When you’re optimizing your photography business website for SEO, it’s important to understand keywords and how choosing the right keywords can lead potential clients directly to your website. Unlike many other marketing efforts, SEO can help you attract your ideal clients 24/7, keeping your contact form busy and your calendar full.
While keyword research is super important to your overall SEO strategy (check out the google keyword planner), here are some keyword ideas to get you started.
If you’re a wedding photographer, you’re probably great at all the creative sides of running a business. You love taking photos. You love editing. You love showing up for your clients in the best way possible, but there are sides of your business that you’re likely ignoring or not putting a lot of time into because they’re just areas that you’re not super comfortable with.
One of the areas that I see wedding photographers ignoring altogether is SEO or search engine optimization. SEO is the process of updating your website to show up higher in search engines like Google, and this can benefit your business in a number of ways.
Before you watch the rest of this video, pause for a second. Go down to the comments and let me know on a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you in your overall website SEO? One being not confident at all. 10 being you’re doing great. Also, don’t forget to subscribe. So you don’t miss any more videos we put out in the future.
The number one reason I want you to focus on SEO is because it helps potential clients find your business around the clock.
That means every single week, you’re going to end up with an inbox full of new leads, ready to work with you.
Again, most photographers struggle with SEO because they’re great at the creative side of their business, but they’re not so great at the techie behind the scenes side. But don’t worry. Today, I’m going to give you some super simple tips to get you started.
The first thing I want you to do is have a crystal clear statement at the top of your website that tells us who you are, what you do and where you do it. This is not only important for Google to help decide where your website is going to fit in the search rankings. It’s also wonderful for potential clients, because they’re going to be able to tell whether or not they’re in the right place from the second they land on your website.
No one wants to hire a photographer that’s halfway around the world without knowing it because your website didn’t tell them. That actually happens more often than you would think.
I’m actually in the process right now of hiring vendors for my own wedding. And you’d be surprised how often I go to somebody’s website and have no idea where they’re located and I’m scrolling down to the footer. I’m clicking their about page just to find out what city or town they’re located in so that I make sure they’re in close proximity with my venue.
Now, if you do a lot of travel photography or destination weddings, you may want to include one home-based location on your homepage. And then also say that you travel regionally, nationally or worldwide, depending on what makes the most sense for you.
The next tip is a good followup to this. Cause some of you might be saying, I do a lot of different types of photography. How do I include all of that in one sentence at the top of my website and this tip is to really narrow down your niche. And if you can focus on one main type of photography. So yes, for general purposes, you might offer engagement, photography, and wedding photography, maybe some family sessions too, but from an SEO perspective, depending on how competitive it is in your region, you’re going to really want to focus on one type of photography, so that Google recognizes you as the authority in that niche.
That doesn’t mean you can’t offer more than one type of photography on a single website.
It just means that you want to focus on one type of photography per page. So your homepage should be specific to one type of photography. You can mention the others on there as well, but from an SEO perspective, your keywords should all be centered around that one main focus. And then you might have an additional page for family photography, for example, or another page for portrait photography or whatever it is for you.
This next tip is a mistake that I see so many photographers making, and that is having a website that’s really heavy on images and light on text. Google needs texts to fully understand what your website is all about. So it’s important to really mix in text with your images so that the two flow nicely together.
You don’t know, just want to rely on visuals to sell your photography services. You want to go into detail about who you are as a photographer, your process, what someone can expect when they first reach out to you. All of this is going to help turn those leads into paying clients and customers. And it also helps Google learn more about your business.
You’re noticing a theme here. Google is trying to serve their search engine users the best they can, and that means providing value. So the more value your website provides the better.
The next tip I have for you is to get your work featured online. This may sound really daunting, but it’s just about getting links back to your website.
So much of Google’s rankings are based on building trust and authority. Think of every link from one site back to your site as a vote of confidence in the eyes of Google.
Now these votes carry slightly different weights. For example, a link from the New York times back to your site carries a lot of weight, whereas a link from maybe a smaller blog that no one’s ever heard of back to your site or a spammy website back to your site, that’s not going to be doing you any favors.
I’m not saying that you should only go after giant publications because that’s going to take a ton of work. I would rather see you go after some relevant blogs or websites in your niche that already feature photographers, maybe pitch them with a recent wedding you shot or a unique style shoot that you did and see if they will feature you.
A lot of these blogs already have submission pages out there that you can find and just fill out the form to submit your work.
You may also be able to get featured as part of your local Chamber of Commerce, or maybe through some local news channels. These are all wonderful options for not only increasing the publicity around your brand, but also showing Google that your site is reputable and trustworthy.
The next tip I have for you is super important. And it’s one that so many photographers skip altogether or do incorrectly and that’s blogging.
As I mentioned earlier, Google loves content and blogging is a great way to get more content out into the world on a regular basis.
It’s also the perfect opportunity to rank for longer tail keywords, like venue locations, or other local wedding resources.
Before I tell you what you should be blogging about. I’m going to tell you what not to do, and a mistake that I see photographers making all the time, and that is writing the same style of post over and over again. Maybe the title of the post has the couple’s name in it. And then a quick little paragraph kind of going over their love story or a little bit about their day and then a massive gallery of images.
And every blog post starts to look like that after awhile.
If this is the type of content you’re creating, you’re definitely not alone, but you’re also not doing yourself any favors when it comes to ranking in Google.
