SEO Basics – 5 Simple Tips to Boost Your Business

seo basics 5 simple tips to boost your business by Jen Vazquez Marketing Strategist

SEO Basics – 5 Simple Tips to Boost Your Business

SEO is search engine optimization. This is the process of marking your online content visible and more attractive to search engines like Google. Google indexes websites. It also gives rankings to websites which results in how high they appear when people like you and I search for different terms. 

Effective SEO can help boost your rankings and ensure that your business appears higher for relevant search terms. This, in turn, can help improve exposure and custom. In the below guide, we look at 5 simple things you can do to boost your business SEO without hiring an SEO specialist!

1. Research useful keywords

Before implementing anything, you must research your keywords. What keywords are your customers likely to search for? There are many tools you can use to help find keywords such as Google Keyword Planner. Use these tools to find the most effective keywords for your target audience.

2. Write META title and description tags for all web pages

The META title and description tags are HTML tags that are part of the header code of a web page. These are important tags for SEO and all your web pages should have them. The title tag is a short description of the web page, up to 55 characters ideally. 

Alternatively, the description tag is a longer description of the web page content and should be between 135-155 characters. These tags should also include your main keyword, preferably at the start of the text.

3. Add ALT tags for images

All images on your website and blog should have an ALT tag, including your logo. You can use a free tool like GraphicSprings to produce a business logo incidentally. The ALT tag is an HTML tag and stands for alternative text. 

This is the alternative text that would be displayed when using a screen reader, for blind people, for example. It also has value for SEO, however. An ALT tag should describe the image, but if possible, you could also include a keyword.

4. Include internal and external links to your content

Backlinks are an important aspect of SEO improvements. Backlinks can be both internal and external. Internal links are links within your own business – for example, other web pages. External links are links to other websites that you do not own – for example, complementary websites, or statistical sites.

In your online content, try and include both internal and external links. The links should be relevant to the content you are creating. Also, external links should ideally be from high-authority sources – i.e. websites with a great reputation.

5. Use keywords naturally in your written content 

Finally, the keywords you have researched should also appear naturally in your written content. The key here is naturally. You cannot force keywords otherwise this could be marked as spam and negatively affect your SEO rating. 

Best practice involves inserting a keyword in your initial page title, a sub-heading if possible, and several times naturally in the written paragraphs of your content. Try to only concentrate on one main keyword per page, but also add a few secondary keywords too.

These are all things that anyone can do. They don’t require extensive SEO or web development knowledge. If you want to improve your SEO, we advise implementing these 5 tips today. The first step is to understand your keywords and know what phrases and words you want to target with your SEO. 

From there, you can implement the other tips and build a basic SEO strategy that should improve your exposure on Google over time.

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8 important SEO Tips for Wedding Photographers

Even though Instagram is so important to wedding photographers and how they find brides, it’s super important that you blog, anyway.  Why?

Here are some reasons: What if IG closed tomorrow? What would you do? Many brides still go to google to check reviews, My research via polls to my brides and google search show that brides still Google search to find wedding vendors. Additionally, brides often confirm their potential hire by looking at all these sites, social media and websites as well as Google and Pinterest.

Remember that social media comes and goes (think MySpace) and remember how easy it was for people to find your business on Facebook? Now…… maybe 2% of the people that actually like your page will see your posts.

Your website can either do nothing OR you can utilize the single best way to get found FOR FREE!  If you want to do this, you need to optimize your website for search and understand SEO.

What is SEO??

So I went to my favorite SEO expert Neil Patel.  Here’s what he said: 

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword. 

Let me break that down even further:  

When it comes to SEO, there’s you, the search engine, and the searcher. If you have an article about how to make vegan lasagna, you want the search engine (which, in 90% of all cases, is Google) to show it as a top result to anyone who searches for the phrase “vegan lasagna.”

SEO is the magic you have to work on your article in order to make Google very likely to include your post as one of the top results whenever someone searches for that keyword.”

~Neil Patel

What does this mean for your wedding photography website? I’m betting you can guess — A LOT!!! If you’re Jen Vazquez, Bay Area Wedding Photographer and you only have a few blog posts referring to “Jen Vazquez, Bay Area wedding photographer,” you will miss out on booking brides.  

Soooooooo, let’s get to the tips!

