You guys, the world of SEO is BIG and hard to understand, not to mention ever changing.
In a nutshell:
Search Engine Optimization is something so big that even Google employees say they don’t even fully understand Google’s algorithms and rankings. How’s that for making you feel like you could master SEO?
Even though it is always changing, and there’s always something new you can be doing to boost your Google rankings and have your website viewed more. There are a few things that are pretty standard that anyone can do without having to dive into the big black hole that is the internet to only come out feeling more confused.
Meta tags are one of those simple things that you can do that can help you connect with potential clients. I did a lot of research on meta tags 7-8 years ago, which I am now in the habit of adding to my images. I recently asked myself, ‘does this even still apply?’. The answer, yes. Yes, it does.
Simply, it is an invisible tag that provides data about your page to search engines and website visitors. These little tags make it easier for search engines to determine what your content is about, helping with that good ol’ SEO. You probably have Yoast or another plugin on your website that is going to guide you along with writing a meta description for your website and put in those meta keywords everywhere, but one secret weapon we have as photographers are the meta tags in our actual images!
I update my images in Lightroom when I export so that all images are website ready with meta tags. This will help me get noticed when people are searching on Google.
Here’s how it goes…
- Your potential client heads over to Google and types in ”‘YOUR CITY’ family photographer”
- Google works its magic. (aka, the strategic algorithm that the Google folks don’t even know everything about that takes into consideration all the little metadata, keywords and content of your website) Finding results that BEST FIT the search.
- The results show up.
- Your potential client clicks through the first page of results (let’s be real, they’re not searching any further out).
- Either find YOU and love your work or not because you didn’t use any meta tags to help them find you.
Ideally, number 5 goes: Your potential client finds your page, realizes you are amazing and books you for a family session.
How can you make sure number 5 comes out more often? Instead turning into missed opportunity for another client? Meta tag those images! In Lightroom, I am sure to tag all of my images so that they are…
- Specific to my area.
- Specific to my genre.
- Specific to myself, personally.
A meta tag I will use will look something like “Rocky Mountain Family Photography Jayme Ford The Paper Deer”
The meta tags that automatically import with your image are camera specifics, time of day, etc. This information is helpful for YOU for your own catalogue and research information but it’s less helpful for our SEO purposes today. I recommend selecting the images you want for a blog post, exporting them with their own set of unique metadata meeting the 3-point criteria above. This just means that I am making sure if someone searches “rocky mountain family photographer”, my images will show up. It also means if someone recommends me, and they search “paper deer family photography Banff”, my images will also show up.
Cover all your bases, and you’ll make it easy for your clients to find you, specific to your genre. Chances are if you search “Rocky Mountain boudoir photographer”, you won’t see any of my images! My meta tags are not in line with that search criteria. Being specific about your area, your genre and yourself is what is going to make your images stand out when someone is searching for a photographer just like you.
Do you use these with your images? How has this helped you? Post your experience below in the comments!