18 Easy SEO Tips for Photographers and Wedding Event Specialists

by Ed Atrero
last update: May 13, 2012

This is a collection of Photographer SEO Tips that Ed discussed at the 2012 WPPI Tradeshow. Being in the ultra competitive San Diego Wedding Photography market, we have had to really dig deep and work on our SEO to stay up high in the rankings.

Ed discusses SEO tips at the 2012 WPPI Tradeshow.

SEO Site Tips
1) We see a lot of photographers have separate domains for their blog and main portfolio site. We do not recommend this setup as it splits link juice between two separate domains, effectively doubling the amount of SEO effort needed. To keep things more SEO friendly we recommend photographers to keep their blog and main portfolio on same subdomain, with a blog under a subfolder like “http://www.awesomephotographer.com/blog”

2) Use Appropriate Anchor text
Don’t do this
– Link here.
Do this
– Check out this awesome Vintage Ewok Inspired Wedding.

3) Don’t throw link juice down the drain! Fix Crawl/404 Errors. Check Google Webmaster and look for Crawl Errors. Redirect broken links with Quick Page/Post Redirect.

4) Link exchanges don’t work! The search engines caught on to this many moons ago.

5) Don’t forget: Sugar. Water. Purple. AKA Link juice!

6) Watch out for some free WordPress themes. They’ll contain embedded links to their maker. That’s a blackhat/greyhat method of getting backlinks. Some so called experts (who charge photogs $2000 for SEO tips) embed links in their free WordPress themes. That’s how they were able to rank #1 in their market. Surprise!

WordPress Plugins for Building Internal Links
7)Google hates link distributions with single mountain peaks and vast plains. A more organic link distribution has lots of mountains and few valleys. For building internal links:

8)Helps problems with duplicate content, fixes canonical problems
Yoast WordPress SEO
All In One SEO is a competing plugin. Yoast WordPress SEO has more features and is more user friendly. You can import all your All In One SEO into Yoast WordPress SEO. I did have one hick up with my RSS feed breaking, so you may want to check your RSS Feed through the W3C validator if you use Yoast WordPress SEO.

9) Improve WordPress load times for better user experience. Better user experiences lead to higher conversion rates. Use the following plugin:
W3 Total Cache

10)Fix Canonical URL problems. Use 301 Redirects
edit your .htaccess.
To redirect http://awesomephotographer.com to http://www.awesomephotographercom add the following:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^awesomephotographer.com [NC] RewriteRule (.*) http://www.awesomephotographer.com/$1 [L,R=301]

Page Optimization
11) Title tags with relevant keyword. Don’t keyword stuff.

12) Keyword density is a myth!

13) First mention of a link on a page wins! Make sure that link has meaningful anchor text. This has been confirmed by none other than Matt Cutts.

14) H1 headlines are good, but add little value.

15) meta keywords = waste of time

16) meta description is not used in rankings, but makes search results more user friendly.

17) alt tag your images! >50% of hits on our site are image searches. Make multiple impressions in bride’s mind. Often when we ask brides where they have seen our work, they don’t know exactly but they’ve seen our work multiple times before they contacted us.

Moving To A New Domain

18) If you’re looking to move your site to a new domain and want to move existing blog posts, pages, etc to your new site, consider using “rel=canonical” and point to the same content on your new site. SEO experiments have shown that Google will point to your new site in SERPs much faster than a traditional 301 redirect.

Further Reading
Here is a great book on SEO for Photographers:

Here is another great set of books for SEO:

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We are an award winning San Diego Wedding Photographer duo specializing in artistic documentary wedding photography.
San Diego, CA
Phone: (760)-481-7632