Photography Keywords: Part 3 – The Long Tail

So far we have talked about photography keywords that are directly related to your business and what you do. The keywords on your list up to this point were easy to pick because we could get information about how often people searched for those terms.

However, those terms are also likely to be fairly competitive because of their high search volume.

If you are just getting started with SEO, it can take months of hard work to rank for competitive head keywords and I’m guessing you’d like to see more search traffic to your website sooner than that.

If you want to have the best chance at showing up in search engines in a matter of days or weeks, you’ll need to focus on long tail keywords.

This is part 3 in a 3 part series about finding the best keywords for your photography business. If you haven’t read parts 1, and 2 you can find them here:
Photography Keywords: Part 1 – Head Terms with Local Modifiers
Photography Keywords: Part 2 – The Chunky Middle

So what is a long tail keyword?

In SEO, long tail keywords are often defined as simply as any search query with 4 or more words. In this series, I’m defining things slightly differently.

For the purpose of this post, a long term keyword is a VERY specific search query, or one that is only loosely related to your main head keywords.

In the last post, I gave some examples of long tail keywords for wedding photographers, so in this post I’ll give you a few examples of long tail keywords for the head term “newborn photographer.”
fresh 48 baby photos in hospital room
headbands for newborn baby photo session
how to get your baby to stop crying for pictures
newborn photos outside by pool
black and white newborn photos in a studio

The idea here is that someone is searching for something very specific, and they are probably looking for a very specific kind of answer.

The great thing is that if you can answer those specific questions and use the same kind of wording as the searcher, you are very likely to rank well for that search.

The bad thing is that these searches have almost zero search volume, and it is very hard to do keyword research to figure out what people might be searching.

This is when knowing your market better than Google comes in handy 😉

If you’ve already been following along with the last two steps, you’ve already got a spreadsheet started and you’ll have some great keywords to spark your creative process.

So like I said before, long tail keywords are either loosely related to your head terms, or they are a very specific phrase. Lets look at each one of those and I’ll give you some tips on how to brainstorm!

Loosely Related Keywords

Again, we can start with the keyword planner, but this time we will probably need to do some filtering to try to squeeze out valuable terms that are loosely related.

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Add these words to your spreadsheet.

And after finding only a handful of these, you can add them back into the keyword planner tool to get even MORE.

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You can also take these through the entire process from the last two parts of this series and expand or refine your list as much as you want.

Next, we are going to use another Google tool, the Display Planner. You can access this from the “Tools” tab in Adwords, just like the Keyword Planner.

The tool works basically the same way, but will show us places across the internet where we might want to place ads. These are going to be related to our topic, so lets type in “wedding photography.”

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When you click “Get placement ideas” you’ll see a list of websites that Google knows to be related to your topic.

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We’re going to take those websites and input them in two places.

First, the keyword planner (again). This time getting keyword ideas for a landing page, and using one of the sites we found in the last step.

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YAY, more ideas for your list!!

Second, we’re going to input that website into Buzzsumo to see what content has performed well for them. If we know their site is related to our topic, we know their audience is likely similar to our audience. This is a great way to get proven ideas for content that is likely to be shared!

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You can repeat these steps with any other websites you want!

Once you’ve made a list, start to narrow it down and think about what questions people have when they are searching for those things. How can you as a photographer help offer insight that is valuable to the searcher?

For example, one of the ideas we got here was “wedding shoes.”

We also see from buzzsumo, that the lists performed well for Intimate Weddings.

So an idea for a blog post might be “27 of the most unique wedding shoes we’ve ever seen.” Go back through your wedding photos and find pictures of wedding shoes and make an entire blog post about them.

Right now you might be saying “but I haven’t done many weddings and I don’t have lots of pictures of shoes.” Gotta get creative.

Go to a bridal shop that sells shoes and ask the owner if you can take photos of their top 10 best selling shoes for brides. Bring in a mini studio and take some awesome photos. Then you’ve got content the store wants to promote as well (and maybe even you’ll get a backlink). Think outside the box, and find ways to add value to your target market!

Sure, wedding shoes are only loosely related to wedding photography, but if you can show a bride (who is the same bride that is going to be searching for wedding photography soon) that you’ll take care of even the small details like shoes, she might fall in love with you and want to hire you before she ever has to search for other wedding photographers.

Ok, so that covers loosely related terms, lets think about VERY specific searches.

This one really just takes some brainstorming. You can use any of the tools we’ve covered in this series to help you, but you’re just going to have to take your best guess at what your clients might be asking.

Here are a few other ideas to get your brainstorm started.
Answer things like:
How to…
Where to find/buy…
How do I…
What is the best…

Modify terms with:
Location (cities, areas, beach, mountains, park, in the woods, etc)
Time of year

Think about your most frequently asked questions from your current/past clients.

Look at other photographers FAQ sections on their websites. Hint: try a Google search for: wedding photographer + “faq”

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If you already have some website traffic and you have Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console) set up, you can look at what terms are currently bringing up your site in a search and get ideas on content you might want to expand!

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Now that you have a really long list of long tail keywords, it is time to start planning blog posts around them!

Use your spreadsheet and just write down everything that comes into your head. You’ll be surprised how fast you come up with ideas when you get on a roll!

Need help getting on a roll? I made a list of 20 blog post ideas that I’d love to give you. All you gotta do is enter your email address and I’ll send you a spreadsheet with all 20 ideas.
These blog post ideas are specifically for wedding photographers (to follow the examples in this series), but even if you aren’t a wedding photographer, you’ll probably find them helpful for getting your ideas flowing!

Send Me The Ideas!

I can’t wait to hear how you use these ideas and what kind of results you see.

Keep on learning and keep on testing!!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Great post Corey! Exactly what I was looking for. This year I plan on providing more value to photographers. This a great article on how I can use these best practices to see what types of content I should be posting.

  2. ahh so insightful!! Looks like I need to add an FAQ section on my page!! Thanks for the help!

  3. Wow Corey ! it is pretty awesome trick to add traffic driven keywords in the website. This process is lengthy for the beginners but it is a great way to learn something new.

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