Episode #17 of the Sprouting Photographer Podcast features an interview with Zach Prez from Photography Spark.
Zach is a business expert, author, speaker, and MBA. He’s been doing business and marketing full-time for more than 10 years, been featured in most of the sites and magazines you probably read, and trained hundreds of photographers on the subject. His process for teaching is very much like a chef sharing a recipe. He simply tells you what you need and how to put it all together.
- Why photographers still need to pay attention to search-engine-optimization (SEO).
- Why Google is normally the first step in the relationship with your clients.
- Why search engine optimization is still important even if you intend to use other marketing avenues as your main source of new business.
- Why Google is the main player to pay attention to.
- How search engines work.
- How to use titles in your blogs to maximize your SEO and why the traditional way doesn’t work anymore.
- What’s most important (and it’s order) for SEO – title, URL, content, images, and so on.
- What tools you may want to use to help you with SEO.
- Why a content management system like WordPress is important for SEO.
- How to customize the way your blog links look on Facebook and Google.
- Mobile websites for photographers – what the options are, and what you should look into.
- Responsive websites for photographers – what they are and why you should have one.
- How to think “mobile first” when designing your website.
- Why “conversion” needs to be a big part of the conversation when talking SEO and website development.
- How to make your search engine results stand out in Google.
- How to analyze the “flow” of a client in your website.
- How photographers (business-to-consumer) can use e-mail newsletters and e-mail capture effectively.
- Ideas to consider a content marketing strategy, and why you should be thinking about this as a photographer.
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- E-mail Language to Guarantee Better Conversion – Article on SproutingPhotographer.com
- Referrals for Photographers – Article on SproutingPhotographer.com
- Business Education for Photographers – Photography Spark
- Photography Spark on Facebook
- WordPress SEO by Yoast for WordPress
- All-in-One SEO Plugin for WordPress
- Livefyre comment system for WordPress
- WPTouch – Mobile website (bandaid fix) for photographers
- How to use the “more” tag in WordPress – support article from WordPress.com
- Landing Page Creation Tool – Lead Pages
- Zach’s e-book “Search Engine Cookbook for Photographers”
- Zach’s e-book “Business Planning Cookbook for Photographers”
- Zach’s product “Photo Boost Action Set”
1. Brainstorm keywords and terms that your target client is likely searching for in Google and in search engines.
2. Create info pages with those keywords in the title. Also be sure to include them in the content on the page as well.
3. Consider including these keywords in your blog posts. Don’t stick to just those keywords – vary them from post-to-post and make every update slightly different. Think about incorporating descriptions in the blog post titles that your client might be searching for.
Zach Prez: Hey, thanks Bryan. It’s good to be here.
Bryan Caporicci: Yeah, so Zach, I’ve actually been following your work for a long time. I know a lot about what you do, and the resources that you offer photographers. I know that your specialty is SEO and websites for photographers, but why don’t you give the listeners who are hanging out with us right now and are not totally familiar with what you do and www.PhotographySpark.com, a bit of a background.
Zach: I’m an internet marketing guy. I’ve been doing it for about 12 years – five years focused on photographers. It’s really just about how to optimize your website to get more sales, how to show in search, how to use your social media and email marketing – all those things that we kind of take for granted now in this Internet age. And it keeps me busy because this stuff’s changing by the hour.
Bryan: I was going to say, it’s funny because I listen to a lot of podcasts with Google+, Facebook, and social media experts and those kinds of things. And it’s always an interesting discussion, because those arenas are always changing and they’re always throwing wrenches at you guys. To stay up with what’s the latest and greatest is, I’m sure, keeping you very busy with things.
Zach: Yes, it is. It’s fun though.
Bryan: That’s great. Tell me a little bit, Zach. I know SEO is a new topic here for the podcast, so I think this is going to be a really good discussion. But it’s also a topic that, for some reason, isn’t really focused on in the educational space in our industry. Everyone loves to talk about referrals. Word of mouth is a great source of business and a great marketing avenue, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. SEO is still a very big part of the game. Tell me a little bit more about why photographers really need to focus on SEO in their marketing plan.
