I’ve been in business since 2011 and I’m proud to say that I’ve had some success even though I know my marketing efforts haven’t been very good.
The question I have is how can I rank higher in Google so that when people search for a photographer they find my website?
Thanks very much!"
So what you’re talking about above is known online as search engine optimisation or SEO for short. It’s the process of creating your website in a way that makes it (hopefully) rank higher in search engines like Google, MSN and dozens of others.
I’ll start off by saying that in my opinion it’s extremely risky to base your business around good search engine rankings!
At the drop of a hat and without changing anything the search engines like Google can change their algorithms and take your website from the top of the first page and drop it down to page 100 where nobody will EVER find you.
You can try as hard as you’d like to get back to the first page, but it can take months and sometimes you’ll simply never make it back.
If you were relying on the search engines to bring you prospects, and all of a sudden the above happens, you’ll quickly go into panic mode as you business crumbles around you while you feel totally helpless.
This happens ALL the time.
A large percentage of my private coaching clients come to me as a result of the above happening. They put everything into SEO (sometimes they just flukes a high ranking) and when their spot vanishes they have absolutely no clue what to do and are instantly caught on the back foot playing catch-up!
It’s a true case of riches to rags almost overnight!
Luckily there are hundreds of other far safer ways to bring in prospects, so if they come to me in time we can usually get everything back on track.
Now for the SEO stuff…
I won’t go into massive detail here because SEO is a topic that really needs an entire course to be explained properly. Just a very brief overview of a few simple things that will help.
First of all, if your website wasn’t made with WordPress, then you’re missing out.
It’s very easy to use and is designed to make your search engine optimisation efforts easier. You can set it up yourself, or pay someone a small fee to do it.
My recommendation is to add the Genesis framework on top of wordpress, and then choose a theme by StudioPress – they even have themes specifically designed for photographers that look amazing…
I personally really like ‘Crystal Theme’ which looks great and has all of the elements that I recommend a photographers website should have.
Google doesn’t like it when a site just sits there doing nothing. If it isn’t updated regularly, they will assume that it’s old information and is no longer relevant…
Think about it. If you were searching for a plumber and there was a website that hadn’t been updated at all for 3 years, it’s likely that it’s not relevant anymore.
The simple (and some say fun) way to keep your website updated is by having a blog. A section where you post an article around once a week.
You can write about anything… A project you’re working on, a job you did during the week, some useful tips about photography or finding a photographer.
Subscribe to other photographers blogs to get an idea of what to write about.
There’s no magical list of must-have plugins that are going to get you ranked higher in Google easily, but there’s a couple I really like.
WordPress SEO by Team Yoast – This is an all round great plugin for your basic SEO needs.
Local SEO also by Team Yoast – This is a fantastic plugin for local businesses. I’ve seen good results by using this on my clients websites. It’s not free, but it’s worth the small investment.
WP Super Cache – This one helps your site to load more quickly which the search engines love. They know that if a site loads too slowly then it’s a bad experience for the viewer, which is exactly what they don’t want! So put a little effort into speeding up your website.
Now I leave you to dive deeper.
For a really great course, check out this Local SEO Marketing program by Anthony Xavier – a specialist in all this stuff.
Remember – A rock-solid business gets clients from many difference sources. Don’t focus on just one and neglect the rest because it’s a very risky move.
Hit the ‘Like’ button on the left (it really helps me out), and tell me about your experiences with SEO in the comments section below!