Category: SEO

How Having A Listing On Our Photography Directory Can Help With Your SEO

Members  of  our Network automatically get a free listing on our Find The Best Photographer directory website.

One question we’re sometimes asked is how having a listing can help a photography business.

It is possible that you will get bookings directly from the listing but this is almost impossible to track. Even if you asked your client where they found your details – most are likely to say “on your website” as that is where the link will take them. Some might say google or I found you online. If you don’t actually ask them if they got your details from the Find The Best Photographer directory, you won’t really know. Even then, some people may not realise they went through the directory to find your website.

BUT your listing is doubly important for your business because simply by being listed, your own website will rank higher on google.

This is why:

Search engines crawl the web continually and links are the map they use to do that. Links show search engines how pages are related and they use complex algorithms to decide how valuable those links are. In other words external links are 3rd parties endorsing your website – they’re saying to their visitors ‘hey this is a cool site we think you’ll love, go take a peek’. And when you think about it, that’s a pretty big deal. Who we refer customers to is a reflection on ourselves so we want to make sure we’re sending people to someone who will look after them. So although no-one is actually sure of the black magic, ever changing recipe that search engines use to determine how far up the results they will place you, SEO experts believe that external links are the most important source of ranking power.

In addition to this, if you link back to the referrer, google gives you extra brownie points. It’s clear to see from the keywords scattered through your website and ours, that we are similar businesses with a similar audience and linking back like this just provides further endorsement for your website.

If you would like a listing on our website but don’t want to become a member of the Network, you can pay for just a listing HERE for just $8.99 a month… Read the rest

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Landing Pages And How Photographers Can Use Them

If you’re thinking ‘what the heck’s a landing page and why do I need one?’, read on to find out why using an amazing landing page can help you generate more enquiries for your photography business.

It’s tempting to just hand our your URL when you’re asked for your web address.  The URL would usually take visitors to your home page, which will work fine in certain situations.  But it’s far better if you have the option to direct specific people to a specific landing page.  Landing pages are just hidden pages on your website.  Visitors can only ‘land’ on them by following a specific link.

There’s no limit to the number of landing pages you can have on your website and it makes total sense to have different landing pages for different audiences.

Landing Pages for FACEBOOK

It’s sensible to use a landing page to send people from your Facebook page to your website.  Firstly, think about how your clients use Facebook.  Most people find Facebook pages because they see a tagged image on a friends feed, they ask for recommendations or use Facebook search.  Or they might be long time followers of your page and want to find out more.  The important thing here is they aren’t quite cold leads.  They’ve also come to you via a very conversational platform.  They are likely to be wanting to find out more information so that they can book.

Consider how you’d greet an acquaintance when you design this landing page.  A friendly tone that says ‘hey, I’m glad you popped in to visit me’ is going to hit the spot. You might want a picture of yourself or even a very short video.  And you want to give them some shortcuts to the type of information they might want. Try, ‘I’m glad you popped over today, let me show you some of the sessions I have available in the coming weeks’.  Then add quick links to information pages on your most popular sessions and how to book them.

Landing Pages for GOOGLE

Your Google Business listing will generate visitors to your website in a slightly different way to Facebook.  Visitors who find you on google either know exactly who they are looking for (they’ve googled your name).  Or they’re looking for a photographer and you came up in the search.  For those who googled your name, you don’t really need to worry.  These visitors will arrive at your landing page and immediately click to the information they need.  Concentrate writing your landing page for the people who found you through a keyword search.

For these visitors, this might be the first time they have encountered you so greet them with a testimonial.  This is important to help reassure them.  ‘Thank you for visiting today, you’re in the right place’ followed by a glowing review is a great approach to take.  Try and use testimonials that refer to how your client found you and why they chose you.  If you don’t have any, ask for some.

As your landing page scrolls down, include links to where you’d like your visitor to go to next. I’d suggest information pages on the different types of sessions as that is very likely what they have arrived for.

Landing Pages for OFFERS & SPECIAL SESSIONS

If you create a landing page for your offers or mini sessions you know that everyone visiting that page is interested in the offer. Bonus, right!  So have a think about the things that are likely to make them want to book.  The landing page should definitely have some great images of the end result.  We’re talking images of the sessions, the set and the products available.  A testimonial from a previous mini session or special offer client will also help you massively.

The final piece in the jigsaw is scarcity.  People always need a reason to book so give them limited time or a gift if they book today.  Make sure your landing page includes these offers.  It’s really helpful to have automated booking set up to make it as easy as possible for clients to check availability and make a booking online.  Using something like Acuity  will make your life super easy when it comes to converting visitors to paying clients on your landing page.

Landing Pages for ONLINE DIRECTORIES

Using a landing page for an online directory listing has a couple of benefits.  Firstly, using a specific landing page in this way helps you track the traffic from the directory.  Just make sure you track the stats for that particular page in Google Console. This will also help you make improvements to your listing over time because you will see an increase or decrease in traffic after you make changes.

