It’s time to bring you more customers. How do we do that? Improve ranking in the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo etc. Your goal should be to land your site on the first page of Google. Those 10 results are the most likely to be clicked on when people search for photographers.
My goal is to help you improve the rankings of your website and consequently drive more customers to your business. So, read through the suggestions and use some or all of the information at your discretion.
Back-linking with article writing
In order for the search engines to see that your site is active and something that should be listed, it is advantageous to have websites linking back to your website. As many as possible.To do that, you need to write small informative articles with links embedded within that lead the reader to your website. You could write these articles for online magazines, or even some of the online article storehouses. If your content is good and it is well written, you could submit the same article to many of these databases of articles. It’s completely free, but it does take some time to write and submit.
To find them, just enter something like “article submission” in your search engine of choice. If they start asking you to pay… pass on them and keep looking. Just be sure to include a link to your website with every submission.
You website has galleries, a contact page and perhaps some other important content. Now let’s get your potential customers interested in what you have to say on a daily basis by building a blog.Search out blogs that have content that is of “value” to your audience. Get a feel for good writing and bad. Try to replicate the good stuff by posting valuable information daily, or at least on a regular basis.
This will help your rankings by telling the digital robots that cruise the internet that your site is worth their attention. This gets them excited, and consequently your site moves closer to that magic first page of search results.
Search engine submission
You’ve put up a new website. Awesome. Now tell the search engines that it exists by going to Google, Yahoo, Bing etc and submitting your site’s URL. You might also try a new browser such as DuckDuckGo.
Follow the instructions as it pertains to your site and rest assured that your site will be indexed. Of course, making sure your meta data is fully populated and search engine friendly will help.
YouTube is a huge search engine that ranks #3 behind Google itself and Facebook. This means it is to your advantage to use it to drive viewers to your business. Combining entertaining, educational 2 or 3 minute videos with a clear call to action and links to your page within the description are excellent for building your customer base. Have you learned a new technique that makes your portraits pop? Are you the only photographer in your area photographing dogs and cats? There is a video opportunity there.
First and foremost, consider who your potential customer is and design a video that will appeal to them. Make sure to use their potential search terms in the title of your video. “Outside dog portraits”, for example if you photograph dogs… so they will see your 3 minute portrait session. (Talk to the viewer in a clear voice, and use good lighting.)
These videos are transcribed by YouTube. Consequently the search engines use the transcriptions to find content. Make sure you mention the name of the business a few times, and the address of the web site.
Do this often and you will lead visitors who are interested in your type of work to your website.
Facebook fan page
As Facebook continues to pull in such a huge customer base, it would be prudent to have a fan page where you can talk about your work, your blog, new galleries etc. Get people excited, lead them to your website. Use their comfort in Facebook to your advantage.
You might want to try these guys when you are thinking about building a fan page for your photography business: Lujure(dot)com
Guest blog posts
By writing posts of interest in blogs similar to your own, you gain credibility with a whole new audience. You might want to get your own blog going first, and brush up on your writing skills before approaching other bloggers. Look for blogs that are somehow associated with your type of photography. Read the posts and judge if your possible content would be a good fit. Your content must appeal to the audience. Tactfully introduce yourself to the blogger and suggest a guest post. Break the ice and see what happens.
Visit online forums that deal with subjects that might interest your audience. Are you a wedding shooter? Go find wedding forums, event forums, catering forums, travel forums etc. Any type of forum that might have a connection to the wedding photography business. Any forum that might be frequented by a potential bride, mother of the bride, wedding MC, DJ etc. Ask questions and post answers. Get involved. Don’t try to sell your services. Just get involved in the online community. Once the membership gets used to seeing your name and trusts your comments, then you will be free to discuss what you do for a living.
Then you can talk about your photography work and your website. This will result in curious members clicking the link you’ve provided in a couple of your posts and going to your website. Breaking down that initial barrier is a major hurdle to getting these forum members to accept you and potentially spend their money on your services.
Frequent text-based updates
Search engines need to know that your website is active. By posting frequent updates such as in your blog section, you are telling Google etc., that your site is active, and has something of value to offer Google users.I try to write a new review a least twice per week. Doing so keeps my site in the eyes of the search engines and I can tell by my stats that it is working. Since starting the blog my ranking has improved by over 1.4million places. In less than 2 months.
Effective meta data
Even though meta keywords and meta descriptions are NOT used by Google in their ranking algorithm, you should still populate these sections because other search engines may use them.You should also limit them to 10 or so keywords/keyword phrases so as not to appear trigger the spam filters. And only use words that appear on your page. Meta descriptions are important as they often appear as a snippet just beneath the title in the search engine results.
A well written meta description can increase click-through-rate. Google is more likely to show your meta description as the snippet if it contains all of the keywords from the user’s search phrase because they want to be able to bold ALL of the keywords in the snippet.
Here is a very cool tool to help with your meta data. Give it a shot and see what you think.
These tips may or may not work for you. You may find that a combination of tips will work better than using just one. It will take time. So be patient and keep at it.
You may like to know where your site stands in the ranks. I find it helpful to know that my position in the grand scheme of things is improving, or decreasing. Either way, data is important for the health of the blog.
I am using a ranking tool provided by Alexa.com. You can too. It works with the Mozilla Firefox browser and is a permanent addition to your browser. When I go to any website, I see the ranking at the bottom right corner of the browser. Go to alexa(dot)com.
Click on “toolbar” at the top, and then “install toolbar” in the green box. When you restart your Firefox browser you will have access to stats of any website you visit. Even your own.
What? You don’t have Firefox?! Take a trip over to Firefox and download it for free. http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/ It is a great alternative to Internet Explorer, and it is my preferred browser… on my PC netbook and on my Apple iMac.
So that’s it. 9 suggestions that I think will help you improve the positioning of your website. If I learn of any more I will post. Do you know of any cool tips for improving your site’s ranking? Please feel free to share in the “community news” section. MT