We are back in action for Week 6 of our Photographer Series and this week we are tackling Simple SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization but it can put fear in the hearts of anyone trying to promote a small business online. The rules continue to change, much like the Instagram algorithm, but I’m here to present you with 3 simple SEO things that remain consistent. Let’s dive in.
PreReq – Scan Your Website with UberSuggest
Firstly, we need to know where we are starting. I want you to go to www.UberSuggest.org and run an SEO analysis on your website. *protip* you can also do this to your competition’s websites 😉
UberSuggest is going to give you a rundown of how Google currently sees your website. Everything from what keywords you’re ranking for, to your page authority and errors that it sees on the backend of your site. AMAZING! And, it’s free for the overview! If you decide you want to work more in-depth with their insights and tools, you can sign up for their monthly service…you probably won’t need it for more than a month or two. This is your first homework assignment for understanding Simple SEO.
01. Use Yoast SEO
I highly recommend hosting your website on a platform that allows you to have a WordPress blog. While other platforms have come a long way, WordPress remains king when it comes to SEO and tools. Yoast SEO is an incredible WordPress plugin that helps you craft your blogs to optimize for the keywords you want.
Using Yoast SEO also gives you access to super amazing tools like being able to craft your Meta description, customize your URL slug and your SEO title. These three things are the most important when it comes to how Google indexes your page/blog post and Yoast has made it super easy to edit them quickly.
You can also use their Focus Keyphrase tool that will take whatever phrase you put in there and analyze your writing to see if it appears enough in your post and if you have content supporting that phrase.
Not to mention, Yoast easily helps you cross-promote content on your blog by suggesting other blogs for internal linking.
Seriously, there is a reason why this is my number 1 suggestion, Yoast just takes the cake on making simple SEO easier and more approachable for the average business owner.
02. Rename Your Files & Add Alt Text
Specifically for photographers, renaming your files and adding alt text is critical for Google ranking. Google doesn’t read images, it reads the data attached to them. For example, if you have a file name that is 7A70978 …Google isn’t going to have much to do with that in terms of ranking or categorizing. However, if you have a file name that is “ColumbiaWinery_WeddingPortrait_001” they now have lots of keywords to play with.
After you’ve delivered your images to your clients (and renamed them specifically for the couple as we talked about in our Photo Workflow) you can copy the images you want to blog into a separate folder and use Photo Mechanic to easily batch rename those images to be optimized for SEO.
Is this an extra step in your process, yes. Is it totally worth it, yes.
If you’re using the platform ShowIt (yasss!), they also have amazing SEO tools when it comes to naming files and adding alt text. Now, these tools are for images that live outside of your blog like on your home page or about page. When you click on an image, look over to the right-hand side to see a dialogue box like this:
With this dialogue box, you can add both your SEO Title (which will auto-populate with your filename) and the Description. Now, please note that the “description” box is for when Google has to “read ” the image out loud to someone hard of seeing.
03. Create Keyword Rich Content
Creating keyword-rich content for simple SEO is probably the most daunting task for small business owners, but it really doesn’t have to be! What I mean when I ask you to make this content for yourself, is to just create simple things that focus on ONE topic.
For instance, if I really love working at the Metropolist wedding venue in Seattle, I’m going to utilize the blog post of a wedding I have there to target the Metropolist. In what would traditionally be just a gallery blog (showcasing all your incredible images) you can use that space to give details about the venue, why it’s great, and backlink to its website. Google will see this and be like “wow! This has a lot of helpful information…when people google The Metropolist Weddings, I’m going to add Sarah’s page to that search result”.
…yes…this is how I imagine Google talks haha!
This is also a great place to put backlinks to other vendors’ web pages, not only as a useful tool for clients but for promoting other small businesses.
You can also great “guide” style blog posts for “Best Engagement Location in XXX” or “Best Advice from a XXX Wedding Photographer”. These do take a little bit of elbow grease but they continue to pay off in the long run.
Whew! Lots of information about simple SEO tactics but I KNOW you can do it. Starting with Ubersuggest to understand where you’re starting from, making sure you’re working with the best platform for blogging (WordPress!!), and utilizing simple tools and content creation. There are SO many resources out there when it comes to SEO and we could honestly dive even deeper into the rabbit hole, but I want you to just start simple. What can you do TODAY that will help move the needle for your company? Answer: Just start.
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psst! If you liked this blog post be sure to check out Week 1-5 of our Photographer Series!