It’s a buzzword wedding photographers on Facebook shout in their groups – SEO. But what does SEO for wedding photography look like? The question is more apparent when all other photographers are looking to rank for the same keywords as yourself.
Search engine optimization is absolutely one of the best digital marketing tactics photographers can utilize to gain more visibility.
Making the assumption that you are new to SEO, it is essentially the process to rank for specific keywords online and to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs).
A SERP is a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Let me put a MAJOR caveat to this digital marketing tactic. Even if you rank first for a specific keyword, this does not guarantee more contacts. It always comes down to brand and the intent of the search.
Still – your wedding photography website needs to be searchable for anyone to find you online outside of social media marketing, or word of mouth referrals – so let’s dive in how to get started with SEO.
How to Get Started With SEO for Wedding Photographers
“Without a vision, the people perish.” – Proverbs 29:18
SEO for photographers is not as difficult as it may seem, but it doesn’t happen by accident.
Look at your local area alone, with a search such as “wedding photographer near me” and you will find dozens of wedding photographer websites in your city.
It’s 2023 – wedding photographers are everywhere.
If we’re going to help your website SERPs rankings, then we need to get strategic on this.
Different Types of SEO Strategies
SEO is not a simple “step 1, 2, 3” fix. There are a few different strategies to take into consideration when working on ranking high. If we’re to look at things strategically though, here’s the order of SEO strategies I would recommend for your wedding photography business.
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing a website for search engines.
Site speed, canonical urls, website design, meta descriptions…these are just a few of the many components that make up this SEO tactic.
My tool of choice for checking your web site health score is SEMrush.
You can utilize the Site Audit tool to crawl your website and tell you exactly what needs to be done to optimize your site.
The goal is to have a health score of 92%. The higher the score, the more likely you are to have your web page rank on SERPs.
I’m going to slide this in real quick – if you aren’t sure how to go about this yourself, you can purchase a technical SEO audit from my team, and we’ll show you exactly what needs to be done with a 1-to-1 Zoom call to answer your questions.
Let’s go back to looking at the search “wedding photographer near me.”
You’ll likely see a list of photographers listed along with a map, much like the image above. This section is the Map Pack.
There’s no specific reason some results rank higher than others, but these results do show based on your location.
To rank well here, you need to create a Google Business Profile and verify your business and location. This can be a lengthy process as it takes a representative from Google to review your business.
Some things you can do to have your business rank in the top 3 sections include:
- Updating your page regularly with new images
- Keeping your business hours up to date
- Getting more positive reviews
- Increasing your website’s page authority
On-Page SEO is probably the simplest method to optimize your website. For example, if you are a wedding photographer in Colorado, you may change your homepage from “wedding photographer” to “Colorado wedding photographer.”
Summarized briefly, off-page SEO is simply backlinks.
However, it’s not just any backlink. Most website directories utilize a backlink to your website with a “nofollow” link, which essentially says “this link is not for SEO.” (Super summarized)
There are other backlinks that can hurt your website authority as well. These are usually found on spammy websites that only exist to list hundreds – if not thousands – of links. (In this case, you want to disavow these links utilizing Google Search Console.)
Some ways to gain backlinks that are helpful are by writing guest posts for other blogs, reaching out to strategic websites and asking to be cited and given a backlink.
Quick Tip for Off-Page SEO
Search Google using the search engine operator, “brand” -site:yourwebsite.com. For instance, B.Human might look like, “bhuman” -site:behuman.marketing.
This is saying “search the web for any website, except for this website, with this exact keyword.”
You may find where others have written about you but didn’t link to your website. If that’s the case, just send them an email with the URL of the page you are mentioned on and ask for them to link to your website.
Of the types of content that can be created, content writing is my favorite method of building seo for photography websites.
Why? To be truthful, it has less to do with SEO and more to do with branding.
In a world of more than 60,000 photographs taken every second, a picture is no longer worth 1,000 words. Instead, 1,000 words is worth 1,000 words.
Your words (NOT the voice of artificial intelligence), hold weight. They hold your thoughts, opinions, and experiences.
No one else can speak for you.
This goes back to what I said at the start – you can have all the traffic in the world, but the brand you curate matters first.
It’s possible to write so that your work will come out on top for search engines, but it does nothing for you if you don’t have a brand that builds trust and authority.
Strategy: What Is Your Most Important Keyword?
Ok – so we understand the different types of SEO. But now we need to decide what is your most important keyword?
Keywords are words or phrases that are searched in a search engine. There are short-tail keywords (e.g. wedding photographer) and long tail keywords (e.g. adventurous wedding photographer in boulder colorado).
There’s this belief that long tail keywords are easier to rank for, but this can be misleading.
Again, I recommend a keyword research tool like SEMrush to determine a keyword’s difficulty. The higher the difficulty, the harder it is to rank.
You can have multiple “most important keywords” and segment these into separate campaigns. However, I recommend starting with one and then when you are happy with where it is at, consider another keyword to rank for.
