Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blogging Tips for Photographers 101 (Pt. 2): SEO

"Keywords and SEO stuff is so boring! I want my blog to be #1 on Google but I don't want to waste time researching."

Check out Part 1: Challenges of Blogging

Learning about SEO is one of the biggest challenges for photography business owners who are using blogging as a way to market their business. SEO has been a mystery to me for years and I'm absolutely no expert at it. I'm a total SEO rookie and I wish there were a shortcut but sadly, as far as I can tell, there is no magic SEO shortcut.

Here's the fact of the matter… 
-If you want people to find you online, you gotta appear in their Google searches.
-If you want to rank high in Google searches, you gotta optimize your blog for search engines.
-You need to either A) take the time to learn and do the SEO yourself or B) pay someone else to do it for you. 
-If you are going to learn about SEO yourself, it's way too much to learn in one afternoon. Slow and steady is the only way to win this race. SEO is a never ending process that will be evolving & improving FOREVER. So learn a new SEO trick each week, apply it, and get on with business. 

Here are some basic SEO tips to help get you started on your long slog towards achieving your destiny as #1 on Google….

Learn about keywords. It's a challenge to really figure out your perfect keywords. Use Google keywords to help you brainstorm. Think about what your ideal clients are searching for online. Once you have your keywords, you've got to put them into action. For each blog post, choose an appropriate keyword and put it everywhere, at every level: in the title, in the first sentence, hyperlink it, in the tags, in the picture descriptions etc... The same keyword repeated over and over so Google knows that this page really is all about that keyword. 

Social Media BackLinks
You want to have your blog's URL splattered around other websites. You've probably heard that your back links on social media sites like Facebook & Twitter don't count. However, your links WILL be acknowledged on these social media sites: LinkedIn, Google Places, Google Profiles, Digg, Reddit

Getting Published on Other Blogs
When you write guest posts or submit your photos to other blogs, consider how those blogs rank. You may be excited to get published on another blog, but getting published on a blog with a low Google ranking probably won't do anything for your traffic or SEO. Focus on sharing your content with high ranking blogs. Use the Google PageRank Checker:

These website are your new best friends:

I totally know how it feels when you're drowning in a world of SEO research. It all seems like too much to learn. It feels like a waste of time. You don't want to sit there behind your computer all day. I get it. But I'm starting to think that if you really rely on online marketing and you're wanting people to find your business through Google, you're just going to have to put in the hours (or shell out the moola & hire somebody else to do it). 

The hardcore little voice in my head is saying.... "I'm sorry you find SEO research boring but it's probably going to have a bigger payoff for your business than however many hours a day you're spending redesigning your website or logo (for the 200th time)." 

So good luck my friends. I'm sorry for delivering the depressing news but at least now the delusion is broken and you can start to make real progress. Grit your teeth and DO. This SEO learning curve is the "not fun part" of running your photography business. But ya know, things are only NOT fun when you don't understand them or you feel overwhelmed. The good news is that the more you learn about SEO, the more intriguing it becomes. Just researching for this blog series has got me all SEO excited. ha! 

I'd LOVE to hear your SEO tips. 
Please share them in the comments below so other readers can learn from your wise words! ;)

Check out Blogging Tips for Photographers 101 (Part 1): Challenges of Blogging
Check out Blogging Tips for Photographers 101 (Part 3): 10 Ways to Come Up with Interesting Blog Content