Search Engine Optimization and Analytics
Social networking used to mean attending a business dinner or industry event and mingling with others there. Today, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, Google and the accessibility of the Internet have changed the rules when it comes to the way photographers market their business.
Lindsay Adler, fashion and portrait photographer based in New York and author of The Linked Photographers’ Guide to Online Marketing and Social Media discusses this topic and gives tips on how to better use social media to market your studio:
Search engine optimization is a fancy way of answering the question, “How can you make your website more visible and friendly to search engines like Google or Yahoo?” Improving your SEO helps your website, blog, and other content appear higher in the organic (unpaid) search results of the search engine. Potential clients frequently find their photographers online and preview their website or blog to see samples of work, packages, the photographer’s personality and much more. SEO, therefore, can help attract more of the ideal target audience to your website.
A Few SEO Tips:
• Google and other search engines don’t “read” images. Flash sites, in fact, appear as blank video files to Google. To effectively optimize your site, be sure to incorporate words, text, and other descriptions, along with your images so that Google can easily index it.
• Make a list of the key words you want associated with your site (ie: Photographer, Your City, Weddings) and be sure to use those words to describe this content on your site. A blog is an amazing way to improve your SEO because you can reference and share content about certain subject areas with which you want to be associated. For example, if you are a Syracuse Wedding Photographer you might make a blog post talking about “The Top 10 Places for Wedding Photography in Syracuse, NY”, and thus associate your business with the ideal keywords.
• The second-largest search engine is YouTube (behind Google). Consider having at least one video related to your website on YouTube to help drive traffic. The video-driven site is great for developing a following, establishing yourself as an expert and driving unique visitors to your site.
• Carefully select the platform for your blog and website. Many companies provide you with a Content Management System that automatically optimizes your blog or Web site for search engines. WordPress already has a great CMS in place. Not only is it easy to update, it also has many SEO capabilities built in. WordPress.org allows you to completely customize your site, utilizing various themes (appearances) to match your blog to your company’s branding.
• Grader.com is a way for you to gauge your SEO, to monitor improvement and to compare yourself to your competition. It provides information like inbound links to your site, the last time your site was crawled by Google, how many articles have been submitted to Digg, how many times you have been bookmarked on Delicious and much more.
If you are building your own website or want to learn more about the coding and theory behind SEO, check out Lindsay’s book The Linked Photographers’ Guide to Online Marketing and Social Media.