Are you a photographer who’s sick of scouting for work all the time? Are you hunting down clients more than shooting ’em? Welcome to SEO for photographers — your greatest ally.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) links your business to people searching for your services. And the best part? Once you’ve set it up, you have a 24/7 marketing team (minus the salaries, pensions, and suspect sick days).
“Wait a minute,” you say, “this sounds technical. I’m a photographer, not an internet marketing guru.” Yes, the concept may be alien — and robots are involved — but don’t worry, we’ve broken down SEO for photographers into 10 simple steps. And we guarantee you’ll grasp it, or we’ll fill you in on this full SEO guide for photographers ourselves.
Right, grab a cuppa. Sorted? Let’s begin with our best SEO tips for photographers.
Step 1: Do Your Keyword Research
“What goes into good SEO?”, you’re probably wondering. Answer: quite a bit. And it all starts with keywords.
Google is no longer a brand; it’s a verb. Every day, people turn to search engines to find what they need. When you needed a plumber at the turn of the century, Yellow Pages. Now? Google it.
Keyword research tools tell us what people are searching for and how many are searching for it. When trying to sell a service, that intel is juicier than a teenager’s pimple. You’ll suss out the best keywords for photography website optimisation in no time.
Google Keyword Planner is a basic and free tool to get going. Paid tools like SEMrush (which offers a free version and trial) and Ahrefs (which does not) provide a more sophisticated look at the search intent of potential clients.
Okay, let’s contextualise this with likely keywords for wedding photographers. What are the SEO words for photography or wedding photographers? A quick check on SEMRush tells us that 1,300 people searched “wedding photography Sydney” with commercial intent last month.
A screenshot of SEMrush’s keyword overview for “wedding photography sydney”, June 29, 2023.
If you have a well-positioned webpage for that search term, you could find yourself with a fair share of traffic. Imagine how much legwork it’d take to get that kind of attention IRL. See the opportunity?
You probably don’t speak SEO just yet, and each keyword tool has its own metric lingo. But here’s a quick primer to determine the best keywords for wedding photographers:
- Average monthly search volume — How many people are searching for that keyword or phrase each month? This helps you gauge the overall interest.
- Competition or keyword difficulty — How many others are trying to rank for that keyword and how hard will it be to rank for? This indicates how much competition you’ll be up against.
- Trends or year-on-year change — Whether the keyword is seeing an upward or downward trend in search volume. This helps you anticipate future traffic.
- Intent — What is the user’s objective when they search — information? Commerce? This’ll allow you to cater your content to their intent.
When analysing SEO keywords for wedding photographers, remember that low search volumes aren’t bad opportunities. Even if 60 people are searching for a specific service in your area each month, they’ll be more qualified leads, and there’ll be less competition for their business.
Alternatively, you can make use of our full suite of SEO tools to get a premium guide for free. Just give us the nod and we’ll let you know:
- All the wedding photography keywords you could rank for
- How many potential clients you’re missing out on
- The best SEO strategy for increasing leads in your niche
Step 2: Know Your Audience
It’s all about the people. People. People. People.
Get to know the needs, wants, and behaviour of your clients on an intimate level. It’ll power up your content and allow you to leverage SEO to anticipate questions and problems beyond an outsider’s perspective.
Say there’s a healthy number of newly-engaged couples searching for a wedding photographer. They may be looking for answers to questions like “What should I ask my wedding photographer” or “How to choose a wedding photographer”, or something more unique to your industry.
By creating content that answers these questions — and triggers a relationship — you not only showcase your expertise but also cater to your audience’s specific search behaviour. Blog posts, FAQs, or ‘how-to’ guides are great ways to hit the mark (more on these later). SEO for photography websites lets your service address the demand flowing through this channel.
Why not open up a dialogue and engage with your audience, too? Reply to comments on your blog. Drop your 2 cents on social media. Show them you’re not just a business but the person behind the lens who truly gets them. It also shows Google your brand has a community presence, which they love (it’s their number one safeguard against becoming a cesspit).
Every step of SEO for photographers should have their audience in mind because they’re who you want to impress, engage, and convert.
Step 3: Highlight Your Location
Local SEO is a must-have for location-based businesses. Why? It boosts visibility to potential customers in your immediate area and makes it likely for them to discover your business and get in touch. Win!
Start by including location-specific keywords throughout your website. For instance, if you’re based in Melbourne, phrases like “Melbourne wedding photographer” or “portrait photographer in Melbourne” can help drive local traffic to your site.
But don’t stop there with your wedding photography SEO. Consider creating dedicated landing pages for the different regions you serve. For example, if you cater to clients in both Melbourne and Sydney, separate landing pages can help you rank for both locations. Double-win!
Also, mentioning local venues, landmarks, or popular events you’ve shot could help improve your visibility. It adds a local flavour to your content and can connect with potential clients in a more personal way.
There are no half-measures with SEO for wedding photographers. So roll out that red carpet for your local customers and let your website be their go-to photography resource.
But that’s not all — let’s take it a step further by getting Google’s directory onside.