Zach: When I got started focusing on photographers, it was because of showing up in search. I had a friend who had just got her business started, and she had moved up to my city from LA. She said, “I don’t know anybody, so there is no referral base. How do I get started? I’m assuming it’s online”. And I said, “Yeah, your first and only friend you need to worry about’s Google”. We had a lot of conversations about what to do to make her more visible to Google, and she got established in Google very quickly. People start finding you via search – which is often the first place they’ll look, whether they know you or don’t know you – and then that can lead to more referrals. I consider Google the first step in any business and the second step is then doing good photography, treating those customers well. That leads to the referral traffic.
Bryan: Right, and it’s actually an interesting discussion too, Zach. Even if a photographer wants to focus mostly on word-of-mouth, social media, and all these other things – let’s say a photographer even decides that they want to use print advertising as a big part of their advertising campaign and what they’re going to use to market themselves as a photographer. At some point the clients and the people that they’re trying to reach are going to jump in front of the computer, and want to find their website. And it’s not always as easy as just typing in www.YourUrl.com. They’re probably going to Google you to find you. So at some point, every photographer and almost every client is going to be going through Google to find you.
It’s definitely an important piece of your structure and your business foundation that you have to set up. Before we go any deeper in that, I’d love to hear your thoughts. When we talk about SEO, there’s always the discussion of Google – that’s always the idea that comes up. Just really quickly, I’d love to hear your opinion: is Google the main player right now? Is that where we want to put most of our energy and attention? Or is there still relevancy in Yahoo’s and MSN’s, and those kinds of things?
Zach: That’s a good question. In fact, I don’t even get that question too often anymore, because Google is the only player. It’s been that way for a long time. And if you’re optimizing for Google, naturally you’re going to rank well in the other engines, too. Looking at my own site traffic and a lot of other photographers’ traffic, you’re going to get 90% of your business from Google, so I definitely recommend just focusing on that.
Bryan: Right, that’s great. So let’s dive into it, then. What are some things that photographers need to think about and need to focus on, with regards to SEO and optimizing their website for Google?
Zach: There’s a number of strategies, but just to give a primer on how search engines work, when somebody looks or searches Google for, let’s say a Sacramento wedding photographer, Google’s job is to find a web page about that topic. So first, you need to be creating lots of pages and you want to do that for lots of different topics. If I just ended my optimization at one phrase, that’s kind of equivalent to opening a book store and only selling one book. Even if you’re selling Harry Potter, which is the best-selling book, or you optimize for the best selling keyword in your area, you’re still leaving tons and tons and tons of stuff on the table.
Not to mention people searching for a general phrase like Sacramento wedding photographer don’t really know what they want yet. They’re not ready to hire you today. We’ll talk a little about conversion shortly. But the key is to write lots of different pages about lots of different topics, so when somebody searches for that topic, you have a page that Google can consider ranking. Then the next step is trying to promote that page through other websites so that Google knows that you have the authority or most popular page on that subject. That’s all about getting links from other sites. So your one-minute overview is, be blogging about different topics, get promoted, and get links on other websites to move that topic up through the ranks.
Bryan: Right, okay. Then to put some actual concrete ideas to this, you’re suggesting that a photographer obviously will need to be blogging, right? That’s the really big part of the business, but further than that, you need to be blogging more than just images. You have to be blogging content, articles, knowledge, FAQs, and those kinds of things. Then those are the pieces of content that you want to be having propagated through other websites and linked to from other websites, so that Google knows you’re the expert in that field. Is that the sort of what you’re saying, Zach?
Zach: Absolutely. Blogging is the best platform to do this, because every post you make is a new page that’s about something and every post or every page is an opportunity to rank. Take your pricing page, for example. Most people may call that page “pricing”. But people are looking for something more specific than pricing. They’re looking for something like “standard photography prices in the Sacramento area”. If you create a page about that subject, get more specific, and you’re talking about average pricing in your city – even though it’s just you – certainly that page can show up on that search.
