Todays return guest is Corey Potter. The Best SEO Specialist for Photographers. Focusing on helping photographers understand search engine optimization and proving an incredible amount of help Corey is here to day to talk about mistakes photographer make when blogging and expert SEO tips for your photography website.
Become A Premium Member is access to more in-depth questions that help move you forward!
In This Episode You'll Learn:
Which photography website builder to use and why
Why have a photography website
Why blogging is so important
What to blog if you don’t have any recent shoots
What is cornerstone content and why it is critical to google
What google wants to see from a photography website
What to put on a photography website
The hardest thing for beginners to understand about SEO
Premium Members Also Learn:
How to SEO Photography Website
How to promote your photography website
How often to blog
Why blogging frequently could be bad for your google ranking
What to do with your content after you hit publish
How to use Keyword Research to discover what topics to talk about
The one blog every photographer needs to have on their website
Did you enjoy this episode? Check out more recent interviews with other great guests!
Full Episode Transcription:
Disclaimer: The transcript was transcribed electronically and may contain errors that do not reflect accurately what the speaker said. Because of this, please do not quote this automated transcript.
Raymond: 00:00 Hey Raymond here from the beginning of photography podcast and I will choose chocolate or sour candy any day of the week. Okay, let's get into today's interview.
Intro: 00:10 Welcome to the beginner photography podcast with Raymond Hatfield, the podcast dedicated to helping you grow your photography skills. Raymond interviews the world's top photographers in their field to ask questions that will get you taking better photos today. Now with you as always, husband, father, home brewer, La Dodger Fan, an Indianapolis wedding photographer, Raymond Hatfield.
Raymond: 00:39 Hey everybody. It is me. I'm Raymond. I'm back as always your host here on the beginner photography podcast. Today's interview is a good one. I'm going to try something new where we're pretty much just gonna hop right into the interview today. But first I did want to talk about the Facebook group. The Facebook group is, is growing. Okay. The Facebook group is the beginning photography podcast, Facebook group, which if you want to join, you can just search Facebook for, began a photography podcast and you can find the Facebook group there. It has become a place where people can come, they can share their photos, they can ask questions and it's a, it's a safe place for them to do. So a lot of people who have shown up and in admittedly said that they had no intention of sharing but just kinda creeping in the background.
Raymond: 01:28 But after seeing how the group reacts and responds and how kind of welcoming it is, they felt open enough to, to share their photos and ask for critiques and, and be more involved in, in, in turn learned more things about photography. Just in a much quicker sense. And it's been wonderful to see everybody in the group growing as photographers. So if you want to join the begin of photography podcast Facebook group, I would welcome you to come on in again, just search Facebook for beginning photography podcast and you will see a link or the option to join the group. I've got three questions for you though, and once you answer them and confirm that you are a human, you are allowed in. And if you don't answer those three questions, I will not let you in. It is that simple.
Raymond: 02:13 There you go. So all right guys, we're going to get into today's interview with Corey Potter. Now, if that name sounds familiar, he was back, he was on the podcast back two years ago. I cannot believe it's been two years since I talked to Corey. Corey is, is is just an SEO master. This guy knows his stuff when it comes to SEO. And what I love about Cory's approach is that it is no nonsense. It is not like, like you do this one thing, you're going to the top of Google. What he says is actionable tips. And what I hope that you get out of this interview is that is that SEO is not one size fits all. It is not, you know, you just do this one thing and you're good. You really do have to put in a lot of work to to rank well in, in Google and in, in within SEO.
Raymond: 03:03 So don't think that SEO is going to be something that is going to take you and transform. You know your website overnight because it's not, I've been working on it for years. Corey has been working on it for years and it always changes. So it takes time. But once you get down the fundamentals like Cory is going to talk about today you're setting yourself up for just the right path. So now as always, there's two parts. There's two versions of this episode. There's a free version, and then a version for premium members. Premium members get access to the information that is more geared towards business in more, more actionable tips that they can put into their business websites today. So there's going to be a break. If you're listening to the free version, there's a break and then it goes after the break.
Raymond: 03:50 That goes back into the rest of the interview with Cory. So once you hear that break, don't, you know, go find another podcast cause there's still more information after the break. Like what Corey shares is, is, is definitely some of the content that Google wants to see specifically from photographers. So don't leave at the break. But premium members today are going to hear a wealth of extra information things like how often they should be blogging. Why, why having a plan in place after you hit publish on the blog is important in what that plan should look like. How to do keyword research and the one blog post every photographer should have on their website to get them more business. So that's it. We're going to get on into this interview right now with Corey Potter. Today's return guest is Corey potter photographer turned SEO master focusing on helping photographers understand search engine optimization and providing an incredible amount of help.
Raymond: 04:51 Corey is here today to talk about mistakes that photographers make when blogging coordination. Welcome back to the podcast. Thanks for having me. I'm excited. Yeah, I, when I was doing research for this episode, I looked back to the last time that you were on and it was actually two years ago next week. That's crazy. I know. I saw the recording cause that it got shared recently and I was watching it. I was like, whoa. I was still in my old office at my old desk. It's like been so long. I know it was two houses ago for me two houses ago. It's ridiculous to, to, you know, when you think about how long you've kind of been doing something when you're just kind of in it day in and day out, when, when, when things change it, you don't even recognize it. So, and look at that studio you've got now, you had your bed in the background and the other way.
