Reach More Potential Clients With Highly Targeted

Photographer SEO

Written By: Joey Randazzo

Joey Randazzo is the owner and Founder of Portland SEO Growth Partners based in Portland, OR. He’s worked with hundreds of global companies, including many photographers, to build growth-centric SEO campaigns.

Updated: January 11th, 2023

This Photographer SEO Guide Has Been Comprehensively Updated for 2023

Due to consistent algorithm updates, the relatively recent Helpful Content Update in late 2022, we’ve updated the written content that already existed on the page. We’ve written new content. And we’ve filmed new video content. Everything is up-to-date, fresh, and helpful for your photography business to dominate Google for 2023.

Local SEO Photographer Case Study: NYC wedding photographer sees huge lift in competitive market

Our client is a wedding photographer in NYC, a very competitive market. 

Before working together (early 2021):

  • Averaging a couple dozen clicks per month from Google organic
  • Limited local SEO exposure in the Google Local Pack (maps)
  • Less than 5 leads per month from Google

Now (October 2022):

  • Over 2,200 organic visitors per month from Google
  • Double the exposure in the Google Local Pack (maps)
  • Averaging over 5 leads per week from Google
The graph below shows year-over-year traffic from Google in September 2022 compared to September 2021.

The graph below shows data from Google Business Profile year-over-year, comparing September 2022 to September 2021.

How We Help Photographers Grow Their Client Base & See A

5.7x ROI on Their Monthly SEO Investment

Increase Google Rankings

Get your photography website ranking on Google for high-value keywords that your target audience is searching for.

More High-Quality Web Traffic

Get more interested individuals or business owners coming to your website each month.

Increased Leads & Phone Calls

Get more motivated clientele calling your photography studio to schedule shoots.

You Get Your Time Back

Stop spending your spare time writing blog content or trying to figure out digital marketing.

Here's What You Want To See With Your Photography Website & SEO

When Someone Types into Google "Photographer Near Me", You Show Up Here...

When Someone Types into Google "Photographer Near Me", You Show Up Here...

Think about how people search for photographers. They’re probably watching some Netflix or other streaming service and pull out their smartphone (who wants to get up to grab their laptop anymore?). 

They go to Google and type in something like “Photographer Near Me” – the FIRST thing to show up is the Maps area of Google known as the Google Local Pack. The photographers that show up here “win” and get the most leads.

When Someone Types into Google "Best Photographer in [City]", You Show Up Here...

When clientele are looking for photographers, they often use the language of “best photographer near me” or “best photographer in [city]”. They don’t want an amateur taking their photos for them.

The photographers that rank in the Maps area for these keywords get the most website visitors and phone calls. 

When Someone Types in Questions into Google like "Where are the best places to take photos in Portland, OR", You Show Up Here..

When Someone Types in Questions into Google like "Where are the best places to take photos in Portland, OR", You Show Up Here..

Individuals and businesses seeking photography help ask tens of thousands of questions into Google each day. Questions like…

  • “What’s the ideal weather for photography?”
  • “What to wear for a family photo shoot”
  • “Best outdoor locations for photography in Portland, OR”

Ranking for these keywords in Google proves that your website is an “authority” and can be trusted.we

People Are Searching Differently For Photographers Than They Used To

Just take a look and see the increase in people searching for “photographer near me” over the last five years. 

This screenshot above comes from a tool called Google Trends (a tool created by Google itself). You can see the drastic increase in the number of people searching for “photographer near me.”

See The Common Theme? You Want To Increase Your Photography Business's Digital Presence Online To Be Found By Motivated Clients.

What it all comes down to is this:

You want more people in your city to know that you exist.

You want to rank well and show up over your competitors whenever they do a Google search online around photographers.

How Do You Get Tangible Results With Photographer SEO Services?

Step 1: Comprehensive SEO Audit

This is the most important step, and unfortunately most SEO companies fail to complete it.

You MUST ask yourself:

How can you achieve your SEO goals as a photographer if you don’t even know where you currently are?

