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SEO for Photographers

John Doherty —  May 8, 2012
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Being both a travel photographer and an SEO Consultant, I have taken a keen interest in how images get found online. I don’t have enough time to dedicate to my photography site, but I’ve learned a thing or two about SEO for photography along the way to becoming an SEO professional.

Because of this I was happy when Feuza Reis, a New Jersey wedding photographer, asked to interview me for a video blog that she has been doing on her site. I agreed and so we had a great 30 minute chat about SEO and photography. Have a listen and I’d love to have your feedback!

A Few More Tips

There were a few tips that I did not get a chance to put into the interview. Some of these are basic to professional SEOs, but that does not make them any less important.

Put Your Blog on Your Site

I’ve seen countless professional photographers put their blog and content they create on a separate domain from their “business” site. Don’t do this. If you want to rank for more terms, both competitively and quantitatively, have your blog at yourdomain.com/blog so that any content you create and get links to will benefit the strength of your overall site.

Of course, before this comes the fact that you need a content strategy. Many of you are doing this well, by posting photos of your shoots. Keep doing this.

Share Your Content

SEO can be super important for your photography business, especially when targeting a local area. [your city + location] can often be an awesome keyword for you, or [your city + wedding photography]. Use this on your homepage and get some targeted links from other content. To get a start on learning how links to your site affect your rankings, check out the Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

Connect With Other Photographers

Photographers have a lot in common with SEOs – you’re almost all friendly people who get along well. We’re done with the old days of “trade secrets”, so share your knowledge with others and share it on their sites as well. Do guest posts in order to get both links back to your site and also referrals from your friends. You can find a lot of photographers on Google+ (try this query) as well to get some airtime for your shots.

Big Images Win

Don’t put small photos on your site. Instead, use large images that draw in the eye and make you go WOW. Also, these large images have been shown to increase the linkability of your pages.

My friend Jordan does a great job of this on her photo blog (which isn’t connect to her main site. Sad face):

The Atlantic’s InFocus section is an example of this too (and you should try to get your photos featured there too).

Highlight Your Strengths

Get on photography forums and answers questions (and create content around those questions on your own site so that you can link back to your site). Make friends. Use unique and descriptive text for your ALT tags on your images. Become a member of photography sites and complete your profiles (and if there’s an opportunity for a link back, take it). Put your photos out there under creative commons, and require a link back to your site for using them. Go get those links!

John Doherty

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I'm the Senior Marketing Manager of HotPads.com, based in San Francisco. Previous to Hotpads I worked at Distilled for 2 years as an online marketing consultant. In my spare time I shoot lifestyle photography, ski, rock climb, and update my Twitter and Google+ accounts.

9 responses to SEO for Photographers

  1. Hey John!

    Awesome, thanks! What’s the image plugin you mention in the video?

    Thanks!

  2. Some good tips here John. Do you have any recommendations for image compression? Balancing resolution/size vs. page load speed can get a bit tricky. Thanks.

  3. Great post and video, I already shared then with a photographer so thanks! Do you have anything around tips for improving social media engagement? I’m thinking more around the local wedding/portrait market here in terms of getting more Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Different topic I know but a great addition to those looking to grow their business online

  4. Sandeep Gulati May 9, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Awesome, thanks again John!

    You mentioned use big images, what is the best image plugin to use for large images (compression). Mainly large images slow down the website speed.

    Can you also advice what is the best video tool to use for video editing (video content)… what is the best format for uploading and what type of video content to make, for example dental surgeries or dental practices.
    thanks…again John

  5. Good tips for all photographers that begin play with SEO. SEO & Optimization is the future of the Internet. It is worth to know!

  6. Some great tips here. Guess I’m not doing too bad whenever it comes to promotion.

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