You Need Words, not just images!

Do you have beautiful blog posts filled with phenomenal photography but no words to describe what’s happening in your images? From my research, you should have at least 200 words to every blog post you publish. Within those 200 words, be sure to include keywords like “wedding in San Jose, California” and “San Jose wedding photographer” This way Google knows what your blog post is about and serves it up to brides in your area.  

Create Valuable Content

Create content that brides want to read or are searching for.  An easy way to do this is to write a blog for every question that your brides ask you.  It’s a way to build up a ton of great content for your brides and a great way for new brides to find you.  If one bride has the question, you can bet multiple brides wonder the same thing.

Optimize your Images

Be sure to optimize your images. What does optimizing your images mean?  There are three places to put a name (i.e. search terms). Alt Text, Title, and Description.  All three places can have the same name OR a variation of the name, if you have the time. Here is an example of a great optimized image name: “bay-area-santa-clara-catholic-wedding-at-five-wounds-with-pale-pink-and-Burgandy-jen-vazquez-photography“

Use these SEO Keywords in every blog

  • Use The Name of your company somewhere on your blog.  I typically put it in the title.
  • Use location-specific keywords like your city, state, town, area
  • Use your three brand words in every blog post.  Mine are adventurous, playful and fun. So I say those three words everywhere in each blog, when possible.
  • Use “Wedding Photographer” or “Wedding Photography” in each blog

Don’t Be Silly — SHARE IT!

Share your blogs by newsletter, social media, Pinterest, on business and personal page.  Sharing the information tells Google that you are popular and trustworthy. 

Wedding Photographers have an easier time with this because we have gorgeous images!  

Ensure that you have share buttons on your website for social media – this makes it easy and today, doing something easy online ensures they may click.  If someone has to copy and paste, etc to share the information – it oftentimes is one too many clicks for people to have to do.

My favorite tools to Share:  

Mailchimp: Get your content to your couples and to industry friends by creating a newsletter. While MailChimp may seem like an odd tool to list, I decided to include it because Mailchimp pushes people (especially your clients) to share your content directly from an email you send out. I also think Mailchimp is more reliable in getting your content to your followers than Facebook.

Tailwind – this is my all-time favorite tool for Pinterest, FB, and Instagram! By clicking the Tailwind link, you’ll get a free trial and they will give me a tiny stipend for sharing. 

NO 404 Errors: Make sure your links are Working

There literally nothing worse than having 404 Page Error put up when you are looking for something.  Guess what? It’s irritating to Google too. It makes Google feel like you are untrustworthy and it really messes up the algorithm.   

My favorite free tool to check links: Atomseo

Speed Up That Site!

Google doesn’t like slow sites.  Photographs are most important, for us photographers, but we also need to ensure that they don’t slow down our page.  

  • Making images look good
  • Making images load quickly
  • Making images easy for search engines to index.  

Photographs should be saved and uploaded as JPGs. This file type can handle all of the colors in a photograph in a relatively small, efficient file size. By using JPEGs, you won’t end up with the enormous file you might get if you saved a photograph as a PNG.

The average speed for a website to load in 5 seconds. You can fix your site load time by cutting down on the size of a page. The biggest way to add to the size of your page? Slapping on tons of huge images. So, how can you fix this? 

I love to take my favorite hi-resolution images and I throw them in BlogStomp.  It’s a paid tool, but you can use the trial to try it out.  I automatically optimize my images so they look their best but are web sized.  It’s a lifesaver.

My favorite free tool to test speed: Pingdom

Get those Backlinks!

This is often overlooked.  What are backlinks? Backlinks are another website links to your website.  

So as an example, if you are listed (even a free listing) on WeddingWire, Zola, or The Knot. That’s a backlink.  When you get your images published somewhere, that’s a backlink.  

The bigger the website, the more powerful that backlink is because Google believes that you are more trustworthy.   Especially if you are a wedding photographer and you have a link on a wedding site because it is a wedding-related.  

Here are some ways to get started with backlinks (all free):

If you are looking for a coach to help with knowing who your ideal bride, how to attract them and book them, then I’d love to work with you! I have a private FB group that you may enjoy learning in or you can work with me 1:1. I’d love to cheer you on and give you concrete step by step ways to bring in those brides!

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