The days when photo studios could keep their heads above water on their own with walk-in customers and word-of-mouth are almost over. In order to be competitive, a website is not only indispensable. It is also the basis on which interested customers can get a good picture of the photographer, his skills, and focal points in advance. In times of great digital competition, SEO is therefore indispensable for photographers, especially when they get it from an SEO 회사 (SEO company).
A good internet presence is one thing – and being found with it is another. Particularly challenging for photographers: Often the portfolio consists almost exclusively of excellent photos – and hardly any text. Google prefers topic-relevant texts. Correct?
In this short guide, we show how search engine optimization is used effectively for photographers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Photographers is Complex
Google’s algorithm is complicated, but the following are considered reliable for the positive evaluation of websites:
- the shortest possible loading times (PageSpeed),
- sufficiently long/descriptive content that is continuously revised and updated,
- mobile-first alignment,
- incoming links from external, trusted sources.
In comparison, typical SEO mistakes on photographer websites:
- many images in high resolution (reduces page speed/slows down page load)
- little descriptive text (makes it difficult to assess relevance for search queries)
- Design of websites mostly for large-format desktop PCs (lack of focus on priority mobile visitors)
- missing link (internal and external)
So how can your photography website be optimally prepared for search engines?
On-page SEO: keywords, content strategy, image sizes, and page speed
Every search engine optimization is preceded by keyword analysis and on-page optimization. In your case, this means:
- Which niche or special topic do you serve?
Examples: weddings (indoor/outdoor), birth photography, portraits, on-site or studio shootings, black and white photography, etc.
- Are you in a specific region or location-independent?
This results in keywords (search words) as well as further SEO steps that lead your future customers to your own website.
Whether the keyword strategy should include a regional and/or a specific niche specialization is only clear after a comprehensive analysis. Cyclical fluctuations are also taken into account here – event photography may require a different keyword strategy than the established local photo studio, which specializes in application photos and family portraits.
SEO tip: Google itself sorts regional search results forward for search queries – provided that the searcher leaves location services switched on or the relative regional assignment is possible via IP address. A fully completed Google My Business account for display in Google Maps is a useful and important addition to search engine optimization.
Search Engine Optimization for Photographer Content
Are the keyword sets fixed? Then it’s the turn of the (text) content. In order to get the problem of short texts under control, these points are recommended for search engine optimization:
- Set up a blog
Topic ideas: Assistance for potential customers such as “How does a shoot work?”, “Do I need to change outfits?”, “Which location is suitable?” etc.; Description of shootings (including the presentation of approved customer pictures); Techniques and specialist knowledge
- Expand the website structure with subpages at least for niche topics or special topics Explain & show subpages, processes, and additional services
Blog posts in particular can be used to ideally work out artistic aspects of your work as a photographer – per shooting, per special order, per season, etc. Constantly growing, topic-centered and up-to-date content is rated positively by Google – so it’s worth the effort!
Tip: Think of the appropriate text preparation, such as
- clean formatting by means of hierarchical headings that contain the keywords set.
- short, concise paragraphs.
- the sensible use of lists and bulleted lists.
- the addition of a title tag & clear, catchy meta description.
It is always written for the human reader. Google analyzes content according to its readability and evaluates additional signals such as click-through rate and bounce rate to determine the relevance of websites.
Preparing images optimally for presentation and online search is always an aspect of search engine optimization. If it is to be SEO for photographers, however, the relevance to deal more intensively with image SEO increases significantly. After all, your excellent shots are what you want people to drive to your website!
In addition to the Google Text search, you will also be found via the image search:
Optimal image files
- compressed file size with ~ 150kb
- Minimum resolution of an edge length 300px
- use common file formats such as .png, .jpg, etc.
- Use relevant keywords already in the file name & use thematically appropriate upload folders
You can also store your portfolio in an image sitemap. Google itself declares that this sitemap may also contain external links to outsourced image files at photo storage services/CND services. Thus, the image sitemap deviates from regular HTML and XML sitemap specifications.
With an exclusively created image sitemap, the Google Imagebot captures all image files belonging to your website and your offer – even if you have outsourced part of the portfolio for better page speed.
Optimal labeling and description
- Populate Img and Alt tags with meaningful descriptions of image content
- Keywords can be set carefully (no keyword stuffing!)
- Adjust/edit Exif data for recording location, time, and technology used (if available)
- Caption for photo/portfolio entries
Alt and Img tags are used in particular for barrier-free use or to describe content that is not loaded (immediately). Write these tags primarily for the human reader, without stringing keywords together. Search engines can now classify images almost flawlessly based on tags and thanks to algorithmic machine vision. Tags that do not match the content of the website and the image content itself are thus more easily identified.
Tip: Simple, but often underestimated is the additional caption of the pictures. CMS like WordPress offers these options by default. The captions serve – as known by the press – to classify the respective photo more precisely. It can, but does not have to, coincide with the Alt and Img tags.
Optimal topic integration
- Theme-centered integration of portfolio recordings into the text
- Image caption, content, and text serve the same searches
- Internal links to thematically appropriate content (blog posts, websites, photos)
Search engines are increasingly evaluating the context of the content. The focus is on the expectations of the searcher: If you google “wedding shooting process”, you expect a website or a blog post on exactly this topic. If text, headings, meta description, title tag, IMG tag, and image descriptions are matched, the search engine ranks the relevance higher. Is this information missing or very general? Then the search engine can determine the relevance only based on the behavior of the visitors. If the website visitors leave your site after a few seconds, what they were looking for was probably not there.
Off-page SEO for photographers
Link building can be challenging. Nevertheless, as a measure of off-page optimization, it is a relevant means for a better ranking.
A Google My Business account and incoming backlinks from trustworthy, topic-relevant pages are part of link building. The former ensures that you are visible in local and regional searches. A clear advantage: contact details and opening hours are visible with one click. Positive Google reviews from satisfied customers increase the willingness to book your services.
Seo tips: Wedding locations and associated other service providers usually like to link to photographer websites. In the field of business photography, mutual links can usually also be negotiated. Additional link sources usually result from industry-standard search portals.
SEO for photographers – everything from a single source
On- and off-page search engine optimization is a continuous improvement process that requires appropriate resources and an optimal SEO strategy. As an SEO agency for photographers, we take over the revision of your existing content, and optimize images and link structures for better rankings – and thus also for constantly improved visibility with your potential customers.