SEO basics for beginners
Updated: Jan 15
WHAT IS SEO?
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the organic, natural or unpaid traffic to your website
WHY IS SEO IMPORTANT?
- Getting traffic to your website can boost client bookings
- Visibility on search engines is sometimes crucial to success in this industry
- To increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your site
- It is more cost effective to improve SEO than it is to spend money on marketing.
- Organic reach vs paid reach
- It works! Your website ranking can improve in as little as one day with minor changes
WAYS TO IMPROVE SEO
Strategically the right terms and phrases are effective in increasing SEO
Links + Backlinking
SITE TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS
Each page on your website should have a different title, description and set of keywords. Some sites are defaulted to titles like 'Home' or 'Blog' (often seen when someone posts a link to their website on Facebook) and titles like that do nothing for SEO.
TITLE: Business Name | Popular Search Term or Business Name | Location or Business Name | Type of Photography
DESCRIPTION: Business Name, Location, Type of Work You Do, Areas You Serve or Page Content (can be written like a paragraph)
Keywords are terms or phrases that lead people to your website through a search engine result. Google Analytics is able to tell you the most popular terms for your own website but generally these can be used:
Locations (city, state, park, beach...)
Photography styles (lifestyle, studio, fantasy...)
Types of photography (wedding, newborn, maternity...)
Images titles should be the name and/or location and/or type of session/event. EXAMPLES: business-name-location-type-of-session client-name-venue-type-of-event USE DASHES, NOT UNDERSCORES! all lower case letters ALT TEXT : alternative text with image descriptionsThe image name that search engines will grab at. If you already named your images correctly there's usually no need to change this. Remember that alt text should read like a sentence so no hyphens! your business name + location + type of session/event location + type of session/event client names + type of session/event
LINKS + BACKLINKING
LINKS: Hyperlinks or images linked to other websites or different pages on your own website.
BACKLINKING: When others link an image or hyperlink in their blog post back to your websites homepage or a blog post.
Google analytics can not only help you with SEO but it can help with the overall design of your website. It has been able to answer questions like:
What keywords are being searched that leads people to my website?
How many site visits do I get on average daily? weekly? monthly?
What areas are the people searching my site in? What Country? What City?
How many webpages are visited total?
How much time do they spend on each webpage before leaving?
How much time do the spend on my website total?
What is the most popular landing page? Is it the homepage? The blog?
What is the most popular exit page? Please say it's my contact page...No? Where's the wine.
What days are my website visits most popular?
What hours are my website visits most popular?
What operating system is being used? What browser (Open and edit your website in each to see how other users see your site)
What device is used most? Tablet? Desktop? Mobile? (Visit your website on each to see how user friendly it is)
GROWING YOUR RANKING
I have not blogged in over a month so that I could see and prove that blogging helps SEO. Right before this I was getting well over 300 visits to my website every time I blogged and right now I peak at about 60 visits a day. I used to have at least 3,000 people visit my website in a month and now it's down to 997. Google Analytics can show you so much information! I have even been able to see the sequence of page visits per user.
BLOG TITLES ARE IMPORTANT! Your business name, client names (couples or families last name) Here are some examples of formats that are great for SEO your business | location + type of session/event | popular search term client name | location + type of session/event | popular search term popular search term | client names + location + type of session/event popular search term | location | client name or your business
ALT TEXT: If you have a 100-200 hours then going back through old blogs could be helpful. Remember that alt text should read like a sentence so no hyphens! your business name + location + type of session/event location + type of session/event client names + type of session/event
Be sure to use hyperlinks to websites of any locations/venues or vendors/creatives that contributed to the session or event. When someone searches for a location, vendor or product your blog pot will likely come up in the search engine results. If you give images to other creatives to blog or share make sure it is being reciprocated through backlinking to either your website or blog!
TRACKING YOUR SUCCESS
Pick two popular search terms to search everyday. Track your progress by writing down the page number you appear on everyday. I knew going in that Wix did not have great reviews for SEO but I was still determined to figure it out because I loved it. On my first day I could not find myself on a google search result but I started making changes on my website and blog everyday and I could see the benefits. On day one I was nonexistent, by day two I was on page 18 and I moved up a page everyday until I got to page 9 by day ten. It's been a few years and I have stayed on page 1 of google for my industry and location.
01. Your SEO results will vary by user. Search engine results are influenced by their location.
02. Links to your homepage should be limited internally (example: linking your logo to redirect to your homepage should be the only link going to your homepage within your own website). Links to other pages on your website or blog posts are golden.
03. Changing the alt text on images already on your website is more time efficient than deleting them all, renaming and re-uploading.
04. Backlinking will produce someone else's images on your search engine results and vice versa.
05. You can see results in as little as ONE DAY! SEO can be overwhelming and don't get discouraged if you don't get on page 1 of a search engine. There are a lot of people in this industry and there are people who have held high rankings for years.