10 Essential SEO Tips for Wedding Photographers

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Updated 2/5/2024

Wedding photographers will find what SEO elements are important for their site, and how to improve their website for search performance.

seo for wedding photographers cover - camera and white ribbon

With wedding photography, standing out online isn’t just about having a stunning portfolio. Before couples can view your work and hire you, they must find it. The first point of research is often Google, making search engine optimization (SEO) crucial for your site and online marketing efforts.

This guide covers the essential information you need to build a strong search presence and stand out among your local competitors and other wedding photographers.

1. Understand SEO Basics

SEO is about optimizing your site for search engines so it performs well and pages rank higher in results.

It’s about understanding what your potential clients are searching for, like “wedding photographer los angeles” or “best bridal photographer near me”, and adjusting your website’s content to meet those needs.

SEO typically involves:

SEO is a vast and complicated field, but the main idea is to make your site as good as possible, while strategically targeting SERP real estate. Once you know the basics, you can dig into more detailed tactics and strive for bigger wins.

Related: Our SEO Basics Guide

2. Perform Keyword Research

Identifying keyword opportunities is the first step in most SEO efforts. You can find what queries people are searching for using these popular research tools:

  • Google Keyword Planner: A free option that’s great when getting started with SEO. Keyword Planner will show you the search volume and other basic metrics for search terms.
  • Moz Keyword Explorer: You can research up to 10 queries a month using this tool with a free Moz account. Nice for starter research and more detailed data than Keyword Planner offers.
  • Ahrefs: A professional SEO tool that provides much richer metrics, such as keyword difficulty and traffic potential.
  • Semrush: Another popular professional keyword research option. Plenty of detail for serious SEO campaigns. Best for broader search engine marketing efforts.

Using these tools, you can discover how often certain queries get used or how difficult it will be to rank for them.

3. Use On-Page SEO Strategies

On-page SEO involves optimizing your webpage’s content so it has a better chance at showing up well in search engines. This includes picking a target keyword and using certain tactics to increase relevancy signals, such as using keywords in the title tag and header tags.

Quick On-Page Optimization Checklist

Optimize these key elements of the page to improve your on-page SEO:

  • Title Tag: This is the headline for your page in search results. Include your target keyword at the front and make it appealing. Limit to 60 characters so the whole title fits in the listing.
  • Meta Description: The snippet describing your page in search results. Aim for 110-160 characters in length and use keywords.
  • H1: Typically, this is the main header tag of the page. Use keyword targeting and try to make it engaging, though the right approach will depend on the page.
  • Header Tags: Continue using keywords in your subheaders when possible, but don’t overdo it. Use keywords when natural, when they provide context.
  • Body Copy: Use keywords throughout the text. This should happen organically. Keyword research and Google Search Console insights can reveal additional opportunities to fulfill search intent for your users. Apply any insights you find.
  • Alt Text: This is big for wedding photographers! Alt text is the description for images on the web. Ensure all your images have alt text and include keywords in them when it makes sense.

Your main goal should be to create keyword-targeted pages for terms relevant to your photography site. Think about a potential client’s search experience when going from a search engine to your site. Create the best experience and strategically use keywords to help your chances.

4. Fix Technical SEO Issues

Technical SEO is about ensuring your website is technically sound for search engines. By focusing on this, you can discover any hidden problems with your site that might hinder its potential.

Popular tools for discovering technical errors

  • Ahrefs Site Audit: This will automatically find errors, warnings, and other SEO information worth noting about your site. Free, with upgrades available for additional features and broader efforts.
  • Screaming Frog: Emulates a search engine crawler and provides a report on technical details. You’ll need to dig into the data manually, but you can crawl up to 500 pages for free whenever you want.
  • Google Search Console: Google’s main SEO tool. While its technical reporting isn’t the best, it reports errors known to Google, such as missing pages. It’s free, and every site owner should have their domain configured.

These tools can simplify your technical first aid and get your site exceptionally healthy and in prime condition for tough competition in search results.

5. Optimize Images for the Web

As a wedding photographer, your website will likely be image-heavy. As nice as featuring the highest-quality versions of your portfolio photos would be, that wouldn’t create the best experience.

Page speed plays a huge role in SEO, as Google is obsessed with speed and making the web faster. (Quick searches mean more ad impressions. ?) Therefore, making your site faster has significant SEO benefits, and large images greatly contribute to slow load times.

We recommend converting your site’s images to WebP, a high-quality and efficient file format. See our other resources for additional help:

Tools like the Ahrefs Site Audit can identify large images slowing your site down. Remember to include descriptive alt text with keywords for each image when possible.

