The question about Search Engine Optimization or simply SEO sure comes to the minds of every photographer who has a online portfolio or business website to present and sell their work. As mostly everyone in the major developed countries is connected to Internet and uses different search engines to find information, so many photographers nowadays are putting their work and hope to be discovered by their potential clients.
But let’s face it, just because one created a website and put it online it doesn’t mean it will be easily discovered and found. It’s like walking on a very busy downtown street and hoping others will pay attention to you. To be discovered a website has to be first indexed by the search engines which visit (crawl) the website and use automated programs (robots) to read the site content, understand the context of the site and organize all this in their indexes.
So once added into the search engine indexes, each site is being ranked (ordered by importance) for certain search keywords and queries, so when a search engine user types in the browser window that he/she is searching for “wedding photographer in mountain view ca” the search engine would know which are highest ranked (most suitable and useful) websites to contain the information for this query.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is addressing how a webpage domain name, text and organization, plus being updated and linked to other sites (aka optimized) so it appears higher in search engine result pages. The higher it appears, the more likely someone would click on it when searching for the terms the website is related to. The ultimate goal is to be in the first position of search engine organic results.
It’s proven that the first result gets 63% of the clicks, second result 13%, third 6 % and no body really cares to click down further the page. It will amaze many to learn that the first 9 search result links on first page receive 99% of the user clicks. Scrolling to the second page of search engine results and clicking on a link there never happens in relation to all search queries performed daily.
Back to our example for the “wedding photographer mountain view ca” query in Google search engine, the result pages below the first three results (the first three are paid by advertisers) are called organic search results and based on the website page rank.
To increase the rank many factors apply:
– the age of page (the longer domain name and page has been around the higher the trust from SE and rank is. Think of company brand: the older is the more trustworthy it is compared to company registered few weeks ago)
– the keywords the page text or image descriptions have and how they match the search query (website with many “wedding” , “photographer” and “mountain view” keywords would be a good match to the above search query)
– how many other sites are referencing this site (think of a research papers in university library: if every single white paper refers to a research source from the same author, then this author is considered very trustworthy and has higher reference rank – this must be your website, many people link to it and reference it on their website).
These are just few and their weight in the final formula varies from search engine to search engine. Plus the formula changes all the time as each search engine tweaks and tries to beat the search engine spammers which are trying to cheat the search engine and place their spam pages or their clients freshly minted pages higher than the more trustworthy and established sites with more quality content and more useful to users.
So why photographers need to be aware of SEO and optimize their photography websites? Simple: to be easily discovered by their clients and to improve their ranking into the search engine results. One can dramatically improve their page ranking if using keywords relevant to their business as: photographer, photography, wedding, engagement, session, studio, etc. There are so many ways to achieve better page ranking which is a topic of another blog but I hope to answer the question: What is SEO and why one needs to be aware of it?
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Written by Trifon Anguelov
Trifon Anguelov Photography is a premiere Wedding and Events Photographer in Mountain View, CA
Book your wedding today at: http://www.trifonanguelov.com/Portfolio/Weddings/