SEO is the current big buzzword in the photography industry. For those who have no idea what I just said, SEO stand for Search Engine Optimization and pretty much it’s how Google and the other major search engines determines what results you’ll see first when you type in a search. And in the service industry where you can’t hire me if you can’t find me, good search engine results are vital. I think my background in Information Technology has helped me a little bit over the years figure out SEO better than some. Relational data bases and weighted search arguments aren’t foreign concepts to me and over the last few years I’ve built a halfway decent google ranking. For photographers without that IT background there are many options. There is a lot of information on the web right now about how this works, some of it free and some of it costs.
Information is Free
One of the best free resources I’ve seen is that of Colorado photographer Eric Bakken and his SEO for photographers series on his blog. Eric does and excellent job of breaking it down for you and giving you some excellent advice to start getting yourself noticed by the search engines. Now while Eric does seem to take some issue with SEO guru’s charging large amounts of money for their workshops I take a more moderate stand that sometimes it’s better to pay for knowledge and have it delivered in a nice concise package than to shift through endless links.
Education is Expensive
One such concise package is the SEO Workshop from Lawrence with Tofurious. The Tofurious package will set you back about $2000. So what do you get for that $2k, well probably much of the same info you can find on Eric’s blog, along with some of Lawrence’s results on what’s worked for him over the last year on turning that traffic into contacts. Getting people to your site is only the first part, getting them to connect with you and hit the contact button, that’s equally as important.
Education or Information – either way it takes work
I don’t think it matters too much wether you choose to invest the time and energy to access the information and learn it yourself or invest the money to get that information delivered in a workshop, once you’re up to speed on how it’s still going to take a lot of work. There’s no magic bullet for SEO, no secret text string to bury in your page to get that first page of a google search result. It takes dedication and work and an ongoing investment of time.
And it’s only going to get worse.
As more and more people figure out SEO the competition for that first few pages on a search engines results just gets harder and harder. In the end I think those dedicated to their ongoing business, who connect with their clients and their community will do well and prosper. Those looking for a quick buck will either regret the time or money they invested into figuring out SEO if they don’t also invest into the ongoing process that makes it work.