How do you get so many people to visit your website is the question I’m asked frequently when they discover my stats.
It comes down to several factors. In no particular order they are:
Frequent updates (Weekly if not more)
Having a domain name
My website has been operational for over fifteen years. I know. Still quite young. However, CJP Photos has been in existence long enough that it can be found in all the search engines. Speaking of which:
How do search engines find a particular website among the plethora of sites available?
That leads me to my next three factors. Let’s take them one at at time:
The web crawls through the entire Internet and the more frequently you add content to your own website, the more routinely, crawlers will visit your site. Every time you add content, crawlers will search your site for that new update you’ve added. The more content in the crawler’s mechanism, the greater the likelihood of being found. The BEST way to add content to a photographer’s website is by writing a blog. Make sure your webhost, be it:
Or any number of the other photography services available offer you the opportunity to have a blog attached to your website. The link should look like:
What you don’t want is a separate website for your blog, because that won’t help your photography site. If you decide to blog, it’s a good thing to set a schedule and stick to it. Weekly is the best schedule to use and it is important to pick a day you’ll be publishing and maintain that day consistently. Your readers will come to expect your column.
Some will tell you that keywording has lost some of its status over the past several years. I still see it as relevant when used properly. The words you choose to use should be relevant to your business. If you’re primarily a landscape photographer, make sure you use that word. What state you live in should be emphasized as well. In my own case, the words I choose to emphasize are:
Connecticut & New England Landscape & Nature Photography.
Madison, Connecticut Photographer
Christopher Jennings Penders
These words show up on EVERY page of my website at the footer. They are also inserted as keywords throughout each individual gallery/page. Now when someone searches these words together or individually in any combination, my website SHOULD appear on the first page of any search engine you use. Using Keywords and frequently updating your website together will help you increase your presence online. Having a specific domain name is just as important.
If you are indeed serious about your business, it is important to own a domain name and use it. Most web services let you use THEIR domain with your site. In other words:
You can use a service such as smugmug without owning a domain. Your link will show:
Yourdomaindotsmugmugdotcom or some such connotation. Every webhost will let you do this. But it doesn’t look professional and it's likely that potential customers won’t be drawn to visit, thus decreasing your stats, thus decreasing your relevancy on the web, thus decreasing the potential for web crawlers to pay attention to you.
The number of visitors you get also plays a small role in how often crawlers visit your site. Any way you can increase your stats is something you should do. The last factor I want to discuss is:
Having a marketing plan is another important factor to consider when drawing people to your website. What are some things you can do to market your site:
Links to your site
Creating links to your site online is one of the single best ways to draw people to your site.
--In your email, you should create a signature with your website link.
--When blogging, link to previous columns that are relevant to your latest column.
--Ask other artists/photographers to trade links. Reciprocal linking only works if both sites are in the same industry. In other words, a photographer and car dealer won’t help each other, In fact with Google cracking down on non relevant reciprocal linking, it could hurt you. If you want to discover where your links appear online, you can type in:
Linksdotyourdomandotcom to Google.
Social Media still works as traffic driver. It’s best to diversify your portfolio. Don’t invest all your time on one platform. Facebook is the biggest draw. Just because it is the biggest doesn’t mean you should avoid the others. Twitter, Pinterest and to a smaller degree Google+ are also places to look at. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Google has dropped the ball with it’s social platform. Google+ started of with such promise. So much so that I left Facebook. You can read about my experience by clicking Google dropped the ball. I’m sad to see how much G+ has changed since its inception.
Having logowear is something I take advantage of and if you click on the logo link above and read through the entire column you’ll understand why it is so important to use logowear.
So I gave you lots to digest this week. My advice is to save this column and come back to it regularly and continue doing your best to follow the advice you think will help.
In the meantime:
Focus on what's ahead of you.