Step 4: Set Up a Google Business Profile
Local SEO for photographers can be serious leverage. If you’re asking yourself, “How do I promote myself as a wedding photographer?”, part of the answer is to let them come to you.
Take advantage of targeted exposure by setting up a profile on Google Business.
A few fun stats about the benefits:
- 97% of individuals learn about local businesses online over anywhere else.
- Google’s data reveals that an impressive 46% of searches have local intent.
- Google Business profiles land 16% of businesses over 100 calls each month.
Not bad, eh? That’s why one of our best local SEO tips for photographers is adding your business to the world’s largest directory.
So, how do you set up a Google Business Profile? Simple.
- Head to Google’s Business Profile page to get listed after reading this guide.
- Start by adding accurate contact information, service details, and hours of operation.
- Add some high-quality images of your work and a solid business description.
- Encourage your satisfied clients to leave positive reviews. It’ll improve your reputation and tell Google that you’re a trusted business.
- Keep your Google Business Profile updated with any changes to your location or services.
A Google Business Profile is crucial search engine optimisation for photographers to (literally) get their business on the map. Check out our full step-by-step guide for more info.
Step 5: Content Creation: Blogging for Success
Blogging isn’t just an outlet for your shower thoughts (although it’s great for that, too); it’s also a powerful client-capturing tool.
Blogs are one of the best SEO tips for wedding photographers because they give you an avenue to connect with your audience on a deeper level. You could share stories from your favourite sessions, answer frequently asked questions, or even share photography tips. But the real secret to a strong SEO blog lies in its relevance and authenticity.
Is your content valuable to your target audience? Does it reflect your personality and expertise? If you answered yes to both, you’re on the right track.
Tying back to keyword research, your blog is an opportunity to answer some queries and funnel demand to your service. A strong blog also tells Google that you’re a well-established and helpful brand that users ought to visit.
Effective blog ideas could include:
- How to Choose Your Perfect Wedding Venue: A Photographer’s Perspective – A unique guide to selecting a dreamy, picturesque venue that’ll make your memories — and photos — unforgettable.
- 7 Key Moments Your Wedding Photographer Must Capture – A checklist of essential moments for your photographer to capture on the big day.
- Picture Perfect: Your Stress-Free Guide to Working with a Wedding Photographer – Relaxing day, extraordinary photos. These are the best tips to ensure smooth collaboration with your wedding photographer.
You’ll be pleased to hear that including high-quality images in your posts is a must (your time to shine!). So, don’t hold back — share your best photos to impress both Google and your future customers.
Step 6: Craft Unique SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions
SEO titles and meta descriptions are your book cover (or Netflix thumbnail); they give readers a sneak peek of what to expect and should entice them to explore.
Every word counts, and getting them right is an art in itself. They’ll need to strike a chord with readers, all the while repping those relevant keywords and delivering on the promise.
It’s not as daunting as it sounds, but they’re critical in making SEO for wedding photography count.
We covered a few blog options above, but let’s look at one for a service page:
Title: Wedding Photography Sydney: Your Special Day Made Eternal | John’s Photos
Meta Description: John’s Photos encapsulates the precious moments of your wedding day in Sydney. Discover why Sydney’s couples trust him to bring their stories to life. Explore the portfolio now.
Now let’s break it down:
Title: The SEO title starts with the targeted keyword phrase “Wedding Photography Sydney”, which is what potential clients might search for. Then it hints at the benefit or value proposition (your special day made eternal) and finishes with the brand name for recognition.
Meta Description: The description expands on the title. It reiterates the service (wedding photography) and the location (Sydney) while baking in emotive language that speaks to the readers’ aspirations (creating timeless memories together). There’s a clear call to action (‘Explore the portfolio’) to encourage click-throughs.
This title and description work well for wedding photography SEO because they’re keyword-focused but also resonate on an emotional level. Clients should feel enticed enough to check out what you do.
Perhaps most importantly, the title tag and meta description make a big promise for an emotional outcome (immortalised weddings, realised stories) and then encourage a specific action to take the next step.
Every page on your website is unique and this should also be the case for their titles and descriptions. Duplicate titles or descriptions don’t fly in SEO for wedding photographers, so no copying and pasting!
Step 7: Create Individualised Landing Pages
Landing pages are where the magic happens. They’re the VIP section behind the velvet rope. They’re designed for specific audiences and have one goal: to convert visitors into leads or customers. All roads lead here, so now’s not the time to hit the wall!
Let’s say you offer a range of photography services. Wedding photography. Product photography. Headshots. Who knows. No matter what you’re snapping, having individual landing pages for each service can significantly improve your SEO.
That’s because it allows you to optimise each page with relevant keywords and content. It helps search engines understand what your page (and business) is about, increasing your chances of ranking for those specific services.
But an effective landing page sure goes beyond keywords. It’ll need to paint a picture, solve problems, address concerns, and trigger movement. A clear call to action such as “Book now” or “Contact me for a quote” can guide visitors towards conversion.
Don’t forget to showcase your credibility. Include testimonials, case studies, or portfolio pieces to demonstrate your skills and experience.
