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SEO: Search Engine Optimization | What is it and what can I expect?

SEO: Search Engine Optimization | What is it and what can I expect?


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Okay, so, if you’ve been in business for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard “SEO” thrown around. But what is it exactly? Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t have a firm understanding of this, personally, I think of it as an analytical persons dream.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Awesome. So what the huckleberry is that?


A search engine is Google, or Pinterest, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc. So, a search engine is a program used to index websites. The way I like to think about it, is this: Google doesn’t read photos. It reads words. So your SEO is building content for Google to READ your site and put it in front of the right viewer (ideally, your ideal client).


This means that you want to use keywords, key phrases and copy to build your website, telling Google “Hey, I am a wedding photographer!”, your key words need to reflect this so Google ranks you in Google Results that reflect this.


Okay, so this is a fairly basic look at SEO. But it’s important to start somewhere and work towards fully understanding it.


Now, how do you apply this to your website?

- Update your content regularly.

- Use long-tail keywords

o We know what keywords are, they are words that describe what we do, “Wedding Photographer”, but Long-tail keywords contain more terms that just a keyword. Wedding Photographer is pretty broad and will returned thousands and thousands of results, so niche down by using long-tail keywords. Add your specialty or location for example.

o Rockville Maryland Outdoor Wedding Photographer

o The more targeted you are, the better your chances are at getting in front of your ideal audience.


Go local with your SEO

o If you serve a specific area it’s a good idea to go local with your keywords.


Get more backlinks

o Backlinks are a great way to tell Google that your site is credible and worth ranking. Backlinks are other external sites linking to your own.

o Guest blogging is a great way to get backlinks.

o Also being featured on another website is a great way to get backlinks


Blogging

o Blogging is a good way to increase your SEO

o Be sure to blog for someone who is actually reading it, you don’t want to just stuff keywords in and make no sense at all.

o But also, be sure to use keyword rich material and build off of that


Write Unique titles and descriptions

o Make sure you are filling in your alt text, metadata, titles and descriptions. Since Google doesn’t ‘read’ images, you want to include these things to tell Google what they are, increasing your visibility and ranking.


There are some ideas of how you can use SEO.

I also want to dive into a timeline of SEO. SEO isn’t something that grows your business overnight or is a one and done sort of marketing. It’s a long game marketing strategy. But done correctly it can really pay off!

If your business is in a very competitive niche, it may take longer to see the results. An example would be photographers in the DMV area. There are a lot of people competing to be at the top of Google for this. If your business is more unique and niched down, you may see results quickly. There isn’t a specific equation to guarantee anything.

Don’t give up though! It can take six months to a full year before you see your site ranking on Google, and this is normal! Since Google is constantly updating their platform, it’s important that you continually work on your SEO on your site to ensure you are doing the best to get ranked!


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