Best Keywords for Wedding Photographers:
- Wedding photographer near me
- [city / state] wedding photographer
- [city / state] wedding photography
- [your niche] Wedding photographer
- Wedding photographer in [city / state]
These are the easiest to think of, but truthfully, these will also be the hardest keywords to rank for.
Another approach to take is to find other areas within the industry to rank for. A few of these examples might be:
- Wedding venues in [city / state]
- [wedding venue] wedding photography
- Wedding photography pricing
- Wedding planners in [city / state]
Get into the mind of your audience. Before any of this work can be done, it’s important to develop your personas so you know what is important to them.
Think long and hard on this. Try to come up with a list of 20-50 keywords you want to rank for. After that, it’s time to do some research.
Keyword Research: Select Your Most Important Keyword
Choosing the best keywords for photographers can be difficult – thank goodness for keyword research tools.
In SEMrush, you can utilize the Keyword Magic Tool to determine:
- Who is ranking for a specific keyword
- The estimated search volume a keyword receives each month
- How difficult it is to rank for a keyword
- The intent of the keyword (this is a topic in itself)
The Keyword Magic Tool is great for understanding how keywords are performing, but also for keyword ideation.
Using the broad match, exact match, and related matches functions allows you to explore more keywords you may not have thought of and select keywords that are closer in line with the brand you are curating.
It may be tempting to write for the keywords with high search volume and low difficulty, but if it is not inline with your brand, don’t waste your time. Find the gold in the keywords with low difficulty and lower search volume.
I’d rather rank well for 30 keywords with 30 searches a month than to spend my effort on a single keyword that gets 500.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
My Clients: Examples of SEO Keywords for Wedding Photography
- Quiet Luxury Weddings
- Tented Weddings
- Wedding Venues in Colorado
- Central Arkansas Wedding Collection
- Boulder Colorado Wedding Photographer
Strategically Place Your Keywords
You will not rank for what you don’t write.
Suppose you are like my client, Alex Medvick. We built his new website in January 2023. When we first looked at his website – before the redesign – we noticed a few things.
He is a wedding photographer in Colorado, yet his home page did not display that anywhere on his front page.
Go to his website today, and the first words on his website are “Colorado Wedding and Elopement Photographer.”
Why Placement Matters
Search engines utilize what is called a spider to crawl your website. Google has poured billions into its search engine to become the best search engine online.
This means it developed an incredible piece of technology that can understand what a page is about. Not only that, but to crawl your entire website and understand the authority your website has on a subject.
If you are missing the keyword, then as the page is crawled, there will be nothing to signify to it that you are writing for this word.
List Your Location and Where You Serve
Honestly, this is more for user experience than it is for search engine optimization. It just happens to be one of those things that does well for both.
Couples often like to hire photographers who are local to an area. Whether the couple is traveling from Austin, Texas to get married in Seattle, Washington or if they’re from that area, they may want to find a photographer who is familiar with the area.
If you are wanting to be a travel photographer, then you need to curate your brand that positions yourself as one.
Still, it’s important to make it known where you serve locally. Using phrases like, “based in” can be a signifier that you are local to an area but are willing to travel.
Set up a Google My Business Listing And Other Local Listings
The best tool you can utilize to signify your location is Google My Business listing. This is an area where clients can write reviews for your business and you can list your services and locations you serve.
Much of wedding photography marketing can be amplified simply by setting up your account.
While Google My Business may be the most popular, other local citations can benefit your local SEO strategy.
Yelp, Bing, Facebook Business Pages, online directories…anywhere you can list your business information will help establish your local authority.
When doing this, you need to make your information matches exactly across all platforms.
Your phone number should be formatted the same, as well as your address, website, and business name.
|Google Business Profile||WeddingWire + The Knot|
|Phone: 1234567890||Does Not Equal||Phone: (123) 456-7890|
|Phone: (123) 456-7890||Equals||Phone: (123) 456-7890|
Blog, Blog, Blog!
A blog is not taking a few wedding photos from a long wedding day and sharing just the images. It is writing a fully thought out piece of content that has a minimum of 300 to 500 words.
Here’s the thing – you can’t just write 3 blog posts about weddings and call it. When first getting started, I always recommend committing to a blogging cadence where you can consistently publish.
For some, it’s once a month – but my most successful clients have committed to 3-4 blog posts a month.
I’ve had one client commit to 8 months for 6 months and they went from having only 20 keywords to over 1,000 keywords they ranked for.
The point is, start with consistency.
The best way to commit to creating blog posts at a steady pace is to create an editorial calendar. You can snag my editorial calendar template here – no sign up form required. Just make a copy in Google Sheets.
If you aren’t sure what to write, then start with the weddings you’ve photographed that are close to the brand you are wanting to curate.
You do not have to blog every wedding you photograph. Blogging every wedding can be hurtful to your brand.
For instance – a photographer wanting to specialize in adventurous elopements may not want to highlight a wedding at a local barn venue. It doesn’t align with the brand.
