Upload & Sell: Off
Thanks to everyone who joined in the SEO critique. I can keep doing it throughout the week if you’d like.
But I wanted to stop and give you guys my thoughts. After going through many websites, there are some really clear facts that were hitting me in the face. I’ll try to break this down into two sections, so you know what’s important to work on.
This is always first. You cant start ranking for something unless you tell Google what to you want to rank for. Plain and simple. When I checked your website against the keyword you wanted to rank for, 90% of you did not have that keyword in your title, headings, meta description, bold and italic text or all of the above. If you want to rank for “City Name Wedding Photographer”, that’s the exact phrase you want all over your site. Some of you might say, “Well, I did have that phrase. My title says ‘City Name Wedding and Portrait Photographer’, so the keyword “City Name Wedding Photographer” is right there”. Yes, but this is not how Google sees it. Nobody searches “City Name Wedding, Portrait, and Newborn photographer” but that’s what you are telling Google you want to rank for. Break it up. Try “City Name Wedding Photographer | City Name Portrait Photographer” or something similar.
So when you pick your main keyword, put it first in your title, as your h1 tag, in your meta description, a few image alt tags and a few times in your block of SEO text. Make sure Google makes no mistake about what you want to rank for.
And onto the block of SEO text. Yup, it sucks. Yup, it looks terrible and ruins some design elements. But it’s vital to showing Google what your website is about. The general consensus is that at least 300 words is needed. So it’s up to you how you want to work it into the design. Just don’t hide the text (white text on a white background, etc.) as it’s against Google’s policy. I have my text in light grey at 8px font, but when you rollover with your mouse, it goes to black 10px font so you can read it if you want. It’s clear that its there, but it’s not obnoxious. And what do you want in your block of text. Well, anything you’d like. Just write what you’re about and what you do, and bold or italicize any keywords or venue names. Pretty simple.
My final point for on-site work: Static home pages work best. Blogs as front pages tend to rotate text around and your rankings can be all over the place.
So just optimize your home page for your keyword, then don’t touch it.
This is where the leg work comes in and people are more than happy to pay for SEO services. 1 back link equals your url on someone else’s website. So all you got to do is get people to list your url on their site. Easy right? Yeah not so much. It’s hard to get your site listed on popular websites that have a lot of juice and you can go crazy just listing with a million no name directories.
But if you have slim to none back links, anything helps. Search for any business, photography, or wedding related directories that you can add your website to. Some are free, some are for link exchange, and some are for pay. The free ones are fine, but I just wouldn’t pay for anything. Local directories are great too.
Also, comment on some of your favorite photo blogs. It’s not a whole lot of link juice, but like I said, anything helps. Just make sure you can add your website url to your comment.
You can reach out to your family and friends and ask them to add your site to their site.
You can join some photography forums that allow your website in your signature. I’m not going to give you any on here, but there are forums abound everywhere. So every time you comment on a thread, your signature shows up and equals a link.
And when you get lazy, or want to do things the smart way, go to opensiteexplorer.org and type in your competitors website to see where they are getting their backlinks. It works wonders finding new avenues.
Exchange links with other local vendors.
Try to get your pictures featured on some big wedding blogs.
Review some products and do a blog post.
When you get a healthy bunch of small backlinks, then you can try other things like article submission and link bating, but those are also pretty time consuming. The main objective is to get your website url on as many other websites as possible, preferably ones that relate to photography and/or weddings. It's a numbers game
All in all, SEO is a process. If you do it right it takes time, but it will give you staying power when you reach the top. I noticed one trend when I was looking at all your websites. The people that had the exact keyword they want to rank for all over their website AND had a good amount of backlinks, are the ones that were ranking better. Thanks for listening and I hope I’ve helped a few wrap their heads around better SEO.