So many folk have asked “How did you succeed at SEO?” and so, seeing as it all began with a photography company I started way back in January 2015, I may as well use that as a platform to educate…
So, imagine you have a photography company and you are about to build out a new website so a) people can find you online, and b) those random people you come across in life and meet face-to-face can look at your portfolio when they get home after procuring your business card. You want the website to be simple, clear, easy to navigate, and have amazing content that convinces them to use you.
A typical website probably needs at least five pages. A home page, a services page, contact, portfolio, and pricing. There can obviously be 100 more, or you can do it all on one page – as some love to do, but I strongly advise you not to in terms of SEO as you want each page to rank for a separate search phrase.
So, let’s begin somewhere…
Let’s pretend we want to rank for “portrait photography” at our new business ‘RSA Photos’. Right off the bat, the quickest things you can do to succeed are:
have the page’s url end with ‘/portrait-photography’ (so it would read: “https://www.rsaphotos.co.za/portrait-photography”)
have the title tag mention that same phrase (“portrait photography”)
include that phrase again in your H1 and H2 headings, and once or twice in the naturally written text you create
tag any image on that page as “portrait photography”, and other ones as “portrait photographer” or “portrait photography cape town” and any other helpful derivatives you think useful. A bit stuck? Imagine using the Thesaurus at school: a similar principle is at work, Google is giving you results for words synonymous with the one’s people search for. Pretty logical and straightforward…
Then write at least 500 words of content on that page. You can and will get away with fewer but if you’ve done all this work try do that many. Keep it on point, don’t stray from the subject or context, and you will find that the page with the best content will end up ranking #1 in results – this is SEO101 and Google’s main priority.
There isn’t that much to it. Doing it for one page is slightly exhausting at first but then you play the waiting game. A few months down theline you get a lot of work and soon you are too busy shooting that you don’t bother caring about your SEO results; you have lots of clients.
Then, shock horror! It’s winter and business is quiet. You are bored. You have three days off in the week. You go a coffee shop and think “What should I do with my morning?” and thankfully you remember that you once did some SEO work on your site and it worked! So, you repeat the process, and try and rank for five more terms in your industry. Food Photographer, Newborn Photographer, etc etc etc – as many terms as there are searched are as many pages you can try rank for. Use the formula above, and combine it with working on your GMB listing, and almost certainly within a year you will have plenty of web traffic and business.
The worst part of all this is the work done up front for no reward but there are a few positives in that. One, you have the time to invest in SEO. Two, you can shortcut that problem by setting up a Google Ads campaign until your organic SEO kicks in.
Much like almost everything in life, a little hard work and patience and you will be fine. Invest in SEO today and you should reap rewards for 5-10 years (until the AI, machine-learning bots take over, that is!) and by then you should have another business idea, career, or enough normal, human contacts you don’t need to rely on getting leads via the web anymore.
Good luck, and send any questions to me via my contact page. Always happy to help!