Raymond: 05:35 But I did, I know it's kind of embarrassing to think about now. I got like Wifi lights that I can turn on and off with this blue color even change that color in the background pink. Now we're going to go back to the blue, but yeah, no, this is a, it's definitely a new setup and stuff. A, a whole lot of fun. And I'm, I'm excited to, to get in and talk to you today because obviously is kind of one of those things to where I think when you first get started, you're like, yes, like I'm gonna, I'm going to have a website, it's going to be so much fun. And then you realize immediately that, oh wait, I'm not getting the leads that I wanted to, what do I need to be doing? And then people think, oh, maybe I should start blogging. And then they start blogging client sessions and then they don't know what to do after that. So today I know that you're gonna share a ton of great information, but before I start asking questions, I want to know is all the info that you're going to share today? A, doesn't matter if a, doesn't matter what website platform we're using. And sh our free options like wix. Okay. And when should people consider upgrading?
Corey Potter: 06:39 Yeah, so I mean it, it does matter. So that's one of these things where a lot of people are telling everyone Google is platform agnostic. It doesn't really matter. And like to some extent that's like got an element of truth to it, but it's not really true. And the thing is if you think about like a camera and a Lens, if you said, does it matter which Lens I use? Well I mean you can still take pictures no matter which lens you use, right? But it absolutely matters which lens you use. It's going to change how you, your perspective when you look through the camera, it's going to change the compression. It's going to change. The all kinds of things are going to change depending on which Lens you put on your camera. It's the same thing with a website platform. It's like if, if, if you use any lens, you'll be able to take a picture of use any platform you'll be able to build a website.
Corey Potter: 07:20 You can potentially rank in Google, but there's gonna be some that are the right website for the right job. And that's why I don't like, it's hard to recommend one specific platform because there are a lot of different applications. There are people who want to do volume sports and need like a proofing system for lots of different people. They're people who do wedding and portrait photography who need, you know, more of a portfolio website and there are a lot of different options out there. But as far as blogging goes, they're really, wordpress is the king of blogging. Absolutely. Like that's why it was invented long ago. And there are other platforms where you can blog Squarespaces and example squarespace's blogging platform doesn't even compare to the power of WordPress's blogging platform. But you can do it and you can rank blog posts on Squarespace and you know there are several others like show.
Corey Potter: 08:07 It uses wordpress for the blogging side. But if you're talking about Photobiz, if you're talking about Zenfolio, they have blog options, but their blog options are very limited. It's extremely difficult to export if you ever want to grow. Technically they have lots of problems with how the pages are indexed and all kinds of things that have to do with more of the technical side of SEO. So I would say like the three platforms that I feel are the best to use if you're planning on blogging or going to be wordpress. Absolutely. Number one, show it, I kind of give them a pass because they use wordpress for the blog side and then Squarespace, if you have to, you can get away with a blog on Squarespace. If you don't have one of those, you probably should upgrade before you put a lot of effort into blogging.
Raymond: 08:51 That's good to know. I as somebody who uses Squarespace as somebody who has said that they're going to switch to wordpress from Squarespace for the past two years and has not, I can tell you that I've, I've definitely encountered a lot of those limitations when it comes to blogging and it can be frustrating. So it's good to hear that you know, that other options might work better. But I really liked that analogy between the the camera and the Lens. That's something that I never have thought of before. And as somebody who's like not an expert on the computer side of things, I really appreciate you having knowledge of both being able to make that a a very clear and understandable. But I mentioned maybe I realized that maybe a lot of people have been listening to the podcast for two plus years and maybe they didn't hear your first interview. So even though I gave you that that introduction, can you kind of share how you got started? Cause like I said, you were a photographer turned SEO master. Can you talk about how you got into photography and then the transition as well?
Corey Potter: 09:51 Sure. I mean, when I got into photography, it was mostly just I had no idea. I, it's funny, it really started with a Google search. That's so ironic. I never made that connection until just now. But my wife said we needed to have engagement session an engagement session or engagement photos. And I was like, that sounds ridiculous. I've never heard of that. No one does that. She's like, yeah, it's really a thing. And I was like, okay, I'll go to Google and search for engagement, photography or whatever. And I did and I looked at some photographers locally who were doing engagement sessions and I was like, oh, this is interesting. I like this, this is cool how there's telling stories and showing connections and relationships. And I was like, well, I'll send you a few emails. So I send some emails and I connected with a photographer who actually needed an assistant at the time.
