SEO Tips for Blogging Photographers: Part 1

SEO can seem like a mystery to some. You may find that some of your more generic posts are climbing up the results ladder, whilst others are sitting in an abyss, getting only a few seldom visitors.

Well, there is a science to SEO. It’s not guess work at all. So today I want to share with you Part 1 of my top SEO tips for photographers that blog! (and let’s face it, we all blog!).

If truth be told these SEO tips are applicable to all, but we’re going to use photographers as our example, as that’s what Ready Steady Pro is all about!

1: Post Titles – What are people searching for?

Where possible, it’s important that the title of your post has some of the keywords in it. This very post for example has the words ‘SEO’, ‘tips’, ‘photographers‘ and ‘Blogging‘ in it. Already Google know that this post is giving SEO tips to photographers. More than that though, you should look for a title that people are searching for. Again, this post is likely to be found by photographers searching for tips on how to boost their SEO when blogging. It may sound obvious, but if I had called this post something like ‘Get blog posts found on the internet’ it’s not as likely to have the same success rate. Sure that title may still be relevant to you and I, but we’re writing posts not just for consumption by the reader (by humans!) but we’re also writing for Google too. Remember that.

2: Keywords in Post URL

Keywords are of, erm…Key…importance. Not just in your post title, but also in your URL too! By actually including the keywords in your URL it helps Google to find your post. I’m not talking about just listing your keywords or as many keywords as you can. For a bad example: “readysteadypro.co.uk/blog/Post104-photography-business-weddings-tips-seo-photographers-berkshire-marriage”…I’m talking about an actual readable post URL, much like your actual post title. A URL such as this would be far better: “readysteadypro.co.uk/blog/SEO-Tips-Photographers-Blogging”. Remember, we’re writing for Google as well as the human readers. This URL is digestible, understandable and clear.

Keywords are important. Be precise and use them wisely

3: Title Tags and Heading Tags

Have you ever seen the <h1> & <h2> tags in html?Or in WordPress blogging you may have seen the ‘Heading 1‘ & ‘Heading 2‘ options in the font format section in the toolbar:

Make use of Heading Tags when blogging to gain SEO Benefits

Well, these heading options are more than just a convenient way to consistently format your headings and sections. Google Search Robots scan through your post and pay particular attention to these <h> tags (the heading option in the drop down sorts out the html-behind for you). Imagine if you were looking at someone else’s screen and they scrolled quickly down the post are your eyes more likely to catch one of the larger titles or are you more likely to pick out a random piece of text from one of the many paragraphs? Okay, some may say random text from a paragraph, but the point I’m making here is that Google loves these headings. The headings represent another opportunity to highlight your keywords. Don’t go formatting your entire post as a heading, but instead use the headings throughout your post to throw in a few keywords here and there.

Perhaps if you’re blogging about the most recent wedding you photographed could have a paragraph about the venue with a heading tag to start. In that heading tag write the venue name so that searches for the venue could also return your post to the searcher. For example: “Wonderful Wedding at The Ritz Hotel”

4: Tag & Title all of your images (Alt Tags)

Google loves text! The more text you have the more Google can make sense of what it is you’re writing about. Photographs and images however can often present Google with a problem as it can’t crawl the pixels and deduce what the photograph is. However, you can help Google out by giving the pictures you insert into your posts proper titles and descriptions. Depending on the blogging platform you’re using, you should be able to look at the properties of the pictures once uploaded and give them a title and an alt tag and possibly a description or caption. If you can do this – be sure to do so! It really does help Google to make heads & tails of what the image is that you’ve just uploaded. You may also find that photograph will then be returned in Google’s Image search, which of course will link back to your site also.

5: Links, links, links!

Google Search robots are like Lemmings – they’ll just follow the paths you provide for them. So there are a few ways you can leverage links in a post to your advantage. First of all, be sure to include plenty of links to content on the same site as the post. That’s right –  link to other pages and posts on your own site! Google robots will scan through your post, see that it points to your ‘contact me’ page, or links to another post and go off and have a look at that too. Think of it as self-promotion. There is nothing wrong with that.

Secondly, linking to other, reputable and popular websites is also another way of gaining kudos with Google. Websites that provide links to other places on the web are connected sites. Google loves this. If you’re linking off to an article you wrote on a wedding magazine’s blog, or linking to a florist or dress maker Google will look upon this favorably. So be sure to use links throughout your posts

Top Tip for Linking:

Do’s:

  • Use links within text and on appropriate words. For example: ‘It was a wonderful wedding at Grafton Manor

Dont’s:

  • Do not use place links on generic text or on the words ‘Click here’. For example: ‘To contact me click here‘. (place the link on the words ‘Contact Me’ instead. It gives context to the link. Google likes context)
  • Do not link too many times to the same content: A few, well placed links in a blog post is sufficient. Google may think you’re a dodgy site if you just have articles filled with too many links. There is such a thing as too much.

