Could your Images Do More to Help your SEO?

Photo by: Justin Main

As a wedding photographer, I blog every wedding on the following Wednesday.  There are several reasons I have for doing this:

  1. My clients have come to expect it and this process has brought me bookings. Clients know they will receive a “preview” of 80-100 images just FOUR DAYS after their wedding.
  2. It keeps me accountable in my workflow and processing. By making sure I cull each wedding within 24-48 hours, I stay ahead of my editing queue and avoid getting behind.
  3. It keeps my SEO consistent. Even on weekends when I don’t have a wedding, I try to keep up with some sort of wedding-related material each week for #weddingwednesday.

But it’s not just about consistent blogging—every time I post, I make sure that all my images are working hard to improve my website’s SEO. To get the most SEO out of your images, here’s what to do:

Name your photos

The number one mistake I see people make on their websites and blogs is not naming their photos! It’s true that photo recognition software has improved leaps and bounds over the past few years, but for the most part Google cannot “see” your photos unless you tell it what’s in them. By far, the simplest way of doing that is to name the photo something that makes sense.  Everyone always talks about alt tags (which I also use), but by skipping the file naming process, you’re missing a crucial part of SEO.

For my Wednesday blog posts, I process and export roughly 100 images from Lightroom with their given in-camera name. I use a piece of software that exports collages for my blog rather than using single images, so I save the naming for this next step. I create my collages and then export again to give each set of images a unique string of descriptive keywords that will help clients find me. So for example, as a wedding photographer, I always include the venue name, the city, and sometimes the theme or feel of the wedding (i.e. rustic, modern, art deco, etc). I don’t include the couple’s first names in the file name because that’s not something a potential client would be searching for.

Think like your ideal client

That brings up a good question—what will a potential client be searching for? A majority of my clients have found me through Google because they were searching for photos or more information about their particular venue. A few clients have found me because they were just starting their planning and searched for wedding vendors within my city. And a few have even found me because they searched for a particular vendor like a florist, baker, or caterer.

Share the love

Speaking of vendors, I always tag my fellow vendors in each post. This provides lots of outbound links from my site (which is good karma!), and occasionally a vendor will link back to me as well (yay, inbound links!). I get this vendor info by sending a Honeybook questionnaire to my clients before their weddings. Then, I “pre-blog” this info so a chunk of the work is done before the wedding even happens.

Supplying vendor information has also made my site a super useful tool for wedding couples in my area. Whenever I meet with a client, I make sure to tell them that they can use the search bar at the bottom of my website to look for just about any wedding vendor in my area (and some not in my area, too!) and see examples of their work. I LOVE the search function of my Squarespace site and use it ALL the time. You want to see photos of ABC venue? Great! I can search for “ABC venue” and voila!—photos of that place, all decked out for a wedding. It’s a win-win, no-brainer strategy that benefits both me and my clients.

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Holly Birch Smith

Holly is a wedding and commercial photographer in East Central Illinois. She is obsessed with lobsters, socks, color, and tea (hot or iced). She is a wife, mom to two adorable redheads, and dog mom to Rottweiler Roscoe.

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