedding vendors. Catering, venue, makeup artist, florist, etc. Creating a blog about each event as well as you mention or give credit to each vendor. Most will appreciate this and return the favor by sharing your work on their site or social media, which brings more traffic your way.
For building credible and strong backlinks try submitting your work to popular wedding and bridal magazines and online blogs. It's not easy to get featured and this technique takes a lot more time and energy then other methods. Still, if you keep trying eventually you will get featured, giving you have powerful and relevant backlink that can really boost your SEO and ranking.
SEO for wedding photographers can seem overwhelming but implementing these tactics can help improve and build your website traffic. Use these methods to create a long-term marketing strategy and build the website you want your customers to visit.
Download our FREE SEO Checklist
Don't hesitate and take the next step to download our free SEO Checklist that has additional steps not mentioned in any of our blog articles!