Corey Potter: 10:34 And then this was like 10 11 years ago. So it wasn't like everyone's emailing photographers for assistance all the time like it is now. And so she was like, I really need someone to help, are you interested? And I was like, sure, I don't have a camera. She's like, you can use mine. And I'm like, okay, cool. And so I went to a few weddings and I was an assistant and I just picked it up really fast and got into wedding photography. I was like, I was going to do another business. I was actually doing SEO websites before then. And I'm like, this is a great business. And I just built a wedding photography business really quickly. I think having a wordpress website before most people did, but everybody else was still using flash websites and being able to optimize it pretty well because of my knowledge of that space had a huge impact on being able to grow the business really fast at that time. And so that's what I did. Did A, a wedding photography business for about eight or nine years. And then we had three kids and I was like, well, not sure I want to do 40 weddings a year. And my wife wanted to spend more time taking care of the kids and she wasn't able to help with some of the day to day stuff. So I was like, I need to build a business that I can grow myself and scale with a team. And that was just better for our family. So that's where I am now.
Raymond: 11:42 I love it. So are you still shooting weddings?
Corey Potter: 11:45 I'm not the only thing I'm doing right now. I sold all of my professional, well I sold all of my canon gear and I bought an Olympus OMD, even whatever something mark too. It's like a really nice, a mirrorless camera that I'm using for blogging, taking pictures of the family, all that kind of stuff. I'm excited about that part of photography. Again, actually getting more into video and kind of like, how does photography relate to video? That's been really fun,
Raymond: 12:11 Right? Yeah. That's something that I focused on a lot in a 2018 as well. And it all came from the, the GoPro. I swear if people are like listening to this, they're gonna think that like, everything that I talk about is just like a giant GoPro ad. But no, honestly, like the GoPro was just kind of made, you know, I, Oprah, there you go. There you go. I look at them like my camera's is like this professional work, you know, and it's hard for me to to separate them between like, oh, I'll do personal stuff here with [inaudible] and then do professional stuff here still with the camera. And I found that the GoPro for me at least as like a working professional who uses cameras day to day it's just really fun. You could throw it in your pocket.
Raymond: 12:50 You never have to worry about it. You know, everybody's always worried about like the best camera bag and protection for their expensive cameras and the GoPro. I just throw it right in my pocket and it, Yep. It does everything and so much fun. And then the software on top of it just takes care of all the editing. I don't have to do anything which is the best part for short. That was supposed to be a segway. I was so by GoPro individually. I was trying to think of how that could be a segway to get back into like technology and software and, and blogging. But I couldn't think of anything right there, the last second. So we'll just end it there. But today we are talking about blogging. And it's obviously a topic that a lot of photographers, maybe those specifically listening to this podcast are gonna look at negatively. I remember when I first started, you know, there's that idea that a picture is worth a thousand words, but it's really not. Right. Especially like today's Day and age. I mean, it can, but chances are yours are not going to be worth a thousand words. So blogging is going to a to help us get found. It's gonna help us get new clients. It's gonna help us grow as photographers. So let's kind of talk about from, from your side of the table, why is blogging so important for photographers?
Corey Potter: 13:58 Sure. Well, I'll tell you right off the bat that blogging, there's kind of a misconception about what blogging actually means. So there are different definitions that you could apply to blogging. And I think that it kind of depends on how you're looking at it, that that could really influence your, you know, preconception of like, is this a negative thing of do I hate it or do I love it? Where, when I say blogging is important, what I mean is creating new, relevant content to people who are looking to hire you. That's important, right? But if it's like keeping a personal photo journal on your website, if that's what you consider blogging, that's probably not as important. So I think it really, it, it's hard because people have this idea of blogging. They think of someone like maybe I'm just kind of an old example, but I think of like Caitlin James whenever she was blogging five times a week for eight years in a row, hardly missing a day.
Corey Potter: 14:52 And that was like an example of extreme. I'm a blogger who, you know, I'm a photographer who's a blogger. Like that's, that's real blogging. But there's also using your website to create new content. And it doesn't have to be in blog format, but a blog is important because it's an easy and natural tool to create new content. So you can just easily take, whether it's a client session or a set of tips or whatever, and post it on your blog in a way that feels natural and easy, and it automatically is new content that can be indexed and make your site more relevant.
Raymond: 15:29 So when you say there that posting things like tips for clients to potentially find us, that's important. Posting like a personal photo blog, that's not so important. When you say those things are or are not important, are you speaking specifically to Google or, or what do you, what'd you mean by that? Yeah, that's, you know, it's really [inaudible]
Corey Potter: 15:48 Good because it's, there's so many different reasons that you may want to blog. And I think that's one big mistake that photographers have is they think I'm going to blog, I hate it, but I'm going to do it because it's good for SEO and that is not always the case. Hang on one second here. I need to turn off these notifications, Ari.
Raymond: 16:09 No, that's fine. They can get Pesky, Huh? Yeah, yeah, it's fine. I find that too, it's like you're, you're in the zone. Like you're having this nice conversation. We've got eye contact and all of a sudden something pops up. It's like, mark replied, I don't care. Sorry about that. Okay. So,
Corey Potter: 16:24 So I guess whenever people blog only for SEO they, they're forgetting about all the other potential good reasons that you could blog. So, you know, I, I mentioned already like one of the most important things is that you're creating new important content. We'll call it cornerstone content. I'm sure we'll talk about that a little bit more. But you could also create content to support your cornerstone content. You can create a natural local relevance. You can network with venues, vendors, I've got some notes here so we can network with venues, vendors, local entities, feature your clients, be seen as an authority, show, potential clients, consistency and variety. Show that you're in demand, develop a style and voice. Like there's so many reasons that you might blog. And actually I was at a talk at imaging last year and this guy was talking about how blogging changed his life.