Again this is all about keywords – if your links contain words that are key, such as ‘wedding‘ and ‘Grafton Manor‘ you’re doing yourself, Google and your reader a favour. First of all you’re not having to type extra, pointless words like ‘click here’. Secondly Google like to see the keywords in the link, as we’ve discussed. But thirdly, as mentioned, you’re writing for a human reader too: including the link within the text itself makes it a more natural read and cuts out those extra words. It’s just cleaner! And when it comes to linking too many times, those blue words that are underlined can also get annoying for the reader too. Remember who you’re writing for. Strike a balance between SEO-optimized and reader-optimized.

Bonus Tip 6: Post length is important!

As mentioned, Google looooves text. Google can get it’s little robots all over your post, picking out the heading tags, the links and the keywords and is able to form a profile of what it is you’ve written thus allowing Google to better return your post for matching search queries. Well, the more you can tell Google (or, the more you can write, rather) the better this whole process works. Articles of less than 500 words, even those that are pretty well setup for SEO, won’t perform quite as well as those with 1,000 words or more. So get writing. But as I’ve said throughout this article don’t forget you’re writing for the reader too, so don’t just write any old words down. It has to be all-killer and no-filler. You could try writing in a conversation style. You could add a summary to the end of the post for a little bulk, you could add quotes. There are lots of ways to increase the word count if you’re having a hard time, but don’t write for the sake of writing. 1,000 words of more would be nice though.

(Word press blogs have a little Word Count that updates as you go. I can’t say the same for every blogging platform out there, but another way to check your current word count is to copy all your text into a word document and use the word count function there too:

Another means to count the number of words in your post would be to paste the post itself into a word processing tool that has a word count function

Well, that’s it for part 1 of this post. Next week I’ll be sharing another selection of top-tips with you, including:

  • Google Maps for business
  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • The importance of the ease of sharing and social media
  • Categorizing your posts on your blog
  • Back Links

Try applying these top SEO tricks to your next blog post and see how you get on – do let us know if you implement any of these suggestions!

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14 thoughts on “SEO Tips for Blogging Photographers: Part 1

  1. Very interesting Michael, thank a lot. Just one question, you said we mustn’t link to many times to the same content, does that mean in a blog post, or does it mean do not link to the same places everything when you write a blog post. I would like to link to my wedding packages info in every blog post that I do.

    • Oh no JC, you can link to your wedding packages in each and every blog post you ever do. What you shouldn’t do though is link too many times in the SAME blog post. Google look down on this and it can be seen as link spamming.

      Just link once or twice in one blog post, at most.

      Thanks for reading. I hope you found this useful?

      Regards
      Michael

      • Very much so Michael, thanks man. One more thing I’d like to know is the following. For SEO purposes, what is the best, using my personal profile on Google+ or using my business page? I never know on which of the two must I write what!

      • Both! Although, having said that remember that what you do on your business page on G+ will only really be shown to those who circle or follow your business page. My own advice, and whether this is best practice or not I don’t know, is to plug both, duplicate all your posts on to both profiles. Perhaps exclude the non-wedding related posts to your business page, unless it’s something you want your customers to see.

        To be honest it’s much the same as Facebook as far as I can really deduce. I wouldn’t post about politics, the weather or anything that may divide opinion too much on my business pages (Facebook or Google+) but I may choose to do so on my personal profiles (although, I still don’t).

        Your G+ Profile will help you become a returned result for those people in your area searching for a wedding photographer though – remember, as well as giving preference (or at least some boost) to the content on G+, Google is also big into Local Results now, not just relevant results. So your business page needs feeding, for sure, but don’t neglect your personal profile too as what you post there can still show (and will, as I have found) in Google Search results.

    • Good luck Joseph, let me know how you get on.

      Next week in part 2 I’ll be talking about Webmaster tools and the means to make sense of the traffic coming to your site. I hope that this will help further when it comes to SEO for you.

      As always – do get in touch if you have any questions 🙂

      Thanks
      Michael

  2. Great post! Lots of useful info, I’m looking forward to next weeks post! My biggest problem is writing posts for my weddings and having 500-1000 words without sounding stupid…
    quick question, would there be any advantage/disadvantage to going back and fixing up/adding to older blog posts that I have done in order to help them rank better, or would i just be better off forgetting them and working hard on any new ones I put out?
    Thanks!!

  3. You just summed up every question I had in regards to seo in a way I could actually understand it! Super helpful! Thank you.

    Blessings.

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