Indexing Your Photography in a Google Search

I’ve just set up Google Analytics over at my Tumblr. I braced myself for the low number of visitors, but was still very humbled by my data. I post new material daily, and sometimes multiple times a day, but have never utilized keywords or edited my html to always include headers. I certainly will now.

While indexing for written pieces is fairly self-explanatory (keywords, headers, descriptive headlines, locations, names, buzzwords, etc), whatever do you do to boost the visibility of your photography?

There are many tips out there on how to get your photos to the top of Google Images. Obviously, if your photo is part of a news story, adding a caption with location, names, and other basic identifiers that answer the 5 Ws should be automatic. Other ways to boost your image’s position include keeping it at a standard resolution (not tiny or huge to load, about 600×800 is standard) and making sure the page heading in which the photo lies corresponds to the subject of the photo.

Example:
The heading of my blog post is “Taking Risks” (awful, too ambiguous) and my original photo that supplements this post is of a race car. Never going to find that photo in a search.

But what if you’re not interested in having your “fine art” photography show up in google images? Instead, your ideal consumer finds your photography website through a normal google search. How do you optimize for your photography business?

1) Ask your clients to link back to your site when you give them images.

Even if you took graduation photos for a friend who has a wordpress.com blog, referencing helps you out.

2) List yourself in Photography Web Directories.

They are like yellow pages, and also act as references for your site. Just make sure you have a separate email account to give out, as you may receive a lot of unwanted mail.

3) Get a local business profile from Google.

It’s free and it features your site high on the search results for photographers in your area.

4) Set up Google Analytics for your website.

It provides you with some great feedback about page views, amount of time spent on your site, how people get there, etc. Analytics allows you to see what works and what doesn’t and helps you troubleshoot more effectively. After all, using the web for your personal brand, whether you are a photojournalist, fine art photographer, or budding amateur is all about experimenting and finding what works for you and the niche you are building.

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5 comments
  1. danielmaxson said:

    Thought I’d mention as well, getting involved on other people’s blogs helps a lot as well, perhaps not in immediately boosting your page rank, but in getting traffic (which can eventually lead to higher page rank) and building your brand. And really page rank is just a means to get traffic (which is just a means to sell your brand). I think some people (not you necessarily) get so caught up in optimizing for Google (which is a useful tool) that they don’t put as much energy into the time-tested art of social networking (that is, making social connections with people who share your passion for photography or other subjects, then keeping in regular contact and doing favors for one another like link sharing and so on).

    IMO, having seen Newsy’s presence swell from “What’s that?” to ReadWriteWeb’s first pick of startup to interview in their new interview series, I believe the direct personal contacts we established over the years with probably thousands of people were more to thank than any SEO we’ve done.

    But of course SEO’s a valuable tool, too. I’m just suggesting another angle since you seem to have the basics of that one figured out.

    • Thanks for the post, Daniel! Funny you mention getting traffic through involvement in others’ blogs…I’m just starting to build my blog roll. One of our journalism professors was talking about networking and regularly reading other student bloggers’ sites so that we can link to each others’ posts when relevant. I definitely don’t think any undertaking (especially in journalism) can succeed without community & dialogue. Do you have a wordpress/blogger/tumblr? I’ll add it to my ‘roll.

      • danielmaxson said:

        Hehe, no, I don’t. I’ve started a couple times, but I always dropped them. I guess I prefer to build my brand with my side projects rather than with a blog. And a lot of what I do has some degree of secrecy (like my work as a game developer for Iron Realms Entertainment or my team’s work on the annual RJI competition) so they don’t really lend themselves well to being blogged about. :/

  2. Communities and forums can be a haven for links as well. They are probably not as valued by Google as a direct link from someone else’s article or blog page, but they’re easy to setup to get links from a profile page or post signature. Here’s 5 forums I like:

    1. Digital Grin Photography Forum http://dgrin.com
    2. Canon Digital Photography Forums http://photography-on-the.net/forum/
    3. Digital Photography School http://digital-photography-school.com/forum/
    4. The Photo Forum http://www.thephotoforum.com/
    5. OpenSourcePhoto http://www.opensourcephoto.net/forum/index.php

    Nice post Kelly,
    Zach

    • Wow! Thank you for these great links, Zach! Checking these out now!

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