SEO for Photographers: How to Get Your Photos Found on Google
Take a look at the Google results for a search like “Kansas City Wedding Photos:”
The first thing that catches your eye on that page is the photos. Imagine being able to get your photos there, right in front of the people who are looking for your services most. If you were able to get a result or two on that page featuring your best work that really wows the consumer, it serves as a great introduction to your business. So how do you get your photos there?
Google (and really any tool that requires computer automation) is pretty terrible at being able to figure out the content of a picture (they even admit it in the video below), but there are a great many ways that you can tell them what the image is:
Give your photos a descriptive file name instead off just uploading the default “DS1234567.jpg” name your camera generically spits out. Try to keep it to four words or less and put hyphens in place of spaces. So, if we had an image of our photo lab to put online, we would call it “our-photo-lab.jpg”
Image Attribute Tags
If you are using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, it should be quite simple to add these attribute tags. When you upload the photo to the site, be sure that on top of the great name for the image, you give it relevant keywords in the “Title” and “Alternate Text” (alt text) fields:
If you are unable to find those image property fields in your CMS, you can add the tags manually through the HTML. Simply find the image’s HTML code and add the two tags to it.
Just add the two fields below (substituting the term keywords for your keywords) and that section is now optimized:
Here’s a screenshot of an image tag before and after to show you how it’s done:
Introduce the Photo in the Content of the Page
Now, I know this may distract and take away from the impact of your website’s beautiful photo galleries and portfolios but written text on a page is always going to be easier for Google to decipher than an image. Introducing or describing/captioning is the easiest way to get keywords related to your video on the page.
Links to your Page/Photo
Google’s search rankings are heavily weighted toward displaying pages that have been linked to the most. The thinking is that pages people link to most will be the most relevant and useful. The more quality links coming into your site, the more authority your page is given by Google, and the more likely it is to rank well for related searches.
Opening up the Page to Comments
If your photo is part of a blog post, open that post up to comments from your readers. If they compliment the way certain parts of the photo look in their comments, they’re doing all the work for you!
Knowing all the above, what would you want to do to make sure your image shows up for “Kansas City Wedding Photos”?
- Name the file “kansas-city-wedding-photos.jpg”
- Give the image a Title and Alt Text reading “Kansas City Wedding Photos”
- Try to include “Kansas City Wedding Photos” somewhere in the page’s content
- Get people to link to your page
- Get people to comment on the page
The following video from Google explains a few more ways to get your images ranking well on the search engines. It’s a bit technical in nature, but explained in a way that is easy to understand:
Want to learn more about the search engines, check out our previous guides to…