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A decade ago, finding a wedding photographer wasn’t that complicated. An elder of the family would just hire a photography studio in their area, one which shot everything from a passport size photo to a full wedding. Today, wedding photography is a completely different ball-game. It has become a whole field in itself.
Shooting a wedding is the most obvious part of the job. But part of being a wedding photographer is also marketing yourself and your business today. The more people see your work, the more inquiries and assignments you get. Your best wedding photos have no value if no one is reaching your website or seeing them. With the internet and the ever-present Google, one click can show a to-be bride thousands of photographers to choose from in her city. In this scenario, it’s increasingly important that when people search for a wedding photographer, you land up, if not in the first three, but at least the first page of the Google search results. If you’re not on that search result page, you’re missing out on potential clients. To generate traffic to your website, you need to follow some rules that will help your website come up in search results. And that leads us to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) ranking.
Now SEO for wedding photographers is not a technology monster that you cannot slay. SEO optimisation is far more easy to achieve than you realise. If you read on you’ll know that it doesn’t have to be a complicated and time-consuming process. There is no mystical secret to a good SEO. But there are some best-assumed practices that can help you.
Over the years, we’ve done quite a lot of trial and error and figured out what works. These are things we did manually and organically without paying for Google ads. From our experience, there are a few simple things you need to keep in mind and you will be sorted. It worked for us, so there is no reason why it shouldn’t work for you!
Before you even start thinking about backlinking or internal linking, you need to fix the links that are already present on your website. Broken links can do your website more harm than any backlinks can do good. We suggest that you find a website that checks for broken links. You can use sites like the Siteliner and Google Webmaster Tools to find your broken links and fix them.
Now let’s talk about building backlinks. When a website or blog other than yours links to your website, it gives you credibility. Think of it as a good reference in an interview. The more other blogs and websites link out to yours, Google will deem your site as more credible. But also make sure the source is credible and trustworthy. A couple of backlinks from popular websites is always better than twenty spams. If wedding blogs have mentioned you, ask them for a link back to your website or blog. You can also establish and maintain good relationships with the wedding vendors you work with. Tagging and mentioning them in your posts will encourage backlinks from them. Another way to backlink to your website is adding it to all your social media accounts.
Also, add internal links to your own content. This is a good way of improving your bounce rate. But don’t go crazy. Keep only 3-4 internal links in a post – a link to your homepage, one of your other blog posts or the wedding venue. Make sure that your images or blog posts are shareable so clients and their family can share it. If a lot of people share articles from your website, it’ll add to your credibility. As people share your photos and posts, the traffic to your website will also steadily increase.
We can’t stress enough how important choosing the right keywords are for SEO. The first step here is to think like your average consumer. What will a couple search for when looking for a wedding photographer? Make a list of all probable words and phrases that a potential customer might use to search for the likes of your business.
It’s important that your keyword is related to the content of your post. So once you’ve finalised on a keyword/s, try and make sure you use the exact same thing in the following – post title, URL, H1/H2 tags, meta keyword and meta tag. Meta tag is that little description beneath the title that you can see in search results. So make sure that your meta tag description gives the reader information that is enticing enough for them to click on when they view you in search results. Use the keyword a few times at the beginning of the article and then spread it evenly 3-4 times throughout the post.
Google doesn’t understand images. Adding Alt tags or Titles to your images simply tells Google in words, what your image is about. It helps categorise your images into different buckets and makes it easier for Google to index them. So when the next time a bride searches for pre-wedding ideas or bridal portraits, if you’ve added the right words to your images, they would pop up in her search results. Also try and use you include your keyword in the alt titles and tags, but don’t spam every single image with the same thing. Keep the content related and specific to the image. You don’t want your bridal portraits popping up when someone searches for portfolio shots, do you?
Oh, the horror of a visitor moving away because your page took too long to load! More and more people are using mobile phones for browsing, so websites that are optimised for phones are boosted by Google in results. Simply said, faster websites rank better. Check your website on various mobile devices to make sure it works properly.
Another way to help faster loading of your pages is to down-size the images you upload. Down-sizing doesn’t mean you have to lose out on quality or clarity of the image. You can easily use Photoshop or plugins like JPEGmini to help reduce image size without compromising on quality. You should also spend some time choosing a good hosting provider for your website. The time it takes to load your website and its security depends on the kind of host you invest in. So, do some research and make sure it’s a good one. If you have any trouble with the above, consult a web developer to help you out.
None of the above tips will help you if your content is not engaging. Once a reader/viewer arrives at your website, only your content will keep them from moving away. Try and create content that other wedding photographers, as well as potential clients, will relate to. Use a conversational and easy-to-read writing style for your blog content. For example, if you’re uploading an image gallery on your wedding blog, make sure your text is not the same old repeat of what you said about the previous couple. Add in details unique to the couple – why they fell in love, funny moments from the wedding, what makes their love story special and what you as a photographer loved about the wedding. This way not only will the readers keep coming back for more but the client you wrote about will also appreciate it!
As much as it is important to create good content, it’s also imperative that you create it frequently. Disappearing for days on end will affect the way Google ranks your website. So keep posting new and topical content regularly to increase your chances of landing on the first page of search results. Also, make sure that your tone and style of writing remains true to your brand image. Try and keep the length of the article under a thousand words. It’s also important that you create unique and original content. Don’t ever copy paste content from other websites. You’ll lose your credibility, and Google can read duplicate content. So your SEO will suffer too.
This is not the be-all and end-all list. Google keeps changing its algorithm every few months so no one knows how exactly it works. But getting these done is surely a step forward towards building up your website’s rankings. Consistently following these for a couple of months should get you better results, we’re sure of that! Feel free to ask us any questions about SEO and we’ll help you out! Have we missed out on anything? Let us know in the comments!