Back in the time when marketing was on its conception, it was quite unimaginable what a good representation could do for your idea. People tried marketing in a variety of ways, but nothing seemed to yield the desired effects. Then a now world-renowned man, Claude C.Hopkins, realized that a good advertising trick could change even the way people live.
Being given a toothpaste brand, Pepsodent, to advertise, he knew he needed something big in order to succeed. Well, today’s man would have just said: ‘’If the toothpaste was of good quality, and if marketing is average, why wouldn’t it work?’’
Well, at the time Pepsodent was created, people in America did not really have a habit of brushing their teeth.
Hopkins had to persuade the nation that they need toothpaste even though they do not believe that teeth hygiene is so inevitable for a good life.
And so he did. Not only did he make Pepsodent the worldwide famous product, but a daily necessity, a habit of the crowd. Hopkins had to shift his perspective way above the time and develop a marketing as a discipline.
He believed that success in marketing is inseparable from psychology. By engaging in the science of habit, he could present Pepsodent to the public in a way that they crave it.
However, in 2020, the fact that product sales to people depend on desire is nothing new. Living in a modern age, we could have learned that marketers, social media, and much more rely on the weaknesses of human psychology.
But, what if I told you that era we live in needs innovations for success as much as Hopkins time did?
Internet, technological advancements, overall ‘’smarting’’ and automation of our lives made reaching to the audience never easier and never more challenging at the same time.
Back then, putting your idea, service, or product out there required a lot of money, time, skill, and luck. You had to be in the right place at the right time, to know the right people, if you were to achieve your dreams.
Nowadays, public appearance is so convenient that seems redundant in comparison to the early days of marketing. However, new times brought new obstacles.
In the era of upgrades, expansion, and innovative tools, where everyone has equal chances of success, the competition was never more rigorous.
You could have a first-class product, good connections, ideas of extraordinary potential, and still, fail.
That’s why marketing has also upgraded itself.
Just as Hopkins thought that psychology could do wonders if we manipulate it correctly, so do today’s marketing specialists raise above the obvious and introduce a life-changing idea.
Now that our lives depend not only on biology but on technology as well, we believe that manipulating the weaknesses of online connections can put us on the top of the leader.
That is why SEO or Search Engine Optimization was found. It is a tool that helps your brand become visible online.
In the text that follows we are going to present you with the key elements of this marketing strategy, how it works, and why your business needs it. Also, we will talk about how photography, an art with a variety of commercial applications, can benefit from SEO technology and make your dream of pursuing visual passion as a full-time profession that will actually earn you a living.
How SEO works?
Search Engine Optimization stands for adjusting your content to be loved and favored by Google or Binge, as the most widely used search engines. It is all about understanding the way these operate and applying hacks to get them to meet you and promote you.
Quite recently, Google went all about user experience. They want to serve the audience well, thereby they filter precisely what content gets to the user. In other words, before an actual customer gets a chance to love your product, Google has to see you as a quality creator.
If you successfully present yourself to the algorithm, it would bring you to the top of the search results. The higher you rank on the results page, the more likely you are to reach the audience.
Busy lifestyles and a short attention span made it difficult for creators to charm the public. People want as much information and satisfaction in the shortest possible time frame.
The research has shown that on average, a website visitor spends less than 15 seconds on the page. Moreover, statistics by SWOER says that it takes around 0.05 seconds for them to form an impression of your site. Consequently, they tend to spend even less on looking for a page. For this reason, Google ranks the content, so that the most satisfying page to the user appears closer to his eye.
But how does the engine know what you are posting and what does it grade you on?
What are the key elements for successful SEO?
You create the post and publish it. Now, when you are online, Google needs to register your presence. Therefore, the first step is indexing.
Upon noticing you, Google would have to add you to their base. They regularly crawl your site and find you automatically, which means you do not have to do anything to get indexed. However, do have to check whether this process is completed successfully.
You can do that by creating a Google Search Console account. Aside from looking at your indexing data, you can receive other valuable feedback and analytics via this resource. Only after your site is indexed is eligible to compete for ranking.
Search engines are quite careful in revealing their secrets- they don’t give out detailed information on how their algorithms work. However, research and practice have shown that there are over 200 factors influencing the SEO performance of the page.
Don’t get scared away. The number is big for sure. But with deep knowledge of the matter, you can focus on some of those elements that work for your specific site, and your niche.
On-page and Off-page SEO
We often compare this with the common iceberg metaphor. There is a visible part of it- above the water, where everyone gets to see it. However, it doesn’t float on the surface in this case. Below the upper layer lies the foundation- an invisible part that holds the structure, but does not show its face.
Thus, SEO has its bottom and upper layer.