Secondly, if a visitor clicks your directory listing, you can assume they are interested in finding out more.  Consider the information they already have from seeing the listing and what else they might need.  They are likely to want to see more images because there is rarely enough space on directory listings.  They might also want to see some testimonials if there are no reviews attached to your listing.  Give them easy links to the places on your website that you’d like them to visit next.

All of our members have a directory listing included in their subscription so make sure you are benefiting from yours.

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Using Links To Improve Your SEO

You’ve spent hours scratching your head trying to understand WordPress, spent another three days carefully curating the images for your website and finally, you are ready to go live!  You have built it so they will come, right?  Wrong.  If you want your website to actually generate leads and enquiries for you so you see some reward for your efforts, you need to make sure the right people can find it.

A simple google search will show you tons of ways to optimise your site so that you appear high enough in search engine results, that prospects will find you.  There are loads of ways you can help yourself at no cost other than your time, or you can choose to enlist an expert to help you.  However, there is one really powerful DIY way you can help your SEO that can’t be overlooked – Link building.  Now, I’m no SEO expert but I used to be a partner in a business whose success was hinged on link building so it’s an area of SEO that I do have experience in.

What Are Links?

For the purpose of this blog if I refer to a ‘link’ I mean an external link.  In other words a url link to your website from somewhere other than your own domain – a genuine third party linking to your website.

Why Are Links Important?

Search engines crawl the web continually and links are the map they use to do that. Links show search engines how pages are related and they use complex algorithms to decide how valuable those links are.  In other words external links are 3rd parties endorsing your website – they’re saying to their visitors ‘hey this is a cool site we think you’ll love, go take a peek’.  And when you think about it, that’s a pretty big deal.   Who we refer customers to is a reflection on ourselves so we want to make sure we’re sending people to someone who will look after them. So although no-one is actually sure of the black magic, ever changing recipe that search engines use to determine how far up the results they will place you, SEO experts believe that external links are the most important source of ranking power.

Not All Links Are The Same

The more popular and important a website is deemed, the more valuable the links from it are. In addition to this, it is generally thought that sites linking to you where there is a theme or topic in common for both sites, is ranked higher than a general link with no relevance.  If your site is about newborn photography, a link to you from BANPAS matters much more than a link from a site about fashion!

Follow / No Follow???

I don’t want to get technical but as we’re talking about links, I have to mention that there are two types of link – follow or no-follow.  Follow links basically count for more than no-follow links.  A no follow link is the webmaster telling google – take no notice of this link in your black magic algorithm calculations.  The url link still works and takes you to the web page it refers to – it just doesn’t help your seo.  BUT it’s still referral traffic so far from worthless!  You have no control over a website that decides to make it’s links no-follow ones but if you want to check, this is how you do it.

In Chrome, go to the navigation bar and click View>Developer>View Source. Alternatively you can just right-click on a page and hit Inspect Element. For Firefox, do Right-Click>View Page Source.

From there, do an Edit>Find and search for “nofollow” in the search box. All instances of the nofollow tag will be highlighted.

 

3 Types of Links

There are typically 3 kinds of external links and it’s a wise idea to have a mixture of all three. Of course, depending on your budget and the time you have allocated to this task you might want to centre your efforts where you think you’ll see the best returns.

Editorial Links

Editorial links are included naturally in articles, blogs and web copy.  These types of links are generally considered the most powerful as they usually occur naturally as part of an endorsement or reference to the original source of the material or topic being discussed.  You can generate more of these types of links by creating brilliant content that people want to share.

Manual Links

These are links you engineer and might be free or paid for.   You can see how guest blogging with relevant business can really help your SEO.  If you work closely a with businesses who has a similar audience to you, you may even feel comfortable dedicating a page to each other on your website with each of you linking to the other.  This increases trust in the eyes of the search engine who sees this as a valuable endorsement and rewards you with higher rankings. Including your details on a trusted and relevant directory such as our directory of newborn photographers (the search facility on this page generates around 10,000 visits per month) will also assist your own site in moving up the rankings.  Other places you might look at paying for links in could be Netmums, or local baby related directories.

Self Created Links

These are usually links that are included in your signature when you comment on blogs, articles or guest books.  They have the lowest value and if you systematically post too many of these types of links (read spam), then search engines will penalise you rather than reward you, so beware!

 

Check Who Links To You Already

You can use this handy free tool to check the inbound links to your website.  If you find a link you didn’t know about it’s always nice to drop and email thank them for the mention – maybe this could lead to some guest blogging.  If you have very few quality links, it’s time to start creating a plan.

Content is KING

I can’t write an article on SEO without reminding you that managing your links is wasted effort if your content is poor.  Google in particular, will reward interesting and relevant content with higher rankings but the longer term effect is that more links will naturally be built as others want to link to your content.  If you are time short, opt for content creation over link building!

I really hope you’ve found this article useful and as usual, would love your feedback in the comments.

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