Optimizing your website for Google can seem like a daunting task, but if you take your time to put your site together and always think of how Google is going to look at your new window to the world, you’ll soon be on your way to a high Page Rank. First and foremost, you want to determine what your theme is going to be for your website. Are you going to share with the world all there is on how to take photos of cats? Maybe you want to have broader appeal and include all animals. Just remember, the more focused you are, the better you are able to bring your website to the forefront of the search results. David Hobby and his Strobist.com website is a great example of focusing on one particular aspect of photography, lighting with small portable flash. As of this writing, Hobby now has 200,000 mostly amateur photographers as devoted readers. His site attracts 1.6 million page views a month. In 1999 his reported income is close to six figures, after only a mere 8 months.
So in thinking about your theme, it should always express the particular niche you have chosen for your website. One example is to have your title description describe your site. An example would be if you live in Cleveland and are promoting stock photography, you might want your title to not only have your website name, but the the following, “Stock photographer in Cleveland, Ohio”. Now that’s just a simple example, but you get the idea
Next, you have to have unique, relevant content. If you don’t have unique content, Google will likely never find it or rank it so low that you’ll never get eyeballs to your page. Just ripping content from the pages of others, will probably not be a big help to your ranking either. Admittedly, when first starting out, you’ll need to have something on your site or no one will show up. EzineArticles.com, is a good source for content and it’s free to use provided you follow their simple rules. Once you start adding your own content, you can also submit your articles to EzineArticles to generate traffic back to your own site from other sites with similar interests. Be sure to remove the sourced articles as you get your own content as Google doesn’t like to see duplicate content.
Some ideas for adding content:
Create top 10 lists – I.E. The top 10 best celebrity photographers
Tips and Tricks
Educate users on a particular aspect of photography, like Photoshop or using a program like Aperture.
Next you want to think about how keywords will be used throughout the article. If you are sharing information on how to shoot fourth of July fireworks, you would want to have keywords relevant to this type of shooting. Don’t forget to add a title and a heading (Using the tag) to the page, such as “How to Photograph Firework Displays” This will help Google determine the topic of your article. The Page Title is the most important tag you can use for search ranking. Meta tags used to be the big “Must have” for your page, but people abused this to the point of being less useful for your pages.
When publishing images within your articles, it is extremely important to use alt tags , example (alt=”Serengeti Plain”) This gives the viewer a description of your image as well as allows your image to come up in image search results on Google. If you’re bored, you can play Google’s Image Labeler Game. Many gallery programs you use will have the option to add a description to your image, along with the name. Make sure you do this along with making the file name relevant to the image. I know I’m really bad about having images on my gallery with a name like DSC_1234. It’s easier to start on the right foot, rather than try to change names and descriptions later.
You can also think about adding a forum, which will also be populated with unique content. Just be careful to not populate forums with content from RSS feeds as it really discourages people from participating.
Next you want to have other sites linking into you, but it’s not just a matter of having them throw up a link, it’s what they say about your links that’s important. Here on Pixebian.com, we love to link to others, but we prefer to do it in the context of a story or feature as this helps both sites. Us with content and the others get a link back that has content specific to their site. What others say about your site is really important.
These are basics and hopefully this will give you a starting point on your way to getting your photography noticed on the web. For more info check out the book, “Getting Noticed on Google in Easy Steps”