When building a website, once you get past the aesthetics, most photographers will ask how can we “keep it fresh”, “keep it low maintenance”, and “keep it at the top of Google.” After all, looks can only go so far!
Would you believe that having a frequently updated blog on your website is actually the #1 way to accomplish everything I just mentioned?! There are just so many benefits to blogging.
Consider your homepage, about me page, and any other unchanging subpages you may have as your pizza and your blog as the toppings. While a standard cheese pizza is truly all you need, it’s the toppings that make it go from good to GREAT!
While the rest of your website rarely changes, your blog is a living section where you can focus on anything and everything you want whenever you want- no assistance needed!
Unlike the static pages of your main website which can be difficult and time-consuming to adjust, your blog is the place where you can (and should!) update to your heart’s content.
There’s so many benefits to blogging.
Have a new photography tip you want to share? You can easily add pictures and text showing step by step instructions. Have a new contest? Let everyone know! Want to post photos of your favorite sessions? This is a great place to do it. Just be sure to add some content that will be helpful and entertaining to all of your potential clients – not just the clients in the photos.
Seems too good to be true? Updating your WordPress blog is basically just typing and adding pictures in the space given to you. If you can update Facebook or write an email, you have all the skills you need.
At this point you may be thinking, “I can see how a blog can ‘keep it fresh’ by frequently updating and how I can ‘keep it low maintenance’ by easily sharing my content whenever I want without help from a web designer- but where does coming out on top in a Google search come into play?!”
Remember how I said a blog is a living document?
To put it in the simplest of terms, Google won’t put a site on top that it feels could be outdated or not maintained. They want to do what they can to ensure that they put the most authoritative sites in their top spots.
How do they judge that? While the algorithm is complicated, the fundamentals are actually pretty basic.
1) Recent Changes
Have you ever seen a website, or worse had YOUR website, go from the #1 spot when searching on Google one day, to off the first page entirely in a matter of weeks and wonder why?
You can have the most expensive and most sophisticated website out there, but if you just make a site and then leave it to do its work on its own, you will watch it slowly sink from it’s prime position down to the bottom of the rankings in a Google search.
The sites that stay on top with minimal expense are those that utilize their blog space (or something similar) to its greatest potential.
Many big businesses even have someone whose only job is to regularly write and add new blog posts to their company’s website just for this reason!
2) Backlinks to your page
If a ton of other people are linking back to your website, it must mean you know what you’re talking about- right?
Google thinks so!
Having a strong blog is a great way to get other sites to link back to your website and show yourself as an authority in your field. Great at putting together outfit and color ideas for family portraits? Make a post to share your knowledge! Most people will happily put a link on their website from another person’s page if it gives information that will help their business. If you’re a photographer in North Carolina, it won’t hurt the photographer in California to share the blog they found that perfectly describes what they think their clients should wear for their sessions. Why do the work if someone else already did it?!
You don’t have to depend on strangers to link to your blog. Put a link to it on your social media! You already have a group of people interested in you- use them! Give your followers the ability to directly get to your new information and serve as an additional click to your site!
3) Time spent
You need quantity AND quality when getting visitors to your site. You can get 500 visitors a day but if they click-and-dash they barely count.
You need visitors that visit and stay awhile. This shows Google that your content is something that visitors are willing to give their most valuable asset to- time. Why is that important? Because, the only reason you would give a site time, theoretically, is if that website had the information you were looking for- and that is the entire purpose of any search engine.
By being a website that will likely meet the needs of anyone searching for you, you are literally making yourself a valuable resource for the search engine. THAT is how you become #1!
While a great homepage and subpages are a good start, it’s a blog that can really suck a visitor in and turn a quick visit into a more lengthy one.
You can learn more about bounce rates at BACKLINKO.
4) SEO Words
SEO is the core of website visibility. Standing for “search engine optimization” it basically acts as an index for every website you come across. When someone types in “local wedding photographer” in their search bar, the search engine uses everything mentioned above combined with an actual ‘word search’ to get them the list of sites it thinks will meet their needs.
But what about those that type in something beyond the basic terms? Not everyone types “local wedding photographer” when doing their search. How about “photographer for a boho bride” or “LBTGQ+ friendly wedding photographer”? The search engine possibilities are endless and if you tried to put them all on your homepage you would get a nonsensical mess.
Care to guess how you can get many of those potential clients to your website? 😉
As you write the text for your blog and even the captions for any photographs you post, you are creating SEO keywords linking back to your page. If you have a well-established blog with substantial posts, you are giving yourself the opportunity to have thousands of additional search results leading potential clients to your page- many that probably weren’t even intentional!
With the addition of a well-maintained blog, you can now have a website that performs as well as it looks.
You’ll learn all about blogging and so much more when you hire me for the web design and coaching package. Learn more about it at Linnae designs and marketing.