Have you ever wondered if potential clients are finding you on the first page of Google? Here’s a simple way to find out.
Posts Tagged ‘website’
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.
If you offer commercial photography, you probably show one or more services in the portfolios on your website:
• Interior/exterior photography
• Product photography
It makes sense. At some point, every business will need these services, especially when they need to update their website.
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!
Using a .photography domain will not make your studio easier to find on Google. Even though their may be lots of buzz around the new URLs, local businesses like a photographer’s studio should use a .com domain.
With so many of the .com names already taken, newer photographers may be tempted to host their business’s website on a .co, .net, or even the new .photography domain. For example, if your name is Amy Adams, domains like AmyAdams.com, AdamsPhotography.com, and PhotosbyAmy.com might already be taken. So the temptation would be to purchase a URL like AmyAdams.co, AmyAdams.net, or even the new AmyAdams.photography.
If you have a studio but haven’t updated your Google my Business (GMB) account you should do it today. This free feature is Google’s unified interface designed to make life easier for local businesses like photographic studios. GMB complements your existing website by giving your studio a public identity and presence on Google.
GMB organizes your studio location on Google maps, Google search, Google Analytics and Google reviews all in one place. You can edit your studio’s address, phone number, website, logo and even include interior shots of your studio potential clients can view online.
If you previously used Google Places for Business or Google+ Pages Dashboard to manage your business information, your account has been automatically upgraded to Google My Business.
Why is GMB important? Incomplete GMB listings – or multiple listings of your studio with duplicate names, addresses and phone numbers will have a direct impact on your studio’s ability to show up in Google searches. Since over 80% of potential clients will search for you online before calling, it is critical that your GMB is 100% complete and up-to-date to insure they find you quickly and easily.
For example, suppose a potential client searches for your studio address on a smart phone to see how far they would have to drive to get to you. Without a complete GMB listing, you may not even be found online!