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The Complete Beginner's Guide to SEO

If you’re a photographer wanting to make a living from your work, you have two big jobs todo — shoot pictures and sell them!

Referrals and person-to-person contact are important ways to get your work in front of people, but we live in an online world, which means getting traffic to your website is too.

That’s why, whether you’re selling wedding photography, school photography, portraiture, fine art or decor, you need to know about SEO. It’s a crucial aspect of online marketing and website management designed to help you get found online. 

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)?

SEO  is the practice of optimising your website so it ranks higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). Obviously you’re not trying to rank high in all searches — just when people in your target audience search for particular words or phrases in in Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.

The goal of SEO of is to increase organic (non-paid)traffic to your site and improve its overall quality and relevance. 

Why SEO is important

 Increased Visibility: Higher rankings mean more people will find your website. 

Traffic Quality: Organic traffic often converts better than paid traffic because it's more targeted. 

Cost-Effective: While SEO requires effort, it's usually more cost-effective than paid advertising in the long run. 

Credibility: High-ranking websites are often seen as more trustworthy and authoritative. 

 Basic SEO concepts for beginners 

Keywords are the words or phrases that people use to search for information online. 

There are keyword research tools to help you find relevant keywords for your niche.  Long-tail keywords (specific, longer phrases) tend to have less competition. 

On-PageSEO is about optimising individual pages on your website, by:

Including your primary keyword in the page’s title tag (the title displayed in search results). 

Writing compelling meta descriptions that include keywords and encourage clicks. 

Using header tags(H1, H2, H3) to structure your content and make it more readable for both users and search engines. 

Using keywords naturally in your content — without overstuffing them! Aim for a keyword density of around1-2%.

Using internal links to other relevant pages on your website to improve navigation and help search engines understand your content.

And of course, creating high-quality, relevant, engaging content that addresses your audience’s queries. 

Technical SEO focuses on the technical aspects of your website: 

Mobile-friendliness: Ensuring your website is mobile-responsive means a better user experience and improved rankings.

Page speed: Tools like Google PageSpeedInsights can help in optimising your site's loading speed.

XML Sitemap: Create and submit an XML sitemap to help search engines crawl and index your site.

Robots.txt: Use a robots.txt file to control which pages search engines can and cannot crawl. 

Off-PageSEO refers to activities done outside your website to improve its rankings:

Backlinks: These are links from other websites to yours. Quality matters more than quantity!

Social signals: Build a presence on social media platforms (your own channels and others) to increase brand visibility and drive traffic to your website.

Online reputation management: Monitor and manage your online reputation to build trust.

Customer reviews: Encourage your customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google and Yelp.

 LocalSEO: If you have a local business, consider theseadditional steps:

Claim and optimise your Google My Business listing. 

Ensure you have consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) across online directories. 

 Monitoring and continual improvement 

 SEO is an ongoing process!

  • Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor your website's performance. 
  • Regularly update your content, refresh your keywords, and adapt to algorithm changes.
  • Stay up-to-date with SEO trends and best practices through industry blogs and forums.
  • Remember that SEO results take time. Be patient and persistent in your efforts. Over time you'll see improved rankings and more organic traffic to your website. 
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