I am not a photographer. I don’t own an expensive camera, nor do I know much about aperture or depth of field or the difference between a Canon 5D and a Canon 1DX. But I do know that the photo’s I’m seeing people I know who do know about that stuff create are simply amazing!
There are some incredible photos that pop up on my various social network feeds almost daily and I am amazed at how people are able to make a photo of something look completely different or far more beautiful than I can see it with my own eyes.
In summary, I don’t know how to take great photos, but I do know search and SEO. I also think good photography kicks ass! And I love seeing people who have such incredible talents to create these photos get the exposure they deserve.
This post is for all those photographers out there who create amazing works of art but need a little help in how to make a dint in 1,000,000,000+ posts that exist in search engines about photography.
Get a website and build a blog!
Don’t be afraid that your site will just be another drop in the ocean and that nobody will want to read what it is you have to say. If you love what you do then you should talk about it. There is always an audience that is looking for advice, reviews, experiences, case studies or simply want to hear what you have to say about photography.
If you love the subject, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Be as nerdy or as high level as you find interesting. In fact, the nerdier and more technical you are, the more long-tail terms you are likely creating for your site. Long-tail photography terms are absolute gold when it comes to organic search.
Focus on specifics
It’s often the specifics that like-minded people will be searching for. Thinking that a post about the new APS-C CMOS sensor (and yes, I had to Google that) won’t appeal to anyone is silly. There are people on the Internet searching for information on that right this very second! Why shouldn’t your post be the article they get served up by Google?
Don’t be afraid to use big images
Thumbnails and tiny images provide no real benefit to your audience and completely under-sell your skills and the photo.
Using larger images increases the likelihood that people will appreciate and ultimately share your content across the web.
If people using your work without permission is a concern, then consider adding a watermark to your images featuring your URL. Having an image featuring your URL is a great indirect link-building technique too.
Offer snippets that allow sharing of the photo
Include a html snippet for each photo that allows a user to copy the code and paste it directly into their site.
EG: Copy and paste this into your website to share this photo
<a href=”yoursite.com”><img src=”yoursite.com/pic.jpg”></a>
By making sure the code includes a link wrapped around the image you are providing an option for other websites to use your photo without them needing to download and host your image, as well as scoring a link on their site.
Don’t forget the basics
It’s easy to overlook, but when creating a site to host your photos and content don’t forget the simple SEO elements that can enhance your sites authority.
ALT tags on images: use rich keywords that describe your photo. ALT tags compensate for when text cannot be used in a web asset (like images).
Titles: Use titles on pages that contain your images. Make the titles relevant to the post. Try to incorporate keywords too.
Page titles: Be sure you titles are relevant to the images or subject matter. Include your name or domain name too.
Meta Description : You have around 160 characters to provide a summary of why someone should care about this post. Think of your target audience and use terms and sentences that would make them want to click your link.
Sitemap.xml : Be sure you have an image site map uploaded. These tell search engines which images should be crawled and added to the index.
And also the not so basics
Schema mark-up, rich snippets and open graph protocol play a big part in how search results are displayed across social platforms and search engines. When building your site, be sure to include basic rich snippets such as the rel=”author” tag. This can get awfully nerdy very quickly, but luckily there are great plugins such as SEO for WordPress by Yoast that can do it for you.
Get social. Promote Yourself.
This is a no brainer really. Social Media is probably the greatest promotional tool for photographers ever created. Anyone can set up a Facebook or Twitter account and share photos, the trick however is to do is smart!
Facebook is the largest photo sharing platform on Earth. It offers some amazing groups where you can ask for advice and feedback on your work, find hints and tips and perhaps the most important aspect – network.
Photographers are utilising Google Plus more than any other industry out there in my opinion. It allows you to interact with some of the world’s best photographers and promote your work with a massive like-minded audience. G+ is the ultimate networking tool for photographers while also directly influencing search results.
Pinterest is a photographers social best friend. Photos are the most shared content on this platform. Simply offering users the ability to ‘Pin’ your photos to their Pinterest boards could generate more traffic to your site than any of the other social networks combined.