Despite having a rather heavy first half of the month, I wanted to write up a post that would point to a few easy areas photographers could focus their efforts this year.
I’ll assume you already have the following handled:
- Having an HTML based site that search engines can crawl, and plenty of good naturally written content.
- A solid grasp of what keywords you’re seeking to rank for.
- Healthy links that come from a variety of locations like blog comments, quality directories (not the paid or reciprocal ones), and most importantly editorial links from blog features and write ups.
- Engagement through Facebook and Twitter.
2012 will be the Year of the Dragon according to the Chinese (I was born Year of the Dragon, so that’s good. I think…). But it most certainly will be the Year of Pinterest to the rest of us trying to promote our photography businesses.
The marketing adage is to go where your demographic goes. And you can’t get much better demographics for brides than 20-30 year old crafty hipster chics pinning away on Pinterest. They all like bowtie wearing men, and those mason jars that everyone seems to love.
All kidding aside the average Pinterest user is likely to be female and interested in unique designs and good photography. Not only should your website make it easy for people to pin your photos, you should have an account on there and be connected to all those hipster chics so they can see your latest and greatest photos.
Why else you should be using it:
- In December Hitwise.com reported that Pinterest receives 11 million visits per week, placing it in the top 10 social media websites on the web.
- Time Magazine called it one of 2011’s best 50 websites.
- Rand Fishkin from SEOMOZ has predicted that Pinterest will break into the mainstream and reach 10 million users this year.
2. Google +
OK, I’ll admit it. I waited awhile to adopt this one. Part of it was that I just didn’t want to hop on another hype without really seeing where it would go. Both Google’s Buzz and Wave were flops, and I had no interest in spending time on something that could have easily vanished.
As it turns out, Google + has become quite a hit, with features like group video chats and the ability to separate friends into unique circles so certain people can see certain things with greater ease than Facebook and Twitter. It looks like it has some great potential for the future as well. Not only is it getting the “thumbs up” from users, but it appears as if 2012 will see a big push for integrating Google + into your everyday search results.
People with Google + profiles and business pages will become much easier for Google to vet. And websites that are tied to that profile will have a definite advantage. Connections on Google+ will yield results on searches with your friends profile pictures on the search results making them stand out more.
You’re Circles of friends will be a huge endorser of your business by sharing your website on Google + and using the Plus 1 function on your website. Their friends will see that you are being endorsed by them, and you’ll have an instant recommendation.
One of the cooler things that Google has rolled out is the Rel=Author tag. It’s still in the early stages and not everyone is able to see the benefits of it. But it’s intent is to have rich snippets show up next to blog posts and articles that you write based on your Google + profile picture.
Early Adoption is Key
These two features may not seem that big of a deal, but anytime you can get a little advantage in the SERPs, you should take it. If you were in the #3 position, you could potentially get more clicks to your site over the #1 position, simply by having that Rel=Author tag applied. Just imagine what that will do for your longtail traffic searches. You’ll definitely have a leg up on your competitors if you implement this early on. Eventually all the themes will catch on, and add these features, so it’s best to be leading the pack and get in quick.
3. Local Search
Local Search isn’t new, but the prominence of Local will increase. We’ve seen a few variations of how search results have been displayed, but where things seem to be settling lately is the Universal Search Result, which displays a mix of Local and Organic results. You can see in the screen grab below how the organic and Local results are co-mingling together.
The first 2 results are organic, but the next 3, including one of our clients Tall and Small Photography from Bloomington, are for their Google Places listings.
Optimize for local and organic
Things that you would normally do for organic are very important, but there are a few things that will improve the likelyhood that you will make it into the local results as well.
- Reviews! Make sure that you are getting reviews on your Google Place page, Yelp!, Wedding Wire, etc.
- Citations. The more evidence that you are a legitimate business the more evidence Google has to promote you as a fully vetted business. Flaunt Your Site has a solution to speed up the process of obtaining the necessary citations. See our Local SEO section for more information and contact us to get set up.
- Ensure that you fill out your Google Places page completely, upload photos and videos, have your hours available, and don’t to skip the services provided part.
Get crackin! 2012 already started.
The first thing you should do is add me on Google +. Then get out there and start engaging. The sooner you jump on the newer things, the more advantage you’ll have over your competition.