Most often, when we dive headfirst into SEO, we don’t consider the very first step, SEO keyword planning. 9 times of 10, there isn’t a plan. I’ll talk to other photographers who are struggling to gain traction with SEO on their beautiful sites, and my first question is always, “can I see what your keyword plan is?”
Not having a plan for your SEO is a problem. Why? It’s sort of like throwing darts without seeing the dartboard. You can learn all the dart-throwing skills, but you’re sunk before beginning if you’re not aiming for something.
Here are three easy steps to get started creating an actionable plan today.
Step 1 Start Your SEO Keyword Planning with Research
First, brain dump all your keyword ideas onto a piece of paper. Don’t worry about what’s correct or not. Just write it down. How do you think your clients are finding you via google? Also, how would you see yourself?
Rework your list using niche locations. For example, if you started with Seattle Family Photographer, look at outlying areas you serve and add them in. Like, Gig Harbor or Bellevue Family Photographer.
Toss in your next major city. If you need to, add in a few other larger cities around you. Going more granular is often better, but there is such a thing as too small of a market.
Bring in some help. Look at sites like Ubbersuggest and Google Keyword Planner to expand on related keywords from your list. For example, I typed in “Houston Family Photography” into Google’s Keyword Planner, and these were the related keywords it suggested.
- Houston Family Photographer
- Houston Maternity Photographer
- Houston Portrait Photographer
Step 2 Test Your Keyword Research
Now you have this huge list, start testing your keywords. There are many sites to test out how lucrative your keywords are. Here are my favorite places for keyword research.
You’re going to be looking for two main things. First, what keywords should you toss because they don’t produce any results? Second, what keywords should you omit because you don’t have a snowball’s chance in heck at ranking? You’re looking for that middle sweet spot.
As you’re tossing aside keywords, make sure to keep 1-2 keywords that represent each service page on your website. What I mean is if school portraits have a page on your website, you’ll need a keyword for that. So don’t toss out all the school portrait keywords because they look too low.
Step 3 Put your SEO Keyword Planning all together
Just as important as my pricing plan is, so is my SEO plan. Open up excel and map this all out for reference later.
Start by creating a spreadsheet that includes each main page on your website you want to rank. Then go in and assign two keywords to each page, a primary and secondary. Saying, this is what I want to rank for first, and this other keyword is my second choice.
This spreadsheet will become your reference sheet to optimize your website, build out content, and slay SEO.
With these three steps, you should be able to rock SEO keyword planning and start moving up the ranks in google.
Want to see exactly how I’d set up a keyword spreadsheet? Sign up for my business education newsletter, and I’ll show you precisely what my spreadsheet looks like in a PDF. Plus monthly advice like this to start running your photography business as confidently when you’re not shooting as when you are.
MB – A Spokane-based photographer serving the Pacific Northwest and helping other photographers build confidence in their business.