Search Engine Optimization or SEO as we call it in short form is a buzzword among many small businesses. But lets face it, for many of us it is just like trying to learn a language in middle school. It sucks. Over the year I have attempted to work on it myself and really never seen any results. But last year I had to move back to my home state of Colorado and really did not have the time to plan it and move my business prior to moving. It has been a whirlwind year and a hard one personally, so my business suffered. This past year I received a ton of inquiries for shoots on the east coast where I had moved from. But nothing from Colorado. So I decided to take a look at what was going on in my site and see what I could do.
First, I googled SEO companies. This was out for me as the monthly fee for these started at $1200. Next I bought SEO for Dummies. It is huge and I am still working on it. So next I joined several Facebook groups and followed along.
I also googled articles about SEO and specifically Squarespace. Here are several things I did that have improved my rankings.
So much of my site needed to be optimized. Load time was slow, images were massive, content was confusing. First thing I did was rework my site. I love the long scroll, but I had just made one long page. So I picked a template that supported this. (I am using Pacific).
Next I checked several sites that give you speed and other SEO information.
These sites can help give you information about your weaknesses and strengths. I have looked at several other peoples websites through these and there are some very common themes. Several of these themes are images that are large, backlinks, and keywords.
Neil Patels site is great in that it give you a well formatted look at what is going on with your site. You can see where your site stands. when I first looked at my site I was 7.6million. Today I am at 4.6Million. I still have a long way to go, but moving up 3 million spots is rad.
Gt Metrix is great in that it gives you some things that you need to focus on. It also gives you optimized images to upload to your site to increase speed. As well as other issues to look at.
Nibbler is great. It give and easy to understand breakdown. It identifies alot of the key components to SEO. My favorite thing is the Headings word cloud. This shows you your keyword density.
Keywords are key. See what I did there ;) Actually keywords on you site can make or break you. If you do them wrong and spam your site, you can end up ranking lower. If you do them correctly you can rank on the first page results. There are several ways to go about picking keywords. You can write some words down on dice, and throw them craps style and see what happens or you be smart about it and use the Google Keywords Tool. What this tool does is show you which keywords are searched more than others and how often they are searched. You can see if Denver Wedding Photography is searched more or less often than Denver Wedding Photographer, or whatever city/region/state/country you live near or in.
The format of your website is huge. Google wants to deliver content to people that is not only easy to read, but is relevant, and opens quickly. If your site takes forever to load, because of image size or poor formatting Google will not want to deliver it to people. Make sure that your images are sized correctly, that your H1/H2/H3 headings are correct, and that your page title are on point. Don't just title your home page "Home", but describe who/what/where you are. Your navigation title can be simple, but describe yourself.
You can use keywords in your website copy, your alt-text, urls, and H1/H2/H3 headlines. Again write naturally and don't spam. When you export your images (or if you rename them within Squarespace) describe them for example "Downtown Denver Union Station Engagement photos" or "Iceland Destination wedding Skogafoss - couple holding hands."
To read about how to alt-text on Squarespace Check this out.
Lastly create some amazing content. Keep it fresh and new. Blogging is a great way to do this. But when you shoot new sessions that you want to show off, update your site. Don't let your content get old and moldy. Make the content relevant to your site and brand. Don't just create a site and let it become frozen.
If you are interested in advertising and marketing tips and Q&A sessions follow me on Instagram where I do AMA's (Ask me anythings) and live broadcasts about marketing and advertising. @newhopephotography