Want to know a secret? I firmly believe I’m able to be a full-time wedding photographer because my website ranks well on Google!
When I worked in marketing, one of my primary responsibilities was optimizing businesses’ websites for search engines. As a result, I understood the power of search engine optimization (SEO) and knew that if I wanted to make photography my full-time career, I needed to make sure that my website was one of the first to appear when my ideal clients searched for my services on Google.
Today, when people search for “wedding photographers in Lafayette, Indiana” or conduct similar searches, my website is one of the first sites listed. And, every year, approximately 40% of my clients find me through Google, meaning SEO is responsible for 40% of my income! (SEO is my second biggest revenue maker after referrals!)
Optimizing my website for search engines has done HUGE things for my photography business. And, if you’re willing to prioritize SEO and learn how to optimize your own website (This is actually WAY easier than you probably think!), SEO can do big things for your business too!
But, for now. Let’s start with the basics! So, what is SEO, and why does SEO matter for photographers?
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 so that when people search for your products, services, or content (blogs, vidoes, etc.), your website will be one of the first listings that search engines display.
Even more simply, SEO is the process of making the powers that be at Google happy (You can do this for free! Don’t worry!) so that when potential customers look for your products, services, or content, your website will be one of the first websites to appear.
So, for example, I’m a wedding photographer in Lafayette, Indiana. 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 allows my website to appear near the top of the search results.
Now, you might be thinking, “That’s great, Victoria. But, I don’t think ranking on the first page of Google is going to make that much of a difference for my business.”
And, friend, I know you’re busy and have a lot on your plate. 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 can do BIG things for your business!
Imagine for a second that you’re looking for a contractor, a new dentist, a dog groomer, or simply the best ice cream near you.
You’re likely going to either:
Let’s pretend your friends and family don’t have recommendations for you this time around, so you either whip out your phone or get comfy in front of your computer and search for what you’re after.
From there, 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 photography business? It means that you want your website to rank on the first page of Google—preferably within the first five links.
And, if your website doesn’t currently rank well on search engines, you’re missing out on business!
Now, friend, I want to be clear. You aren’t missing out on business because you aren’t a great photographer. You’re leaving dollars on the table simply because those looking for your products, services, and content can’t easily find your website!
But, if you’re willing to put in the work to understand basic SEO principles, you can change this!
I know you’re busy and that the thought of trying to understand something technical like SEO can seem overwhelming and feel like it’s more trouble than it’s worth.
However, I wouldn’t be encouraging you to prioritize SEO if I couldn’t promise you that:
If you’re ready make SEO a priority and part of your marketing strategy, discover six ways you can improve your search engine rankings for free here!