On-page stands for everything users interact with. URLs, descriptions, titles, content itself, along with other user experience elements such as the speed of the site or its mobile-friendliness.
Off-page, on the other hand, represents actions you could take to boost your presence, but externally. Here we can count links, blog posting, sharing, etc.
To achieve the best results with SEO you should aim for working on both, on and off-page sections, tackling as many factors and issues with the site you possibly can.
But, we do recommend starting on the On-page side.
What tricks should you use in SEO for photography?
As a creative, this section should naturally be your focus. We have already stated that users’ stay on the site is quite limited. Therefore, you should try to hook them within this short time frame.
Your number one tool should be visual appearance. Try making your page aesthetic, pleasing, and beautiful.
Research has shown that 36% of people would turn away from the site if it is unattractive.
To succeed in keeping visitor’s eye on the page long enough, would help you establish organic traffic. Those are the visitors that do not just accidentally click on your page. On the contrary, they find you intentionally and they stay because they make use of the content there. This kind of traffic is very beneficial for SEO performance. Furthermore, as a content creator, you want an audience that enjoys your work.
After you have held your customer’s attention long enough, you should think of other content elements.
As we mentioned before, Google cares about WHAT they serve to the user. Does this content provide value and meaning? This is your no. one question to ask.
Users need to find unique, plagiarism-free content on the page. SE even penalizes for plagiarism by affecting your ranking.
This may be easier said and done. You may have too much creative energy and flow to narrow it down to a certain niche. However, by specifying your service, setting the boundaries narrow, but wide enough not to limit your potential, you would get more audience than you would by creating everything about everything.
For it to work well, content should be arranged naturally, ideas fully developed- organically.
If you set your niche too broad, you may not be able to cover the content well- to put online enough content so that there is a structure for the algorithm to follow.
On top of that, users are also not going to search to general. Remember, your favorite visitors are intentional ones. Define your niche and target audience for the maximum result.
Consider adding layers of content
As a photographer, you may also want to add some extra content to your page. For example, you could start writing blogs. This way, Google would be able to meet you better. By combining the right photo albums with a good story to accompany it, you would satisfy both the user and the engine.
Fierce competition online has caused marketers to create strategies that would help them create specifically what readers are looking for.
Using tools such as Ubersuggest, we can analyze words for their popularity with the audience. After you have found the right keywords you should successfully incorporate them into your content.
Keywords need to satisfy these 3 conditions:
- Natural sound
Your priority should be to understand what questions your audience seeks and try to develop the best content for them. For instance, if upon your analysis you realize that people look for Christmas gift inspiration, or best weeding shots in winter, you could create specific materials to answer those queries and get a fresh, organic traffic boost.
Image Optimization- set those alt descriptions
Algorithms do not process images visually. Instead, you need to ‘’explain’’ what is in the picture. You can do that by setting the Alt description to your image. Also, pay attention to the captions. These are the components that would make you accessible by the people who strive to see your art.
Be mindful of how you name the picture. Don’t title the file by default, using only numbers. Try giving short descriptions in the files’ names as well.
Titles and descriptions
Marketing is nowadays focused on storytelling. And that is because people love the narration. Titles, headlines, and descriptions should be effective as a call for attention. Those need to be intriguing and to contain as much information as possible about the upcoming content.
Effective headlines are Q&A type- ask a question to receive attention and then answer it immediately to provide the reader with an accurate representation of what is there in the post. According to Conversion XL, headlines with numbers are always winners so, if it makes sense, include a figure in the headline.
Remember, users always search with this question in their mind: ‘’And what is in there for me?’’. Therefore, strive to offer quality in the first place.
Mobile-friendliness became a priority for search engines. Google has introduced the Mobile Only Policy that directly gives priority to the pages that are optimized for phone use.
We have already mentioned that readers don’t have time. That’s why we need to respect it and do everything we can to provide our audience with an unforgettable experience. There are numerous ways that you can decrease your site’s loading time such as removing duplicate content, or decreasing picture size, or changing the format.
Aim to decrease your bounce rate. Google counts how deep in the text reader got- whether they pressed the ‘’Back’’ button right after entering, or they have even clicked on some of the related posts of yours.
Why should you consider it as a photographer?
Photography is an expanding industry. Creativity is limitless and now open for everyone to share it with the world. SEO for photography strategies ensure your business stay on top of the niche.
If all of this sounds like too much, consider hiring the agency, so you can concentrate on the content, and let them take care of everything else.
Anyway, here are some useful resources to start your SEO journey with.
A collection of great CSS tools and resources can be found at html-css-js.com: code beautifier, cheat sheet, style generators, useful links and more.