It can be quite overwhelming when you are doing your own SEO to work out which words and phrases you should be using, and what you actually need to do with them to increase your search engine visibility.
However, when you are a photographer covering a certain geographical area, be assured it’s much easier rank for your chosen keywords, than if you were an online retail business, for example, with thousands of products to showcase.
This is because there are fewer keywords and phrases you will be using to try to rank higher within search engines.
Essentially, the reason for using certain keywords and key phrases throughout your website and SEO plan of action means you are ensuring that your potential customers can actually find your website and web pages from the search terms they type into the search engine.
From a technical point of view, Grizzly Bear Design only ever hands over properly coded and set-up websites to our clients, all of which massively help in ranking within search engines.
CREATE A LIST OF POTENTIAL KEYWORDS AND PHRASES
Start putting together a list of words and phrases that are really important for your website to rank for. The first keywords we suggest you look at are for your profession and your geographical location. So for example, write down: photographer and Manchester.
The next type of words to write down are the different types of photography and services you offer. Think of all the different ways that potential customers could type into Google to (hopefully) find your website.
So for example, it could be ‘wedding photography Manchester’ or ‘documentary photographer Manchester’, or ‘portrait photographer Manchester’.
For each service, try to expand this list. It could look something like this for wedding photographer keywords: engagement wedding shoots, quirky wedding shoots, barn weddings, for example.
We recommend using the Google Adwords keyword planner to see how popular your keywords and phrases are. You will have to set up an account with Google Adwords first, and then you can type in a few different phrases to find out how many times people search for that term every month. We recommend that you always click the UK only search to make it more relevant.
The keyword tool will also give you other suggestions based on the phrases you’re typing in, which is massively useful.
If this is too difficult, it’s actually very easy to simply use the main Google.co.uk website to help you find search terms. Start typing one of your phrases, and see what Google automatically suggests.
Additionally, once you press return for your search results, Google will also give you a list of related searches if you scroll down to the bottom of the page.
When deciding what keywords your website should be ranking for, you need to look for what is realistic.
For example, if you just decide to rank for ‘wedding photographer UK’, you might see there are thousands of searches every single month for this term. That might seem initially fantastic but to rank on the first page of search results for this term would be very difficult to achieve. It would take you months of your time and potentially cost you a lot of money.
Conversely, if you see that one of your phrases only has a tiny number of people searching for it every month because it’s just so specific, then it’s not worth spending a lot of time re-writing web pages and creating new blog posts to rank for it.
It’s all about finding balance.
If you type in a phrase such as ‘Manchester wedding photographer’, the keyword tool will give you a list of alternatives that people also search for, which will give you lots of inspiration.
‘Manchester wedding photographer’ – Google keyword tool will suggest that you should also target:
Manchester wedding photographer
Wedding photography Manchester
Manchester wedding photography
Wedding photographers in Manchester
Don’t forget to think about geography – you can also add into your list: North West wedding photographers, Lancashire wedding photographers, for example. Don’t just think about using the word Manchester, think about related geographical areas.
THINK ABOUT LONGTAIL SEARCH
A longtail search is simply a longer string of words, asking a more specific question. One of the reasons they can be important, is that is can potentially be easier to rank high on search engines for specific queries. Another reason is that the searcher is often closer to making a purchase commitment, than someone who is just doing generic research.
An example of some longtail searches are:
‘Most rated Manchester wedding photographer’
‘Who is the best Manchester wedding photographer’
How to use these key phrases in your website:
Once you have identified this list of key phrases, it’s important to go through all your website pages and ensure a good variation of keywords are used in both the onsite copy (the web page that potential customers see) and the meta data (the title tags and description).
It is very important to ensure all of your web copy and meta data is of very high quality and reads really well.
Repeating the same key phrases over and over again will mean that Google or other search engines will see your website as being low quality, and are unlikely to show it at the top of search queries.
PLAN BLOG POSTS AROUND YOUR KEYWORDS
Writing and posting regular new blog posts will always help you rank for your keywords, because search engines always reward websites with new and good quality content.
Don’t feel the pressure to write loads of blog posts mentioning the phrase ‘Manchester wedding photographer’ as many times as you can. Grab a notepad and a brew and write a list of all the questions a newly engaged couple might want to know about choosing a wedding photographer.
Think about all the things you do that are personal to you, the way you work and your ‘brand’. It might be quirky style of photography, it might be the extra time you spend with clients to find out what they want, or it could be the type of weddings you choose to work with.
It can take a really long time to increase your search engine results for various search terms and keywords, but do keep on it. You can go back and tweak your web copy and write new blog posts any time you want to keep your web presence fresh and updated.