7 Quick Tips to Improve SEO for Photographers

May 31, 2024


Mike O'Rangers

Every photographer wants to have their work (and services) discovered by someone in need of professional pics. That’s why SEO for photographers is a must!

But your website is one of countless others out there in the online world, just waiting for a search engine like Google to direct people to you. You need to be strategic if you want to make your site appealing to those search engines.

You’ve probably heard about SEO, aka search engine optimization, if you’ve been brushing up on your web design knowledge. SEO demonstrates value to search engines, showing them that your website is a source of reliable information and that web users like what they find there. 

Mastering SEO for any professional in any industry is a long and complicated process. But these quick tips can help you improve your photography SEO without too much time or overwhelm.

1. Check Your Site for Broken Links

SEO for photographers

The easiest starting point to improve SEO for photographers is to check your site for broken links. That’s when, say, you have an old blog post that links to a wedding vendor that’s no longer in business.

When you have a link on your website that leads to an error message, you create a bad user experience, giving your visitors an excuse to “X” out of your site (and maybe never come back). That sends the message to search engines that users don’t like your website.

More importantly, broken links make your website less “crawlable.” That’s a term you’ll hear a lot when it comes to SEO, and it refers to search engine crawlers, which go through your website to index your content. Search engines then use this index of your content when deciding where to send searchers.

When those search engine crawlers encounter a broken link, it’s like opening a door to find a wall behind it. There’s nowhere they can go from there.

One way you can make sure there are no broken links on your website is to use a tool like Dead Link Checker. If these tools indicate you have broken links, you can remove or replace them. If you have a Showit website, you can easily create 301 redirects to prevent any broken link encounters.

2. Check Your Website Page Speed

Have you ever been on a website and tried to access the info you need, only to have the website load so slowly? Maybe it even stalls out or crashes. Like broken links, this website page speed affects your user experience. When users get frustrated, they “X” out and don’t come back.

You want to check to make sure your website is operating at an acceptable page speed. Search engines will prioritize fast websites, placing them higher on results pages. A fast page speed also makes a website more mobile-friendly, which is increasingly important as more and more people use their phones to access the web.

A tool like PageSpeed Insights tells you not only how quickly or slowly your website is loading, but also how you can fix any slow loading you encounter.

Often, improving your page speed could be as simple as resizing and compressing your images. Photographers are notorious for having slow websites due to many large images. Of course, you want to showcase your work, so we aren’t saying delete all your photos altogether. Just make sure your images are compressed and scaled down appropriately before uploading them to your site.

3. Submit Your Sitemap to Google 

SEO for photographers

A sitemap is very much what it sounds like: an explanation of what content can be found, and where, on your website. A thorough sitemap shows which pages link to which pages. 

If you’re stressing because you never created a sitemap, don’t sweat — often, your sitemap is created automatically by your website builder. (Here’s how to find your sitemap if you have a Showit website.)

However, you do need to manually submit your sitemap to Google if you want to improve your photography SEO. This sitemap makes it easy for Google to crawl, index, and rank your pages. 

Fortunately, it’s a pretty easy process, as long as you have Google Search Console set up. Just navigate to Indexing: Sitemaps and paste your sitemap URL into the field at the top.

If you’ve already submitted your sitemap to Google, be sure to check the indexed pages in Google Search Console regularly to make sure everything is up to date and functioning correctly.

4. Optimize Your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

If you want search engines like Google to understand what’s on each page of your website, you need to give those pages unique titles and meta descriptions. The page title is what appears in blue hyperlinked text on a search results page (and in the browser tab once you click). The meta description is what appears directly underneath that blue text, explaining what type of content is found on each page.

When it comes to SEO for photographers, it’s not enough to have page titles that simply say, “About,” “Portfolio,” and “Services.” You want to be clear, but you also want to use focus keywords that they align with what users are searching for.

Think about it this way: If somebody is searching for “wedding photographers in Albuquerque,” and you use that keyword in your page title and meta description, the search engine will be more likely to show your website in search results (and your visitor will know they’re in the right place).

Of course, you still want to write your page titles and meta descriptions in an engaging way. Focusing too hard on keywords comes across as clunky, and it makes for a bad user experience.

Feeling stuck? Check out our tips for how to write great page descriptions.

5. Check Your Heading Tags

Another easy way to improve SEO for photographers? Use the correct HTML tag for each snippet of text on your site.

HTML tags provide what’s known as content hierarchy: they give each page a sense of structure and organization. H1 tags are the most prominent, followed by H2, H3, etc., all the way down to paragraph copy.

On the front end, visitors see this content hierarchy based on the styles you’ve chosen (e.g., H1 is usually the biggest and boldest font). On the back end, search engines see this content hierarchy based on the tags you’ve selected in your website builder.

Each landing page on your site should have one (and only one) H1 main heading for SEO reasons. The rest of your content should be organized with as many subheadings as necessary.

Without properly tagged headings, a search engine won’t know what content is under each section of that page. A good heading tag will provide this valuable insight, so search engines can direct traffic to your page accordingly. Fortunately, Showit makes it easy to update your title tags for every text box.

6. Rename and Add Alt Text to Your Images

Have you ever noticed how your images always have file names made up of assorted letters and numbers (like “IMG8675309”) when you download them off your camera? This image name is visible to search engines, and Google can’t make any more sense of those letters and numbers than you can.

That’s why it’s important to rename your images before uploading them to your site. Google recommends file names that are short yet descriptive (like my-new-black-kitten.jpg).

Once you’ve uploaded your renamed image to your site, improve your photography SEO even more by adding keyword-rich alt text to the image. Since Google can’t actually see images, it uses both the file name and the alt text to determine what the image is about. Alt text is also essential for visually impaired users or those whose screens won’t display the image — which is why you want to write something that actually describes the image, like “A bride and groom kissing at a Napa vineyard wedding,” not just “Napa wedding photography.”

Got a Showit website? It’s easy to optimize your images for SEO by adding an SEO title and description for each image.

7. Add Internal Links to improve

SEO for photographers

The last easy step you can take to improve SEO for photographers is adding internal links. 

Linking one of your web pages to another gives structure to your site and demonstrates to search engine crawlers that all of your content is interrelated and relevant. These internal links can also serve to keep visitors on your website longer as they go hopping from one landing page to another, exploring all the content you have to offer.

This is one reason blogging is so important for photographers — it provides you with more content to build internal links into! For example, every blog post could link to your services page, or every senior feature could link to your senior photography portfolio page. You don’t have to go overboard with internal links, but including them provides visitors with the logical next step (and shows Google you’re a content-generating genius).

 Create a SEO-Friendly Photography Website with Showit

There’s a good reason Showit has so many tools to improve SEO for photographer's websites. It’s because we created Showit with photographers in mind! We’ve made it easy for you to create a website for your photography business with all the elements you need but without any of the complications or limitations you don’t.

Want to see for yourself why SEO for photographers works better with Showit? Sign up for a two-week free trial to try out all the tools with no commitment or credit card required!

Showit is a drag and drop website platform with a free trial at Showit.com
Mike O'Rangers