Instead of using your blog to only share past client work, think about who your ideal client really is. It’s probably a bride getting ready for her wedding day. She probably has a lot of questions about hiring a photographer about venues in the area. About planning for a wedding in general, these are all things that you can help with as someone who’s probably gone to a lot of weddings.
So write down all these frequently asked questions that your ideal client has and make those into blog posts.
People tend to search for answers to questions. So the more your blog posts can add value by helping your ideal clients. The more likely you are to show up in search engines.
You’re still really struggling to come up with blog, post ideas. I feel you. This is something that so many of my clients struggle with and I’ve got a resource that can really help you. It’s called 12 months of blogging and it’s 12 monthly blog prompts specifically designed for creative business owners, like photographers to help you figure out what to write each and every month.
Not only do we tell you what to write? We also give you an outline as well as a worksheet to help you plan out your post. We tell you what keywords you should be focusing on and how to put the whole thing. Hang together.
You can grab all the details with the link around this video.
Let me know in the comments, your biggest takeaway from watching this video and I’ll see you in the next one.
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1) Your branded keywords
This may seem obvious, but if you’re a new wedding photography business (or new to managing your own website), you may not be ranking for your brand name in Google.
This is so important to your word-of-mouth strategy. When someone recommends your business to a friend, they will likely turn to Google and try to find your website online. If they Google your brand name and come up blank, you’ve just lost an already-warm lead.
This is where you absolutely NEED to be showing up. You probably already are, but this is the time to double check.
While your brand name tends to be less competitive than other more general keywords, you still want to make sure to include your brand name in your meta name so that it’s easily recognizable in search results. If you Google your brand name and your site is the first result, you’ve done it right.
2) The type of photography you do.
Are you a family photographer who hates shooting weddings? An elopement photographer? A brand and lifestyle photographer? Whatever kind of photography you do, add this to your meta title, your meta description, and your page content (specifically headers).
This not only helps potential clients figure out if you’re the right person to be working with, it also shows that you are have focus in your business. Clients like to know that you are really good at one or two things instead of ‘just okay’ at 5 or 10 different types of photography.
If you offer multiple types of photography (say wedding, engagement, and family), you can of course mention all of these on your website. Just be sure to focus on one type of photography per page. That way, potential clients Googling “wedding photographer” will land on a page about wedding photography, not one about kids and families.
3) Your location keywords
Unfortunately, tons of wedding photographers make this SEO mistake, and it costs them a lot business. Your website should make it very clear where you’re located and where you do business. If it doesn’t, you run the risk of booking clients outside your service area (which happens more often than you’d think).
Try to focus on one general area or location to start with, and include that in your meta title and page headers. Include other areas like neighborhoods, suburbs, or nearby cities as bonus locations in your meta description and in your page content.
For example: “Serving x city, y town, z town, and the greater New England area” if that applies to your business.
If you’re willing to travel regionally, nationally, or even worldwide, you can mention that in your page content as well. Keep in mind that a couple eloping to Italy will probably search “Italy elopement photographer” instead of “international elopement photographer,” so decide where you’d like to shoot and be intentional with how you market it on your site.
4) Differentiating Keywords
Think about what makes you different from other photographers in your area or niche. Is your style classic, modern, bohemian? Maybe you offer your couples complementary boudoir sessions or you’re known for adventurous, out-of-the-box shoots. Basically…
How would you describe your work beyond saying, “I shoot weddings?”
Include these keywords throughout your content. This will help your ideal clients find you ****and set you apart from the competition, which is vital in an oversaturated market.
Looking for help with SEO? Did you know you can hop on a call with me to get my eyes on your website with a one hour collaborative consultation. Together we’ll work on your website one-on-one and come up with a strategy you can use moving forward.
Where Do These Keywords Go?
Now that you know which types of keywords to include on your wedding photographer website, you have to decide where to put them. Here are the three most important spots to start with.
1) Your meta title and description.
This is the title and description that shows up in Google search results. Both the meta title and description should include the keyword you’re targeting on that page. For your home page, that should be your brand name.
2) Your home page.
When a potential client lands on your website, they should know right off the bat…
Who you are
What kind of photography you do
Where you work
This statement should live front and center on your home page. For example:
“I’m [name], a [type of photographer] serving [x city] and the [y area].”
Not only does this help Google get you in front of the right people, but it also weeds out anyone who lands on your page accidentally. (Again, you’d be surprised how many photographers accidentally book clients outside their service area.)
3) Your blog.
Blogging is the number one way for wedding photographers to attract potential clients for free. While the rest of your site should target your core keywords, your blog’s job is to target long-tail keywords and questions.
Consider all the FAQs you get in your business. They could be about your business in particular (“What to Expect When You Book With Me”), the photography process (“What to Wear In Your Engagement Photos”), or another industry topic you have insight on (“5 Things Most Brides Forget on Their Wedding Day”). These are things your ideal clients are searching all the time. If you can create valuable, easy-to-digest content to answer their questions, you’ll get more eyes on your site and more leads.
If you’re intimidated by the idea of writing for your blog, I’ve got you covered. Check out 12 Months of Blogging! You’ll get 12 months worth of blog post prompts and outlines to keep your blog fresh, rank higher in Google, attract your ideal clients.
SEO for Wedding Photographers Isn’t Tricky!
Or at least it doesn’t have to be.
If you’re looking to increase your site traffic, rank higher in Google, and get more leads through your website, SEO is the way to go. Grab my free SEO checklist to get started!