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In-depth (white-hat) SEO review/audit

The complete SEO review for new or existing photography websites.

I'll highlight everything you're doing wrong now, fix any critical SEO issues and give you recommendations for improving your rankings and befriending Google.

Good SEO might be the reason you're now on this website, but it requires a whole lot of technical stuff that you probably don't want to deal with. I know many photographers tell me that.

All photographers are fighting for attention online. Those with the resources and knowledge to improve their photo website's rankings will eventually reap the benefits of the increased traffic & exposure.

A website SEO review is for you if...

  • Your existing website is ranking poorly for your target keywords/phrases, and you want to rank higher and get more traffic.
  • You're overwhelmed by the entire concept of SEO and need someone to give you clarity and help you with your site's SEO.
  • You've already covered a lot of SEO steps, but not yet getting the results you were expecting.
  • You're not sure if your website has technical problems preventing Google from indexing your site properly.

Where do clients & photo buyers find you?

Photo buyers find images for licensing from major search engines 42% of the times

"Many photographers don’t realize how important Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is. If I want to hire a photographer, it means I’m looking for something pretty obscure and will always turn first to Google to see if there’s someone who specializes in that niche." - Anonymized Editorial Photo Editor, Textbook Publication

From on PhotoShelter's 2013 survey "What buyers want"

That same report mentioned that "[...] these same buyers ranked easy navigation, fast load time, and clear contact information as the most important elements of a photographer’s website." It makes sense, user experience impacts SEO as well. I review all those aspects as part of my SEO review!

Being listed at the top of search results, besides increasing the trustworthiness and importance of your site to your target audience, will, of course, generate the greatest amount of traffic.

Top 3 search results get 60-80% of the click traffic

If you have quality content, SEO is the tool that can help you rise to the surface if done right.

Do I know anything about SEO?

Check out my complete SEO guide for photographers:

50 tips to maximize your Google rankings & get found online

And these other SEO-related articles I wrote:
- One single SEO tip to rule them all
- A simpler approach to writing your SEO titles and meta-descriptions

Free SEO educational content like this can be really useful (and a bit of SEO knowledge can make a big difference over time), that's why I wrote it for photographers like you. So I do recommend that you take some time to read it all and learn the basics.

My paid SEO review/audit is for when you know that you can't handle all that work yourself, and are confident you want to hire an expert to take it off your hands and do it to perfection.

What's included in the SEO review:

On-site SEO

  • Installing and configuring the Yoast SEO plugin (WP sites only)
  • Adding/updating SEO titles and meta descriptions for all (non-blog) pages
  • Removing meta keywords throughout the site (they haven't been used by search engines in a long time and can potentially hurt your SEO)
  • In-depth recommendations on how to write your SEO tags in the future
  • Identifying and removing any black-hat SEO practices (you've got to stay clean if you want to have a long-term relationship with Google)
  • Recommending appropriate pages where to add keyword-rich copy
  • Listing all images that still require ALT tags
  • Configuring and testing your site's "robots.txt" file (and meta robots tag)
  • Updating page permalinks (and putting proper redirects in place where needed)
  • Adding redirect to canonical domain (www or non-www) if needed
  • Identifying and fixing any duplicate URLs
  • Identifying & fixing any navigation and internal linking problems
  • Identifying & fixing broken links (both outbound and inbound)
  • Installing and configuring anti-malware plugins
  • Performance testing & recommending fixes
  • Mobile-friendliness testing & recommending fixes

Off-site SEO

  • Listing inbound link sources (so you know the top sites that link to yours)
  • Recommendations and reading material for improving off-site SEO and getting backlinks

Google tools

  • Setting up Google Analytics universal tracking
  • Adding and verifying website in Google Search Console
  • Integrating Google Analytics and Google Search Console (for viewing SERP performance data in analytics reports)
  • Blocking spam sources ("referrals") in your Analytics account
  • Setting up internal site search tracking in Google Analytics (so you can see what images people are searching for on your site)
  • Setting preferred/canonical domain in Google Search Console site settings
  • Submitting XML sitemap to Google Search Console (for faster indexing)
  • Setting appropriate international targeting in Google Search Console
  • Identifying and suggesting fixes for mobile usability, crawl errors & security issues
  • Identifying and fixing blocked resources on your site (that can impair indexing of your pages)
  • Help in setting up your Google My Business listing & optimizing your site for local search

Also included: 1-on-1 consulting

  • As part of the SEO review, I will also take the time to quickly review the rest of your site's details and give you a list of recommended improvements (site structure, layout, design, content, etc.). These user-experience issues can all indirectly influence SEO over time.
  • Free 30-minute consulting call on Skype or Google Hangouts (when I answer all your follow-up questions about your photography website or SEO in particular)

What's not included in the SEO review:

  • Keyword research - This is potentially a much more time-consuming job, but we can discuss it separately on a case-by-case basis. I can also recommend good reading material on the topic.
  • Rich snippets - Structured data requires more advanced work and is only needed for some types of websites, and is not the subject of my SEO audit.
  • Copywriting - As much as I keep improving my writing, English is not my native language, so I can't claim I master all the nuances of writing business copy. If you need extra content on your site (both for visitors and search engines), I will get you in touch with skilled copywriters (working specifically with photographers).
  • Marketing - I don't handle your outreach marketing or go out there to get you more links back to your site. It's your responsibility to create personal/business profiles in the various photography or social media communities you're part of. But I can help by recommending marketing services from trusted companies, or by giving you quality reading material to learn things yourself.
  • Dodgy SEO practices - If you need quick SEO success with dodgy tactics you might have heard from a friend, I won't help you. I'll all about keeping things clean and simple, and building a website that's worthy of ranking well.

Also not included: "100% guarantees"

SEO is a long-term game work and doesn't come with guarantees, so I won't offer them and make false promises.

In fact, Google's guidelines on search marketing particularly state: "No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google. Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings." So if you want that kind of SEO service, check your spam folder.

Search engine rankings are unstable and can't be controlled. They can only be slowly influenced using the core principles that Google values: quality, user-experience, trust, accessibility.

So I won't give guarantees, but I'll make an honest commitment instead: I will just do my best to improve your site's SEO, cleanly and thoroughly, while also teaching you where & how to do your SEO work as well.

What you get at the end of the SEO review:

  • A log of all the site SEO changes/fixes I implemented
  • Various bits of homework during the project, with instructions and explanations along the way (providing access, rephrasing or adding new website copy, etc.)
  • A prioritized list of remaining SEO tasks you need to do
  • A list of useful stats & reports you should frequently be monitoring
  • A private calendar link to choose your preferred day & time for our 30‑minute consulting call

Let's get started

The SEO review/audit costs $550 USD. Flat fee, no hidden costs.
My work is usually completed within 10 days, and we then schedule the free consulting call at your convenience.

Payment is done via PayPal or using any major credit card. I provide an unconditional money-back guarantee (yes, this is the good kind of guarantee) if you're not satisfied with my work for any reason.

"Alex helped me greatly during the conceptual process (while understanding the market my work is geared for), and he made sure I stayed on track to keep the SEO gods happy. He basically laid out a road map." - Steve Greer

"Followed some of your SEO advice and have seen a steady increase in traffic - many thanks!" - John Peltier