It’s essential today for a wedding photographer to have a website but that alone will not be good enough to attract clients. With so many wedding photography websites now SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is vital. Basically SEO is the process of getting your site as close to the top of the search engines listings as possible. SEO is generally split into two parts – on page criteria and off page criteria.
On page criteria. This process should ideally begin before any code is written. A keyword search should be carried out at this stage by predicting what words a searcher might type in that might be relevant to your business. So for example, if you specialise in a particular type of photography such as contemporary wedding photography then “contemporary wedding photography” could be one set of your keyword group. The more niche your market the better. Also if you mainly provide services in a particular area then the area name in a keyword group would also be important. Google provide a keyword tool to indicate how many times a keyword selection was searched and what the competition is for this search. So after choosing your keyword groups its time to design your website.
When choosing your domain name try and get your top listed keywords in the domain name if that is possible although with wedding photography this might be hard to do. When creating pages, your index page is the most important. This page needs to be titled using your top keywords and the text within this page should have a good sprinkling of these keywords but don’t overdo it. Headings on this page should also include these keywords. Other pages should generally follow the same procedure as with the index page but with other keywords being used relevant to that page. These pages unlike the index page will have an URL extension and if possible use your keywords within this extension. Other important criteria would be to have your keywords contained in the meta tag description and the images alt tags.
Off page criteria. This process is done after the site is up and running and usually takes the most time. Google has a page rank of 0 to 10 for each page in a website and the higher the page rank the higher Google will list that page in conjunction with the on page criteria. In order to get a higher page rank (PR) you need to get good quality links pointing to your website. A good quality link is from a page with a high PR value that has a similar content to your own. One good quality link can be worth several low quality links. The problem with a new website is that it will have no PR and it may be difficult to get higher ranked sites to link to it as this may dilute their PR. A good way to increase PR is to submit to directories within photography or wedding photography categories. Most directories will require reciprocal links but not all do. Some require a fee to get listed but this could be money well spent in the long run. Another way to get links is to submit articles to forums with a link to your website.
It can take months or even years to get near the top of search engine listings but if you keep adding good quality material to the website and getting good in-pointing links the effort will all be worth while in the end.