Lacey sends to us:
I have designed and ordered return address label stickers as client gifts when they purchase multiple boxes of press-printed cards. It makes a wonderful surprise and is the perfect way to send out their cards to family and friends! In addition to holiday cards as shown, I also recently designed coordinating photo return address labels as a gift to accompany the boxes of press-printed birth announcements my client ordered! She loved them, of course!
These sticker can be ordered in Color by You or Color by CPQ (or the Press Product Creator) – 2×3.5 stickers (60 in a set)
Check out our special ~ good until Tues. Oct 12th at midnight.
Color by You and Color by CPQ software only.
Hurry and don’t miss out!
When ranking a website, Google considers more than 200 variables or signals to help them rank the best sites at the top. Their method is complex, but their goal is quite simple; to provide the absolute best result for a search query. Read that last sentence again. Every effort you make toward a better ranking on Google must be filtered through the idea of providing an excellent solution to a search query.
Today, I’d like to share an SEO tip with you that can really contribute to your search engine ranking. Granted, this is just one of the 200 points to be considered by Google, but I have found it to be an important factor in determining a site’s ranking. I’m talking about the idea of your web site’s theme.
When I use the term web site theme, I’m referring to the big picture or overall concept that a search engine gathers from your site and from the sites that link to you. For a high ranking on Google, you need a strong on-site and off-site theme that communicates a clear and focused message.
Most photographers use gallery-based web sites. This presents both an opportunity and a problem. The opportunity is that you have a fantastic chance to make a great first impression by showcasing your best work. The problem, however, is that search engines read text, not images. Therefore, ranking high with a website that’s almost entirely made of images can present a special challenge for photographers. The good news is that a strong web site theme can help you overcome this obstacle.
Creating a focused theme for your web site
So, how is a web site theme created? The truth is that your web site has had a theme, of some kind, from the moment you put it together. The question is; how clear of a message does your site communicate and is your message telling the search engine the right story?
As I mentioned previously, there are two kinds of themes that you should pay attention to; your on-site theme and your off-site theme.
Building your on-site theme
Since Google’s crawling software (a.k.a. Goolebot) can’t read images; it needs text to capture the essence of your site. There are many ways that you can help Google get the right message about you. Here are four:
1. Name the images on your site with subject and/or geography-related names. For instance, an image named San_Antonio_wedding.jpg has a much clearer meaning than one called image_50136.jpg
2. Use descriptive text near your images when you can–surrounding it with relevant copy that relates to your theme. For example, you could write, A recent shot from one of our weddings on the San Antonio River Walk to describe a new photo. Can you see how this would help Google know that you’d like to be ranked as a photographer working in the San Antonio area?
3. Use ALT tags when possible and when it makes sense. Just don’t go overboard and repeat “wedding photography” in 100 different ALT tags. Google knows when you’re trying to trick it into a better ranking. This is called keyword-stuffing and can yield harsh penalties from the search engine giant. Instead, use the first three or four ALT tags on each page and go with a variety of wording like “San Antonio Engagement Photo” for one and something like “Engagement Photo on the River Walk” for another.
4. Another way to contribute to your on-site theme is to make sure that your page copy correlates with your most important keyword phrases. In other words, if you shoot in San Antonio, then write about weddings and wedding photography in San Antonio. By the way, if your blog has the same URL as your site, (ex: www.mysite.com/blog) you have a perfect opportunity to constantly add new, related content–that can help boost your site ranking– and Google loves new content!
The takeaway: Your page copy and appropriately named images contribute to your on-site theme. Make sure you’re using them in a focused manner.
How to bolster you off-site theme
Your off-site theme is just as important as your on-site theme. That’s because the off-site theme is built through incoming links from other sites—something Google really likes to see. If you have a good number of incoming links from subject-related sites, it can really boost your ranking. However, if a number of your incoming links arrive from web sites containing lots of unrelated content, you’re probably sending a watered-down, conflicting message to Google. A conflicting message creates a weak theme and a weak theme hinders ranking.
If I wanted to rank high under the keyword phrase, Wedding Photography in San Antonio, I would not want a lot of incoming links from unrelated pages. Google notes the central idea of the pages linking to your site and includes this information in its ranking calculations. The overall theme of those incoming links will either contribute or take away from your own theme and consequently, your ranking.
Be careful who you link to and who links to you. Create a singularly focused message in your page copy and in the copy surrounding your images. The real question to ask, as you review your site, is this: Is my message clear and am I offering the absolute best result for a search query?