If you have spent any time building your own website you have probably heard the term “SEO.” It is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a method of arranging the information on your website so search engines have an easier time categorizing your site and what you have to offer, whether it is a commercial product, information, games or something else.
Photographers by and large face challenges when they go to optimize their site for search engines, mainly because the binary data that makes up a photograph doesn’t really lend itself well to a search engine that takes the written word as input.
So, if you are a photographer, how do you set up your site to take advantage of important keywords? There is a way, and it isn’t as difficult as you might think.
Search for Photographs
The first and most obvious step in making professional photography visible in search engines is to take advantage of features like image search. The written information in and near your photo links and pages on your site can be used by search engines to discover what your photographs depict. You can make use of these features by adding captions or write-ups describing your images on the same page.
Every image link on the web must include a source file field. Every image can also include various optional fields like title and alternative description. It is very important these optional fields be included in your image links and that they contain the keywords for your photos. Search engines will use this information to determine what the photograph is and how it should be categorized.
Believe it or not, search engines will sometimes look at the name of an image file to try and figure out what it is. If you can use one or more keywords in the name of your image and then use that image name in the source field for your image link, it may influence search engines favorably.
It is always a good idea to determine in advance what keywords are suitable for your images and to make sure all the various places where those keywords appear, like title, alternative description, caption and so forth, match as closely as possible. Having ten different keywords for a single image is not as optimal as having say, three highly targeted alternatives.
Always remember search optimization is a process rather than a task that you start and finish over a certain interval. It will require continual adjustment to get right, so be patient and learn as much as you can about the process as you go.