Your potential photography clients have a problem.
They’re trying to find a photographer for their portraits, wedding, or commercial job, but they can’t find you in the search engine results if you don’t use the right photography keywords as part of your website SEO strategy.
I see and hear the end result of this problem every day!
For example, “Google hates me!” is something I hear often from photographers seeking help with their websites, usually with the burning question: “Why is it that when people want to find a photographer they can’t find me in the search engines? I thought I had the right photography keywords in place but it’s not working!”
They’re not alone with this problem, and I’m sure you’ve asked yourself the same thing on more than one occasion.
But the fact is, it doesn’t matter what type of photography you’re selling, Google is the great equalizer, and everyone is subject to the same golden rule:
No one can hire you, or buy from you, if they can’t find you…
If you want your clients to come to you when they go to Google to find a photographer, then you not only need the right photography keywords, you also need to know where to place them.
In this section, I’ll show you how to make sure you choose the photography keywords to help your prospects find a photographer you know they’ll be thrilled with – you.
And it’s much easier than you might think…
Find A Photographer Made Easy
As I’ve already mentioned several times, SEO is something many professional photographers assume is too difficult or technical to do for themselves, but the simple truth is that anyone can do enough SEO to make a big difference to their photography business.
Helping your clients in their search to find a photographer is actually a lot easier than most people think it is – as long as you follow a few basic steps.
One of the reasons so many people struggle so much with SEO is that they’re trying to answer the wrong question: “What is it that I’m trying to sell?”
Instead, you should ask yourself: “When trying to find a photographer, what are people actually looking for and what are the right photography keywords?”
Answering that question will lead to a more natural approach to SEO that will attract more of your ideal clients to your website and identify those prospects who are ready to buy from you.
We can break up our quest for the proper photography keywords into four separate phases:
- First, set your goals…
- Narrow down the field…
- Learn to think like your client…
- The actual keyword research…
Phase 1: Set Goals
Before you begin the physical task of finding the right photography keywords to help your clients find a photographer, you should seriously consider the SEO strategies you plan to use, and you should have some idea of what you want to achieve.
- Book more family portrait sessions…
- Sell more of your nature photography…
- Attract buyers who enjoy fine-art…
- Encourage new prospects to sign up to your mailing list…
- Find new clients for commercial photography projects…
- Increase the readership of your photography blog…
Once you’ve identified your objectives, you can begin to think about how to attract the right prospects. It’s okay to have multiple goals, by the way – just tackle each one in turn and don’t stir up the waters too much by combining them all into one big task.
Phase 2: Refinement
With your goals in mind, you can now get more specific with your photography keywords choice. The more targeted you can make this, the better things will be in the long term. You may not be able to reach as large an audience, but the people you do connect with when they’re looking to find a photographer will be much more likely to do business with you.
For example, suppose you specialize in pet photography in Tampa, Florida, and you want to work with people who love their pets so much they want portraits of them on the wall.
In that case, there’s not much point in optimizing purely for the photography keywords phrase “pet photography” or even “Florida pet photography“. Those phrases are too broad and would target too many potential searches.
Your target market are more likely to be searching for keywords like “pet photographer in Tampa“. You can even go further by creating a wide range of website content that addresses the photography of specific types of pet that you know are of particular interest to your audience.
Locally-based search terms such as these (ones that contain a geographical element) are even more important for photographers who specialize in weddings, portraits, or commercial photography because their clients usually live within a short distance of the photographer’s studio.
The Google Plus “local” feature is also a good place to optimize for, but we’ll be talking about that in a later section.
So, for each specific SEO goal that you identified, you should now have a list of very well-targeted photography keywords.
Phase 3: Think Like Your Client
Next, you should start thinking more like your ideal clients, and especially how they think when they’re trying to find a photographer. This is not always as easy as it sounds, but it is worth the effort.
Make a list of the photography keywords your prospects could use to search for the style of photography you want to sell. Include as many variations as possible, including plurals and local colloquialisms.
Then ask everyone you know, including your friends, family, and existing clients what photography keywords they might search for to find a photographer.
You can also go into your Google Analytics reports to find some of the photography keywords already being used to find you, including some of those less commonly known.
Finally, pick the very best ones that you feel are the most relevant and targeted, and especially those where someone using that phrase could be in a buying mode.
Phase 4: Photography Keywords Research
With all the intelligence and information you’ve gathered so far, it’s time to do some online photography keywords research to identify which ones will be the best ones for you to target.
There are many ways to do keyword research, but the one I like most is the free Google Keyword Research Tool, which is part of Google AdWords. This tool allows you to type in search phrases to get data on how often that keyword is searched for, plus some ideas for alternatives you may not have thought of.
At this point, I thought it would be more useful for you if I demonstrated this with the aid of a video.
This video is taken from a special SEO webinar I hosted with Matt Hayman, an SEO consultant from the UK, where we talk about keyword research.
After you complete this stage, you should have a good set of photography keywords that are specific to your business and your ideal clients.