Questions that keep many photographers up at night: What is SEO? When it comes to SEO for photographers, what do I need to know? Why is SEO important? How do I get more eyes on my website? Am I doing it already? Am I doing any of this right? Can I do anything right? Am I even a real photographer? Am I real at all? Is anything real? Are we in a simulation?
And, our personal favourite: How do I learn more about SEO without falling asleep and waking up with a keyboard print embedded into my face?
Yeesh. Those dark SEO thoughts can escalate pretty quickly.
But don’t worry, friends. Here at Meet Pepper, we have helped hundreds of photographers improve their SEO. And now we’re going to help you.
In this article, we’ll go over all the SEO basics without boring you to death. We’ll also give you some of our top SEO tips for photographers to help you increase your web traffic in 2023, get more (and better) gigs, and make more money. Hallelujah. Let’s do this.
In this blog:
- What is SEO for photographers?
- Why is SEO important for photographers?
- How can I improve my photography website SEO?
- 9 ways to get more traffic to your photography website
- SEO blogging help for photographers
What is SEO for photographers?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Essentially, the better your SEO, the easier it is for people to find you online.
Usually when the topic of SEO comes up, it’s in reference to your website and whether or not people can find it on search engines, like Google. It’s about increasing your organic web traffic—that is, visitors who find cyour website on Google. That’s a huge part of it.
However, SEO applies to all sorts of platforms—from social media to Pinterest to Google Business Profile and more. It’s kind of like the web that holds your digital presence together.
In this article, we are going to focus mainly on your photography website SEO, but we’ll also touch on some tips for how to use other platforms to improve your website SEO. Heck yeah.
Why is SEO important for photographers?
SEO is important for almost any business. As a photographer, one of your main goals is probably to get potential clients to your website. And SEO is going to help you do that, big time.
Because rather than having to hunt down your dream clients, wouldn’t it be nice if they just came to you? Ummm, yes please.
Think of it this way.
When someone Googles something relevant to your business, you want your website to show up. That’s a given.
For example, if you’re an adventure elopement photographer in British Columbia, and someone looks up “elopement photographers in BC”, you want them to be able to find you easily. You want to pop up in those search results—the higher the better.
But how do you make that happen? SEO, my friends. You’ve gotta optimize that shit for search engines.
To sum it up, SEO helps photographers attract your ideal clients to your website, which means your likelihood of booking your dream gigs (without having to constantly sell yourself) is much higher.
It will help you stand out amongst the competition, be seen as more professional, and you’ll probably even save some of the time, energy, and money you’re spending on other forms of promotion. So long, social media burnout!
And here’s one more thing—while SEO is a super helpful marketing tactic, a lot of photographers aren’t aware of it or aren’t using it to their advantage. And I mean, you can’t blame them. After all, you got into this because you love taking beautiful photos—not because you want to nerd out about marketing shit all day. That’s why we’re spreading the word.
But the flipside is that photographers who do implement kickass SEO are at a huge advantage. And guess what? That could be you.
How can I improve my photography website SEO?
We’re so glad you asked.
When it comes to what makes SEO successful, there are a lot of different factors involved, including:
- The quality and quantity of the written copy on your website
- How often you update your website with new content
- Your use of keywords
- The formatting of your images
- The useability and speed of your website
- The number and quality of backlinks on your website (people linking back to you)
- Whether or not you encourage people to visit your website outside of Google search (social media, newsletters, listings, other blogs and articles, etc.)
Let’s start by diving into a few rad things you can do to improve your website SEO and get more traffic to your website.
9 ways to get more traffic to your photography website with SEO
Let’s talk about SEO for photography websites. Here are some things you can start implementing to improve your photography website SEO and get more web traffic.
- Have a strategy for SEO
- Always offer value
- Use photography keywords for SEO
- Optimize your images
- Create SEO titles and meta descriptions
- Get backlinks to your website
- Write photography blogs for SEO
- Use your Google Business Profile
- Get an SEO audit
1. Start with an SEO strategy
If you know us, you know we’re all about starting with a solid (but flexible) strategy.
