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seo-for-photographers Marketing

5 SEO Tips You Need To Know (That Others Don’t)

By Max Bridge on October 4th 2015

SEO tips come in thick and fast these days. Most business owners have realized the importance of this subject, and that brings a surge of misinformation from websites claiming to be experts. Now, I do not make this claim. I am no SEO expert. I’ve muddled my way through but have always felt somewhat lost. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a gigantic subject. Most companies have specific people, or departments, working toward improving this. It’s no wonder that we can sometimes feel overcome by confusion when this subject rears its ugly head.

A little while ago, SLR Lounge released the Photography SEO And Web Marketing E-Book. When I heard about this, I knew I had to read it. If any of you attempt to navigate the SEO/Social media jungle (bonus points for guessing the reference there) by visiting the multitude of websites available, you will know how difficult this subject can be. My biggest issue is that I often feel the advice given is not relevant to a little photography businessman like me. That’s why this book is so great.

Here are 5 SEO tips that I picked up from this book that I thought were particularly relevant to photographers, and rarely mentioned elsewhere.


SEO Tip 1: Create An XML Image Sitemap

Sitemaps allow webmasters to give data to search engines on how they should crawl your website. As much as you may want your beautiful new website to be found on Google, Bing, or Yahoo if those search engines are not navigating/crawling your site correctly, they may be missing entire sections. That would be terrible right?

[Related Article: Photography Business Marketing Tips]

A Sitemap will help Google to navigate your site, understand its hierarchy and content, thus allowing it to be properly indexed. An Image Sitemap is essential for photographers but until I read this book, I had no idea! It’s essentially the same as a regular Sitemap but for your images. Allowing search engines to read the information contained within them and, therefore, rank in image searches. That’s pretty important for a photographer.

If you use WordPress for your website, check out Udinra All Image Sitemap. It’s a useful plugin that will take care of your Image Sitemap needs.


SEO Tip 2: Tailor Blog Posts To Specific Keywords

The Photography SEO And Web Marketing E-Book gave me lots of lightbulb moments. One of these came in the form of tailoring my blog content to my keywords. The first step in this process is to choose the best keywords for your business. This is not a process which should be rushed. Once you’ve chosen a number of keywords you want to rank for, these words will affect many future decisions.


But what benefits do I get from tailoring my blog posts?

  • Using the overall keywords you have decided to rank for, blog posts can become an opportunity to have these terms naturally occur on your site. Search engines don’t like what’s known as Keyword stuffing, and this allows you to avoid that while adding relevant keywords; helping your chances of ranking for them.
  • By identifying search terms, or long tail keywords, with little competition, you can create blog posts targeted to these and quickly rank. Some keywords have so much competition that ranking for them takes a looooong time, whereas you may find other search terms which a properly created blog post could very quickly rank for.


SEO Tip 3: Choose 5-10 Keywords To Rank For

There are lots of photographers out there. I’m not going to complain about the over-saturation of the market (blah blah blah), but it would be naïve not to recognize that there are a lot of us. There are also a lot of keywords that you may want to rank for. Do you think you’ll be able to rank for everything?

Unless you are willing to PAY search engines large sums of money to rank for everything, you will not be able to do so. It requires consistent effort to rank for even mildly competitive keywords. Imagine how much time you would need to dedicate to rank for lots of relevant keywords. It may be tempting to take a machine gun approach but, in the long run, it will only serve to damage your efforts.

Choose 5-10 core keywords you want to rank for. On top of those 5-10, you can find some less competitive keywords to tailor blog posts and other content to. Don’t spread yourself too thin. It’s easy to do.


BONUS TIP: Create a spreadsheet with all the main pages on your site. Use this spreadsheet to keep track of everything and assign keywords to pages. The image above shows a copy of one I’ve been creating for myself.


SEO Tip 4: Use Keywords Within Your Social Media

This was another SEO tip that common sense would deem obvious, but as photographers, we don’t always think about this stuff.

Google indexes social media pages (for example, your Facebook Business page!) That means that when people type “family photographer in south London” into Google, my website may appear (it doesn’t yet) but so could my Facebook business page. It’s yet another opportunity to be found.

When writing social media posts, keep this tip in mind. Try to add keywords, in an organic way, to your posts and throughout your profile.