Bryan: Right. One of the things that became very popular, probably five to ten years ago, that a lot of photographers jumped ship to using – I’m sure you know where I’m going with this, I see a lot of photographers that use it today – whenever they have a new blog post, let’s say that I’m blogging “Jane and Joe’s wedding” and they got married here, in Niagara. The photographer would say something like, “Jane and Joe – Niagara wedding photographer”. Then next week, it would be, “Joe and Sabrina – Niagara wedding photographer”. Then, “George and Georgina – Niagara wedding photographer”. They’ll put in that phrase at the end of every single blog post. Is that something that still works today, Zach? Or has Google smartened up with that?
Zach: Yeah, I have so many thoughts on that. It has never worked, because first of all, Jane and Joe are the only two people in the world that are searching for that. The other thing is, that you’re writing your post in that case for Jane and Joe, when you’ve already had their business. Really, you should be writing for your future client who is out searching for you, which is “dear bride”. Once you focus the positioning of the post to be for your next client instead of your past client, you’re going to increase the ability that they’re going to call you.
But the other point there is, if all of your posts are optimized around the same phrase – “Niagara wedding photographer” – then Google only knows you do work about one subject. Like I mentioned earlier, that’s kind of like having a bookstore with one book. Really, you want Google to know you’re about hundreds or thousands of different things. Better would be, what makes that post specific. Was it “a rainy Niagara Falls wedding at a church”. That’s much more specific and people will look for something that’s specific. And when they find you, you’re going to have nailed exactly what they’re looking for and they’re going to call you first.
Bryan: That’s a great idea. To take that further, does it make sense for a photographer, even in the title of the blog post, to say something like “Niagara on the lake wedding shot at Queen’s Landing Hotel”, for example. Kind of use the venue in there, and then that way every blog post will be slightly different. You use the city, you use the venue, you use some other things that Google will then start to pull those search terms towards you. Is that what you’re suggesting?
Zach: Absolutely. That’s what I recommend for every photographer, because although you maybe couldn’t rank for “New York wedding” today, you could rank for something like that hotel. By focusing on one venue, you’ve narrowed the competition, you’ve increased the specificness, you’re more targeted to a very specific niche, so you’ve got a better chance of conversion and you can rank for that much more quickly.
Bryan: With regards to all that, Zach, of course the title is important and that’s something that we’ve been discussing here. Is the URL as important, not as important, or also pretty relevant?
Zach: It’s pretty relevant. If you’re looking at a bulleted list of things to do and the order to do them, your title will be number one and you can control the title a number of ways. If you’re blogging in WordPress, which I recommend, it’s whatever you name the post. But you can also just use plug-ins like WordPress SEO by Yoast or the All in One SEO pack, and they also give you an additional title field. Anywhere you’re editing a page and you see title, that’s what we’re talking about. That’s the name of the page that’s going to show in Google. It starts with the title. Then number two is the URL, so it’s high up there – it’s important. Usually WordPress is going to create your URL based on your title. So if you name the title, well those keywords are going to show in the URL, too.
Number three is overall page content. We’re talking about text plus images. You want about 300 words or more of text, which is a shock to a lot of photographers – that’s a bit of writing to do. And images always help support the text. I could be looking at a page about Niagara Falls, and without even reading the text I see the first image and I know this is a page about Niagara Falls. That’s what I see in the photo. But Google doesn’t have eyes. It can’t see the photo, so it’s looking at alternate text. Every image has alternate text in WordPress, and you want to be filling that out with a bit of detail to say what’s happening in the photos. The combination of text plus the photos reinforces what that topic is. We can see that this is a wedding, it’s at hotel, it’s in New York, and all the styles and colors and times of year. We can see all that from looking at the photos. Google sees that from the alternate text, captions, and the text that supports the page. It really comes down to the title. If you can nail that, you don’t have to be as concerned about the keywords in the middle of the page as long as you’re describing things naturally.
