best seo tips for wedding photographers
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and if you didn’t already know that before reading this article holy butt you might be in some serious f***ing trouble with your wedding business! The good news is you are here because you want to learn about SEO and how it can help your wedding photography, wedding planning or any other wedding-related business. So let me be your guide to the wondrous and magical world of Search Engine Optimization and show you how SEO will help your wedding business! Okay maybe SEO is not magical but it will totally help your wedding business get more clients, make more money and increase your sexiness by 27%. So strap on your saddle and let’s giddy up!
Wedding Photography & SEO: My Journey
Before my career as a wedding photographer began I worked for an Inc. 500 business in Chicago. Honestly, I f***ing hated that job. What I mean is I felt the conversations during office meetings were always related to money, such as how are we going to increase monthly sales? How are we going to increase quarterly sales? How are we going to break the sales numbers from last year? The job lacked any real form of creative expression and was an absolute soul killer. The work was hardly fulfilling but when I was promoted from a sales position to a marketing position and eventually a position as Vice President of Marketing, that was when I first realized the value of SEO. I was able to see firsthand how small changes to a blog, the production of quality content and systematic link building could directly impact our companies’ visibility, brand and overall sales figures. What I realized very quickly was that SEO could and did make our company millions of dollars. Thankfully, I gathered this knowledge before I suddenly quit my job on a Friday morning. Because like I said, the job was providing no personal fulfillment and causing me to drink almost daily. And let me clarify that there is nothing wrong with daily drinking as long as it is in the celebratory “life is awesome” form not in the “my job sucks ass and if I hear my alarm clock go off one more time I might shoot someone” form. The good news is now I have a job that is not all about money, and at the same time allows me to create art in a positive environment. I seriously love being a wedding photographer and the journey it has taken me on, but my success as a wedding photography business is significantly attributed to my use of SEO. Now I have a job that keeps a smile on my face, pushes my creativity and allows me to drink daily in celebration because life is awesome!
seo for wedding blogs
So you designed a logo with some f***ing animal surrounded by hand-sketched arrows, purchased “moody” Lightroom presets that erase all trace of the color green, dropped romantic quotes on all your Instagram photos, but for some reason you just aren’t booking enough wedding clients? The above mentioned “photography recipe for success” seems to be working for other wedding photographers you follow but not you. In fact, the only “wedding” inquiries hitting your inbox are from your mom who wants to know if you are free for coffee later this week. “YES MOM I AM FREE BECAUSE I AM NOT BOOKING ANY DAMN WEDDING CLIENTS!” That sucks. I feel for you buddy. The good news is as long as you have a wedding blog that you actively produce content on you have an opportunity to turn things around! So let’s get started on some of the basics!
Content Is King
Content is everything in the web world and quality content will help you rank higher in search. So what is quality content? Quality content is content relevant to the topic, engaging to the reader and at least 500-750 words long. The content should also be unique. What I mean is DO NOT copy and paste content from one website and use it on your wedding blog! Most importantly, don’t be boring. Seriously. I can’t tell you how much I personally hate reading a wedding blog post that is the same generic, “Oh my gosh the couple were so fun” bullshit. I saw the wedding photos. They did not look they were having fun in those photos. They looked boring AF. That is probably why you had them hold hands on a mountain top, then look away from each other before you ran like 100 yards away to take the photo. What I am saying is make sure the content accurately reflects the mood of the photographs. And instead of writing about, “How fun the couple were”, talk about specifics. Stories that help the reader connect to the subjects. For example, like the time the groom went running with the bulls, or how the bride spilled red wine on her dress but laughed the whole thing off. That is way better content because it is personal and something that helps pull the reader into your story. Honestly, the number one thing wedding photographers and other wedding industry people say to me is that they hate blogging because they don’t know what to talk about. Okay I get that. But also remember that writing is a skill and all skills require practice. You will get better and your written voice will get sharper so practice, practice, practice and write about things that help the reader better feel the story.
