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Photo Marketing 101: Make Your Website Great!

The third time’s the charm. And hopefully for me, this entire series of photo marketing blog posts have been charming enough to get you thinking about all the things you can do to stand out from the competition.

In the last edition of Photo Marketing 101, we covered an introduction to creating a website, why it’s important, and how easy it can be to get started. To follow up on that topic, I wanted to use this post to discuss how you can make your website stand out from the millions of photography websites on the web.

Lesson 3: Optimizing your website

Having a website is one thing, and a very important first step as it already puts you ahead of the curve.  But nowadays, there are tried and true methods of improving your website so that it gets the attention of potential clients and customers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science of making your website more visible in search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Since a large majority of new visitors will find you via search, it is important to rise to the top of the rankings when someone is looking for a photographer with your skills.

Know the terms that people will use when searching for you. Broad terms like ‘photographer’ will be tough to gain ground in because there is a lot of competition, so be specific. ‘Portrait photography in Philadelphia’ or ‘New York wedding photographer’ are terms that give you a chance to really move the needle. The more specific you get, the fewer people will be searching on that term, but the more likely you’ll be to jump up to page 1 in the rankings.  And page 1 is an important goal in SEO, because it puts you front and center when someone is looking for you.

Once you have a set of 10-20 keywords you’d like to target, the next step is to work them into your website.  Use them in text, in photo captions, in links to other pages on your site, as page titles, etc. The more they show up, the better.  This is basically a simple way of telling search engines, “Here is what my site is about”.

Other things to keep in mind, that will also help you improve your search engine rankings, are site speed and inbound links.  Make sure your photos are loading quickly; otherwise the entire website will get a slow page loading time.  Upload files that are large enough to display clearly, but small enough to load quickly and easily.

Inbound links, meaning links coming to your website from other places, are another important factor in SEO.  The more links coming to you, the more it tells search engines that your site is important.  In part 4 of my Photo Marketing series, we will discuss how you can use Social Media to help increase your inbound links.  See you then…

Homework: Your assignment, whether or not you choose to accept it, is to put some thought into your keywords.  Choose up to 5 keywords for which you think your website can rank on page #1 in Google, and share them with us in the comments below!

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Reader Comments (5)

Is it necessary to copyright all of your photos that you post on your website? What is the difference between that and watermarking your images? What is the best way to do it?
May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHettie
My website is currently undergoing major construction so I am using my blog for now. But when it is up my keywords would be:
RI photographer (of) Special Needs children....adults and their families...4 extra words if I could do more than 5 :-)
May 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Lewis
covershooting, advertising, photographer, bavaria, sedcard, models ... :-)
May 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbianca
RSS is another great SEO tool. I learned this from my student advisor Chris on the unit 6 CD. As a result I added a blog to my website. This way if anyone is searching for a Perigee moon my blog about the moon will come up in the search.
May 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonica Starks
I also use the following key words: flowers, photographs, pictures,water, Monica Starr
May 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonica Starks
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