Corey Potter: 17:13 And if you've ever, you've probably heard of Seth Goden. He has said like, blogging is one of the most important things you can do for personal development. He has a blog where he blogs something every day, I think. And so there, there is this idea that like a personal blog can help you to understand yourself and why you're a photographer and what your style is. And for beginner photographers, it could be that using your blog to put into words the reason that you're taking pictures could have a huge impact on growing as a photographer that people admire not only for your photos but also what you believe. So there is value in that kind of personal blogging, but when I'm talking about it's not as important. I'm talking about for SEO. So when it comes to search engine optimization, a lot of people think if I blog once a week that's going to help me have better rankings automatically.
Corey Potter: 18:07 And that's just not truly what I think. So I'm glad that we're having this conversation. Yeah, it's, it goes around a lot where like if you have a lot of frequent updates, Google loves fresh content, kind of like Google does potentially like fresh content for certain queries. For most photographers, that's just not something that's going to have any impact on ranking. So the thing is like if you're just blogging frequently because you think it's good for Google, it's probably not helping you now to some extremists, like it's not important until it is and that's Kinda how it is with a lot of things with SEO. Like if you stopped blogging and haven't blogged for three years, it's probably going to have some impact on your overall ranking maybe. But there's a lot of sub, there's side effects. I feel like I'm going like all over the place, but there's, there's side effects to blogging regularly and those go back into some of those reasons that I said earlier, but whenever you blog regularly you are showing that you're in demand, you're putting out more work that can build momentum, people are sharing it, people are linking to it, all of this kind of stuff.
Corey Potter: 19:06 So there it's not like you shouldn't blog, you know, at some rhythm. I think that rhythm is important and I typically recommend to people make it at least four times per year. That's the bare minimum. But then I recommend at least once per month putting out some kind of relevant content. And then if you have other things to fill it in, like you have client work, like I said earlier, sometimes you're building content just to support your big cornerstone content. Okay, so that's a great segue into what cornerstone content is. If, if the bare minimum is to blog four times a year, I'm assuming that those four blogs need to be really important and exact that what we talk about when we're talking about cornerstone content. Yeah, it is, and keep in mind that those four pieces of content don't necessarily have to be blog posts.
Corey Potter: 19:57 A lot of people get caught up, is it a page or a post? It doesn't really matter to a search engine on most platforms, a page in a post are treated exactly the same way by a search engine. Maybe on some platforms that may not be the case on the ones I mentioned earlier, the the important ones, it's all the same. So if you make it a page on your site or a post on your site, it's still a piece of cornerstone content if it meets this requirement, basically. Let's give it a little bit of backstory. Why is there cornerstone content? So Google only wants to show one result per domain for a particular query. Now there may be some cases people are like, no way, I've got two results on the first page. It can happen like you can get two results from your domain for some queries, especially if they're not very competitive or if you are like an extreme authority, like you've taken over that compel that that query query being just something that someone is searching for.
Corey Potter: 20:47 So Google wants to show one result per domain. They want to vary it up, they want to make sure it's fair. No one can have a monopoly and have like a hundred pages on their site about a topic and take the first 10 pages of Google search. That would be ridiculous, right? So so typ, typically they want to show one result per domain. So if Google came to you and they said, Hey Raymond, I know you're an authority about wedding photography in Indianapolis, but we want to show just one page of your site whenever someone types in wedding photographer, Indianapolis, which one would you like us to show? And you had to answer with one single page and you're thinking about, hey, someone is out there searching for wedding photographer Indianapolis, what do they want to know and where does that information live on my site and what page would serve their intent? And that's whatever page you answer with to Google. That's your cornerstone content.
Raymond: 21:39 So like my homepage is cornerstone content, is that what you're saying?
Corey Potter: 21:43 Absolutely. Your homepage can be cornerstone content and usually for photographers it makes sense for your homepage to be the biggest piece of cornerstone content for your biggest term. It gets complicated because a lot of people have multiple specialties. And putting all of that on your homepage doesn't always make sense, but you could have an internal page for families. So our Hatfield, photography.com/family and that could be the cornerstone page for families. Or You could have a blog post about the top 10 wedding venues in Indianapolis and that could be a piece of cornerstone content when someone is searching for wedding venues in Indianapolis, places to get married in Indianapolis or terms like that.
Raymond: 22:21 Okay, cool. So I understand that now a cornerstone content is, is obviously very important. And I liked once again your analogy of thinking of Google coming to me and saying, hey, if somebody were to search for this one thing, what would you show them? Cause that does kinda change things up a bit. I think. I've kind of had this idea since, I don't know how it looks behind the curtain. I just kind of do a lot of guessing, I guess. Yeah. And one of those things is, well, if I just put out more content on various topics, then one of those is going to be bound to, to be, be found a lot in Google. It's going to start rigging and then I can put more effort into that. But there has to be a more efficient way than putting out hundreds of pieces of content every year and just hoping that one of them sticks. What do you suggest for that?