When blogging a wedding, you want to make sure the page title has the name of the wedding venue. The meta description for photographers is also important to update on every page, too.
The meta description is the blurb that shows under the title of the search result in SERPs.
Utilizing a tool like YOAST (for WordPress) is a great way to customize the meta descriptions on your posts and pages.
Track Your Keyword Ranking and SEO Improvement
What you measure, grows. What you don’t, shrinks.
If you aren’t using a tool like SEMRush or Google Search Console, you won’t be able to tell the progress of the work you are doing.
You will also want to use Google Analytics, to watch your organic traffic insights. The idea is that as your list of keywords grows and you rank higher for certain keywords, you should see an increase in your website traffic.
According to Ignite Visibility, the difference in click-through rate of search engine rankings is incredibly high:
- Google Position 1: Click through rate of 43.32%
- Google Position 2: Click through rate of 37.36%
- Google Position 3: Click through rate of 29.90%
- Google Position 4: Click through rate of 19.38%
- Google Position 5: Click through rate of 10.95%
- Google Position 6: Click through rate of 10%
- Google Position 7: Click through rate of 5.28%
- Google Position 8: Click through rate of 4.13%
- Google Position 9: Click through rate of 4.13%
- Google Position 10: Click through rate of 3.11%
One way to think of this is that for every 100 searches, the first spot will receive about 43 visitors, while positions 4-10 receive half that or less.
Don’t forget – while rank affects visibility, brand affects longevity and trust.
Take it Beyond SEO – Utilize Relationship Marketing
Here’s the issue with SEO – it’s a long term marketing strategy that requires time and effort to see it take off.
It’s also very reliant on algorithms and bots.
B.Human is not about that life – instead, we take a very human approach to growth. Marketing for wedding photographers – or any business in this matter – should rely on relationships.
Here are a few ways to distribute new blog posts to increase your reach and visibility without waiting on algorithms to place your article online.
How to Promote Your Wedding Photography Business with Relationship Marketing
Email Vendors Involved
If you aren’t collecting the contact information of the vendors you are working with already, you need to start.
Every wedding you work is an opportunity to grow your network and build relationships with the vendors that help you succeed at your job.
Whenever you publish a blog post, copy the URL and write an email to all vendors involved.
Don’t send one-off emails – CC everyone. Make sure everyone knows you view it as a collaborative effort and that you aren’t the main thing. The better you make others look, the more valuable you become.
Bonus points if you provide a gallery link as well.
Create an Instagram Story
Take the featured image of your blog post and make it an Instagram story.
Next, add the link and tag all the vendors and the couple. After you publish your story, send each one a DM and ask them to share.
Make the job easier on vendors to share and send them the handles of the involved vendors and the couple so they can copy and paste the names onto the story.
Distribute On Other Platforms
Instagram and Facebook are not the only platforms to distribute your content. If you have an email list, then send the work to a segmented list of interested people
Publish to platforms like Medium, TikTok, Quora, and Reddit.
On pages that you are allowed, share your work on Facebook Group pages.
Don’t rely on algorithms to share your work – do it yourself. (It’s how I’m going to have a boost in traffic here too)
Wedding Photographer SEO Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best SEO tool for photographers?
If you are trying to keep costs down, then I’d recommend Screaming Frog for your Technical SEO Audit. It’s not very user friendly though.
My next option would be – you guessed it – SEMRush. It isn’t cheap, but it can help with Keyword research, competitor analysis, Local Listings, and more.
What is the best first step?
The best first step for to increase your SEO as a wedding photographer is to just start writing.
Don’t worry about Technical SEO if it overwhelms you. Just write on a consistent basis. If after you’ve started writing and nothing is happening, perform a Technical SEO audit, or have us do it for you.
B.Human is a branding agency that can help with photographer seo services to help you get found online. Fair warning – we’re going to scrutinize your brand with a fine tooth comb as well.
More traffic does not always equal more clients.
How many images should I put in a blog post?
At a minimum, aim for 2-3 per post. When doing so, make sure you also include the alt tags to the image.
And alt tag is how search engine crawlers identify what an image is about. You can create an effective alt tag by describing what the image looks like, and then adding the main keyword in there.
What does it cost to hire a photographer SEO company?
This is such a hard ask because there are many avenues of SEO.
What I can say is that we charge $300 for a Technical SEO audit. $1,000 to fix what we find for you.
But if we’re wanting something more customized, then it’s best if you just contact us, and we’ll get a call scheduled together.
SEO Services For Wedding Photographers
Wow – you just made it past over 3,000 written words on how to rank for SEO for wedding photography in 2023.
Following this guide down to the letter, I’m confident that you could start writing content that will eventually rank well online. Especially if you follow this template I use to write my content. (Again, no subscription to this – just bookmark the page).
Often, it’s not the inability to do something because of skill. Rather, it’s because of limited time.
If you find yourself in a spot where you know you need the content, but lack the time, you may be a solid fit for B.Human’s seo services for photographers. In that instance, don’t hesitate to fill out the contact form and schedule a consulting session.