Having SEO goals in mind will help you make sure you’re doing stuff right the first time, and that you’re actually working towards what you want to achieve.
So it’s time to sit down and ask yourself—what do I want to achieve?
- Do I really want to draw in a certain type of client?
- Do I really want more gigs in a specific area or venue?
- Do I really want to shoot a certain style or genre of photography?
Once you know what you want, you can implement your SEO in a way that helps you get it.
2. Offer value
Google is pretty smart, and it’s only getting smarter.
It’s pretty good at understanding whether or not what you have on your website is actually offering your visitors what they came for.
So when it comes to what you put on your website, make sure you think about your audience (more specifically, the people you ideally want on your website—your dream clients):
- What are they looking for? Is it easy to find?
- What kind of information do they find valuable?
- What draws them in?
- What questions do they have and how can you answer them?
- How can you help them?
- How can you make the experience exceptional for them?
3. Use SEO keywords for photographers
Strategically using keywords for SEO on your photography website is really important.
A keyword is a word or phrase that you want your webpage to “rank” for. That is, you want it to show up on Google when people search that keyword or something similar.
Each page of your website should have a main keyword. And each page’s keyword should be different. You don’t have the main keyword of every page of your website to be “adventure elopement photographer in BC”.
Keywords help Google understand what your page is about and who they should show it to.
Here are some tips for choosing keywords for photography websites:
- Choose a different keyword for each page of your website
- Consider what your ideal clients are searching for online
- Your keywords should also represent what you have to offer—include things like your photography genre, location, and business name.
- Ideally, keywords should have a high search volume and low competition (in some industries these can be tough to find, but do your best!)
- Use keyword research tools like Ubersuggest to find the search volume and competition of different keywords, as well as get ideas for other ones to use
- Also add “alternate keywords”, or synonyms for your keyword, throughout the webpage
Where to put your photography keywords on your website pages:
- In the main heading
- In the first paragraph
- In at least one other heading
- A few other times throughout the web copy on that page
- In the SEO title (more on that later)
- In some of your image alt text (more on that later)
- Sprinkle alternate keywords in as well
Also, avoid keyword stuffing—that is, putting keywords all over the place just for the sake of it. Google will know, and it won’t like it. Your readers will know and they won’t like it, either.
In the end, it’s important to implement SEO best practices, including keywords—but it’s most important to write for the reader. They’re your #1 priority.
4. Add SEO for photos
Does adding images improve SEO? Yes, if you add them properly.
As a photographer, you’re likely to have a lot of images on your website. Obvs.
Here are some tips to make sure the images on your website are optimized for search engines:
- Size your images for the web. Images that are too large will slow down your website which is bad for your SEO. A rule of thumb is to make your website images around 1500px wide and less than 100KB. Hot tip: If you use a gallery like Pic-Time or Pixieset, set your “web download” size to match what you want to use on your website.
- Customize the file names of your images. The file name should be something relevant to your business and/or keyword for that page.
- Geotag your image. This means adding a geographic location to the metadata of your image. You can use a tool like GeoImgr to do this, or you can likely set your camera to capture this data when you take the photo.
- Add alt text to your images. Alt text is a one-sentence description of what is in your image. Google uses it to understand what the image is about, and it’s also used by people who use screen readers. This is a great chance to work in some of your keywords, but do it in a way that feels natural. Typically, you can do this in your website builder after you upload your image, under the image settings.
5. Fill out your SEO titles and meta descriptions
You know when you Google something, and the result pops up, and it has a clickable title and a short description underneath? Those are called SEO titles and meta descriptions.
Feeling these out properly for each webpage not only helps your SEO, but it can be a great opportunity to tell people what that page is about and entice them to click.
In fact, not filling these out properly can harm your SEO score. So add this to your list!