Corey Potter: 23:13 Who, that's a really good question. And honestly, it's one of those things where if you have professional grade tools, it makes it a little bit easier. There are tools out there like what I use h refs is a tool where I can do all kinds of research on competitors, find out what they're ranking for, find out which pages on their site are performing the best for them. Get a list of topics that way. But if you don't have that kind of thing, you can still do manual research where you go to Google, you type in a phrase, let's say I just want to go after a, a bigger phrase like wedding Indianapolis. Well, if I just go to Google and type that in, Google's going to give me a lot of clues about what kinds of things I should cover on that topic. It's going to have potentially suggested searches at the bottom.
Corey Potter: 23:57 It might have an autofill suggestion at the top. It might have websites that are not necessarily home pages that have information that I can go and look and see why is this page ranking. There's a lot of that kind of like competitive analysis and and just regular surp like search engine result page analysis that I can do to figure out what Google wants to show. I think that's a good thing. I really do think that it comes down to being an expert in your industry and knowing what your clients want. So one good thing you can do is look back at your emails, look back at your consultations and say, what are people asking me over and over again? And how can I write something authoritative and comprehensive on that question? I know for me, whenever I did consult a lot with as a wedding photographer, a lot of my clients were like, we don't know where we want to do an engagement session.
Corey Potter: 24:45 We know we want to do engagement photos. We have no idea. Can you make some suggestions? So guess what I did, I made a blog post that was 19 of the best places to do engagement sessions in Columbia, South Carolina. Well, no one else was covering this topic, right? Like it was maybe one or two other posts out there had three or four suggestions, but I did 19 and I'm like now anytime someone asks I can just give them this. But guess what? That page started ranking so well because I found a need that a lot of people have and in that it covered a wide range of queries, a lot of things that people are searching for, where to take pictures, where did take engagement, pictures, where to do outdoor engagement sessions, all of these things that people are searching that post did a really good job of covering that.
Corey Potter: 25:25 So as far as like, you know when I say make four pieces of content a year, that piece of content alone still that, that's like three years old on my blog and I haven't updated it since. And I think last time I checked it brought in 400 clicks in a month. Oh my gosh. Just from one piece of content and so like, yeah, if you could do that kind of thing three times a year, imagine in three years you could have, what is that? That's like 16, let's, let's like 5,000 clicks a month. If you did that for three years straight and only four times a year.
Raymond: 25:57 Yeah, that's a, that's insane. That's, yeah, that's quite a bit, that's quite a bit for sure. So W my, my next question for you is when it came to coming up with the 19 places to do engagement sessions was there a reason behind 19 like, cause that's, that's Kinda where I get stuck because I'll look at a piece and be like, Oh, I'd like 20 places to, you know, get engaged in India. I was like, well if I'm going to do 21 right and I feel like that number matters, but does it really
Corey Potter: 26:27 Can matter. There are lot of studies out there that are really interesting about like click through rate psychology and whether you should use odd numbers and which numbers and this kind of stuff I have researched some of that in 19 I think was intentional, but it doesn't really matter the idea. There's this, this technique out there in SEO called skyscraper method. You could even just go Google skyscraper SEO and you'll get an idea of what this is all about, but basically it is you find a piece of content out there and then you create something 10 times better so like you're looming over them and that was the idea for me is like the best one out there had three or five or seven or something. I'm like I've got to have more than that for this to be comprehensive but not just 70 no, there probably aren't.
Corey Potter: 27:07 Well that could be 70 this is it. That's an interesting thing because in my group recently I was like what if instead of going wide you just spent a long time going really, really deep on something. Like what if I did find 70 places, like I found these random parking lots and you know, little private or public areas that are like, what did it like? I just random places all over the city and I made a blog post about each one are one big blog posts with all of them. I could literally become known as the go to source for where to do portrait sessions or whatever in my city. I mean that builds authority as a photographer. Other photographers are going to start emailing me and asking me questions, which might kind of get annoying after awhile. But, but I mean the idea is like if, if people, other people are sending my resource to their clients, that could be really powerful.
Corey Potter: 27:57 I could start getting more backlinks and all that kind of stuff. So it, you know, that's the idea. It's like I just, for 19 I just like wrote down everyone I could think of where I had some sort of picture to put on there. But it can be any number. I have another post that's five of my favorite wedding venues and Columbia are seven, I think it's seven but it's not very many and it's like that post is also doing about as well as the other posts and it's just because no one was covering that topic very well. In some cities like Indianapolis, you're probably going to have several people who have already created a venue list, but there are probably a lot of listeners out there who don't have anyone who has put out a list of places to take family sessions or engagement sessions or maternity sessions or or whatever. Or they haven't put out a good venue list and you could just put a few and already be the authority.
