Search Engine Optimization (how to rank high in Search Engines results) is often confusing to photographers. SEO played a key role in PhotoDeck's history, so we've put together The Photographer's SEO Pyramid to help photographers focus their SEO efforts -- whether they are PhotoDeck members or not.
This is the second of three installments: in part I, we addressed the foundation of the Photographer's SEO Pyramid: "Search Engines and Me" covered the strategy, "My Keywords" explained the importance of planning for specific keywords.
Today, we'll cover what you'll spend most of your time working on... The Meat.
Google is famously full of PhD graduates that put tremendous amount of intelligence and work into accomplishing this mission. For example, it's easy for a search engine to know when a searcher goes to a website, and then goes back to the result pages because the website didn't meet his expectations.
Tricking search engines to get a low-quality or irrelevant page high in the rankings used to be relatively easy, many years ago. It might still be possible today, but would then require skills, efforts and risk tolerance that don't make sense for an ongoing business concern – especially when search engines evolve every day and heavily penalize abuses.
To succeed, you must prove to search engines that your website is genuine, valuable and relevant to the search terms of your choice. You want search engines to trust your website, like your clients trust you.
Therefore, here is our guiding principle to SEO for a working photographer:
We don't need to tell you that great images will be more successful than poor ones. But there is more than that:
Some tools on the internet estimate websites' “Page Rank” to measure their relative importance. Also look at alexa.com for information and traffic estimates.
Getting incoming links takes time and work – in fact this is the crux of SEO. Some suggestions:
And if your visitors love your website, they will also link to it spontaneously!
A few links to external websites (on the pages where they are relevant) will help establish your website as a useful resource, part of the wider community. Do not confuse with link-swapping though, and make sure they are indeed useful links!
In the next part, we'll complete this article with somewhat more technical on-page optimization and analytics tips. They are really details compared to what we've covered so far, but details can count too...
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