Welcome I am going to talk about what you can do with your portfolio and business website to help it gain traffic and thus leads and orders. Many of you may have some solid sites but I will start from scratch.
First thing is to make sure that you have a solid site built. Don’t use free sites, sites build on back of blogger.com and such like, or online site builders. Get its built for you or use a CMS such as Word Press. Word press is very Google Friendly and you can build a site and a blog within the platform. It’s set up like a Blog but buy building pages you can make a nice site out of it.
Target Your Website
adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal – Find Keywords
First thing is to make decision as to where to position your site I would go for Photographer ‘City’ and build some sections over what different styles you do or if you are Niche the your Niche + City This will take in the general as well so you cover both. Don’t be too niche Wedding Photographer London Not ‘Wedding Photographer Croydon’ . I would also do some Keyword Research and add a few pages targeting related 2/3 Word phases that you find.
Basic on Page SEO
There are elements that Google looks for on your page – Title Tags , using correct HTML H1 Tags for Headings. The work is just about labelling the elements correctly. If you give me an email address I will send a guide to you that will cover the right basic elements to add or here is a guide on the internet that covers everything perfectly. Really dont get hung up on thoughts such as more keywords addded to the pages will make you ranks higher and hung up over where you are adding certain words thoes days are long gone just mark things with correct HTML and write naturally.
Creative vs SEO find a Happy Balance
As photographers are you can be the kings of flash based sites. Large single pictures to display your work. I still see many of these sites around. While they are impressive and are being sold as SEO friendly there are some short comings. If you like the look of these sites find a CMS system with the same look. Mimic the look of a flash site with the bonus features of a content management system. This way pages can be added with SEO friendly tags.
Search engines look at titles and copy to determine what your site is about. If your site is one big picture there is less for the crawlers to crawl. Try to combine the use of copy and photos. Make your photos a feature but still tell a supporting story with copy. Always have the keywords in the copy correspond with the photos keywords that are near it.
Name your photos. In fact evening
Get in the habit of using keywords to name your images. Keywords are the terms someone will search on and find your site. So if you want to be a food photographer consider foodphotographeryourcity.jpg When you upload this image to your site that file name is buried in the search able code. If you are using a editor program or a CMS to build your site you will have some options when you program or upload the image. These will be different for each. Look for titles, alt, id and captions anything that can be attached. Alts will show up when the mouse is rolled over. Titles might not show but are visible in the code. The best way to see is view the source code of your page once it is online. See what items show up and make sure your keywords are attached.
Links: The Cleanest White Hat Way.
This is the best way for 2011 for you guys to build backlinks. In simple terms each back link is Vote and the more votes you have the better. Leave all shoddy techniques like buying links from people, submitting to 100’s directories, leaving comments to blogs just to get a link. This way is is Clean, solid and Google proof. (well as much as can be).
Search Google for ‘Guest Posting Search Strings’. Sites that want content and are happy to link back to you a Google Search for ‘Guest Posting Search Strings’ will come up with loads of ways to looks for quality related sites that will be happy to link to you. As photographers you will be able to send some great content and images and get great backlinks.
Its is Important to do some social media (Twitter and Facebook) to the article to build social signals back to the article keeping it clean and trusted and building value to their site and subsequently your link gets stronger.
Also the double hit of that fact you now have your content to be read and admired on a great related blog so make sure leave you Twitter, Facebook, contact details in your signature. Guest posting was massive in 2011 and for good reason its cuts all the nonsense about quality links as they are and no financial transaction so Google is happy. Back to sharing and helping each other.
Blogging to Create Updated Keyword Rich Content
Example Great Blog.
Potential clients don’t go looking for blogs to read. They search for a phrase and find a relevant result – a page talking specifically about the topic they searched. Blogs fill this gap better than traditional websites for photographers due to the amount of pages a blog produces in text format. A page for every key phrase does not work well in the context of a main website, and would probably be hidden to Google within Flash or images. Blogging about key phrases makes more sense while creating pages in the process. The more posts on a blog, the more chances that one of those posts matches a phrase being searched. Thus, regular bloggers quickly find that blog traffic outperforms traditional website traffic by 3x or more.
Again, blogs are webpages using the same ranking process mentioned before. A blog homepage or blog post with a central key phrase that’s highlighted in the title, URL, first paragraph, and images has a head start in ranking well. A blog name usually acts as the homepage title, but WordPress blogs can add the All in One SEO Pack plug-in to overwrite this for optimal title control. The All in One SEO Pack also gives access to editing titles for blog pages and posts. If you don’t have a WordPress blog, just focus on writing good post headlines. Headlines will be copied into the page title.
Social Media Power
Facebook is a great tool for photographers. Create a fan page. Use a couple of the free apps to create a dynamic visually impressive fan page with links back to your site. Google loves Facebook. Create a blog post on your website. Tell everyone what you are up too and of course include images. Then on your wall of Facebook fan page use the add link function and paste the link of your blog post.
Twitter – Set up a Twitter to and link that so you are updating all 3 at once and getting more interest to you and your work. You will be surprised as to how quickly you can get fans and people interested in you if you posts, tips and great images and content for people. And the more related strangers you have interested in your work then the more potential for leads you have.
Also it can be great to join and use Stumble upon in the photography category as this site and visitors love photography. With right images you can gain 1000’s of visitors so could get a nice load of new fans and natural backlinks.
Creating Amazing Content
If you spend a while creating something very good such as “20 Amazing Images of… ” And your content is picked up well and gains good traction you can have a fantastic amount of interest with social media as the piece becomes popular on the sites you are using and the snowball effect takes effect. This is bring a fantastic amount of traffic, natural links and user generated content upon your site with comments which will help you rank higher and get more search visitors to your site.