A Photographer’s Guide to SEO & Social Media

Hey Folks,

What’s your page rank? How many friends do you have? Retweets? Have you shared anything today? What’s your title tag? Incoming links? How’s your website rank?

Now that summer is over, and it’s officially “office season”, you’re probably spending your time doing much of what I’ve been doing lately; website work, photo editing, marketing and promotion via the sticky, tricky and infinite webs we call SEO (Search Engine Optimization) & Social Media (making me wonder what, exactly, Anti-social Media might be).

SEO is a pretty tricky beast. It’s a lot of research, reading, re-reading, web-coding, overhauling, reviewing, more research, re-coding and hair pulling. It’s mostly a lot of trial and error; it’s not a given, for example, that what works for one site is applicable and relevant for another. And it’s almost certain that what works on the article you just carefully absorbed will not work on your website. So, it’s mostly guesswork.

Sometimes the results are what we hoped for, and we pat ourselves on the back, and think how clever we are. Sometimes, despite all out best efforts, the old googles kick our superbly optimized page to the bottom of page 11 on their results; this really hurts when you see some trashy, 1993-styled geocities looking webpage showing up on the first page of rankings.

So, we turn to Social Media; If you can’t get to page 1 on google search results, maybe you’ll just bypass all that and get a gazillion Plus Ones on your site; that’s gunna count for something. So we schmooze and kiss a$$ and sell what’s left of our souls on Google Plus and facebook, telling everyone how much we love what they do and how wonderful the “community” is. And we finally get another person add us to their Google Circle.

Life’s great.

So, after, days of coding, and looking at restyling .css sheets to float content pages right and sidebars left and javascripts to the footer and h1 tags and link title tags and img alt tags and so forth, I thought I’d put this article together to really help you with your photography efforts.

The single best SEO advice, and best Social Networking effort you, as a photographer, can invest in is to go outside and take photos. Repeat.



Northern lights, Chugach Mountains, Glenn Highway, Alaska.

Northern lights, Chugach Mountains, Glenn Highway, Alaska.

13 thoughts on “A Photographer’s Guide to SEO & Social Media

  1. Richard Wong

    This is great Carl. Though some seem to make a name for themselves by being “social” with sub-standard images, compelling work is usually what is going to get you links, +1’s, etc… more importantly business, as long as you push it out there.

  2. Linda Montgomery

    Thanks Carl. Good article and very true. Social media can be very addictive. As of late, I’ve been trying to “limit” my time on twitter, FB, flickr, etc. & spend more time out in the field learning my craft and producing work.

  3. Rolf Hicker

    and since the last Panda update we really don’t have to worry about SEO anymore – how great is that to find spammy sites as #1 for “eagle pictures” a page with not a single picture on??

    Since that I know for sure, go outside and shoot, or at least stay inside and get some of those 5000000000..images ready in the lab.

    Great article Carl – yes, you nailed it 100%.

  4. Carl D

    Hey Folks

    Thanks all; I appreciate the comments.

    @Rolf Hicker: Panda seems to have really gotten weird on some searches for sure. Some real head scratchers out there.



  5. Harry, ExposedPlanet

    Hi Carl, you forgot to mention leaving a lot of comments on fellow photography sites!
    Great article, I just spent too much time getting those javascripts minified etc 🙂

    Google Panda was a bit weird, dropped my PR from 6 to 4 somehow, not sure how that actually affects the listings. Anyway, no more time for pondering, I need to go out and shoot. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *