The importance of search engine optimization depends on two factors: what specialty or niche of your industry you work in and the state of the economy. Before the economic downturn, I was shooting annual reports for major companies “cover to cover.” That is to say, a company would fly me all over the world to create images for their annual; the budgets in place supported that sort of expense. As the economy worsened, I began to notice that those annual reports and other similar multi-location shoots were being awarded to photographers piecemeal, based on their geographic location.
Companies are now trying to save money in any way they can, and one way is to cut travel budgets. Very often, new clients find me by making use of a search engine. In fact, about 60 percent of my new clients each year come to me via search.
If you’re working in any of these spaces, top placement in the search engines will likely play a very important factor in potential clients finding you and having a look at your online portfolio:
Advertising agencies don’t utilize search to the extent that the types of clients listed above do, but they do indeed use search, and it’s very likely your clients use Google.
Optimizing your website for the top positions in a search engine results page (or SERP) will certainly do no harm and can in fact, lead to more telephone calls from potential clients. You’ll want to be on page one of the SERPs, page two at minimum. In this rushed day and age, searchers don’t drill down beyond page two.
Once the searcher arrives at your site, you’ll need to have attractive content, intuitive navigation, and ideally a call to action. And above all, make it easy for that potential client to contact you by having your contact information accessible on every page of your site.
Blake J. Discher specializes in locating clients with an appreciation for the value that great photography can bring their marketing efforts. An expert in SEO, he also consults small businesses on search engine optimization. Blake has presented to more than 200 audiences on the topics of web marketing, negotiating, and sales. Blake J. Discher
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