SEO Isn’t Dead (Yet) But…
Why You Can No Longer Rely On Google For Business
Do you enjoy waiting?
I would guess not. If you’re like most normal people, waiting doesn’t qualify as any kind of fun activity.
Buses, trains, checks in the mail, elevators, important news, food – these are all things we generally have to wait for, sometimes for much longer than the time we have available, or want to spend, especially if we have any kind of impatient tendencies.
Now add website visitors to the list.
Are you also stuck in an endless wait for them to show up in enough numbers to keep you busy?
If so, welcome to the world most photographers find themselves living in – hanging around, waiting for people to find their website, just so they can have a shot at getting a new client.
It’s frustrating to say the least, and there’s a lot of finger-crossing going on, which often leads to the big question:
How can I get more website visitors?
The first answer to spring to mind for the big traffic question is usually “Google”, quickly followed by a frantic search for ways to move higher up in the search results.
Then, of course, thoughts turn to SEO (search engine optimization), and all the technical baggage that comes along with it:
- Keywords and the research needed to find the best ones…
- Figuring out where to put those keywords and how often to use them…
- Writing blog posts and pages that Google will like…
- Building the right website links…
- Trying to optimize your local search rankings…
- Tracking rankings over time to measure your progress…
- Making sense of Google’s search console (formerly their webmaster tools)…
- Google Analytics data that would look more at home at NASA…
- Dealing with Google’s never-ending list of changes…
- Simply trying to understand how it all works…
SEO has Changed Beyond All Recognition
SEO is undeniably a lot of work, and the general perception is it seems difficult to do properly for the average non-techie person.
Historically, back in the days before the Internet went crazy over social media and when we had nowhere near as much content being created every day as there is now, search engine optimization was actually something worth doing.
Up until somewhere around 2011-2012, it was quite easy to improve the ranking of a photography website with just a few small tweaks and some okay content, as long as you knew what you were doing (which wasn’t too hard, actually).
SEO back then was well within the abilities of most photographers, especially if they took a little time to learn a few simple basics.
But everything changed when Google plugged the few remaining SEO loopholes, focused more on the intangible value of website content, began to understand human language, and moved us firmly into a world where it was no longer possible to artificially influence the rankings without some heavy underground SEO artillery.
Nowadays, if you want your website to show up at or near the top of the Google search results, great content is a must-have. Preferably content that’s 10 times better than the current top-ranked websites in your niche.
If that sounds like a Herculean task, you’re not wrong, it’s a ton of work and can require the skills of a trained copywriter who understands you and your business inside and out. Unfortunately, the only person truly qualified to do that is you, so now you have to become great at writing awesome copy as well – something many photographer loathe more than a visit to the dentist.
Should You Hire An SEO Company?
Of course, you could always try hiring one of the legions of SEO firms out there, but good luck finding an honest and decent one (they do exist, but they are extremely expensive)!
The vast majority of the so-called SEO companies out there are focused on their need to promise quick results – nigh on impossible to do without engaging in what we call “black hat” SEO techniques (methods highly frowned upon – and easily sniffed out – by Google, which could easily lead to your website getting slapped by Google and made to stand, unnoticed, in the corner).
The best you can do with SEO these days is to cover the basics and then create valuable content designed to appeal to your target clients along the lines of things they might naturally search for.
The great news is you can forget all about doing any real SEO on your regular blog posts because (if you’re blogging properly) there are too many posts over time compared to the number of useful keywords at your disposal. Since we can only expect to optimize for one major keyword per page, it won’t take many posts before having to repeat yourself, which only ends up confusing Google.
In any case, blog posts with titles and content stuffed full of keywords are about as appetizing to your readers as broccoli ice cream is to a toddler.
Instead, reserve your best SEO efforts for your meaty content and resources designed to help educate your target clients.
But Isn’t Google The Best Way To Get Website Traffic?
It’s true that Google is the 800lb gorilla of search, and it seems fair enough to assume that everyone uses Google these days to find the things they’re looking for.
However, we also know that SEO is getting harder every day and getting ranked for the important keywords in our service area is a tough challenge.
But there’s another big reason why we simply can’t rely on Google the way we used to:
There simply aren’t enough people actively searching for your services in your area every day to send you the number of visitors needed to keep you busy. Even if you had the number one slot, you probably wouldn’t see more than a dozen visitors per day, and then what happens if they simply leave without doing anything like getting in touch with you?
It’s the waiting game, all over again!
So How’s The Search Channel Actually Working Out For You?
If it is, then I’m thrilled for you, but if you’re like most photographers today it’s probably not all that great, right?
Waiting for visitors to show up from the search engines can feel like an eternity, so there has to be a faster and better way.
Fortunately, there are at least 10 ways, which is what this program is all about.
So, if you’re sick of fighting with Google to get your website listed higher, and you don’t have time to sit around and just wait for people to show up from search, you’ll find the answers you’ve been looking for in the following chapters.
Roll your sleeves up – it’s time to get to work!