SEO for photographers – Blogging & Keyword Research
So, you’re all fantastic photographers, but without the right traffic to your website, who’s going to see it? Driving traffic from your social media channels is great, but users from your social channels don’t necessarily mean that they’ll convert into customers/commissions etc.
One great way to drive quality organic traffic to your website is by blogging, as mentioned early by Kirsty Marks. Google core objective is to provide the most useful content to the user as quickly as possible. Now, with a niche like photography, there are some considerations to be made first before you start creating content. First of all, you need to consider what kind of people you want to drive to your site. This is because there are two types of people you can appeal to:
1. People who want to know more about photography (easier)
2. People who you want to convert into potential customers (harder)
I will cover how to approach generating both.
The first thing to do is make sure that you have Google Analytics set up on your website. When you first look at Google Analytics, it will seem awfully daunting, but don’t worry – I will cover how to understand and how you can use the metrics it gives you later on. If you’re having trouble initializing Google Analytics on your site, here is a really useful tutorial:
Next, the bedrock of any SEO strategy, is keyword research. This may sound daunting, but bear with me. If you have access to third-party, professional SEO tools like SEMRush or Moz, then that’s great, but that’s a costly outlay as these are professional tools that digital marketing business pay a lot of money for, due to the insights that they give you.
So, there are a few alternatives. First, you can use Google Ads Keyword Planner. You’ll need to provide your payment information for ads, but don’t worry, it won’t charge you unless you create, and start running paid ads. You’ll still have access to the keyword planner.
What you can do to make it real simple, is just by typing in a few key phrases such as “wedding photography in West Yorkshire, Portrait photographer West Yorkshire” etc. and then it will give you the average monthly search volume (how many times each month this phrase is searched for) and how competitive it is (how difficult it will be to rank highly – try not to be put off if it is high). It will also give a list of other related keywords that you might not have considered, but you will be able to use to create your content.
There is also another useful tool called ubersuggest. This works in much the same way as Google keyword planner, but it will also tell you who ranks first for the chosen keyword. This will provide you with valuable competitor insight.
The last tool is Google Trends. Now this differs slightly from the keyword tool because while the keyword planner shows absolute search volume data, Google trends shows it’s relative popularity. Trends eliminates repeated searches from the same person over a short period of time, so it looks at the more human behavior of search.
Now, you’ve got your keywords that you want to rank for, so where do you go from there? Well, as I said earlier, there are two audiences you can go after here. Let’s take a look at the first one.
People Who Want to Know More About Photography
In order to win over traffic from this part of the audience, Google has a particular algorithm that it uses to rank this kind of content that you want to be bearing in mind. It’s known as EAT.
E – Expertise
A – Authoritativeness
T – Trustworthiness
The goal here is to show search engines that you’re an expert in your field. You can go about this in a couple of ways – you can write articles centered on lighting techniques, posing models, composition or editing techniques. You could get really geeky and talk about the particular features of the Canon 5d Mk iv or using frequency separation in Photoshop. Content titles along the lines of:
“Lighting tips for portrait photography”
“X ways to level up your landscape photography”
All you’re doing here is trying to appeal to other photographers who might have a particular problem that you need to solve. Don’t be afraid to get really into the detail either (remember EAT and Google’s core objective?). Google likes what’s known as “deep” content, so get granular with the details and you’re more likely to rank with this content, as you can be seen as knowledgeable in your field.
People Who you Want to Convert into Customers
This is, of course, the holy grail of marketing. All of the above rules about things like EAT still apply here, but you’re creating content to appeal to a different type of person. You’re certainly not going to convert a customer by writing about Aperture or the rule of thirds, but you still want to appear to be an expert photographer!
Think about what kinds of things that your customers are searching for – remember, a keyword with high search volume isn’t necessarily the keyword you want to target. “photographer” will likely have millions of monthly searches and will have little to no search “intent” (I.e. the ambiguity of the search term means that they’re not looking for a product or service). Whereas, a search term like “alternative wedding photographers in Bradford” will have much, much lower search volume, but out of the 3-4 people who search that each month, you can bet that they’re all looking to hire a wedding photographer and will put their money where their mouths are.
So, what kind of search terms should we be targeting/articles should we be writing? Things along the lines of:
"Questions to ask your alternative Wedding Photographer"
"Fine Art Photography in Bradford" (Be careful with one's like this - it can appear spammy if not done correctly)
Writing the Blog
Now that you know what you’re going to write, we now have to crack on with the business of putting finger to keyboard. So, as Google wants to provide useful information to users as quickly as possible, then DO NOT WRITE FOR SEARCH ENGINES under any circumstance.
Google’s algorithm is clever and can understand when a website is trying to user keyword stuffing. It’s hard to define the ridiculousness of keyword stuffing, so I’ll just give you an example and see if you can spot what I’m talking about:
“Looking for wedding photography? Check out our bespoke wedding photography packages at joeblogsweddingphotography.co.uk for great deals on wedding photography, wedding photography packages and wedding photography information. We specialise in great wedding photography so contact us today for amazing wedding photography deals!”
Did you spot it?
That’s known as “black hat SEO” and has long been outlawed and doesn’t work – ever. You want to make sure that you’re writing for the user. You’re providing high-quality, useful information.
Be sure to provide images and video were possible too as this is also looked upon more favourably. Just remember, what Google tells us SEO’s every time there’s an algorithm update: “keep creating quality content”, that’s literally the advice they give us, every time.
What do you want me to talk about in my next SEO for Photography article? Get in touch!