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Photography Blog Not Ranking


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7 replies to this topic

#1 elissakate

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 05:13 AM

Hi All
 
Was just wondering if anyone has any experience with ranking a photography blog?
 
I've been working on a website for a little over a year. It used to rank ok initially for keywords like Key words removed but then has dropped down to a +10 page and stayed there. I still get traffic from other non-related keywords but find it consistently hard to get anywhere in the top 5 pages for anything I actually want to rank for. Backlinks are building slowly and on-page optimisation isn't too bad so I'm not sure what's wrong.
 
If anyone has any experience in websites with a lot of images I'd love to hear from you! Just want to know if I'm on the right track or if I need to make some big changes. The website I'm working on is REMOVED
 
Thanks!


Edited by chrishirst, 24 March 2013 - 09:09 AM.
key words and site URI removed


#2 chrishirst

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 09:12 AM

A: All ne sites/URLs rank high initially.


B: Rankings are NOT the way to meaure SEO 'success'


Edited by Jill, 26 March 2013 - 10:47 AM.
changed link to a more up-to-date article about rankings


#3 qwerty

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 09:44 AM

I've worked on a couple of sites that involved a lot of photography, and my advice is TEXT.

 

Photographers want to believe that their pictures speak for themselves and that their audience isn't interested in anything but the images. Search engines still need more than that. And if it's all flash or AJAX, with some "creative" navigation, search engines aren't going to be able to follow that either.

 

Personally, I think that even if the majority of the people looking at the site are only interested in looking at the photos, there are always going to be some people who really appreciate information they can read, like the technical specifications of a given image, or even some content about why the photographer made certain choices, what they were after, whether any elements of the image are actually a happy accident, etc.

 

I haven't seen the site (Chris was right to remove the URL and keywords --- those are the rules around here), but I wouldn't be at all surprised if that was the problem. There's also the opposite problem. I've seen plenty of photographer sites where someone figured out that text matters, so they stuck a novel's worth of repetitive, keyword stuffed text way below the fold on every page.


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#4 elissakate

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:07 AM

Thanks for the tips qwerty. We've tried our best to balance out the site with as much text as appropriate - pretty much each post contains a few paragraphs of text plus images. I understand that rankings are not the key to success, of course there are many other areas I focus on, but I was just concerned that maybe something was up. I'm using a Lazy Loader jQuery plugin to speed up the site. Any idea if this sort of thing can be detrimental to SEO?



#5 bobmeetin

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:11 AM

Can the jQuery plugin be detrimental - perhaps but probably not. Take a look at the source of the pages created and verify that the text is in the page.  You can also find one of your pics with some unique content, copy, then paste into google or another search engine and see if it is found. You might need to double-quote the text if too many results.



#6 chrishirst

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 10:11 AM

I understand that rankings are not the key to success,

Getting URLs to "rank" IS the key to success, it is CHECKING for those rankings that is pointless,

 

Conversions from search referrals is the thing to be measuring for how well (or badly) your search marketing is doing

 

Basically.

If you are getting NO Search referrals, you are chasing the wrong phrases.

 

If you are getting referrals but conversions are poor you got the optimisation wrong.

 

If you are getting little or no traffic at all, you got the promotion and marketing wrong.



#7 blakemiller

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:51 AM

Along with a Creative Services business, I run an Event/Wedding DJ & Lighting business, and being a creative type, I take a ton of pictures at all of the events - especially the ones we provide lighting & decor for.  (Nothing can sell lighting services like pictures.)  My blogsite and pictures rank surprisingly well for the images.  I get some that even think I'm a photographer.  Anyway, I feel that there are a few key points that makes this work:

 

EVERY picture/image that is posted has the following:

  • The filename is keyword specific, like "City-Name-Wedding-Lighting-005.jpg"
  • The Alt-Text is key word specific, like "City Name Wedding Lighting (5)"
  • The caption is keyword specific but also a real caption so the users can also read and relate.  "The amber uplighting used at this <City Name> Wedding highlighted the room very well."
  • I copy the Alt Text block of text into the wordpress "Title", so it's repeated "City Name Wedding Lighting (5)".  Wordpress shows the title in the code.

As a few others mentioned above, this puts alot of TEXT in both the code and the posts/pages.  I meticulously and systematically "process" all of my pictures, every single post and page that I build.  I post anywhere between 10-20 pictures for every event that I blog about.  It takes alot of time.  Doing the images takes almost longer than the content itself (And I write for content, not photography)  A few other highlights:

  • It's built on Wordpress, naturally search engine "friendly" out of the box.
  • I use standard, albeit basic SEF techniques for all of my pages and posts (Keywording, META stuff, etc.)
  • I blog alot of (keyword rich) content and pictures.  Kontent is King!
  • Use Google's best practices (webmaster tools)

And I get a bit humbled but not surprised at all when I see many of my "wedding pictures" show up ahead of the real photographers in Google Images searches.

 

Good Luck!


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#8 Tom Philo

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:17 PM

ALT Text is really designed to be used to describe the image for ADA reasons. So repeating the name of the file may work, but it does not help at all for ADA use.

Yellow-Rose-Portland-Oregon.jpg may be a good file name, but you would want to actually DESCRIBE the image by saying "A yellow rose seen in the Oregon Rose Garden test bed at noon overlooking The city of Portland Oregon with Mount Hood in the background" would be better "Alt" text than repeating "Yellow Rose Portland Oregon" as the ALT text.






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