How many photographers are there in the world? Most estimates are in the range of 50 to 100 million, meaning that no matter if your goal is to gain new clients or followers, you will have to work on your online presence to obtain visibility. Building your portfolio website is a great start, but you have to invest time to benefit fully from Search Engine Optimization (aka SEO) and drive visitors to your website.
SEO is complex, Google uses 1000s of signals to rank web pages (!), but we will go through all the basic elements you need to succeed as a photographer online. We will also introduce you to our new Prodibi feature, the full SEO support for your images. You have tons of photos, let's use them to improve your online ranking!
The new SEO feature is available to all our premium users starting today on Prodibi - come and try with your pictures to improve your online presence!
The Prodibi solution can help you in many different ways for your image SEO as you will see below. Image SEO is a powerful tool for your business, and we've got it fully covered for you. By using Prodibi, your images will be responsive, perfectly optimized for speed on both the web and mobile, and you will benefit from metadata ("information" in another word) that provides rich search results for search engines.
We focus here on best practices for Google as they still represent over 80% of all search queries online.
SEO guide for photographers in 2018
As seen above, many factors come into consideration, and they range from critical to unimportant. Some might even be problematic and impact your website negatively, but if you follow the simple guidelines below, you should be all set to progress in the right direction. Also note that changes on the Google ranking index might take from 2 to 4 weeks to occur, so be patient!
1. User search query
It might sound obvious to you, but you need to help your visitors by making everything about your activity extremely clear on your website. For instance, if you are a portrait photographer in London, then this should appear on your website, and even probably as your website's title. Think about what your users are looking for!
It all comes down to good keyword research and to find out the variants that people will use to find you. Help yourself with a keyword research tool and check for the type of queries, their volume, and their difficulty to rank (the "competition" on these words).
Google Keyword Planner Tool
We advise going for long-tail keywords (4+ words) as high-traffic simple keywords might be too competitive to be worth your time. A long-term keyword is either a particular search query or one that is only vaguely related to what you do. For instance, instead of "wedding photographer London" try to be more specific with "black and white wedding photography in a studio London Kensington" or "best location for pre-wedding photography in Kensington"; these are also great topics to cover on your blog!
2. Understandable website to search engine
This is your top priority; if the search engine does not understand what you do and the architecture of your website, you won't be ranked properly. Use a tool such as Google Search Console to understand your Photography Site’s Technical Setup and solves all issues you may have.
Don't hesitate to get help from a technical person if you are not able to solve the issues yourself, this will be money and time well spent.
3. Link building strategy
This is the essence of Google when it was first patented in 1996 and both quality and quantity of links that point to your website are important. You can view a link toward your website has a vote, and the more votes you get, the better you will be ranked. Note that this works for both outside and inside links within your website! So if you have a blog, make sure to insert your own links within it.
Here is an example from our blog with a link to a previous article:
*Read On: Prodibi Feature Spotlight: Avoid risk with our new security features for extra image safety
4. The freshness of your content
When was the last time you updated your portfolio? It is an important element as Google is evaluating the content freshness of your website to understand its relevancy. Make sure to update your portfolio from time to time to avoid being penalized; it is also a great opportunity to strengthen your link building and keywords strategies as it gives you new content to push to other websites!
You can either publish a picture from your last shooting, release some backstage footages or write a blog post. You can also plan ahead and spread your new contents over several weeks to make the task less tedious. Once a week is a great target if you are just starting, and it is already challenging for most of us!
5. Speed and multiple device support
There is a significant correlation between the performance of your page on multiple devices and how you will rank on search engines. Optimize both your web and mobile sites as much as possible and use a CDN for your contents.
The good news is, if you are using Prodibi for your images, you are all set for your photographs. We are extremely fast and optimized, from the first byte of data we send to the CDN we use and the optimization for mobile usage we make.
6. Image ALT attributes
Google loves websites with visual media, and as a photographer, you will have tons of images to display on your website. While not a critical element, it is a great opportunity to give a boost to your search engine ranking and it should be a complete part of your SEO strategy.
Make sure to have a consistent description for your photos and to satisfy your users' intent (think again about point 1. and your users' search query): if you advertise yourself as a landscape photographer, show landscape photographs. If Google realizes that your users leave your website quickly because they did not find what they were looking for, it may penalize you for that. Also, image SEO starts with your file name; the best is to write a name that describes your photo such as "Sunset-Mountain-Alps."
Google structured data testing tool
Now, the interesting piece, a Prodibi image is not your average image, it is a "rich media" that lets you set structured data, Google particularly likes that and Prodibi does all the work for you. Without being too technical, structured data helps the search engine to get the context of your images, and it is your chance to give it easy to read information.
On top, Prodibi images are fully responsive and optimized for speed, you therefore have the perfect future-proof solution for your photos.
It will be a combination of these techniques that ensure your website catches the attention of the search engines. It can take time and effort, but it is all worth it for the success of your business!
How it works with your Prodibi Images
Now that we understand all the important elements to take into account, let's see how it works on your Prodibi account. The good news: it only takes two steps! Yes, that's it!
1. Enter your title, description, and author name in every photo you will display online.
If you use more than one image, you can add at the name -1, -2, etc. Make the titles short and descriptive! Also, it seems that Google does not take into account the description field, we advise you to still fill it out as who knows how it will change in the future!
2. Check the SEO box and copy paste the Prodibi script to your website
Once all fields are completed, check the "enable SEO" box and go ahead, you can now embed your Prodibi images into your website to benefit from full Image SEO optimization!
Stay tuned for more!
Reach out to us with any question you may have and share your photo albums with us @Prodibi on all social networks
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