We recommend doing a comprehensive SEO audit to determine your:

  • Current SEO performance
  • Current SEO errors
  • What your local competitors are doing
  • Technical SEO performance
  • And more

Step 2: Local SEO Visibility Audit

Increasing your “local visibility” is the main goal for photographer SEO.

We use robust and powerful third-party tools to run an “SEO visibility test” on your photography business. This allows us to see how visible your business is on Google.

The report looks like this:

Step 3: Create a Roadmap Based on Data

SEO for photographers should be strategized based on data.

Well, now we have a ton of data from the SEO audit and the local SEO visibility audit!

Most other SEO companies don’t gather this data! They work off of a “hunch” that something will work. 

We recommend creating a comprehensive roadmap based on the data. If the data shows that your website is loading really slowly (which is negatively impacting performance), you should probably fix that first!

Step 4: Implement Highest Priority Changes First

Here’s where you start to see the results.

Not all SEO activities are created equal.

For example, adding images with alt text to a blog post from 2016 won’t make as big of a difference as improving the content on your home page.

Based on the data gathered, you first need to go for the “low hanging fruit” opportunities.

Step 5: Local SEO Best Practices & Content Creation at Scale

Local SEO for photographers comes down to the following:

  • Consistent information that Google trusts
  • Authority
  • Accurate information

If your business has a different phone number listed on your website than what’s on your Facebook page, Google will lose trust.

Think about it this way:

If someone types in “best photographer in Portland”, then Google is supposed to provide the best and most trustworthy results in the query.

If Google can’t trust that your phone number is correct, it will likely rank a competitor instead with a trustworthy NAP.

Now, when it comes to “authority,” that’s where content comes in. If the content you create successfully answers your target audience’s questions, then Google will see your business as more authoritative than a photographer that doesn’t offer much content on their site.

Step 6: Meticulously Track Data

SEO is meant to have a positive impact on your photography business. It’s meant to increase your website visitors and phone calls and to hopefully turn those leads into more revenue.

To ensure your SEO campaign is performing, you have to track data. Build a comprehensive dashboard that gives insights into your:

  • keyword rankings
  • website visitors
  • phone calls
  • and other important KPIs

Photographer SEO Services Shouldn't Be 🍪 Cutter - Everything Is 100% Customized To Your Business

Photographer SEO is not the same as other types of SEO.

Unfortunately, many other SEO companies treat it as such, using the same “tips and tricks” that they use for their other client who is a dentist. 

That’s not what you want!

We treat your business as unique (because it is). We take an individual approach to each individual…

  • Industry (such as photographers)
  • Business location (LA photography might be different than a smaller town in North Dakota)
  • Website platform (a WordPress site shouldn’t be treated the same as a Squarespace site)

5 Tactical Local SEO Strategies for Photographers

Strategy 1: Google Business Profile Optimizations

This is an example of a photographer’s Google Business Profile.

Well, this is a screenshot of the front-end of a Google Business Profile. This is what someone searching on Google can see.

So why do Google Business Profiles matter for photographers?

Google Business Profiles are valuable and important ranking factors for ranking in the Google Local Pack. If you need a refresher on what the Google Local Pack is, below is a screenshot:

Optimizing your Google Business Profile helps you get found there ☝️

And when you make it into the Google Local Pack, you get more website visitors and phone calls. In other words, you WIN.

So, how do you properly optimize your Google Business Profile to achieve Google Local Pack ranking? 

One word: Comprehensiveness.

The best way to optimize your Google Business Profile is to provide as comprehensive information as possible.

There are multiple sections in which you can provide comprehensive information, such as:

  • Your categories
  • Your main description
  • Your products
  • Your services
  • Your photos

Here’s a quick example to demonstrate the difference between being comprehensive and not being comprehensive:

For your main description, you may just be inclined to write a sentence like… “I am a motivated wedding photographer that is ready to capture every aspect of your special day.”

