Install The Plugin
If you are a photographer and you are using WordPress to create your blog posts, this post is for you!
The first thing you’ll want to do is install the Yoast SEO plugin.
When installed, there will be a Yoast module on the page when you create new posts. This module allows you to set a focus keyword, then it analyzes your post to determine whether you are properly optimizing for that keyword! You’ll get a series of lights that can be red, yellow, or green.
Some people become obsessed with making sure every light is green, but as you’ll see in the video, it isn’t always important to get all green lights in Yoast.
Be sure to watch the video for details, but here is a quick overview of the things you need to include in the perfect blog post.
Set Your Focus Keyword
The focus keyword should be unique for this post. Keep in mind that you will rarely have more than one or two pages from your site ranking for a single search query. In other words, if someone types in “wedding photographers in Columbia, SC” they are likely to find my home page, but they probably won’t see my blog posts in that search, even if I use that keyword all over the posts.
In most cases, you want your home page to rank for your #1 keyword, but your blog posts should rank for long tail keywords. These long tail keywords should work to SUPPORT and add context to your main keywords. They should answer specific questions. Often you’ll focus on a venue, a place, a vendor, a product, or a type of session. In the example in this video, my focus keyword is:
The thinking behind choosing this keyword is that if someone is thinking about having their reception at this venue, they will likely search to find more information, photos, inspiration, and ideas. When they find my site with a specific example of a wedding reception at their venue, they’ll think “wow, I want my photos to look like this too” and they’ll contact me.
The Title of your post also becomes the main heading for the post. This is one of the most important elements when it comes to telling search engines what your page is about.
You should use your focus keyword in the post title, and preferably near the beginning!
For this post, my title was: Wedding Reception at City Art Gallery in Columbia, SC | Michelle and Roger
I shortened it using the Yoast snippet editor to drop the Michelle and Roger from what shows on the SERPs.
You should write at least 300 words in each of your posts. I know it isn’t always fun, but it is worth the work! Search engines love words. I recommend trying for more than 300 when possible. For this post I was able to get over 500 words in the body text. You can go take a look at the post to get an idea of what I talked about for 500 words.
You should use your focus keyword somewhere around once per 100 words. This is just a rough rule of thumb, and Yoast is good at giving you a guideline!
Images With Alt Text
Alt text is the alternate text for an image that describes what is contained in the image. This allows the page to have the same functionality even if someone is using a screen reader or has their images disabled. Alt text is an accessibility feature. When writing your alt text, you should think about describing the image to a blind friend.
You should use your focus keyword in the alt text, along with variations, synonyms, and other natural and supporting language.
Some examples from this post:
bride and groom announced at wedding reception at city art gallery
black and white first dance photo at city art
wide shot of the room during the first dance at city art gallery
bride and groom on dance floor at their city art wedding reception
Categories, Tags and Featured Image
You’ll want to use these on every post. How to set up your category and tag naming convention is a whole separate post (on my list!), but in general you should think of categories like the table of contents, and tags like the index of a book. Neither of these should be used to stuff keywords, they are made for organizing similar content on your site.
The featured image is important because it is the default image used when you share your post on social media. It is also often used by themes as a thumbnail for the post!
I’ve talked recently about how videos are a way to rank quickly for your keywords. This post was a great example. I made a quick Animoto video with the photos from my post, posted it on Youtube, and within MINUTES, it was on the first page of Google (the organic results, not the video tab!) for my focus keyword.
After my post was indexed, it took over that 10th spot and put the video onto the second page, but I expect them both to climb a little as page authority and CTR goes up!
If you aren’t using videos to rank for your keywords, you are missing a huge opportunity!
Implement A Blogging System
These tips should get you started, but if you’d like to overhaul your entire blogging workflow, check out our free course: Focus On Blogging.