Let's take this baby on the open road!
In parts one & two we talked about setting up the backend for success, and paying our pound of flesh to the Google Gods.
Now we are finally getting to the fun part of SEO: creating your own content with blogging.
Let’s quickly summarize what makes for best Blogging SEO Blogging practices for Photographers on Squarespace.
There are two keys that every blog post should try to have:
Quality, relevant content your viewers are going to want to read, share, and return for.
Links to/from your website to/from other quality websites related to your content.
These two go hand in hand though because, if you are truly creating great content, other websites will want to come to you as a resource. So if you are a portrait photographer, create great content and spread it all around!
The guides and tips below will help you make the most of Squarespace’s native SEO blogging capabilities. So why not hedge your bets and use everything at your disposal?
A reminder that we are not SEO specialists, but are pretty confident in the Squarespace department. Also remember that not every Squarespace template is created equal. Some templates will surface blogging differently, so be sure to ask your designer about this.
Before You Begin.
Before you even begin blogging, as a photographer your should be making sure that your images are:
sized correctly for SEO
tagged correctly for SEO (and for copyright)
named correctly for SEO
This is true for any image on your website.
We help all of our website clients do this right from the beginning. We recommend using a combination of Lightroom & Bridge to accomplish this, but no matter what your preferred workflow method, just naming your images to protect, copyright, and enhance SEO is really a whole different video series. So, for the purposes of this series, just read the very helpful Image links below before you start blogging.
Sizing Images Correctly for SEO
Even though you can load images of almost any size onto Squarespace, we recommend that for all blog images and any images that won’t be headers:
1500 px across on long edge jpeg is a good standard for the average image upload
Any larger than that, your images could be loading slow and slowing down your SEO. Your ranking on search engines is higher the faster your site loads. Squarespace automatically resizes all your images depending on where and how it will be used. So don't overthink this too much. Squarespace has you covered.
Tagging Images Correctly for SEO
Yes it's true that metadata and metatags are not as important as they used to be in the world of SEO. But that doesn't mean as photographers that you shouldn't still be doing it. Being thoughtful about how you tag your images is still important to protect your images from copyright infringement online, and as a bonus it won't hurt your SEO either.
We highly recommend that you use Lightroom metadata presets for every image. If you have no idea what I just said there, then you will want to watch an online tutorial. If you search for "Lightroom metadata preset Lightroom CC 2015 tutorial" - any number of tutorials should come up.
Once you have tagged your images correctly in Lightroom and/or Bridge, you can use the handy dandy Importing Image Metadata button in the backend of Squarespace.
***Word of warning: Metadata Import button in Squarespace only works in Gallery Pages and Gallery Blocks. It does not work in Image Blocks. So if you import your images one at a time into your blog, you will still have to manually title your images. I know, "boo Squarespace." Boo.
Naming Images Correctly for SEO
Don't ever, no never, use the random string of numbers your camera assigns to an image. And don't just name all your images "16Hoops_0001.jpeg" either. "stock image eco friendly lightbulb.jpg" is a lot more informative than "IMG00051.JPG." Be specific, read it like a human would, and don’t keyword stuff.
If anyone in the world is searching for "eco friendly light bulb stock image" your image will come up. So if you indeed do shoot stock images of lightbulbs, and a client is looking for that too - that is as good as SEO gets.
If you have a long string of "keywords," yet fail to mention the actual content of the particular image, that is an SEO fail. Get it?
Alt Tags and captions in Squarespace are another SEO naming opportunity. They are a little complicated as each template may handle and display them differently, but a caption sometimes acts as the alternative tag, or "alt tag" that google bots read and rank. But again, our mantra, KEEP IT HUMAN. DO NOT KEYWORD LOAD - google will punish you.
If you do not assign an alt tag, the title of the images and/or the caption will act as the alt tag in it's absence. So again, naming images right in the first place always a good habit to start early and practice often.
Ok - Finally, Let's Start Blogging!
So far we have shown you the following SEO for photographers on Squarespace tips:
How to set up your titles and descriptions on each page
How to pay your pound of flesh to the Google gods
That you need to have properly sized, tagged, and named your images.
Let's take your content out on the open road finally!
Here is our video tutorial walking you through the Best SEO Blogging Practices for Photographers on Squarespace. Yippee!
It's a Wrap.
We hope you enjoyed this series. All of these best practices are just very basic SEO made exclusively with photographers in mind. We have really only scratched the surface, but remember you don't need to be an SEO expert to rock your own SEO.
Don't get too deep into this stuff. There are a lot of articles out there - and they are usually just way too long and detailed for the needs of the average busy photographer. We covered what you need right here - the rest is just SEO gravy.
If you want "further reading" I urge everyone to look no further than the super helpful Squarespace support articles & videos. You can click on any question mark link as you are in the backend, or you can just noodle around it if you are looking specific help. That is another reason Squarespace is our platform of choice.
Our own 16 Hoops Team Support is always here to help too. If you get stuck send us an email for a Resources Page request - and if you are already a client, then you know you can set up a custom tutorial with our team on any given week as part of your membership. We are here to help.
Stay tuned too! You might like what we have brewing next:
Google is always changing their ranking algorithms and they ain’t the only game in town, so be sure to be on our mailing list for our next video series coming later this Spring on The New SEO: Diversifying your Digital & Online Marketing where we pretend that GOOGLE--GASP!--disappears overnight. What are you to do? Well fear not - we have a plan so that all your eggs aren’t in one GOOGLE basket.
Here are some outside articles that we found helpful: