SEO Tips for 2015
2015 is here! Seems like it snuck up on all of us, but one thing is for sure, the internet is not going away. In fact, its just becoming more and more ingrained in our every day lives. And as you can imagine, it will become more ingrained in the lives of our clients and how they find a photographer to document their special occasion.
How will you ramp for 2015 to make the changes required for a better search engine rank? Here are some tips to ranking better in 2015.
Page load speeds.
This can not be ignored. Google is making this a priority and will penalize your site if it takes too long to load. How long is too long? Well its all relative – we are talking milliseconds, BUT keep in mind, every new whiz bang plugin you load on to your site will cause it to load slower. Not sizing your images correctly will cause your site to load slower.
For me, I keep plugins to a minimum. I avoid flash when I can. I keep my image sizes to about 900 pixels @ 72dpi. This is very important to keep load speeds down.
A great site to use to test your results is https://gtmetrix.com
Check out my site results below. I just got thumped on my images not being optimized. Looks like I have some work to do. As I would imagine we all do as photographers. Finding that balance between performance and looking good on screen is never easy.
Look for Geotargeting to be more prevalent in 2015.
Some interesting stats according to Search Engine Watch,
59 percent of consumers use Google to find a reputable, local business every month.
50 percent of all mobile searches are conducted with the purpose of finding relevant, local results.
61 percent of those searches result in a purchase.
Approximately 27 percent of total U.S. Internet time is spent on social media sites.
48 percent of users who land on a business site that doesn’t work well on mobile take it as an indication that the business just doesn’t care.
So, what can you do? Well, for starters, be sure to have address and contact information on every page. That’s easy enough to do. Next, realize, that people are searching for local vendors. How often is someone looking for a family photographer 3 states away. Unless they are traveling to that state for the holidays, none. And I might add, in that case, they are looking for a local photographer. See where this is going?
Content Marketing will be king
If you don’t know what content marketing is here is a quick definition according to Wikipedia.
Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.
In a nutshell, it means we have to create content. We can’t just post pretty pictures. We have to give people a reason to come to our site, share information, tag it, etc.
If you are a wedding photographer start creating content that will make you the expert on wedding photography. What things to consider when planning a wedding. Create a blog with guest posts. If you are a senior or portrait photographer, what goes into selecting the right photographer? What should I be looking for? Of course, we should still show our pretty pictures, but are you getting the gist here? Content is king!
Must be mobile friendly
Responsive. This is the current buzzword. In a nutshell, it means your site must scale for all platforms. Desktop, laptop, tablets, and mobile devices. Well, my site for one, does not do this. And I know its hurting my ranking right now.
For 2015, this is a major initiative for me and something I know has to happen. Do not wait on this. More and more visitors are coming from mobile devices. If you are not sure, check your Google analytics. On my site, last month, 25% of all visitors were on mobile or tablet devices. That number is only going to continue to increase. We all have to prepare or we will lose the business to frustrated users.
That’s right ladies and gents, its not about just posting content one day when you have a wild hair. It’s about consistently posting relevant and timely content.
Relevant is defined by ensuring you have your keywords worked into your posts. Timely, is weekly as far as I am concerned. I have noticed when I am in the middle of wedding season and posting every week – my ranking bolts up to the top of the list. However, when we get into slower months, my ranking will fall a few spots to my competitors who are posting with more frequency.
The good news is, we don’t have to write like idiots any more with our keywords being used every other word. Google has figured this out and is looking for natural language.
Social Media Integration
Not sure this is on anyone’s radar at the moment, but I am making a prediction here. Either this year or very soon thereafter, Google will announce it’s putting weight on social media in some form or fashion. I am not sure how it will all work, but it’s only a matter of time.
Think about it. Isn’t this the most logical thing you have ever heard? Did you read the stat above? 27% of all US traffic is spent on social media sites. This is where people are. It’s how they are making decisions. And to ignore someone’s social equity when returning search results is an incomplete service.
Google and the other big players will figure this out and soon, will return results based on some magical formula.
So, what does that mean for you? Stop ignoring social media. ENGAGE. At a minimum, make 2015 your year to set up your sites and properties on all major platforms and just start using them. You just might be surprised at the results.
This Post Has 18 Comments
So most of the tactics are same like before as always but the important thing that I notice is publishing timely content. I am totally agree with you that content should be published according to a plan, its quite helpful info for all SEO professionals I guess so!
Thank you very much my friend please visit my site
Hi Sal! first Thank you for being so generous and a trusted adviser to the photography world with all the free information you have shared!
I wanted to ask was there a platform you recommend for a website that ranks better in Seo- is it better to stick with WordPress or try a platform like squares pace-zen folio- or photobiz? Do one of these rank better in terms of Seo? Or just your opinion?
not sure about the template sites… def need to make sure everything is completed on those sites – metadate, etc. its a little more difficult than a wordpress site, but it can be done. hth – sal
Thanks for the great advice. I have been focussing on most of these already and hope it’ll start to pay off soon.
Going along with mobile friendly – having flash galleries on a website is not good for SEO. So switching to something java or html5 based is a much better choice.
Security is a top priority for Google – another ranking signal that will be trending in 2015 is https. I made the switch just before the New Year. Got a little lock icon next to my address in the browser now. Awesome.
I just got my website up and running last month. I just ran the speed test on it and got a decent grade. I’m using a plug n play type site with Zenfolio.
I’m not a ‘wedding’ photographer, but I have shot a few.
I found your shutter mag, and have a free year, but I have only glanced at the magazine(no time as yet).
I really like the layout and all the info I’ve seen.
Thank you so much for all that you are doing in sharing great info! keep up the good work.
Oh, and your photography is top!
Great info as usual, Sal! I’m off to test my website now! I am a little afraid of the results because I know my photos are massive! First website task of 2015 on the way to better SEO is to upload smaller files! Thanks for always making us better! 🙂
Great stuff as always. I’m enjoying your course on CreativeLive.com and especially impressed with your social media/SEO tips. Question: You mentioned that there’s no need anymore to write our butts off, because Google has figured out keyword stuffing and is looking for natural language (paraphrasing you…) Is that the case? I cringe at bizarre sounding titles and language, comments that say, “Wow, what a beautiful destination wedding at the Ritz Carlton- Seattle. You are a great wedding photographer in the Pacific Northwest….” So….you’re saying all that nonsense can stop? Natural language is ok?
Excited about the prospect of social media integration – very interesting. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!
Thanks for the tips Sal, looking forward to your sessions at the Societies Convention in London
You are providing a great service. Most people do not think in terms of Search Engine Optimization.
As a PC user, the images in my website do not exceed 96 PPI. I now have to integrate social media – that’s my 2015 goal.
My marketing universe is much smaller because as a tutor or photography coach, I am trying to reach those who want to improve their photo skills.
Sal – I am so happy to have come trough your teaching. I was trying to stay out of the bussines of Photography. But you have inspired me to stay and to stay strong. Thanks you for what you do for us.
thanks ignacio!! keep learning, growing, and experimenting… success will be yours!!
For me the biggest issue is videos not closed captioned. Myself and many of my friends being deaf we miss out on what’s being said on the videos. Are the videos just rehashing what’s in print? Don’t know. Is there some neat new technique being explained? Don’t know either. Is there a pitfall to avoid mentioned? Don’t know. A lot of videos just look like talking heads selling something anyway.
Not enough demos. I’d like to see some demos on real life negotiation that you do when a new client visits to talk to you about what they want and the costs. How do you get to YES. Can you demo how you up-sell to your clients? Do you have a script you use? I’d like to see more demos on the business end of the sessions. Demo how your waiting room is set up. What’s the best way to promote/encourage them to buy more items.
Looking forward to receiving the print edition soon. Thx!
hey lupe – there is no video associated with this – this is an article on seo not on sales – so i am not sure i am 100% following you. are you referring to the magazine in general? yes, correct, the videos are not closed captioned. my apologies. i dont know any other industry magazines that offer video at all. that being said, while we strive to be the best out there – its not possible for a free magazine to cover the cost of transcribing and editing the videos – my apologies – just being transparent. as for the videos – yes, they are talking heads, but they add to the article – no one is selling anything. hope that helps – thanks for reading the mag. never know in the future.. CC could happen. 🙂 sal
Thx Sal for the great tips! I love listening to you teach. I don’t often comment on anything but wanted to tell you that all the ppl like me that don’t comment ( there are many of us) truly appreciate you! Your openness ,honesty and sharing. I know you will go far . Thank you