Toilet Seats, Photography and SEO

Toilet Seats, Photography and SEO

Scott Bourne, one of the Internet’s major photo bloggers, liked what we were doing with the SEO Toolkit, and invited me to guest blog. Toilet Seats, Photography and SEO was my way of illustrating how SEO influences us on a daily basis, and how it is relevant to photographers.

We’ve been doing a lot of webinars on SEO, and the question that inevitably comes up is “does all this stuff work?” The answer is an resounding YES — after all huge companies wouldn’t be spending major dollars on SEO if it didn’t. But the proof is in the pudding.

One of my first test subjects was actually my personal trainers, Darryl and Anne Marie. As I indicated in a past blog, their site design was previously doing nothing for their SEO. But with a few minor changes (i.e. adding descriptive page titles and on-page text), they were able to move from a deeply buried page to the fifth position in a few weeks. And now, they are actually in the first position on the first page for “tribeca personal trainer!”

As a small business, this is obviously very significant and no different from what a photographer might want as an SEO goal. Darryl told me that they picked up a new client as a result of the SEO.


Get Mapped
If you search for “tribeca personal trainer,” you’ll notice the map. This is part of Google’s localization strategy. How do you get onto the map? Register your business with Google. It’s free, and you should definitely be on there.

Photography Examples
Yeah, yeah. I know, you don’t care about personal trainers. How’s about some photography/SEO examples. Our users started a thread on the forums about how they used SEO to improve their photography websites.

  • Warren Diggles appears on the first page for “colorado stock photography”
  • Gerry Walden appears on the first page for “photographer southampton”
  • Stephane Lacasa appears on the first page for “surf photographer hawaii”

People are much more likely to search on terms rather than your name. Outside of (perhaps) Annie Leibovitz, you’d be hardpressed to find a photographer name that the general population knew. SEO is about being optimized for terms like “chicago wedding photographer.” It’s not about finding your own website when you type in your name.

And Finally
I attended a Tesla Motors event in New York last week (and got to ride in their new sedan prototype). While I was walking up to the bar, I bumped into an old friend and TV personality, Alli Joseph, who was interviewing people at the party. She was working with photographer/videographer Rick Graves, who has photographed the Tesla cars before. I was chatting with Rick and he showed me some of his strip camera photos that he’s been producing by running a piece of 220 film through his Hasselblad. Others have done strip camera work before, but Rick uses a radar gun to correlate the speed of objects against the rate at which the film is traveling to reduce the amount of distortion in the image. Cool stuff.

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Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter. He co-hosts the “I Love Photography” podcast on iTunes.

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