Bryan: So with this, Zach, I want to dive into not just specifics, but also some tactics. Because for a lot of photographers, we’re creative and maybe don’t love the technical side of what we’re talking about. I’m very much a nerd at heart and my listeners know that. I think you’re probably the same way, you love that nitty-gritty, nuts-and-bolts kind of thing. We’ve already alluded to a few of the ideas here, but there’s tools out there that can make these kinds of things so much easier to follow through on and actually implement. One of the tools that you talked about obviously was WordPress, and I would assume most photographers are fairly familiar with WordPress. The other plug-in that you talked about is WordPress SEO by Yoast. Do you want to just talk a little about why a photographer really should consider using a content management system like WordPress and the benefits that that has in terms of an SEO perspective, but also in terms of a usability perspective?
Zach: Sure. If you’re not using WordPress blog, it’s almost like not having a website. You’d be in the dark ages. You’re going to have a site that is difficult to rank, just because of the structure of the code. WordPress was made to show up in search engines. You also have a site that is likely not mobile friendly because the theme may not scale to mobile devices, which is important because for photographers, that’s 20 to 25 per cent of your web visitors. And that’s continuing to increase. Third is, WordPress lends itself well to social sharing. Any image or any page, very easy to share on Facebook or to pin on Pinterest. I’ve seen difficulties with the older, flash-based sites or anything not in a blog format. Gallery pages are difficult to pin and share individual pages. So for search, social, and mobile – that’s pretty much everything in the Internet world – WordPress enables you to do that really without thinking about it. It’s just structured well to nail those things.
When you’re talking about plug-ins, the other great thing about WordPress is you can get all these add-ons which give you additional capabilities based on your needs. For example, I didn’t like my commenting system for WordPress, so I got an add-on called Livefyre that allows for social commenting on my blog posts. And that was set up with the click of a button essentially. Now, for search engines, you’re looking at, like you said, WordPress SEO. I actually recommend the All in One SEO pack because it’s less confusing for photographers. WordPress SEO is more robust. There’s so many choices that a non-marketer would have a hard time figuring out what to do with it. But those types of plug-ins give you the fields you need, that may be hidden or unavailable in your theme, so you can control how your result looks in search. It gives you a nice preview of “here’s what this page will look like in search”, so you can change the title or change the description very easily. You know how users will see that. And a lot of times, there’s plug-ins that give you a kind of score. Like, “Based on your main keyword, we’re going to give this green light. It’s well optimized for that keyword”, or suggestions about, “Here’s the things you missed. You missed your images or you missed the description of this page”. That kind of stuff.
Bryan: Yeah, that’s one of the things that I love most about WordPress SEO by Yoast. They all, more or less, do the same thing for you but I love that feature about SEO by Yoast. It gives you that indicator saying, “Here’s what you need to look at in your blog post to optimize it better for SEO, here’s where you’re doing a good job”. It just gives a good indication if you’re not familiar with all the SEO basics. It’s a good starting point, anyways.
Zach: That plug-in goes beyond search, too. It enables you to give a different title for Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest, which are all worth doing. Twitter, for example, you might want a hash tag in the title when that’s shared. In Pinterest, you might want a shorter description. For Google, you might want something very heavily marketing-based, or to put your phone number in it. It enables you to customize based on the platform, which is pretty cool.
Bryan: Yeah, that’s really good, and we’re getting into real tech things, which I love. I’d love to share one more thing here that I’ve experienced with the SEO by Yoast. It’s two things. You can utilize Google authorship, which of course could get into a whole other discussion. But you can plug that in, which is great. Te other thing that I love, which I think photographers need to pay attention to, is you can specify the open graph image that Facebook pulls in when you share that blog post. Which basically means, in layman’s terms for those that are listening, is whenever your blog post is shared on Facebook, you can specify what image shows up there in the embedded post on Facebook. Furthermore, you can actually put an image in there that’s sized appropriately, so that you don’t have your image cut-off – you’re cutting somebody’s head off or it’s not looking right on Facebook. That’s a really big benefit of using a plug-in like that.