That’s only one sentence… Google allows 750 characters for the main description. Use them to your advantage! Do you offer different wedding packages? What about an engagement/wedding bundle? Do you specialize in specific types of wedding shots? Do you offer destination wedding photography? 

If you truly want to be comprehensive, answer EVERY question possible.

Strategy 2: On-Page SEO for Your Homepage and Location Pages

On-page SEO for photographers is simply the content on your website.

This includes things like:

  • Your title tags
  • Your meta description
  • Your header tags (H1, H2, H3)
  • Internal and external links
  • Your images
  • And basically anything that you can put on a website page!

Why does on-page SEO for photographers matter? Because Google cares about it.

For photographers, the most important page on your website, from a local SEO perspective, is the homepage.

When doing on-page SEO for these pages, you want to implement SEO-friendliness through keywords while also providing as comprehensive information as possible to the user (and Google).

For example, instead of a title tag like “Katie Slate Photography – 503.555.5555” you can provide more context to Google by writing something like “Trusted High School Senior Photographer in Portland – Katie Slate Photography.”

Strategy 3: Website Architecture Best Practices

This is an underrated SEO strategy for photographer websites. Your website architecture is closely connected to your sitemap.

Google crawls your sitemap to understand your website architecture, which in turn allows Google to understand what your website is about. 

Here’s what a sitemap might look like to Google.

It can look a bit overwhelming, but don’t worry about it too much. It’s just important to know that when Google looks at your sitemap, it’s piecing together what your website is about (which is a key factor for local SEO).

The main thing is that your website structure needs to make sense hierarchically. Let’s say you’re a photographer that offers both family and newborn photography. Each service should have its own page.

Where should these pages live on your site? First, you should probably have a “services” page that has the URL structure similar to .com/services/

Now, any services that you offer (such as family and newborn photography) should live UNDER this main services page. See below:

  • .com/services/family-portraits
  • .com/services/newborn-portraits

This seems obvious, but many websites do this wrong. There’s no vertical architecture. Instead, every page lives directly under the homepage. See below:

  • .com/services/
  • .com/family-portraits/
  • .com/newborn-portraits/
  • .com/senior-portraits/

With this structure, your “Family Portraits” page is just another page on your site to Google, instead of a service that you offer.

Strategy 4: Content Creation at Scale

This is where it gets interesting. People in need of photography services search for thousands of questions into Google every day.

Some are very local:

  • best family portrait photographer in Portland
  • best wedding photographer near Beaverton

Some are generic:

  • Are wedding photographers worth it?
  • When are senior portraits usually taken?
  • Are professional photos glossy or matte?
  • How long is a typical engagement photoshoot?

If you answer these types of questions through comprehensive blog articles on your website, it will benefit you in 2 ways:

  1. You may rank in Google for these keywords that people are searching and, therefore, drive traffic.
  2. Google will see your website as more authoritative and more valuable over your competitors. Google will think, “Wow, they’re answering all of these photography-related questions that users have. Their website is more valuable for their target audience than local competitors who haven’t answered any of these questions.” 

Strategy 5: User Experience is a Bigger Deal Than You Think - Stop the Keyword Stuffing!

Old SEO strategies that were once acceptable are no longer considered “white-hat SEO”. Keyword stuffing… PBN link building… all the stuff that used to work before Google got smarter.

And Google continues to evolve. Google’s starting to understand that a user’s experience on a website is important.

What does this mean for you as a photographer?

  • Make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for. They shouldn’t have to spend 5 minutes figuring out if you offer engagement photography or not.
  • Make it easy for users to contact you. Your phone number should be clickable on a mobile device. You should consider an online contact form to allow potential clients to send inquiries. Anything to make the user’s experience SUPER easy.
  • When writing content, you should offer real value to the reader. Vague, keyword-stuffed articles written by outsourced writers are a thing of the past. Your content should focus on adding value and answering the user’s questions thoroughly.

On Average, Our Photographer SEO Services Cost

31% Less Than Other SEO Companies

Compared to Other SEO Companies That Average Between $1.5k and $3k Per Month.