Raymond: 28:42 Wow. so this obviously is, is a lot of work, right? There's no denying that there's a lot of work that needs to be put in for SEO and coming up with a list of places to get married or, or, or have a portrait session I think is probably a great place to start. But what if you are a sports or high volume photographer? Do you have any examples of what these other photographers could be posting as cornerstone content?
Corey Potter: 29:13 Yeah, and that's, that's a really good question. I've been thinking a lot about, I've been trying to come up with examples in like every industry and there are, there's a large variety for anything. And it takes some creative thinking, but I'll give a few examples. So I'll start with like newborn photographers often have a really hard time. They like do the same thing in studio a lot and they don't know what to do. There's a million ideas, but one piece of success that I've seen from one studio is that they, they did cake smash sessions at one year. And this may be that people are like, well, I'm a newborn. I don't do that. But if you do something like that I had one client who in a major metro ranked in the first position for cakes, mashed sessions and started getting maybe 30 inquiries a week from, from just cake smash sessions because for some reason a lot of people were searching for it in that city.
Corey Potter: 30:04 And so, you know, it's like sometimes there are things that are a, a tangent of what you do now. It could be that it's not that direct if you're at like a high school senior photographer. One of the things that I would do if I were a senior photographer because there's only so much you can cover like locations to do senior sessions, what to wear to a senior session, how to prepare for your senior session, when should you do, you're seeing like, you know, you get those kinds of questions right? But once you've done all of that, what do you do next? Well, I mean think about the things that are important to people who are in high school and think about how you can write something that's relevant to local high school seniors. And one example, are there families, right? So one example I thought of a long time ago and I actually did a little bit of work around it and started to see a lot of results really quickly was I put up on my website.
Corey Potter: 30:51 Again, this was a really long time ago, but I put a, a high school football schedule for my region. So like all the major high schools in my area, I put up the football schedule on a page. You would not believe how many people were searching for a high school football schedule. Really. It was insane. But like no one would think of that on their photography site. Like right. You wouldn't think I need to put the football schedule up, but you could even though it's already posted somewhere else, put that, put some pictures to games you've been to, you know, show that you care about the things that they care about the community. There's so many other examples like that where you just have to get creative. So that's the thing I would do with volume, sports or high school seniors. I'd start to think about what do these people care about that's related to what I do and how can I cover something that people are searching.
Speaker 4: 31:35 Hey guys, Raymond here. I just wanted to take a quick break from today's chat to let you know that you are listening to the free version of this interview. And if you like what you hear from today's guests, you can hear the full interview and get access to the entire back catalog of past interviews by simply becoming a premium member of the podcast for just $10 a month by signing up email@example.com forward slash beginner photography podcast. And if you're driving, we'll know where he's, the link is on our homepage at beginner photography podcast, [inaudible] dot com also, so sign up now and if it's not everything that you hoped it could be, no worries. Cancel anytime within the first 30 days and I will happily give you your money back. That's it. I appreciate you all. I hope to see you on the inside. That would be [inaudible]
Corey Potter: 32:22 Strategy I would be pursuing right now if I were still doing wedding photography done.
Raymond: 32:27 That's what I'm gonna do. Corey. That was a great idea, the great idea. And suddenly it's like I already kind of put in the work on the back end to put everything together and now just putting it all together like you just did there made so much more sense and in alleviates a lot of that work load as well. So thank you for sharing that. I definitely got my money's worth out of this interview today. So let's Kinda, let's kind of move on now. You've been doing SEO for four years, right? You are also a photographer like we talked about. So I think that you are the perfect person to ask this question specifically, especially because I saw it in, in, in your brief that you sent over. What kind of content does Google want to see specifically from photographers? Because one of the ideas that I had was pictures like we talked about in the beginning post a lot of pictures, right? Does Google want to see pictures? Do they want to see texts? Do they want to see video? What kind of content does Google want tailored to photographers?
Corey Potter: 33:34 Yeah. So the best way to answer your question is to tell you that you need to go and do a Google search to figure that out because it's going to vary per query. So whenever I type in best places to do engagement sessions, I'm probably gonna get an answer box and it probably has a list of entities in it. That's something that's very different than if I type in wedding photographer Columbia, SC, because I'm probably going to get a map pack and it's probably going to have locations from Google my business. I might get a I might get a set of pictures and that search results, I might get a video carousel and those search results, you need to go and look and see what kind of serp features Google is using. And that will give you a huge clue into what type of content they want to display for that.
Corey Potter: 34:18 And then another thing I would do is look and see our homepage is ranking mostly our internal pages ranking mostly. So like just slashed family for example, on your site or our blog post ranking. Mostly you'll find some queries were only blog posts are shown, right? So if they're like really informational or research based in nature, Google really leans towards showing blog posts with lots of texts content. Whereas for photographers, people are like, you need more texts, you need more texts. Yes, you do. Probably need more text. Most of our members do. But the idea is that the text should serve the intent of someone who's trying to complete a certain task. So if I'm searching for Indianapolis wedding photographer, I'm looking to hire a local business in Indianapolis who photographs weddings, right? So what are all the signals that I can send to Google and say, I'm a local business.
Corey Potter: 35:08 While you've got Google my business set up, you've got an address in the city if possible, you've got a phone number with the right area code. You've got photos that include landmarks in that city. You've got like all these things that kind of come together. You know, just keep building out from that. You have blog posts that mention specific things that are really what Indianapolis is known for. If you have all of that, you start to become locally relevant. You start to become known as a business by having like this, this the tricky part for, for photographers. Google my business with a physical address makes a big difference in showing up for these kinds of local queries. And a lot of people don't have that. It's a home address. They don't have a studio, they just don't want to show their home address, whatever.
Corey Potter: 35:51 And so I know that's getting into a lot of a different topic, but the idea here is that you have to figure out what's important to a particular query. And then when it comes to ranking for Indianapolis wedding photographer, it's going to be a different set of factors that Google is weighing. Then whenever it comes to ranking for best places to have your wedding makeup done in Indianapolis, probably gonna show very different content fracking, those two queries, probably not. Probably gonna be blog posts in that case. But you know, if I typed in where to have my makeup done for my wedding in Indianapolis a really long thing, but you know, you get the idea, it's something like that versus wedding makeup inspiration. You see how those two are also going to have two very different intense, the person who typed in inspiration, they absolutely want to see more pictures, right?
Corey Potter: 36:45 And so if you typed in wedding makeup inspiration Indianapolis, you're probably going, I haven't done it, but you're probably going to get a larger image set on the organic search. So if you just do it, regular Google search are probably gonna get more multiple rows of image results there. And that's how to tell you, like you need to have a page that has some strong images that are similar to the ones shown in the imagery, that that's the kind of thing people don't necessarily think about. If I go to Google and I type in, this is like, that's such a random example, I'm gonna use it again, like wedding makeup, inspiration, Indianapolis. And I see 10 image images that show up there and they're all closeups of a bride's face, every single one of them. And I'm trying to optimize with my alt text and my page and all this stuff.
Corey Potter: 37:30 Stuff that's like farther away, you know, full body shots, something like that. I'm missing the mark because Google knows I need to have a full face in this photo. Google's image recognition these days is insanely good. So they're going to look for patterns. And the machines are doing this, by the way, it's not like humans. So yeah. So the machines can see close up of a face, close up of a face, close up of her face. And if yours isn't a close up of a face, they're gonna be like, doesn't it fit? And that's the kind of thing, like if you're in, you're asking what kind of content does Google want to see? Typically, right now, one of the best things you can do is look at the current body of content that's ranking and do something that's either a similar to that or be very different than that. That serves an intent that you know, is there that Google just hasn't started to serve yet. I gotcha.
Raymond: 38:20 This is a lot like I knew, I knew before this interview that it was going to be a really hard interview for, for three reasons. One of them is that there's no, there's no one size fits all. No. The second one is that SEO is, is Kinda, it's like it can't be personalized. This, this interview right here. Yeah. And the last one is that SEO is always changing, right? So for those three reasons, I knew that this was going to be hard to interview, but I know that I picked up a lot of great information here and I think that you shared a lot of great information that a, the beginners are going to understand as well. And if they don't, it's going to inspire them to learn more. I hope. I think that's going to be the case.
Corey Potter: 39:03 Yeah. And I would love to hear people come into your group and ask like, okay, you talked a lot about wedding examples, but you didn't use a single butwhen. Can you give some of those? I'd be happy to answer those kinds of [inaudible].
Raymond: 39:14 So you heard it, Cory's already in the group, so just go ahead and come into the group and ask those questions, but I want to know before I let you go. I want to know since you teach SEO for two photographers, you've been a photographer, what do you think is the hardest thing about SEO for photographers to grasp, to understand?
Corey Potter: 39:36 Hmm. I think that's a really good question. Hmm. I think that photographers usually just think about the, the basics, like keywords, putting in keywords and tags and people are always asking me like, can you just do my SEO for me? And they think I'm going to like go into the backend and do some like advanced stuff and add some random tags to things. And that's going to make them rank. And I think that they're really missing the entire point altogether. I've tried to talk about it quite a few times here, but the entire point of SEO is to figure out what people are searching for and to serve that, the intent behind that search. Whenever I go and type something into Google, what do I actually want to do? What do I actually want to know? If I want to know how much does it cost to hire an Indianapolis wedding photographer?
Corey Potter: 40:30 You need to include something about pricing on that page or you're not answering the intent behind the search and I think that the other big thing that really comes with a lot of photographers is they have multiple things they're trying to target. They're trying to target wedding photography and family photography and newborn photography and organizing their site in a way that doesn't put all of that onto one page but makes their internal pages strong enough to rank for those terms. It can be mind boggling even for me to come up with structures for people that they can follow. I think that's one of the things that it's tough. It's tough to come up with something that really works well for the type of client that you're trying to attract and the way that you want to show your work, but also makes technical sense to a search engine and gives the signals that they need to see. So those are the hardest things. People just miss the point and they think it's about tags and keywords and of course that's part of it, but it's not the main point. And then site structure, just being completely off.