Bryan: That’s great. Let’s dive into another topic that you alluded to a few seconds ago, the idea of mobile websites. Now, mobile websites have come a long, long way. They used to be where you’d want to have like a mobile companion, so that when you go into a website on an iPhone, it goes to like m.dot.whateverthewebsiteis.com. It would be a completely different version of the website. Of course, I’m sure everyone has their opinions on this. Personally, I love the idea of responsive websites that would just scale and adapt based on the device that you’re using. What are your thoughts on that, Zach?
Zach: Yeah, it’s funny how antiquated an m-dot site is now, and if you’ve got a separate site for your mobile users: A) That’s more work for you; and b) That’s a limited experience for your users, because you’re stripping out content so that they can see a narrow slice of everything that you offer. We’ve move into the responsive age which is, same website, it scales itself automatically based on the screen size. The device will recognize that it’s an iPhone width, iPad width, desktop width, or ultra wide desktop monitors. All those will have a different layout, it positions itself perfectly so that the user has the best experience. When we’re talking 20 to 25% of your audience is looking through mobile, you don’t want that experience to be limited, and you don’t want the extra work to have to manage two sites. So if you’re choosing WordPress themes, for example, you want to look for something that’s responsive. And you can easily see how your site changes, just by changing the width of the browser on your computer. You can make it bigger or smaller and see what happens.
Bryan: Now, let’s say that you’re a photographer that already has a website, Zach, and let’s just say that it already is in WordPress. I know that there’s plug-ins that photographers can use that will help with that responsiveness thing. What sort of suggestions would you give photographers that maybe don’t want to start with a brand new theme, but want to build on what they already have?
Zach: I don’t have experience with that actually. I would recommend going to a responsive theme. It’s the best approach. If people are hesitant to invest in that, we’re talking about a large portion of your audience that’s only continuing to grow, so I would go with the best design implementation and not a band aid fix. But maybe you have some suggestions on that.
Bryan: Well, the name of the plug-in specifically is escaping me right now – and I’ll actually find it and put it in the show notes for those of you that are listening – but there is a plug-in that you can install as a band aid fix if you don’t want to completely jump ship or adapt a new theme. It will basically determine whether your visitors are on a mobile, a tablet, or whatever size screen it is. You can set different break points, and it’ll actually serve up a different design based on your existing content, so you don’t have to go in and recreate a mobile site. You don’t have to go in and recreate or re-adapt a new theme. You can just let the plug-in do it for you in the meantime, which is definitely a good interim fix. Like you said, it’s a band aid fix and I think you definitely want to, at some point, consider getting a responsive theme that’s going to work all around – it will work together really well. But in the meantime, something like that would be good. A specific plug-in, like I said, the name is escaping me right now, but I will put it in the show notes for those of you that are listening to go check that out.
Zach: My philosophy is, I always think with mobile first. For example, my blog homepage doesn’t list out the full content of my latest ten posts. It’s a summary, and if you look up how to use the “more” tag in WordPress, you can similarly add breaks so that only the first portion of your posts are showing on the main page. That just helps it load faster for mobile, and it helps people not have to scroll through the full length of the post to see the next one. There’s tricks like that if you think how a user would experience your brand on a phone. They want it fast, quick, they want it easy to navigate with big links that are easier to click. In fact, they might not even tap on anything. So again, you’re designing everything they need to know on every page of your site, because they might not click to get to your “about” page or your “pricing” page. It’s important to put that information right in your key posts.
Bryan: That’s a really, really good point. I want to go into that direction a little bit more now. You have SEO taken care of, you’re showing-up – let’s say that that’s the case – and the photographer is happy with where they are, which is great. But let’s not forget the fact that once you get people on your website, you actually have to convert them. You have to make them do something once they’re on there, to get them there isn’t enough. What kind of tips, Zach, do you have for photographers that can help them convert their clients, or get them to take action, e-mail or call you?
Zach: That’s a great question. First, you have to rank. Then you have to get them to click on that link. Then you have to get them to call you once they’re on your site. Let’s start with how to get them to click once you’re ranked. The only things that show in Google are the title, the description, and the URL of your post. The description, sometimes called the meta description, is a great way to optimize for conversion. In fact, you can even put your phone number right in the meta description, so it gets people thinking about calling you, or maybe they call you before they even get to your web page. That’s how far in advance we’re thinking about getting that sale. It’s the most important thing to you when users visit, so you really want to really focus on it.