Tips for filling out your SEO titles and meta descriptions:
- Include your keyword in the SEO title
- Make sure your business name, location, genre, etc. are in at least some of your SEO titles
- Include your keyword or an alternate keyword in the meta description
- Use this space to tell people what the page is about and entice them to click
- Have a different SEO title and meta description for each page of your website—no repeats!
6. Encourage backlinks to your website
Backlinks happen when other websites link back to yours. The more authoritative websites you have linking back to your website, the better.
Some tips for getting backlinks to your photography website:
- Submit your website to reputable business listings and registries in your area/industry.
- Share links to your website on other platforms, like social media and Pinterest.
- Create relationships with vendors, venues, and other businesses and encourage them to link back to your website. Offer to link to theirs, too, as a trade. For example, in a “preferred vendor” list.
- Write guest articles and blogs for other websites and link back to yours.
- Submit your work to publications.
- Publish content that other people find helpful and want to link to—blogs can really help with this.
7. Add photography blogs to your website
Blogging is one of our fave ways to boost your SEO.
We think almost every photographer should be blogging in 2023.
First of all, blogging is great for your website SEO because:
- Google likes when you add fresh content to your website on a consistent basis.
- Blogging gives you the opportunity to work in lots of different keywords.
- Blogs are also a great way to share more value with your audience.
- Blogs bring people to your website, which creates a snowball effect with SEO. The more visitors = the better the SEO = the more visitors…
On top of all the SEO benefits, blogs also help you build relationships with clients and vendors and share your expertise. They also
You’ll want to follow all the SEO best practices we mentioned above in your blogs, too.
Download our free SEO cheat sheet to help make sure you remember to check all the SEO boxes the next time you write a blog or webpage!
Also, if you know you want to share photography blogs but you just don’t want to write them yourself, this is something you can outsource. There’s no shame in outsourcing shit to help your business!
8. Update your Google Business Profile
Okay, now we’re moving off the website for a hot minute. Let’s talk Google Business Profile.
Google Business Profile (GBP). is a local search listing. You’ve probably used it lots before, like when you’re looking for a new brewery to try (that’s what we use it for, at least). It’s the list of businesses that pops up with quick details, photos, reviews, and a link to the website.
USE YOUR GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE! We can’t stress this enough.
Even if you travel for work, most photographers want to book a lot of clients in a certain area. You want your business to show up in this list when people are looking for photographers in your area. The higher, the better.
Tips photographers using Google Business Profile to get more web traffic:
- Update your business description. Use all the space you can to describe who you are, what you do, and why people should want to work with you. Naturally add keywords throughout, like your photography genre and location.
- Add services. A lot of people forget to fill this part out but add services and descriptions for all the different things you offer.
- Add new images regularly. If you can, at least once a week, go in and upload a few new photos. Bonus points if you geotag them first (see the SEO for images section above).
- Add updates to your GBP regularly. You can add updates to your Google Business Profile, kind of like a social media post. You can include an image, a caption, and a link. Get creative here. Link to your web pages, blogs, even your social media posts. Work keywords into your captions. Your GBP helps Google start to build a web of connections between all your business stuff online so use it to your advantage.
- Encourage positive Google reviews. Positive reviews will definitely help boost your Google Business Profile, plus it helps build trust with potential leads.
9. Get an SEO website audit
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by this, or you really want to amp up your SEO and you want some help figuring out where the hell to start, you can always talk to a pro.
Meet Pepper offers website SEO audits and services, so hit us up if you want some help! It’s the perfect starting point because it will help you see where you stand, and give you clarity on what to do next. We gotchuuuu!
SEO blogging help for photographers
Since blogging is an ongoing SEO task, it’s something we know a lot of photographers struggle with. It’s time consuming and it can be hard to think of great photography blog topics all the time. Not to mention adding in SEO best practices.
If you need help with creating optimized blogs, remember that we’re here for you!
Rockstar Content Creator
Pepper – Your Badass Business BFF Inc.