While on-site search engine optimization is important — and it’s essential to use your keywords correctly (see “Basics Of Photography SEO, Part 2: Where To Use Your Keywords “) — those factors account for only 25 percent of the search engine ranking calculations.
The other 75 percent of our ranking data comes from off-site factors, since the search engines know we have less opportunity to manipulate that data (although spammers will always find ways to game the system).
What Is Off-Site SEO?
Off-site SEO helps to improve our rankings by using incoming links from other websites, social- sharing data, and citations of our brand name to increase our perceived trust and authority.
Of course, we don’t have total control of every link to our website, but we can be proactive and connect with suitable Internet partners, such as related businesses and blogs, to garner links from them. Here are five link-building strategies you can start using today:
Attract Links With Useful Content
Creating very detailed, rich content on your website or blog will help attract links naturally from other webmasters who find your material useful for their readers. Such content requires a lot of work to duplicate so people are more likely to link to it than to copy it directly.
Some examples might be:
- In-depth “how to” photography tips and tricks.
- Useful tips on how to prepare for a portrait session.
- Essays on the value of wall portraiture.
- Make-up and hairstyle advice for senior girl portraits.
- Preparing your pets for a portrait session.
Joint Ventures With Local Businesses
Whenever you partner with other local businesses, each party should document and promote the details on their website or blog, together with appropriate links to each of the other partners – preferably with suitable keywords in the anchor text.
Most directory websites and “link farms” should be avoided, however human-managed directories can have a good level of trust with the search engines, since all submissions must first be approved by a person.
- Your chamber of commerce.
- Professional organizations.
- The Better Business Bureau.
Writing Guest Blogs
Your marketing strategy should already include your own blog, but there’s also a lot to gain from guest posting for other blogs, especially those who target the same demographic.
Guest posts should credit the author with a link to the author’s own website – an opportunity to get a valuable backlink for your website as well as more visitors through referrals. Look for blogs by businesses who serve your target market, trade blogs, professional bodies and other photographers.
SEO From Videos
YouTube, Vimeo, and the other video channels are good places to market yourself and build up some SEO value.
As well as a link from your profile, you should place a link to your website at the very beginning of the video description. Vimeo Plus and Vimeo Pro also allow a link to be shown after the video. The ultimate SEO value of your videos depends, too, on the video title, the number of views, “likes” and embeds etc.
Thoughts and Questions?
These are just five of the many strategies you can use for building quality links to your website and blog. If you have any questions on these or thoughts on how you’ve put them into practice, do share them in the comments below.