Sooner or later, Google is probably going to suck us…
Ten SEO Tips To Get Websites To Link To You
by Grover Sanschagrin
If you’re one of those photographers who wonders why more people aren’t linking to your website, then you’re probably making it too difficult for them to do so.
The single most important factor in search engine optimization (SEO) is the number of backlinks to your website. Links are like money, you can’t ever have too much. I’m talking about real links, not ones you pay for, or that you create yourself.
Getting people to link to your website isn’t easy, and getting important sites to link to you can be quite difficult, but well worth the effort. Remember the more important the site the more valuable the link.
I’ve assembled a list of guidelines to follow if you’re looking to encourage sites to direct more web traffic your way.
1) Create great content.
Great Content is anything someone wants to share with someone else. Anything controversial, anything new, something unique, something clever or funny, etc. Avoid average, non-special topics — nobody wants to look at pictures of your dog, or hear about that cute thing your kid just said. OK, that’s not true. Your mom would love those things – so send her an email and keep it off your website.
2) Make it easy to link to you.
You would be surprised how many people screw this up. Bloggers generally avoid linking to Flash websites, sites that require a plugin of some sort, sites that don’t have “permalink” URLs that will change later, and sites that have too many stories on a single page. Make things easy for THEIR readers and more bloggers will send more web traffic your way.
3) Use embedded galleries, and encourage specialty blogs to use your images in their posts.
If you have a collection of images on, lets say classic cars, create an embedded gallery of images and let a blogger use the gallery on their site – for free. By doing so, you will be creating a link back to the images on your site, and the blogger gets some amazing images for their story. It’s a win-win. Just make sure you have a way to turn that traffic into sales. Make your images available for sale as prints, or as a download.
4) Find specialty blogs and websites on topics you have pictures for, and write something they’ll want to share with their readers.
If you happen to have great images of guitars in your archive, write a blog post all about guitar photography and notify a few well-known guitar bloggers about your story. Do this for all of the photography you can think of, over and over.
5) Create a resource or guide on a specialty.
Write a post that contains links to other posts. For example, “The Top 20 Best Guitar Blogs on the Web” according to you. Explain what you like about each of the sites listed. Use your own images in the post – and then let all those bloggers know about your post. Many will link to it.
6) Write about, quote, interview and link to other bloggers.
Writing about other bloggers, or influential or inspirational people, is very link-worthy. Often, if you write about a blogger, they’ll end up linking to that post.
7) Invite guest bloggers to post on your site.
Let others write on your blog, and they’ll likely mention you, and link to their story on your site.
8) Comment on other blogs.
Participating in the dialog on other sites can put you on a blogger’s radar, and could result in a link if your content is good enough.
9) Ask questions in your blog posts. Encourage debate.
If you ask people to respond to your posts, many will. Create a dialog and if the dialog gets informative, or heated, or controversial, you may benefit from links from other bloggers. Comments and healthy debate should be considered another form of really great content.
10) Answer all the questions in your blog comments.
Don’t just post something and vanish. Answering questions will add to the active debate on your site, and improve your original post – making it more link-worthy.
Want more strategies and insights to improve your website’s search engine rankings? Sign up and get the free 39-page SEO for Photographers Workbook, plus more tips sent right to your inbox with our 4-week Bootcamp.
Grover Sanschagrin is co-founder and Vice President of PhotoShelter. Follow him on Twitter at @heygrover.