Raymond: 41:30 Okay, well there you have it. Even though I learned a lot from this this interview, I know that I still need help when it comes to SEO. I'm sure that people listening still need help when it comes to SEO. So Corey wrapped this up, where can they find you online and get help
Corey Potter: 41:47 If they need it? Okay, so website is fuel your photos.com have a really active Facebook group. Feel your photos is the name of it. You can probably find it by searching. And I have if you go to the website, [inaudible] dot com I have a tab for services. I have a tab for course that's launching here in a few weeks. So a lot of stuff there on the website and in the group.
Raymond: 42:06 Perfect. Corey, man, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I'm excited to hear everybody's response and I know that there's going to be some questions for you in the Facebook group, so, so look out for that. But again, thank you so much for coming on. Yeah, thanks for having me. If you're feeling a little bit overwhelmed right now, I totally understand, right? I think as a beginner, you know that you probably should have a website, but you don't exactly know what to do with that website. And now hearing a lot of terms that maybe you haven't heard before can feel like, like a lot. But I really hope that you didn't tune out because if you listened to Cory's message, what he said is, is, is invaluable. Right? And he got into this, some of the technicals, but some of the bigger picture ideas, and this was definitely my biggest takeaway, right?
Raymond: 42:49 When I first started blogging, I thought that each blog post was kind of like its own entity, right? It was its own thing. That's it. I made it. It's done. That's his thing. Whatever happens, it happens to it. I was no longer in control of its destiny. That was the thing, right? But what Cory shared and he really changed, you know my, my perspective on thing is think about if Google came to you and said, Hey Raymond, you know, what's the one piece of content that you want us to show of yours? If somebody comes looking for wedding photography or engagement photography, and suddenly it's like, wow, well there's, there's a lot of information. It's not just one blog post. You know, if somebody's searching for wedding photography in Indianapolis, I don't want them to see a guide to getting, you know, a style guide.
Raymond: 43:37 You know, maybe that would help some of them if that's what they're searching for. That's what I want them to find. But if they're searching for like wedding photography or engagement photography in Indianapolis, I want to show them a lot more information and creating one post, one piece of cornerstone content that is like, you know you know, you said you're engaged. Now it's time to start planning your engagement session. First thing that you need to do is figure out, you know, where are you going to where are you going to have your engagement session? And if you're looking for ideas, here's my other blog post a million, you know, different locations around Indianapolis to have your engagement photos and I want you to pick your year location. Now you got to think about you know, what you're gonna wear. So here's my styling guide for engagement photos in Indianapolis for the winter or the summer, you know, the fall, the autumn, you know, whatever it is.
Raymond: 44:20 And then once you pick out that, now you've got to figure out if you want, you know, what sorts of props you want, what sorts of photos you want, you know, and then give information on that as well. And suddenly this one article, which is just bullet points, right? It's like pick a location, forget what you're going to wear, you know, and then any, any additionals isn't that how so much more because it's linked to other blog posts on my site that they can find helpful information. And that changed the way that I think about my blog and Corey for that. I cannot thank you enough. Honestly, I can't it's, it's, I've, I've been working feverously ever since our interview to kind of change up things on my website to a to ensure that well I guess not to ensure, I guess that's the wrong word, but like to, to, to kind of fit this mold that, that Google is looking for because not even just Google just brides, right?
Raymond: 45:12 Like it like it makes sense if you, if you put out a blog post that's like, hey, you know, you need to pick a location, you need to figure out what you're going away, you need to figure out all the extras and then that's it. You didn't give any of that extra info, like you didn't link to it. Like you have those blog posts, but you didn't link to them. Suddenly you're not, you're not thinking about your, the visitor, you're thinking about, you know, yourself. You're just hoping for more website clicks and that's it. But linking those other blogs is helpful to them. And that is what is a, obviously most important. So Corey, again, thank you so much for coming on and if you have any questions for Corey, if you're listening and you have any questions for Corey Ledcor, he said at the end of the interview there he will be in the beginning photography podcast, Facebook group, which if you're in it right now, you're, you're good.
Raymond: 45:54 You're set. You can go ahead and ask away, but if you're not in it again, just search Google for beginner photography podcast, Facebook group. Maybe you don't need the word Facebook group in there, but you did I say search Google for a beginner for dogs, the podcast Facebook group. I wonder if that works. Anyway, try that. And if it doesn't go to Facebook and search, begin a photography podcast. Feel free to join, answer three questions. That's it. I just need to confirm that you're human and that you really want to be in the group. And if you don't answer those three questions, you're not getting in. No ifs, ands, or buts. Sorry about you. Okay, so that is it for this week. Until next week, I want you to get out. I want you to keep shooting. I want you to focus on yourself and I want you to stay safe. All right. That's it. I love y'all.
Speaker 2: 46:35 If you enjoy today's podcast, please leave us a review in iTunes or your favorite podcast player and continue the conversation with Raymond and other listeners of the podcast by joining the beginner photography podcast Facebook group today. Thank you. We'll see you again next week.