Featured Article SEO for Photographers

What is SEO? And why should I care?

Is search engine optimization like another language to you?

SEO means Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of making you website, and or content, visible to search engines. Without it, no one would find you website other than by word of mouth. Which is not good if you are looking for exposure!

The main search engines in the English speaking world are, Google, Yahoo and Bing. The later two are now using the same resources to deliver their results to you.

How does SEO work?

Before you understand SEO, you need to understand search engines. Search engines crawl the internet looking for content, which for the most part comes in the form of text. Text is easy for these automated programs to understand, compute and tell another program what score the content is worth having.

Why score content?

It the same as a book, or magazine article about. One may be well written, the other poorly. If both are about the same subject, then which one are you more likely to choose? The one with good content right?

So you look to reviews, recommendations and maybe even to book charts to make your decision.

Search engines do basically the same thing.

How do search engines tell what’s good or not?

There are several ways. Content, is it relevant to the subject? Are there other sites linking to the article that also have good relative content. Are there people mentioning it on social media, or subscriptions?

All this tells a search engine just how good, or not so good your content may be. And so, it gives your content a rank.

The higher the rank, the more authority your article will have over someone else’s with a similar subject.

Improving your SEO

In magazines and in many form of literature we doing things to highlight a point. We make headlines. We embolden subheadings, and we highlight areas.

In SEO, we need to do the same for the search engines. Who, or course, have their own language. They don’t visual read or look at our sites. They scan them and read the text. So making a heading red, to the public is nice. But, to a search engine it looks like style=”color: #99cc00;”>red. Big difference.

It does not see the color, it see’s the code.

Code your site for SEO promotion

So if you want to tell a search engine what your article or photograph is all about, you need to give it a code title.

Then, a description. This is a good start.

But, to continue on if you have more content, you should label something and headlines, or sub-headlines.

If all this sounds like work, well then, it is. But, there are many easy ways to do all this without getting technical that we will cover later.

Inherent flaws with SEO

This is, again, a basic overview of SEO. There are other contributing factors. For those with maybe a mathematical mind, or statistical background you might be frowning a little here. Can’t all this be gamed? The answer is of course, yes.

However, search engines are constantly evolving. And, this is the best system we have to work with up to know.

Do you need to care about SEO?

No not at all. Many programs out there that put content on the web automatically do a lot of this for you. But not all, and not so correctly.

If, however,  you do want exposure. Then you’ll need to place SEO in a priority marker along with the rest of your content.

It’s the best we have to work with for now, and we just have to go with the flow.

Sadly, many people, photographers in particular over look this. And a lot of great photographs, and articles slip by the Internets way of catching it all. Hopefully, in the series of upcoming articles, we’ll be able to tighten the net a little, and get your work seen a lot more.

Featured Article SEO for Photographers

SEO for photographs – html guide

taj mahal
Example of an image with alt and title information

How do make your photograph’s Search Engine Optimization friendly on a static website?

What’s a static webpage?

Let’s be clear firstly about a few things. A static page in this instance is a html webpage. It’s not referring to WordPress, blogger or any blogging type of site.

Does everyone agree on these SEO methods?

The second this is that there are many people who say yes and no to somethings within the realm of SEO. And, yes and no to other things. In other words there’s no 100% the same method out there. However, there are some standards that even the search engines say you must do, and, a little more too.

List of SEO requirements for photographs

  • Use both an “alt” tag attribute and a “title” tag attribute to describe the content.

These are two of the most important things you must do with your images. They tell the search engine, what your image is, and describes to the search engine what’s in the image.

What’s the difference between “title” text and “alt” text?

Title text tells the search engine about what’s in the image, the context of the photograph. It should be written just like any other sentence describing what is going on in the photograph. The text also shows up when you mouse-over an image, which can be a nice affect.

Alt text (Alternative text) is used if the image cannot be displayed for some reason. It should be short, and basically name the image.

  • Make sure the image filename describes the content of the photo

I am not a huge believer in this, as I think search engines are smarter than that. That said, is certainly can do no harm.Use hyphens to separate the words describing the photograph in the filename

abedofroses or a-bed-of-roses or a_bed_of_roses? Again, I think search engines treat all of these files names the same. People however, will prefer to associate a name with hyphens in general.

  • Place all photographs in a folder called “images”

Search engines crawl methodically. I think keeping all you photographs in one location makes sense for organizing yourself more than for SEO purposes. For that reason alone, I would keep them all in one folder. That folder can then have many sub folders.

How to write ALT and Title text for Photographs

Here is an example of the HTML source code of an optimized image of the “Taj Mahal” logo photo and how it appears on a web page:

< img src=”taj-mahal.jpg” border=”1″ alt=”taj mahal” title=”taj mahal in black and white ” width=”300″ height=”225″ >

In the next post in this series, we’ll cover Photograph SEO for WordPress

Featured Article photograpy-articles SEO for Photographers

SEO for Photographers: That dreaded thing call flash … or is it?

Flash on your website
Flash on your website

Flash in layman’s terms is similar to video. I allows you to stitch together a series of photographs, images, text or just about anything into a nice package that can look fantastic on a website.

The downside to flash for photographers:

Ever come across a great photography site that looks fantastic. The images flow wonderfully. The how site is easy to navigate, it’s a great experience.

But why then is it not on the top of any search engine?

Simple, search engines don’t understand flash. It’s like showing a blind person a book, without Braille. They know what it is, but can’t work out the content.

Braille to the search engine comes in the form of text. And, flash has none.

SEO and flash, can they get along?

Not really. Search engine’s simply can’t see Flash, and, probably never will. Trying SEO on a site built on flash is a virtual waste of time.

Should you dump any notion of using flash?

This depends. If your website is entirely made from flash, and nothing else there are two things that will happen. The search engines will glance over it, and all you content will not be recognized. You will give the majority of your users an nice experience.

If all you are doing is putting up a portfolio to show clients, then go for it.

If you are trying to get as much exposure for yourself on the internet, then you will have to give a website created solely on flash another think.

The future of flash?

Html5 is a code that’s is being seen as the end of Flash. Or at least the end of the need for flash. The argument continues on. Html 5 is new, and while it is, and will be adopted by all, there is still life in flash for a long time to come.

Can you have the best of both worlds?

Yes, you can have a portfolio site that’s made from flash, and have a text version of the site as well. There are pro’s and con’s to this. Including more work, but it can deliver the best of both worlds and is worth a consideration.

Featured Article SEO for Photographers

SEO for WordPress photographers

WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging software. It’s free, easy to install, and comes pretty much ready in terms of SEO your posts.

For your images and photographs though, you’ll need to add a little bit more.

Here’s how to use SEO for your photographs on WordPress:

Wordpress screen of image upload
Take a look at this screen capture and see the areas you should fill in
  • Note the File name: its Tibetan-Monks-Nepal.jpg

Having the file name describe the image, is said to improve it’s SEO.

  • Title – Tibetan Monks – Nepal.

Short and sweet, this gives you reference on WordPress to what the image is.

  • Alternative Text

This needs to be filled in. If the image does not appear, the text well.

  • Caption

This is what will appear beneath the image as it is displayed on you post. It’s a good place to throw in some more references to the image. But, equally so you can write anything you want in here.

  • Description

Here is where you will write a longer description of what the image is all about. This is basically the same as describing the image to a friend over the phone. Only in this case, the search engine is the one who is listening / reading.

Five points to remember for SEO on WordPress

These 5 points will all greatly aid in SEO for you photographs. Which will help greatly in getting your images indexed, and searched.