10 SEO Tips for Photographers: #1
Updated: Mar 29
For a photographer, the world of SEO can be intimidating and full of jargon that you aren’t familiar with. Instead of avoiding it altogether, follow along with these 10 tips to help you get you started. SEO isn’t an all-or-nothing endeavor. Your ability to reach clients is the sum of your efforts. The earlier you start and the more you do, the better your chances of being found by prospective clients. SEO work doesn’t have to be done at once, but there are some steps that you should definitely not skip at the beginning. By following these 10 basic tips, you will be on the road to getting found on Google.
TIP #1: List your Keywords
A keyword is a word or phrase that your potential clients are searching for that should be found on your website. Before going any further into your SEO efforts, take some time to list all of your potential keywords and use online tools to find even more. The more common the keyword is, the more likely it is that other photographers will have it on their website too, which means there is more competition. It's harder, but not impossible, to dethrone the top position-holders for the most popular keywords. It’s important to be creative and use keywords that might not be as popular, but for which there won’t be as much competition. For example, “senior picture photographer” may be a popular keyword that is hard to rank high for, but “senior picture of chess champion” probably won’t be found on many sites. There may not be many searches for that, but if there is, you can rank at the top.
IMPORTANT: Don’t use keywords that don’t accurately describe your services or information that can be found on your site. This can hurt you more than help you.
Start your list with your “common sense” keywords. Make sure to include your service areas such as your city or other names for the areas where you hope to find clients. You can type your beginning keywords into Google and use the autofill suggestions for other ideas. You can go through each letter of the alphabet and large numbers of ideas. Make sure you write down any options that may make for a good search term.
You can also use a free tool to get more potential keywords: https://keywordtool.io/
TIP: You don’t need to optimize for “near me.” Google knows that if someone uses that term, they are looking for local results.
Now that you have your list of keywords, which ones are the most important? There are several tools to find out how often those terms are being searched. While this isn’t an absolutely necessary step, it can help you narrow your focus.
A free option is the Chrome Extension Keyword Surfer, but the paid services work better for this. AHREFS has a $7/7day trial, and MOZ has a 30-day free trial. These services help with many areas of SEO, so I recommend signing up for these trials when you have time to dedicate to this in order to get the best use of your trial period.
Now that you have your list, start an online SEO Journal in a place that’s easy to access where you can document all of your progress (like (like in Google drive for example). This keyword list should be at the beginning so that you can refer to it whenever you are blogging or making updates to your site. I’ve helped photographers before that didn’t have even the most basic keywords anywhere on their site. These keywords are the foundation of many other steps in the SEO process, so be sure to spend some time developing your keywords and identifying the most important ones.
I hope this tip has been helpful!
Next Tip: Tip #2 - Track your Results