Do-It-Yourself SEO for Photographers – Part 1. Search Console Set Up
Do you know how many people visit your photography website daily or monthly and how do they find it in the internet? Do you want to know how Google ranks your website? In this article we will explain you how to start Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization for your photography website. You will set up Google Search Console account in 5 easy steps.
First of all you need to create a Google account. If you already use Gmail, you got one, just log in and then go to the Google Search Console https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
2. You will be welcomed to add your website. Type the address in the field and press the Add Property button.
Our example website will be wedding-retouching.com. By the way, this is a great photo editing service for wedding photographers, check it if you want to find more time for shooting and your business promotion.
Google will also offer you to watch the short video explaining what is Search Console.
Now you need to confirm your credentials to manage the website. This ensures nobody else can add your website to the Google Search Console and manage your website indexing and rankings. Remember, Search Console is a powerful tool, which can improve your website visibility in Google and also can ruin it in bad hands. Never share your Google Account password with people you do not trust. We will talk about security issues later.
To confirm your photographer’s website addition to the Google Search Console you will need help of your webmaster. Download the html file suggested by Google and send to your webmaster or your web design company and ask them to put it on the server. Most likely, they have done this task many times for other clients and will do that for you, it takes just few minutes.
If you manage your website by yourself, upload the file to your top (root) directory and confirm the addition in Google Search Console. If you do not have access to the website FTP account, you can try alternative methods, like HTML tag, for example.
If your photography website is built on WordPress, you can add the HTML tag using SEO plugins. The most used are Yoast and All In One SEO, we recommend you to install one of them. In this article you can read how to verify WordPress website in Google Search Console.
If you installed All In One SEO Pack, you should follow these steps:
- Go to WordPress Admin -> Settings -> All In One SEO
- Copy the HTML tag code from Google Search Console and paste it into the text area in All In One SEO called Additional Home Headers, save the changes.
- Return to the Verify Ownership page in Google Search Console and click on the Verify button
This video explains how to verify your website in the Google Search Console.
We recommend you to repeat steps 2 and 3 for both www and non-www versions of your websites. The verification file should be added only once, it is the same for both versions, but Google treats www.your-photographer-website.com and your-photographer-website.com as two different properties.
As a result, you should see 2 websites in your Google Search Console account.
Now you should decide which version of your photographer’s website Google will use as the main domain. There is absolutely no SEO difference in choosing one over another and it’s only up to you to decide depending on your preferences. Our opinion is that www. is more old-fashioned and sounds more usual for experienced internet users, but non-www is shorter to type and handle. We prefer to use non-www versions for our websites.
When you have decided which domain version to use, you need to set up a preferred domain for your website in Google Search Console. Click on the chosen property and enter the Search Console. Then click the gear icon on the top right corner and click Site Preferences.
Select the preferred domain.
Congratulations, you have completed a very important task for your photographer’s website search engine optimization. Now you should wait for 2-3 days before Google analyzes all information about your website and presents it into the Search Console Account. In 2-3 days you will be able to know for which keywords your website is shown in searches, is there any problem with your website indexing by Google, how many other websites placed link to your website, and other very important information.
Return to our blog in a couple of days and we will tell you what to do next. You can subscribe to our newsletter and get email notification about new post published.
You can also read about Local SEO for photographers - how Google rank local businesses.
- 13 Oct, 2016 in Local SEO