SEO Tip 5: Add A Pin It Button To Your Website

This is another social media one but it’s pretty special. The 2nd largest source of referral traffic to the Lin and Jirsa blog is…drum roll please…Pinterest. It’s one of those social media sites that seems tailor made for photographers but I didn’t realize its potential until I read this book.

Just as mentioned above, Pinterest posts and boards are indexed by search engines, increasing your chances of being found in search engine results pages. However, not only this but every post on Pinterest has to link somewhere. This will usually be your website.

Imagine if you encouraged clients to build their own Pinterest boards with inspiration for their shoot. Ideally, most of these Pins will come directly from your own images. Those Pins will then be shared with your clients’ followers and be linking straight back to your site.

If you’d like your clients to be able to Pin your images, make sure you add a ‘Pin It’ button to your site. The image above shows my preferred WordPress plugin for this, you can find it here.


Final Thoughts

I found this book to be extremely useful. It is full of SEO tips just like these which can have a positive impact on your business. SEO may not be the most glamorous of topics, but a successful and profitable business is. If this has whetted your appetite for SEO, then you can find the E-book here.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Max began his career within the film industry. He’s worked on everything from a banned horror film to multi-million-pound commercials crewed by top industry professionals. After suffering a back injury, Max left the film industry and is now using his knowledge to pursue a career within photography.

Website: SquareMountain 
Instagram: Follow Author

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Armands Sprogis

    forgot to ask one thing. You mentioned make list of 10 main keywords and long tail one later.
    My question is
    would you not target only one keyword per page/post?
    Would you target few posts with same keyword and link those posts up to increase seo value?
    In Yoast it actually recommends you not use same keywords again.
    Whats your take on this?

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    • Max Bridge

      Hey Armands. I don’t pretend to be an SEO expert but I have read a fair bit on the subject. I’ll answer your questions as best I can.

      In terms of the image Sitemap, yes, I think Google would be able to find some of your images regardless, possibly all. However, if we compare to a usual sitemap, the reasons for creation are the same. To assist Google in crawling your site. Google MAY find all your images without the sitemap but I’d prefer to know for certain that they were crawling them all correctly. It’s there for a reason after all.

      Whether the creation of an image sitemap could damage your site, I would be very surprised. There should be no alteration to URL’s or links, it is just a map of your pre-existing images. Look into this more though, just in case.

      With keywords, yes I would only target one specific keyword per post / page. I don’t see any harm in including other keywords (within your list) in articles but only if they fit naturally. You should only have one main targeted keyword per page, we don’t want to confuse things.

      Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving and the weight which was once applied to keywords has shifted somewhat. That being said I still see value (it can’t hurt) in targeting posts and pages to specific words. Yes, even on occasion repeating these and linking between articles BUT only when relevant. Google has become much better at spotting non genuine content. If that makes sense.

      Create your list of words to target and keep these in mind but ALWAYS remember to keep things relevant. Don’t stuff in keywords if they don’t fit, don’t link to articles with the same keyword if there is no reason to do so.

      Sorry I can’t give a definitive, obvious, answer but as I said at the beginning I am not an SEO expert and there is no definitive answer as the algorithm is constantly evolving. I would definitely recommend reading the SEO ebook though. Hopefully it will give you a few tips and clarify things a little more.

      SEO ebook –

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  2. Armands Sprogis

    Image sitemap was something new to me. Would search engines not index all of your images anyway. I mean if image would have name, al tag etc? I would be a bit scared to do image sitemap as I know it might bring up a lot of 404 errors due to broken image links. I have big blog and have changed site 3 times now and stuff do get lost sometimes.
    Great article and nice nugets for photography SEO.

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  3. Andy & Amii Kauth

    Good write up. Gonna check out your WordPress article links as well. We use WordPress and are deciding whether it’s a good idea to continue on the path of switching (potentially) to PageCloud, The Grid, etc.

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  4. Benni Klomfass

    Interesting post. As it refers mostly to WordPress sitessites, can you list / recommend any (photography) portfolio / blog website providers which offer see integration / easy customization besides wordpress?

    Thank you

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  5. marcel bauer

    Awesome post, just did the site map thing after reading this. Thank you.

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