Ultimately, an optimised landing page is a powerful combination of SEO and persuasive content (which is where an in-depth understanding of your audience will come in handy). These pages are the bridge that brings visitors one step closer to becoming customers.
From this point, you’ll usually hop on a call or chat over email before requesting the deposit.
That’s ultimately how to book more clients using SEO. It’s the end destination, after all, and a well-written landing page will point the way, time and time again.
Step 8: Harness the Power of Links
Links are the highways of the internet. They guide users, connect web pages, and boost authority. Naturally, they’re also an effective tool for building the credibility of your website.
There are three types of links to consider:
- Internal links
- External links
Sick of the word ‘links’ yet? Well, bear with us.
- Backlinks point from one website to yours. They’re like a vote of confidence in the eyes of search engines.
- The more high-quality backlinks you have, the more trustworthy your website appears.
- Guest post on photography-related blogs or collaborate with industry influencers to gain valuable backlinks from respected domains.
- You can get the ball rolling by listing your service on respected directories; just make sure they’re worth associating with.
- Internal links connect pages within your website.
- They help guide users to relevant content, which improves user experience and website navigation.
- They also help search engines understand the structure of your website.
- It’s good housekeeping to have your website correctly mapped out. Plus, it signals to Google that you’re a high-quality source.
- External links are links from your website to other reputable sites.
- Linking to industry resources, equipment reviews, or photography tips can showcase your connections and knowledge within the industry.
- A good rule of thumb is to be as helpful as you can be, without steering valuable attention away to rivals, or anywhere your readers might never come back from!
Step 9: Optimise for Mobile and User Experience
Your clients are more likely to find you through a mobile search than sitting at their computers.
So, if you’re asking “How do I optimise my photography website?”, thinking phone-friendly is a good place to start. Plus, Google now considers mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, making it critical for SEO for photography.
Start by ensuring your website is responsive. That means it’ll adjust to fit any screen size, from desktop to tablet to smartphone. Most website builders will optimise for mobile automatically, but always double check. A responsive website is key to keep users on the page and it makes it easier for search engines to understand and rank your content.
Mobile optimization goes beyond just a responsive design; it’s also about speed. Large, unoptimised images slow down your site and make people leave (they have lots of choices and little patience, who can blame ’em?). We call this ‘bounce rate’. So, be sure to compress your images and minimise the use of heavy plugins to keep that bounce rate low, low, low.
Calling back to our internal links — is your site easy to navigate? Can users find what they’re looking for without too much scrolling or clicking?
Regularly testing your website’s usability can help identify any potential roadblocks and keep that journey going smoothly for your users (to hopefully wind up on one of your killer landing pages).
- Ensure your website is responsive and looks good on all devices.
- Keep your design simple and clean to improve loading times.
- Optimise all images to keep them high-quality, but also quick to load.
- Test your website on various devices to ensure it’s truly mobile-friendly.
Step 10: Optimise Photos with Alt Tags and Captions
If we’re talking SEO for wedding photographers, your website is likely stuffed with stunning (and compressed) images. Now, we’ll need to optimise them for SEO. Enter alt tags and captions.
Alt tags (or alt text), are descriptions of images that help search engines understand what the image is about. They’re also used by screen readers to help visually impaired users navigate your site. Sprinkling your alt tags with relevant keywords should boost your site’s visibility in image search results.
Captions, on the other hand, are visible to all users and provide context to your images. A good caption enhances user engagement but can also improve your SEO if it includes relevant keywords.
Don’t get tempted to keyword stuff. Instead, keep captions and alt tags descriptive, simple, and natural. If you have a photo of a wedding you shot at Bondi Beach, for example, a good alt tag could be “Romantic wedding photography on Bondi Beach at sunset.”
Image file sizes (again!)
While we’re on the subject of optimisation, here’s another nudge to optimise your image file sizes. It’s too easy to slap on a picture in all its megabyte-munching glory, but the excess size could sink your site! You don’t need to worry about the quality. Use image compression tools to reduce file sizes without compromising the look.
Kickstart Your SEO With Pepperstorm
Although the set-up sounds intensive, good wedding photography SEO can be a game-changer.
You might have whisked through these photography SEO tips with the wind in your sails, or you might be feeling as if you’ve just landed on a new planet. Regardless of where you find yourself in the confusing/exciting world of SEO, rest assured there’s a place for you.
If you’re feeling energised and raring to take the SEO world by storm, we’ve got you. Just need a sounding board or a guiding light to keep you on track? Reach out to our SEO gurus, who can provide personalised consultation and SEO help for photographers — or even review your website to make sure you’re on the right path.
And if you’re in the second camp, feeling a little overwhelmed or just too busy capturing moments to get down and dirty with SEO, we understand. Why not let us take care of it?
We don’t just talk about SEO; we live and breathe it so that you can focus on what you do best — creating beautiful, unforgettable images, while we ensure your business gets the visibility it deserves.
Remember, SEO isn’t a one-time event but an ongoing journey. And with Pepperstorm, you won’t be navigating that journey alone. So, are you ready to make your mark in the digital world? Let’s make some SEO magic together!