If you’re in the photography business to make money, then you want your website to be easily found by those looking for your services, which means paying attention to search engine optimization (SEO).
Used properly, SEO can bring the right customers straight to your door – people who are searching for what you offer, and are ready to buy.
To do that, you must ensure that every page of your photography website is properly optimized for the keywords important to your specific business. We discussed keyword research in the previous article (Basics of Photography SEO, Part 1: Google doesn’t hate you). Now let’s talk about where to put your keywords.
Here are the 10 most important places to put your keywords to their best use:
The Page Title
As far as importance goes, the page title is at the top of the list. This is the text used as the browser window title, and also as the header line in the snippet that shows up in the Google search results.
See (1) in the diagram below:
The Page URL
The web page URL is also a good place to use keywords.
For example, http://www.yourdomain.com/chicago-wedding-photographer.html gives a clear signal of what that page is about. This is the green URL below the title in the Google snippet, highlighted as (2) above.
The Page Description
The description, (3) in our example, is usually the meta description for the page. However, it also needs to be written in a way that’s tempting for the reader to click on, so you need to strike a balance here between SEO and readability. The maximum length for the description is 156 characters.
Headings And Sub-Headings
Since Google makes ranking decisions based on relative importance, using your keyword phrases in the headings and sub-headings indicates that those words are probably relevant to the topic of the page.
The Body Copy
This is simply the normal text on the page, and you should obviously mention your keyword phrases there too, in as natural a way as possible! Google is very good at sniffing out any form of manipulation, so avoid overusing your keywords.
A suggested frequency might be around 3 percent. So, if your document has 500 words, your keyword might appear, at most, 15 times.
Photographs obviously form much of our website content, and you can get some SEO mileage from naming your images with keywords in the file name.
For example, “family-portrait-botanic-garden.jpg” is better than “dsc_10280.jpg” for SEO.
HTML also allows two attributes for images (ALT and TITLE), which are also useful places to insert keywords.
When inserting images, especially in WordPress, don’t forget to include a caption. Not only can you use keywords here, but captions allow Google to better understand the context of the images.
Of course, testimonials provide great social proof for your work, but they’re also excellent homes for keywords, especially those related to your geographic location, such as the city name.
Anchor Text Of Internal Links
Don’t forget to link your internal content together, when appropriate, and to use the keywords for the destination page in the link. For example, a link that says “click here” doesn’t say much about the page the browser will land on, whereas “Chicago wedding photography” clearly does.
Finally, include your address (or at least your city, state or region) on every page of your website. This is the best way to allow Google to associate your website with the main keywords in the local search results.
With all of these SEO tactics, it’s important to ensure that all of your content is unique. For example, don’t use the same ALT or TITLE text on every image. Make sure that every page has its own unique title and meta description, otherwise Google will complain that it can’t distinguish them when it comes to keyword relevance.
Most importantly, write for humans first and search engines second. The content then seems much more natural, and Google will be more likely to treat it as valuable and relevant, and worth promoting in the search results.