Even though Instagram is so important to wedding photographers and how they find brides, it’s super important that you blog, anyway. Why?
Here are some reasons: What if IG closed tomorrow? What would you do? Many brides still go to google to check reviews, My research via polls to my brides and google search show that brides still Google search to find wedding vendors. Additionally, brides often confirm their potential hire by looking at all these sites, social media and websites as well as Google and Pinterest.
Remember that social media comes and goes (think MySpace) and remember how easy it was for people to find your business on Facebook? Now…… maybe 2% of the people that actually like your page will see your posts.
Your website can either do nothing OR you can utilize the single best way to get found FOR FREE! If you want to do this, you need to optimize your website for search and understand SEO.
What is SEO??
So I went to my favorite SEO expert Neil Patel. Here’s what he said:
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.
Let me break that down even further:
When it comes to SEO, there’s you, the search engine, and the searcher. If you have an article about how to make vegan lasagna, you want the search engine (which, in 90% of all cases, is Google) to show it as a top result to anyone who searches for the phrase “vegan lasagna.”
SEO is the magic you have to work on your article in order to make Google very likely to include your post as one of the top results whenever someone searches for that keyword.”~Neil Patel
What does this mean for your wedding photography website? I’m betting you can guess — A LOT!!! If you’re Jen Vazquez, Bay Area Wedding Photographer and you only have a few blog posts referring to “Jen Vazquez, Bay Area wedding photographer,” you will miss out on booking brides.
Soooooooo, let’s get to the tips!
You Need Words, not just images!
Do you have beautiful blog posts filled with phenomenal photography but no words to describe what’s happening in your images? From my research, you should have at least 200 words to every blog post you publish. Within those 200 words, be sure to include keywords like “wedding in San Jose, California” and “San Jose wedding photographer” This way Google knows what your blog post is about and serves it up to brides in your area.
Create Valuable Content
Create content that brides want to read or are searching for. An easy way to do this is to write a blog for every question that your brides ask you. It’s a way to build up a ton of great content for your brides and a great way for new brides to find you. If one bride has the question, you can bet multiple brides wonder the same thing.
Optimize your Images
Be sure to optimize your images. What does optimizing your images mean? There are three places to put a name (i.e. search terms). Alt Text, Title, and Description. All three places can have the same name OR a variation of the name, if you have the time. Here is an example of a great optimized image name: “bay-area-santa-clara-catholic-wedding-at-five-wounds-with-pale-pink-and-Burgandy-jen-vazquez-photography“
Use these SEO Keywords in every blog
- Use The Name of your company somewhere on your blog. I typically put it in the title.
- Use location-specific keywords like your city, state, town, area
- Use your three brand words in every blog post. Mine are adventurous, playful and fun. So I say those three words everywhere in each blog, when possible.
- Use “Wedding Photographer” or “Wedding Photography” in each blog
Don’t Be Silly — SHARE IT!
Share your blogs by newsletter, social media, Pinterest, on business and personal page. Sharing the information tells Google that you are popular and trustworthy.
Wedding Photographers have an easier time with this because we have gorgeous images!
Ensure that you have share buttons on your website for social media – this makes it easy and today, doing something easy online ensures they may click. If someone has to copy and paste, etc to share the information – it oftentimes is one too many clicks for people to have to do.
My favorite tools to Share:
Mailchimp: Get your content to your couples and to industry friends by creating a newsletter. While MailChimp may seem like an odd tool to list, I decided to include it because Mailchimp pushes people (especially your clients) to share your content directly from an email you send out. I also think Mailchimp is more reliable in getting your content to your followers than Facebook.
Tailwind – this is my all-time favorite tool for Pinterest, FB, and Instagram! By clicking the Tailwind link, you’ll get a free trial and they will give me a tiny stipend for sharing.
NO 404 Errors: Make sure your links are Working
There literally nothing worse than having 404 Page Error put up when you are looking for something. Guess what? It’s irritating to Google too. It makes Google feel like you are untrustworthy and it really messes up the algorithm.
My favorite free tool to check links: Atomseo
Speed Up That Site!
Google doesn’t like slow sites. Photographs are most important, for us photographers, but we also need to ensure that they don’t slow down our page.
- Making images look good
- Making images load quickly
- Making images easy for search engines to index.
Photographs should be saved and uploaded as JPGs. This file type can handle all of the colors in a photograph in a relatively small, efficient file size. By using JPEGs, you won’t end up with the enormous file you might get if you saved a photograph as a PNG.
The average speed for a website to load is 5 seconds. You can fix your site load time by cutting down on the size of a page. The biggest way to add to the size of your page? Slapping on tons of huge images. So, how can you fix this?
I love to take my favorite hi-resolution images and I throw them in BlogStomp. It’s a paid tool, but you can use the trial to try it out. I automatically optimize my images so they look their best but are web sized. It’s a lifesaver.
My favorite free tool to test speed: Pingdom
Get those Backlinks!
This is often overlooked. What are backlinks? Backlinks are another website links to your website.
The bigger the website, the more powerful that backlink is because Google believes that you are more trustworthy. Especially if you are a wedding photographer and you have a link on a wedding site because it is a wedding-related.
Here are some ways to get started with backlinks (all free):
- Signup for any free wedding related directories
- Signup for Google’s business page AND post regularly on there.
- Post images you took at a venue on the Google page for the venue.
- Add your page to Bing.
- This is a really great cheat sheet for 2020 on wedding related blogs.
- Submit your images to wedding related blogs (think Style Me Pretty, Ruffled, Brides.com).