You want to write descriptions that make your post stand out. There’s going to be a lot of posts about Niagara weddings, and they’re all going to have very similar titles and keywords. Your description is the way to make your post stand out in search. If you say something like, “award- winning photographer who has shot 50 (or 500) weddings in the Niagara area”, that’s going to make somebody want to click on yours versus the competitor’s. Tt starts with the description in Google. Then once they’re on your page, you have to think of a call to action.That’s basically telling the user what you want them to do. It’s usually going to be two things. It’s going to be to call you right away, but if one minute of reading your page and looking at your images is not enough, maybe they’re not ready to call you today. Then you need a backup plan, which is either they’re going to follow you socially, like on Facebook, so that they continue to see your work. Or it’s going to be subscribing for an email, newsletter, or a free download. But at least it’s capturing their email address.
How many business cards have you handed out in hope that they’ll eventually call you? It never happens. But if you can ask for their business card with their contact information, aka ask for their email address when they get to your site, now you’re in control of that relationship and can reach out to them whenever you want. So on every page that could likely show in search – or Facebook for that matter – think about what do you need to communicate to the user to: A) Tell them to hire you; and B) To have them call you right away. I’ve got that hotel in Niagara, I’m going to say something like, “Zach is a premier photographer for this hotel. He shot 4 weddings here. Here’s the links to all the weddings that he shot so you can see it individually. If you call me today, I’m going to go give you a behind-the-scenes tour, and I’m going to give you all the greatest photo spots for that venue. If you’re not ready to call me, download this vendor guide that I put together for you that shows all the top vendors for that hotel, in that city”. That kind of call to action is going to get somebody to really engage with you. They’re going to trust your information, and they’re going to call you – if not right then, as soon as they’re ready to hire somebody.
Bryan: That’s such a great example, Zach. Because for me – and I’m sure a lot of our listeners – so many of the education that’s out there, a lot of the books, even a lot of the podcasts, they’re largely B2B-based businesses. So whenever I see something like email newsletters, there’s often an info product that a B2B company can have to put behind an email gate. But when you’re talking about something, for example a bride, I’m often left wondering when listening to this kind of education, what kind of thing could I actually give the bride? But you’re going to this example, a vendor guide, tip guide, or behind-the-scenes video. I love the idea of having that kind of content behind an email gate. Do you have any other thoughts or suggestions for photographers on that?
Zach: Yeah, so the vendor guide’s a bit specific, and what I get from a lot of photographers is: “Well, I’m not technically inclined to set up a newsletter, connect it with my site, and have a download”. My solution for that is to have them call you for that information. Say, I am an expert at this venue and if you call me right now, I’ll tell you all the vendors that I work with. I’ll tell the hot spots. You can do that on the phone, and that’s probably even better than getting their email address. The other is, for a general photographer, think about what’s important to your customer. “What to wear” guides, and “wall hanging” guides are also very helpful. Give one of those “how to arrange frames on your wall”, and that could be your free download. It’s a nice one-sheeter, but that’s what people want to know. They’re trusting you as an expert in the photography space, which goes a lot farther than your photos. It’s the what to do with those photos, ideas for photos, how to prepare for sessions, that sort of information anybody should be able to put together.
Bryan: That’s great. To go into deeper tactical ideas really quickly for the listeners – couple of the tools that you might want to consider looking into to make this reality, if you don’t want to get into the technical side of things. There’s tools like lead pages, which is a really great landing- page creation tool. Basically, all their pages are optimized already for conversion and you can choose from a number of templates. You can put different content behind an email sign-up, and that way the lead pages will automatically send out, show a link, download your PDF, or whatever it is that you want to give away for free once somebody gives you their email address. That way you have their email address for follow up or for correspondence. So definitely, photographers should check that kind of thing out if they don’t want to get into the technicalities of it.