6. Organize Your Website Structure

If search engine bots and users can easily navigate your site, they will have an easier time surfacing relevant results. Use these techniques to improve your site structure:

  1. Include Simple Navigation: Create a clean, straightforward navigation menu with essential categories like “Portfolio”, “Services”, “About”, and “Contact”. This clarity provides a straightforward user experience and makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site. Ensure each section is easily accessible from any page, facilitating smooth navigation.
  2. Well-Organized Portfolio Sections: Structure your portfolio into distinct categories based on wedding themes or photography styles (e.g., “Beach Weddings”, “Vintage-Themed Weddings”). This organization helps visitors find exactly what they’re looking for and helps search engines understand and categorize your content.
  3. SEO-Friendly URL Structure: Implement clear and descriptive URLs for each page. For instance, use “/rustic-wedding-photography” instead of non-descriptive, numerical URLs or long URLs targeting too many keywords. Try navigating your site using just the URL bar. It can help you organize and design an efficient structure.
  4. Strategic Internal Linking: Use internal linking wisely to guide visitors to relevant content within your site. This keeps users engaged longer and helps search engines discover new pages and understand the relationships between different content on your site, boosting your overall SEO.
  5. Redirect Pages: Sometimes, you need to move or delete a page. That’s OK! Implement 301 redirects to direct users and search engines to the right page.

With any structural change, you might notice a fluctuation in rankings, but that’s a natural part of the process. If you restructure well, your efforts should be rewarded in the long run.

7. Utilize Local SEO Techniques

For wedding photographers, local SEO is vital. This involves claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile listing, ensuring your business’s Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) are consistent across the web, and taking advantage of local listings and directories.

We highly recommend using Moz Local for initial efforts. For a small cost, it will create listings for your business across relevant local directories. This saves a ton of time.

Don’t forget to include your business name, address, and phone number on your contact page! While a form may be nice, many users expect to find this information when researching new sites. As a bonus, it helps your local SEO. ?

8. Create Site Content

While optimizing your site is critical for your SEO foundation, you’ll likely need additional content to increase your presence in search listings.

Think of it this way: If you’re a farmer, you can take care of a few crops just fine, but they only need so much maintenance. To increase your search presence, you’ll need to expand the farm, or create additional content.

This is known as content marketing, or creating content for client needs and interests to attract and support an audience. With a content campaign, you can target additional keywords that your main portfolio might not cover.

Some key content considerations:

  • Blogs are a popular method for content marketing, as posts can be highly optimized and require a relatively low level of investment (LOE).
  • Social media doesn’t cut it because the posts are limited and can’t be fully optimized for Google. Your site should be the main destination for SEO efforts.
  • Don’t overdo it. While you can use ChatGPT to mass-produce somewhat relevant content, chances are it won’t perform well. Keep your target audience in mind and make sure your quality shines.

While content marketing isn’t essential for wedding photography SEO, it can significantly support promotional efforts and pay long-term dividends.

9. Monitor Your Results

While it may be fun to go off on an ego trip and assume every choice you make will be repaid tenfold, that’s not reality. SEO requires constant monitoring to reveal new opportunities and highlight strategic considerations.

Essential SEO monitoring tools:

  • Google Search Console: Understand how Google perceives your site. Monitor search impressions, clicks, CTR, average ranking, and other valuable metrics.
  • Google Analytics: The highly popular and free analytics platform, a go-to for most sites on the web. Understand your search traffic and user session behavior.

Depending on your budget and needs, you can also monitor tools like Ahrefs Site Explorer to get additional data on your site’s appearance in search results.

10. Maintain Your Content

SEO is not a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor. Consistency drives traffic. Regularly revisit your site’s content and strategize how to improve and expand it.

This usually comes down to these tasks:

  • Update old content: Are there ways you can refresh or improve the keyword targeting on older pages? These will send freshness signals to Google, letting it know your pages are worth reconsideration.
  • Re-optimize pages: Just because you optimized a page for a certain keyword doesn’t mean it will be the phrase it performs best for. Examine the Performance report in Search Console and adjust your pages as needed so they’re additionally relevant and helpful.
  • Retire unneeded pages: Did a previous marketing effort not produce quality results? Did you over-categorize your wedding photos so you have too many navigation options? Add some redirects! Clean things up and restrategize.

Keep your site updated. Google likes fresh results, so don’t be skittish about regularly adjusting pages to provide value.

Bottom Line

Investing time and resources into SEO can yield significant long-term benefits. With consistent efforts, you can drive free, organic traffic to your photography site and passively attract new clients. ?

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