FAQs About Photographer SEO Services

Here are the most common questions we’ve heard.

What is Photographer SEO?

Photographer SEO is a form of marketing that helps photographers increase their visibility in search engines, particularly Google. 

Within the scope of photographer SEO, there are dozens of strategies. Some work better than others.

Strategies include:

  • keyword research
  • on-page SEO
  • off-page SEO
  • Google Maps optimizations
  • local SEO
  • content creation
  • landing page creation
  • PR 
  • and more

Why is Photographer SEO Important?

Photographer SEO is important because it gives you more visibility for motivated individuals, families, or businesses looking to hire a professional photographer.

Think about social media marketing for photographers: People are scrolling through Instagram or Facebook and stumble upon an advertisement for a photographer in their city. They might be actively looking for a photographer, but it’s more likely they’re just passing the time in a waiting room, on their break at work, or sitting on their couch.

Some of those people might convert, but you have a much better chance with a person going to Google and searching for “best photographer in [city].”

How Long Does SEO for Photographers Take To Work?

Photographer SEO can take 1 week – 6 months for you to start seeing results. It depends on a variety of factors:

  • How big of a city you’re in
  • How long your website has been around for
  • How high your website’s “domain authority” is
  • How your current SEO is performing
  • And much more

Some of our clients have seen 2x – 3x the phone calls within a month after starting their SEO campaign. Other clients don’t see noticeable increases in phone calls for 2-3 months.

Think about this, though:

If everyone could make a couple of tweaks on their website and rank overnight for the HIGHEST value keywords out there, like “best vet in New York City” then the internet would go haywire.

Things take time. Google built their algorithms that way for a reason. 

What Photographer SEO KPIs Should We Track?

Photographer SEO should be tracked closely and carefully.

You want to know, with absolute certainty, that the money you’re investing in SEO is working for your photography business.

Here are the metrics you need to watch to ensure that the campaign is working:

  • Keyword rankings: Are your ranking on Page 1 of Google for your most important keywords? How are your keyword rankings changing week over week? Month over month?
  • Organic website traffic: Is your organic website traffic from Google going up or down? Which keywords are driving the most traffic?
  • Online lead submissions: Are you seeing more online leads? How are they changing month over month?
  • Phone calls: Are you getting more phone calls from people searching on Google? How are phone calls changing over time?

What Type of Content Should Photography Websites Have?

Photographer SEO needs to include content that your target audience is searching for:

How do we know what keywords/content your target audience is searching for? We use advanced software and tools that give us insider information and data.

For example, we know that an average of 480 people per month search for “wedding photography ideas.”

With that said, we do extensive keyword research to find the topics/questions that a photographer’s potential clients have. 

Questions like:

  • “Where are the best places to take engagements in Portland?”
  • “Do photographers allow pets in family photos?”
  • “How long do wedding photos take to shoot?”

If you create content that answers these questions, then you can potentially rank in Google when people search for these.

And in turn, Google will favor your site more than competitors because Google will see your site as more trustworthy. 

What are the Most Valuable Photography Keywords for SEO?

How To Work With Us

First of all – we don’t work with all photographers.

We only work with photographers who:

  • Are ambitious about growing their business
  • Have the bandwidth to take the growth that will come from working with us
  • Treat their employees and their customers well
If that sounds like you, then go through the easy process below:

Step 1

Request a 'Free SEO Audit'

This process takes about 2 minutes.

Step 2

Check Your Email

In less than 24 hours, one of our talented SEO specialists will send you a 3-5 minute customized video analysis. It will explain opportunities for you to outperform competitors

Step 3

Sit Back And Watch Your SEO Skyrocket

Just take a look at our case studies of the success that other Portland businesses have seen. You can have the same results.

If you’re looking for an SEO consultant in Portland, we can help. Give us a call today to learn more about our pricing and availability. 

Let's Take Your Photography Business From the "best kept secret" to the "most sought after brand"