Have you ever wondered if potential clients are finding you on the first page of Google? Here’s a simple way to find out.
Archive for the ‘website’ Category
It’s common for professional photographers to offer more than one kind of photography. For example, wedding photographers will also offer family or senior portraits.
The challenge is, how do you show more than one kind of photography on the same website home page? Potential brides don’t want to see photos of kids any more than high school seniors want to see images of old people.
Here are 4 examples of website home pages that attempt to solve this problem. Think about where your website is on the list, and what you could do to improve it.
I was looking at the “About” page on a photographer’s website the other day. Every website has an About page, and this was like many of the others I’ve read before.
Nothing was wrong with the page – it just felt like I was reading a resume: A list of awards, past accomplishments, and a sentence at the end describing how successful their studio is today.
Professional photographers wear 2 hats: they not only do photography, but are also local business owners who need to market their business. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people who prey on photographers, hoping that while they might know their way around a camera, they are less knowledgeable when it comes to marketing.
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to work with someone who offers to sell you links – also called backlinks – to your website. You should avoid them at all costs.
When potential clients search Google for photographers, the first thing they see is a map of the studios closest to them. Getting on this map can dramatically improve your chances for a client to find your website.
You may be curious why some studios come up on the first page map – and some do not. It seems like a mystery. What did those other photographers do that you aren’t doing? What could you be doing differently?
While no one can guarantee you a front page position, Google does give guidelines on how to increase your chances of being on the first page. According to Google, their Maps search results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. These factors are combined to help Google find the best match for search results. For example, while a studio that is closer to the client should be higher on the first page, their search technology might decide that even though a studio is farther away, it is more likely to have what the client is looking for!
Here’s more detail on what relevance, distance, and prominence mean, along with some ideas to help improve your website for each.
Recently a friend asked if I could help him figure out why his customers were searching for his business on their smart phones and being directed to his old store he’d left a year ago.
I searched for his business on Moz Local (read why here) and discovered that Bing.com and Yellowpages.com both showed his old store address in their listings. Since he’d updated both when he moved, why were they again showing the old address?
One of the ways Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines figure out what kind of business you run is to scan your web pages looking for keywords. Basically, keywords are 1-3 word phrases on a page that help the search engines determine what that page is about. While keywords are important in a page’s title, meta-description, and body text, most photographers forget the easiest place to use them: in image file names.
Take this image on the right, for example. If you shot this kind of photography and wanted to put it on your website’s portfolio, you’d be tempted to drag and drop it from the sitting’s project folder on your hard drive. The file would probably be named DSC_1234.jpg or SMITH-0012.JPG.
A quick search shows there are 122,00 images on Google named DSC_1234.jpg!
Modern website design has changed over the years as the result of 2 major influences: Apple, and mobile computing. Apple computers invented the clean, simple design, and smart phones have forced websites to look good on small screens.
Take a moment to look at your website. See if it is breaking any of these 5 rules for modern website design.
Google has announced that beginning April 21 they will begin penalizing websites that are not “mobile friendly.” This means that if your website does not automatically respond to changes in screen resolution – from smart phone to desktop – Google will rank your website lower than your “mobile friendly” competition.
What does this mean for you?
First, you should try Google’s Mobile-Friendly test. If you pass, excellent. You have nothing more to do.
If you fail, you have 3 options:
1. Replace your website. Most modern website software is resolution independent, i.e. ‘mobile friendly.” We did a side-by-side review of the best software for photographers.
2. Fix your website. If you use Google Webmaster Tools, you can get a full list of mobile usability issues across your site by running the Google Webmaster Tools Mobile Usability Report. If you don’t use Google webmaster tools, start here.
3.Create a new mobile-only website. Your website’s server knows when a mobile phone wants to view your website. Instead of sending them a copy of your website, it can redirect mobile phones to a different website called m.yourwebsite.com. This website can be hosted by a mobile website provider. The most common ones are dudamobile.com, goMobi.info and bMobilized.com. These 3rd party mobile site builders will cost you around $100 per year.
In case you haven’t seen the show, here’s how it works: each episode, 3-4 small business owners pitch their business plan to 5 millionaire investors. Then they ask these “Sharks” to invest money into their businesses. Half don’t get any offers. Half get 1 or 2. Occasionally, a business plan will have several Sharks fighting to invest.
After watching a few episodes, you begin to see a pattern. (more…)