We (Corey and Dylan) both started our SEO journey as wedding photographers. We were both able to rank our personal photography sites on the first page of Google in our markets, but more importantly, create tactics to create traffic that converted into real bookings.
We’ve since created an SEO Course that has helped well over 500 photographers learn our proven techniques.
We’ve also helped thousands of photographers learn SEO in our free Facebook Group.
This post is a collection of our favorite tips for wedding photographers wanting to learn SEO techniques that move the needle in 2021.
Typical wedding photography keyword formats
This is often the first question, how should I format my target keyword for my homepage?
Typically, this is quite simply “[city/state/area] wedding photographer(s) | [brand]”.
Don’t worry too much about this for now. You can always make slight tweaks to finely tune rankings and click through rate at a later date.
You’ll only want to target this keyword with your homepage, make sure that you’re not appending it to the page/post titles sitewide.
Once you’ve done this, you can move on to the more important content on your site that will drive significantly more traffic!
Easy ways to do wedding photography keyword research
There are quite a few easy / cheap / free ways to do keyword research for your wedding photography site.
One simple way is to get a free trial of the same paid SEO tools that we use at our agency: SEMrush, Ahrefs, and KWfinder.
With a free trial, you can easily get useful metrics like: search volume (how many people search for that term per month), competition/difficulty (how hard it will be to rank for the term), and related search terms.
You can also look at your competition with these tools to see what content is most successful on their sites!
Outside of the more expensive tools, there are useful cheap tools like Keywords Everywhere. This browser extension will show you search volumes and competition while you’re searching in Google. It also shows you related terms and terms that people also search for that are related to your topic. This can make keyword research a breeze.
Finally, you can get more creative. Here is a technique we’ve used in the past, looking at the covers of wedding magazines. The topics they’re writing about might give you great ideas for topics that would be useful for your audience.
Best performing wedding photography blog posts
After doing competition analysis and consulting on thousands of wedding photography sites, we have a great idea of what content will perform best on most wedding photographer blogs.
Gone are the days that simply showing images from client shoots will lead to great rankings.
Now, you’ll need to provide value and expertise to your audience.
Here are a few examples:
- Wedding Venue Guides for Cities or States
- Elopement Planning Guides
- Wedding Dress Guides
- Individual Venue Cornerstone Posts
- Vendor Guides (Florists, Planners, Hair/Makeup, etc)
The blogging course that is included in our SEO Course goes into great detail on finding these opportunities, researching the topics, creating the posts, and making them rank.
Best website platform for wedding photographers
There are many variables that would be required to answer this question. Generally, our preference is WordPress, but it isn’t a requirement to see success as a photographer or with your SEO. Here are a few examples from WordPress, Showit, Squarespace, and more.
Here is a great podcast episode that dives deep into this discussion.
Should you blog every wedding?
This tactic used to work wonderfully. Simply blog each wedding with your target keyword in the title / url.
These days, it’s much more competitive to rank for most terms. It requires content that actually considers the user and their intent. You must create content that helps solve their intent if you want to be successful with your blogging.
That being said, there are still many positive side effects from blogging all of your sessions. They’re a great opportunity for referral traffic, social media traffic, etc.
If you choose to blog each wedding, you might want to consider adding a “noindex” tag to the posts that aren’t specifically targeting an SEO related topic.
How to target multiple markets?
This is one goal that is out of reach for most photographers, without extensive additional effort. Google is typically looking for entities (photographers) that are seen as authoritative and locally relevant to the term being targeted.
If you’re trying to rank in two markets that show a “Map Pack” in the search results and feature homepages of authoritative photographers on the first few pages, it will be difficult to outrank them from afar.
If you can find a secondary location that isn’t dominated by local photographers, that is typically achievable.
Examples with Dylan’s site would be Yosemite or Big Sur.
For more, check out our podcast episode on ranking in multiple markets.
What if you don’t have an address/studio?
Most target queries that photographers are targeting with their homepage feature a “Map Pack” of local business results. To show that your brand is locally relevant to the term, it is important to verify your Google My Business with a local address (close to the population center) and optimize your profile.
If you don’t have a studio or other address, you’ll need to verify your current address and then set a service area. This will allow you to hide the verified address.
Unfortunately, the address you use will be used in the background for calculating local relevance / proximity to the searcher. If you’re far outside of the area you’re targeting, it can be difficult to rank for those local results.
Elopement vs Wedding vs Intimate weddings
These are important terms to research for your market when deciding what to target with your homepage. If you’re going to concentrate on elopements, it’s probably important to make that known with your homepage content, even if there is less search volume.
These terms can vary in usage by state/country, so make sure you track data in Search Console to see how people are searching for your services.
If you’re an elopement photographer, don’t be afraid to also target wedding topics. There are many areas around the world where people don’t search specifically for the term “elopement” when they’re planning a small/intimate wedding or elopement.
How to get backlinks for wedding photographers?
There are many ways for wedding photographers to build backlinks to their sites. These backlinks help build your authority in the eyes of Google. It shows that your site is noteworthy and able to be trusted.
There are two main types of backlinks: follow and nofollow.
Regular backlinks are followed by Google and used in ranking calculations. “Nofollow” links might be disregarded or discounted, depending on a multitude of variables. Nofollow link attributes give webmasters the ability to say “I don’t vouch for the quality of the site I’m linking to”.
In general, wedding photographers will see success when they have followed backlinks from roughly 50-70 sites or more. This greatly depends on the individual sites linking to them, how they’re linked (area of the page, likelihood to be clicked, anchor text), etc.
You can also see success from building nofollow links, these are often from comment sections of other photographers or businesses, directories, and social media profiles.
The main tactic for building backlinks as a wedding photographer is to get your work featured in wedding blogs or online magazines.
There are also massive opportunities for trading images for link attribution from wedding vendors and local businesses.
We have an entire section of link building playbooks in our SEO course, with simple instructions that break down the exact tactics we’ve used on our sites.
We hope these tips help you learn SEO for your wedding photography business
If you’ve found these helpful, take a second and join our free SEO Challenge. We’ll deliver a short Youtube video lesson straight to your inbox every day for a week. There is a fun prize at the end for completing!
For more information about our SEO course, click here.
If you’d like to listen to longer conversations on SEO topics for Photographers, check out our weekly podcast!