week #4 7 basic “must do” SEO tactics Friday Business Challenge(for photographers)
take the challenge! Your task this week is to follow this checklist of 7 basic “must do” SEO tactics for photography websites. So grab a coffee (or your beverage of choice) and off we go…
week #4: SEO basics SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of structuring a web page so that it is found, read, and indexed by search engines in the most effective manner possible. This makes your web site and its content attractive, relevant and visible to search engines and web searchers.
why SEO? 60% of all organic search clicks go to the top 3 listings* 75% of users do not go past page 1* SEO will increase unsolicited traffic to your website If Google can’t find you, neither will your potential clients * Statistics compliments of HubSpot
get analytics research keywords review content (words and images) update meta tags build links blog assess your results 7 steps
get analytics Have web analytics in place at the start You should have clearly defined goals for your SEO efforts, and you’ll need web analytics software in place so you can track what’s working and what’s not. 1
research keywords 2 Choosing the right keywords to base your site optimization around is an important step. General or generic keywords are usually not the best approach, and sometimes it’s better to be a little more specific and focus on niche keywords relating to your products and service. List all brands and product/service names List words that you, your customer and prospects use to describe your products or services? Brainstorm variations of product, services and related keywords people rarely use single keyword search phrases – the average search phrase contains 3-5 related words
research keywords Add geographic variations (e.g. sydney photographer) Add descriptive variations (e.g. wedding) Take all the variations and enter them into the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, which will suggest numerous other variations ★Remember:
Ensure keyword terms/phrases have good search volumes
Determine if you can rank well against your competition for these keywords
3 review your content ★Remember: You should be aware of SEO techniques but you are writing for human readers so your text should be user-friendly. You need to make sure that you keep readers happy, encourage them to come back for more and take active part in the conversation. Once you know what your keywords are, you’ll want to make sure you’re using them! Pick the best keywords around which to base each of your pages Make it as clear as possible to search engines that your page is relevant to those keywords
search engines have trouble with Flash, use HTML content on pages you want found! review your content words Create content that is valuable to readers, descriptive, and uses target keywords. Remember that Google will analyze your page to see if it is about the same topic that the user is searching for. The more times you show Google that it’s a match (use searched keywords), the higher you can show in search results. Google (and your readers) likes pages that read naturally, which is why you don’t repeat the same phrase multiple times. Use variations, related ideas, and similar words/phrases and Google will give your page more value than if you used the same words over and over.
review your content images Google understands the subject of images by using alt attributes (or alt tags). An alt attribute is the text behind the image, visible to the reader only when the image cannot display. How images can contribute to SEO: Alt attributes of the image in the HTML code Text surrounding the image (text and comments on the page, image tags, etc) Filename of the image (image.jpg) <img src="/image.jpg" alt="Short description of the image with keywords">
update meta tags 4 Your meta information is where you can describe your website outside of the content itself. Meta Title and Meta Description are often used to display your website in the search results so they’re great not only for getting you up there, but for enticing people to click through!
update meta tags The meta title appears at the top of the browser window, and on the first line of the search result. Ensure that they’re descriptive and include target keywords The meta description appears in your page code and may show as the description of your page in the search result. The words in the meta description are not thought to contribute to ranking, but may entice a user to click your link Want more? How To Use HTML Meta Tags
build links 5 There’s only so much you can do on your own website. Once you’ve polished your website it’s time to build your “back-links”. Remember, when building links it is not just about quantity – but quality! So while you should have a high quantity of inbound links, focus on getting them from high-quality sources.
build links - tips Write quality articles – make your site worth linking to with quality and unique content Build relationships with other website owners, bloggers, vendors and associations and give them a reason to link to you Submit your website to online business and photography directories Submit your blog to blog directories Post on relevant forums and include a website link in your profile signature
build links - tips Exchange links with high quality, relevant websites Use social bookmarking – submit your blog posts and other high value content to social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon Post high value comments on photography and related blogs to spark discussion Offer to write guest posts on relevant blogs Link between your web pages – use links in your website copy to link to other pages within your websites
blog 6 Search engines love fresh content, and blogging will allow you to provide them with what they are looking for. If you are using blogging as a means to your site ranking then it is adviseable to post as often as possible.
Blog content (new pages/posts) are more easily created and controlled than a traditional website Other sites are more likely to link to your blog than your website Blogs are deeper and richer in text than most image-heavy photography sites More content means more chances to rank Search engines look at blog sites more often, meaning they can appear more quickly in search results Blogs are pre-optimized for search engines (with search-friendly URLs, tags, categories, and keywords)
assess your results 7 Once you’ve made your changes you’ll want to know how it’s affecting your ranking in Google… but remember that it can take up to 2 weeks for Google to have another look at your website (it’s not usually that long, though!). Google won’t know about your changes right away, so be a little patient and give it a week or so.
what next? Commit yourself to the process. SEO isn’t a one-time event. SEO requires a long-term outlook and commitment. Be patient. SEO isn’t about instant gratification. Results often take months to see, and this is especially true the smaller you are, and the newer you are.
what next? This challenge has just touched upon the basics of SEO. There are many great resources on the Internet that cover SEO in more detail. Highly recommended: SEOmoz “Beginner's Guide to Search Engine Optimization” and “Search Engine Ranking Factors” Erick Danzer “Photographer’s SEO Book” and Photographer’s SEO Community Also check out the latest on Google Panda for photographers from Zenologue
Friday Business Challenge Business Challenge for photographers is brought to you by: Robyn Mayne, Sydney, Australia Today is Different Today is Different for photography courses, workshops, retreats and networking… for inspiration, strategy and practical how-to tactics… for business skills, photography skills and life skills...