Zach: Yeah, if you’re overwhelmed by all the things we’ve hit on today, really we’re just talking about creating a page about a specific topic so that it’s a resource for a future client. And you want that client to call you right away. How you talk through the page, and what you offer them is all going to move toward triggering that action. Just that change in thought is different than what every photographer’s doing now. Like you had mentioned, they’re blogging about their latest session with Jane and Joe, maybe not thinking about search or mobile in mind. If you change that frame of mind to be, “Okay, I’m writing this for a future client”, all they care about is that one specific topic, and you want to get them to call you today based on reading this post, that should be enough to help give you a boost.
Bryan: Right. It’s a kick in the butt for photographers too, to say you have to be blogging and putting content out there that’s more than just the images from the latest session that you shot. You actually have to consider a content marketing strategy for your business. There’s so much knowledge, experience, and information that we have as photographers that we take for granted. Many of our clients would love to pick our brain on those kinds of topics. Just like you’re saying, Zach, wall art hanging guides or clothing guides or vendor guides, whatever the case is we have a lot of experience in these areas of photography that our clients don’t have. Having a content marketing strategy is definitely: A) Good for business, good for marketing; but B) It’s also going to benefit you for SEO.
Zach: And you can start small. Don’t be overwhelmed by thinking you have to do this on every post that you write. Just start with that one venue, and optimize yourself for that venue. I had a friend who wrote a post “The 20 Best Images From Venue X”, something like that. When you search for that venue, the venue shows up number one and she shows up number two. So, of course, every bride that searches for that venue is clicking to see the best photos from that venue, and she booked three sessions in the first month that that post went live. Then she started getting so many bookings there that she became a preferred vendor at that venue. And then those brides started recommending more brides, so after a year she had grown her business 20 per cent just off that one post about that one venue. So you don’t have to do this for everything, you can be strategic about it.
Bryan: That’s great. That’s the little golden nugget right there. That was awesome. Zach, I could literally – because I am a nerd at heart – talk to you about this stuff forever, but you have an amazing resource for photographers over at www.PhotographySpark.com called “The Search Engine Cook Book for Photographers”. I’d love for you to share a little bit more about that, because I think it’s a really valuable tool that every photographer needs to go check out.
Zach: I find myself every day trying to figure out, OK, what’s for dinner tonight? What do I have time for? What do I know how to make? What ingredients do I have on hand? And I put that sort of approach into a downloadable PDF ebook about search engines. We talk about a lot of the things that you’ve heard today. If you have a half an hour and you’ve got a splash page, then you pick out the recipe on how to optimize your splash page. If you want to focus on links this week, then you look at the tools needed for linking and the recipes to implement to get other people to link to you. So really, it’s a kind of do-it-yourself, at your own pace, educational tool that walks you through the different aspects of search. There’s a lot of different things you can do. Like you mentioned Google authorship earlier, which is putting your headshot next to your search result. That’s going to make you stand out huge and get a lot more people to click, so there’s a recipe for how to do that. All the different things that I’ve learned, tips and tricks and strategies, made so that you can easily implement them, even if you’re non-technical.
Bryan: That’s awesome and for those listening, I just want to share to Zach has been so generous as to give all of those Sprouting Photographer listeners $20 off any of his products by using the coupon code: SPROUT. So, Zach, thank you so much for that, because that’s a very generous offer. Where do you want to send the photographers at this point to find out more about you, more about your products, and the services that you offer?
Zach: I’ve got a business blog at www.PhotographySpark.com. It covers all kinds of things, much deeper than search. But you can find everything there, and that’s where you can use that coupon code too through the summer.
Bryan: That’s great. Well, Zach, thank you so much for coming on the show, and sharing all your knowledge and experience with us. I know I enjoyed it because, like I said, I’m a techie at heart. I love these discussions, and it’s something that photographers need to put more and more emphasis into, even though it can be a little overwhelming. There are tools, resources, and things out there that make our lives so much easier in that space. Your website, cook book, and resources are definitely a big part of that. Thank you for coming on the show and sharing your knowledge.
Zach: Thank you, it’s been fun talking about it.