SEO is essential for every website to make it search engine friendly. If you delay doing SEO of your site, then your rankings and traffic will get affected. Therefore, you cannot be negligent towards SEO, or its subparts:
1. On-Page Optimization
2. Off-Page Optimization
If your site’s primary focus lies in publishing textual content, then you’ll realize that search engine optimization is comparatively easy. But, if you have a stock photography website, then making it search engine friendly can be tricky, and that’s because of two main reasons:
1. The scope for doing SEO is very less as it relies heavily on visuals.
2. There is not enough content available on the internet that can help you in this process.
Therefore, in this article, I have included certain off-page and on-page optimization tips which can drive traffic to your stock photography website once implemented. Also, the correct execution of these image SEO tips can assist you in achieving the top SERP position.
So, let’s head straight to discussing the tips:
In simple terms, when you work on your site solely intending to make it search engine friendly, it is called on-page optimization.
The tips you should follow when optimizing on-page of your photography websites are as follows:
TIP 1: Keyword Research Related To The Images
The initial stage of SEO Optimization is creating a vast database of keywords with help from the Keyword Research tool.
Although, before using the tool, you must determine the context of the image. You have to be clear about what it represents. When the context is clear, conducting keyword research becomes easier.
For instance, here’s a picture of a stuffed bear:
So, when you start looking for high search volume keyword suggestions, you will enter ‘Stuffed Bear’ as the keyword to get related keyword suggestions.
You need to create a database of the related keywords and utilize it for further on-page optimization purpose.
Every SEO strategy begins with Keyword Research, that’s why your Keyword Research must be thorough and correct.
TIP 2: Meta Tags Optimization
One of the essential on-page optimization factors for your site is including keywords in the page’s meta tags, which are as follows:
The Title tag defines the title of a page. It is visible to the searcher in the search results. It is best to keep the character limit of title tags under 60 to garner more clicks.
- Meta Description
A title alone cannot help the searcher determine what information a ranked result holds. Therefore, they need a short description as well that can assist them in learning more details on a page, and a meta description solves this purpose. The summary of a page is visible in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) just below the title.
It is best to keep the meta description character limit under 160. If the limit somehow exceeds 160, then Google will truncate it in the results.
Between the meta description and the title is the Slug. It is a part of a page’s link. A Slug distinguishes one page of your site from another and is 100%
- Heading Tags
The purpose of heading tags is to provide structure to a website and improve the user’s experience. The heading tag structure is as follows.
<H3>Sub Sub Heading</H3>
<H3>Sub Sub Heading</H3>
<H3>Sub Sub Heading</H3>
<H4>Sub Sub Sub Heading</H4>
You can see that there’s only one H1 tag. Unless you have a single-page website, you must use one H1 tag for each page. It is because an H1 tag defines the heading of a page under which falls the other heading tags that cover the same topic.
For instance, if you’ve written a blog on ‘What is on-page optimization?’, then your H1 for that page will be ‘What is on-page optimization?’ and the subsequent H2 and H3 tags will be ‘How to do on-page optimization?’ and ‘Begin with Keyword Research’ respectively.
- Alt Tag
Apart from all the other on-page optimization factors, there is yet another one that is most valuable for your stock photography site: Alt tag.
Alt Tag or Alternative Test describes the content of an image to the search engine bot for ranking purposes. It is visible to the searcher as well when an image doesn’t load due to a slow internet connection.
For instance, if the image of the Stuffed Bear (mentioned above) does not load, you will see a textual message similar to ‘Image of a brown coloured stuffed bear’.
Keep In Mind
Every related keyword must be placed organically in the meta tags. If they are stuffed instead, then that will affect your rankings directly because search engine bots crawl them to understand your content’s context. Therefore, it is crucial to formulate sensible meta tags, if you want to rank higher and drive more traffic than your competitors.
Why are Meta Tags important?
As informed previously, when a search engine crawls a website for indexing, it scans every meta tag associated with a page. The crawlers scan the keywords in the meta tags and their placement. If it is meaningful, then the website/web page will get indexed and ranked. However, if the crawlers sense keyword stuffing, then they won’t even index your site let alone rank it in the SERPs unless the issue is resolved.
TIP 3: The Short Description/ Caption
After you are done with meta tag optimization, you should start focussing on the ‘limited’ content on your stock photography website.
When you upload an image on your site, you need to write its caption and a short description.
That ‘limited’ content has to be SEO Optimized. You must include selected keywords from your keyword database and include them in the description and caption organically.
Here’s an example of an image with a short description:
TIP 4: Internal Linking
When the search engine crawler scans your website, it goes through every link in the content and examines that as well.
Therefore, if you create a robust internal linking structure where all your pages and images are linked with each other while making perfect sense, then it becomes convenient for the crawler to scan, index, and rank every page of your website.
TIP 5: Make A Blog
Having a blog on your domain broadens your site’s ranking opportunities and increases its chances of earning the top SERP position. You will be able to place more keywords in your content and link them with the other pages of your domain without an issue.
Since you cater to Stock Photography, you can talk about topics like how to become a photographer or play around with the lighting and also creating a perfect composition. You can also write about the various types of equipment needed for photography.
Improving your rankings out of your site’s boundaries is called off-page optimization. This optimization process includes guest posting on other domains, social media promotion, link building, etc.
TIP 1: Backlinking
Link building is the most powerful way to improve your SERP rankings. When a large number of quality inbound links point to your domain, its credibility increases in the eyes of the crawlers. And the rankings of credible websites progress towards the top of the SERPs.
To build backlinks, you can reach out to the other websites in your niche and seek a guest posting opportunity. And when you get one, write a detailed post and add a link pointing to your site in the content body. It is best to add a link to the beginning of the article to receive more clicks. Also, use the primary keyword targeted in the linked article as the anchor text (hyperlinked text).
Apart from this, you can do forum answering and blog commenting as well to boost your online visibility, generate more links, and drive traffic to your domain.
You must target quality websites for link building and aim to get do-follow links from them. Do-follow links transfer link juice from the initial domain to destination domain; this improves the authority of your domain and SERP rankings.
TIP 2: Social Media Sharing
One of the most fundamental ways to drive traffic to your site is through social media. By sharing your posts on social media and tracking different social media metrics, you will determine your post’s engagement. You can go through the comments to interact with your audience and gather ideas for your future projects.
It is advised that you focus on image-sharing platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. You can build your audience and start driving traffic to your stock photography website. Furthermore, Instagram also has an Alt Text feature that helps your SEO Optimization, so use it and increase your chances of ranking higher than your competitors.
Final TIP: Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the best free tools by Google that gives you information about the audience visiting your website and their location. You can conduct a detailed analysis of your traffic -direct, organic, referral, etc.- their gender and age.
Audience, Acquisition, Behaviour, and conversion are the primary GA metrics that you should start tracking.
The whole process will take some time (a month approx.) before showing results. Remember not of stuff keywords in the meta tags and content body because it can get you the Google Penalty before it is even indexed.
Every vital SEO tip that can influence your rankings and traffic significantly has been included in the post.
But, if you have some more tips to share, let me know about them in the comment section below.
Till then, Good luck with making your site search engine friendly.
This is a guest post by Sahil Kakkar.
Sahil is the CEO and Founder of Rankwatch – a platform, which helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever growing internet landscape. Sahil likes making creative products that can help in automation of mundane tasks and he can spend endless nights implementing new technologies and ideas. You can connect with him and the Rankwatch team on Facebook or Twitter.