Here are my Top 5 tips that will help wedding photographers create content for their wedding blog post:
- Dedicate a paragraph to your personal opinions on the wedding venue (pros/cons of a wedding at Ace Hotel)
- Dedicate a paragraph to how the bride and groom met (I ask this in my initial email before booking)
- Let your personality shine (Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself or express your opinions)
- Talk about some of the funny/romantic/your favorite moments from the wedding day
- Use keywords (Wedding Venue/Wedding Location/Etc)
(For more information on creating quality content that is optimized for wedding SEO please read my article, “SEO Blogging Tips For Wedding Photographers”)
Links are suuuuuuuper important when it comes to blogging so they should always be on your mind when writing an article. Think of a link as a referral. When you link to another website you are basically saying, “these guys are cool and you should check them out”. So be careful who you link your wedding website with! Actually STOP! Right f***ing now STOP! Before you read any further open up a new tab, Google ‘Broken Link Checker” and put your website in a broken link checking website. Broken links are BAD for SEO and so the first thing you want to do is fix any broken links that might be on your website.
Okay cool….Hopefully, you did not have any broken links! Now let’s get back to the link party!
Linking is something you want to be careful with because you want to be linking to relevant sources that will help the reader. Here is an example of a link strategy that has become popular among many wedding bloggers and wedding photographers, but really is something that needs to stop.
What you see in the above photo is a list of wedding vendors who worked the event with the wedding photographer. The wedding photographer then links to each and every one of the wedding vendors. DUMB! The reason? Because a) these wedding vendors are most likely not linking back to the wedding photographer (meaning the wedding photographer is giving out link juice for free) and b) some of the websites are pretty crappy. Now listen, I am all about giving people credit and you should totally let your readers know who the wedding florist, wedding DJ and whoever else worked the event was. But linking to them is a whole different bag of potatoes. If the wedding vendor is not linking to you, don’t waste your time linking to them. How I see it is if they aren’t that keen on the value of links there is a good probability they might not even be in business in 5 years. So that just means a higher potential for a broken link in the future. And as I mentioned before, you want to use your links wisely so they have the most strength. So think less is more. Unless of course you know how to set the link to “no follow”.
Here are my Top 5 tips that will help wedding photographers with link strategy
- Don’t go crazy with links. Use the one link per paragraph rule
- Link to your homepage, another article on your wedding blog, and a source link (wedding venue/city/etc)
- Use anchor texts with target keywords (The text you use in link, example “Palm Springs Wedding Photographer”
- Remove broken links or at least use a plugin that redirects broken links to your homepage
- Contact other wedding vendors who worked the wedding and message them when your blog post is live that if they want any photos for their wedding websites all you ask in return is a link to your homepage.
(For more information on link building strategy for wedding SEO please read my article, “Link Building For Wedding Photographers”)
Fact: Having the best taco bar in the world doesn’t mean shit if it is located in Antarctica. Having the best wedding photos in the world also doesn’t mean shit if nobody is looking at them. My point is traffic is everything, and at this very moment traffic is probably the most powerful signal Google uses in search engine results placement (SERP). And rightfully so! Google does not want to be the one generating all your website traffic. They want you sending traffic to your website not the other way around. The good news is that getting website traffic is one of the easiest things to do if you are a wedding photographer or wedding professional!
Here are my Top 5 tips that will help wedding photographers increase website traffic
- Blog the wedding BEFORE sending the completed wedding photos to the client. Text/email them the link
- Share the wedding blog post on social media (Instagram stories/Facebook/Twitter etc)
- Tag all the other wedding vendors who worked the wedding with you on social media
- Email wedding vendors that the wedding blog post is live and if they want any wedding photos for their website all you ask in return is a link to your website
- I can’t think of a 5th point off the top of my head so I am going to grab a IPA instead. You should do the same.
(For more information on increasing website traffic for wedding SEO please read my article, “How To Get Traffic For My Wedding Blog”)
SEO For Wedding Photographers
SEO is a constantly evolving science so it is important to always keep up with the shifting ranking signals and the things that Google places value on. And to be completely honest the SEO tips I mentioned above are like 1% of the things wedding photographers should be doing to increase their search engine results placement. I will continue to update my wedding photography blog with SEO tips to make life on your side of this article easier, but the best thing to do if you want to fix your SEO troubles is schedule a private consultation with me. That way I can take a deeper and more detailed look at your wedding blog to see what can be improved. Until then, cheers to you for making it though this article regarding SEO for wedding photographers! I wish you and your wedding business success and top rankings!
Feel free to direct message me on Instagram or tweet me your SEO questions!
Ryan Horban is an award-winning wedding photographer based in Palm Springs, California