So, you bought a camera (or whatever you need for your craft), created a few social media accounts, and started booking clients. Then, you figured to be more professional, you needed to create a website. So, you did. You spent hours choosing the right photos, more time than you anticipated working on copy, and then even longer designing your website. (Sorry if my tone sounds a little depressing, but if you’ve ever developed a website, you know it can be stressful!)
Friend, I wish I could tell you that having a website is all it takes to increase your bookings as a photographer or creative entrepreneur. But, unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
In order for your website to be an effective tool for your business, it needs to do two things (other than be pretty):
We could spend hours talking about point one, but for now, let’s just focus on point two: ranking well on search engines.
We’ll dive deeper below, but long story short, as a small business owner, it’s important for you to understand that SEO needs to be a priority and part of your marketing strategy.
First thing’s first, what is SEO? This can be a confusing topic, but I’m going to break SEO down for you as simply as I can.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” and Search Engine Land defines SEO as, “The process of getting traffic from the ‘free,’ ‘organic,’ ‘editorial,’ or ‘natural’ search results on search engines.”
In other words, SEO is the process of optimizing your website and content so that when people search for your product or service, your website will be one of the first listings that search engines display.
Basically, SEO is a process that can get your website on the first page of Google.
Example: I’m a wedding photographer in Lafayette, Indiana. So, if a bride goes to Google and searches for “wedding photographers in Lafayette, Indiana,” “Lafayette, IN wedding photographers,” or something similar, SEO is a process that, if used correctly, will allow my website to appear near the top of the search results.
Photographers, creative entrepreneurs, and other small business owners have SO much to think about. As a result, many choose to ignore SEO and decide that it doesn’t matter.
But, if you take a second to think about your own Google habits, you’ll have no doubt that SEO and ranking well on search engines is important.
I mean, think about when you Google something. Do you go through pages upon pages of results? Chances are, no. You likely click on the first few links that address your question or offer the product or service you’re looking for. In fact, 75% of search engine users never go past the first page of Google’s search results, and 67% of clicks go to the first five results in a Google search.
So, what does this mean for your business? It means that you want your website to rank on the first page of Google search—preferably within the first five links. And, if your website doesn’t rank well on search engines, you will miss out on business simply because your website is hard to find.
We’ve already discussed this, but because it’s so important, I want to say it again. As a photographer or creative entrepreneur, you need to care about SEO and your search engine rankings.
Just to give you an idea of how crucial SEO is, 40% of my clients discovered me on Google. If my website didn’t rank well, my income would be 40% less.
To put this in more positive light, what if you were to prioritize SEO and increase your bookings by 40%? Wouldn’t that be amazing?!
I honestly believe that if it weren’t for SEO, I wouldn’t be able to be a full-time photographer. So, if you’re dying to leave your 9-5 or you’re already living the entrepreneur dream but could use more clients, SEO might be the answer.
Search engine optimization can seem like a confusing, daunting topic and process, but by simply understanding the basics of SEO, you can get your website in front of your ideal clients and increase your bookings.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get your priorities in order!