Keywords for Wedding Photographers

by Jul 17, 2018Photographer SEO

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An Integral part of performing search engine optimization for wedding photographers is keyword research. There are many considerations when choosing the best keywords for your wedding photography website. Choosing the right keywords can make the difference between attracting the right brides, and drawing the wrong bride. Misaligned keywords can lead to getting stuck in a cycle of attracting brides that do not align with your style, personality, and business goals.

Two Types of Keywords: Core & Long-tail

To select the right keywords, we need to first break keywords up into two categories. The first category is ‘core’ keywords. The second category is long-tail keywords. Core keywords are keywords that are found on your core pages. Long-tail keywords are keywords that have low volume and low competition.

Core Keywords

Your core pages include your home page, about page, gallery page, pricing page, and other ‘static’ pages. These keywords are going to be bigger regarding volume and popularity. Long-tail keywords are smaller volume and lower in popularity. Your core keyword is going to be aligned with your services and your location. Every location has a different iteration or variation of the same keyword. Typically a core keyword is something along the lines of ‘[city] + wedding photographer.’ Other iterations would be ‘wedding photographers in [city]’, or ‘[city] + wedding photographers.’

Core Keyword Mistakes

The tendency for SEO professionals and business owners working on their SEO is to find an iteration of that keyword that they can rank for. They look for versions of keywords that have low competition but have high volume. The temptation is to pick a smaller town or suburb nearby and rank for that because it is less competitive.

Core Keyword Best Practices

What we recommend, and what has been working is to simply use the most significant keyword, in terms of volume, in your area. It is vital that that keyword inaccurate. For example, if you live in Ft. Worth, Texas, you would not want to say that you are a Dallas wedding photographer. If you live in Dallas, you should say you’re a ‘Dallas wedding photographer.’ If you’re in Fort Worth, you should say you’re a Fort Worth wedding photographer. Now, if you are in Frisco, which is 30 minutes north of Dallas, you would use ‘Dallas wedding photographer,’ because you are in the rural suburb of Dallas. Suburbs, like Frisco, do not get significant search volume.

Core Keyword Research: Tools and Tips

When performing keyword research for your core keywords, you want to use tools like:

  • Keywords Anywhere
  • Moz
  • Ahrefs
  • Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

These tools help determine which iteration and locations have the highest volume and are the most popular. Newer photographers are likely not going are rank for these keywords anytime soon. However, don’t worry because we get our traffic and book our weddings through our long-tail keywords, in which we’ll talk about below.

As you have determined, there is no real formula for a good core keyword. We typically find the highest volume and most relevant keywords and ignore the competition level. Once you have selected the core keyword, you now need to implement it amongst your core pages. Down below is a chart of some examples of different pages and different uses of the core keywords on those pages.


Long-tail Keywords

Now that you have selected your core keywords, we now need to choose our long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are keywords that have low volume and low competition. It makes them easy to rank. Long-tail keywords allow us to showcase vendors we’ve worked with, venues, your style, your personality, business information, frequently asked questions, ideal brides, and examples of how you’ve done work in various scenarios.

Why Long-tail Keywords

The name long-tail comes from geometry. It is used to describe the long-tail of the bell curve. Long-tail keywords are going to be your primary source of traffic from Google. They help you get discovered by brides who are not actively looking for a wedding photographer. Long-tail keywords can also help you get found by brides who are looking for a wedding photographer, with a specific attribute, or experience at one particular venue, or experience working with a specific vendor. Long-tail keywords also contribute to the expertise and authority of your website and elevate the core pages to allow them to rank for your core keywords. Without long-tail content, also known as blog posts or silo pages, it is unlikely that your core pages can rank for any substantial keyword.

Types of Long-tail Keywords

To identify long-tail keywords, you are going to look for opportunities to create content that brides are searching for during their wedding planning. Through our research, we have found that the most substantial category of long-tail keywords is wedding venues. Another type of long-tail keyword would be wedding vendors. Below is a list of other long-tail keyword categories. In this article, we cover wedding venues and wedding vendors.

“Wedding Venue & Vendor” Long-tail Keywords

Wedding venues are one of the first things brides search for once they are engaged. Brides spend more money on the venue than any other part of the wedding. Brides devote more time and effort in identifying and procuring the venue than any other aspect of the wedding. It’s typical for a bride to spend 20 to 30 and sometimes up to 50 + hours online, searching and researching venues. As photographers, we have unique content about venues. Specifically, we have images. With a little bit of research, creative writing, and a well-executed blog post of silo page, we can present our view of the venue and our uniques images that we photographed at the venue. These types of pages rank well when a bride searches a venue’s branding.

We typically see that Google reserves two or three spots on page one of a branded search for a venue for photographers, meaning that there are usually two or three photographers who rank on page one when you google a venue’s name. This placement in these search engine result pages is an ideal place to get found by a bride. When a bride sees your experience with a venue, and your images, you are more likely to be considered when they get to the stage of their wedding planning where they are hiring a wedding photographer. For details on implementing these practices, check out this article on image optimization and this article on blogging.

The concept behind ranking for wedding vendors is the same. Brides search for wedding vendors, and then they search the vendors by their name or business name, to seek out examples of their work, reviews, and any reason why they shouldn’t hire them. Brides tend to find value in hiring two vendors that have worked together and that possibly even know each other. Their goal is to have a smooth day, and when the vendors can get along, it can make the day go smoother.

“Tips for Brides” Long-tail Keywords

Another category is ‘tips for brides.’ Because wedding photography SEO is categorized as local SEO, we are rewarded by using and creating local content. For example, top 10 wedding venue alternatives for when it’s raining on your wedding day in St. Louis. Another example, five locations to buy last-minute wedding party gifts in Los Angeles. By curating and creating this content, you are showing expertise and authority. Additionally, you are becoming an expert and an authority, because you’re doing the research. You can use third-party tools, such as those listed above, to discover other long-tail topics and keyword ideas.

Long-tail Keyword Research: Tools and Tips

An excellent long-tail discovery tool is BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo aggregates content on various topics and shows their social media popularity. You can enter in a topic, such as wedding photography, and it lists out the most recent and popular articles, in and around, and related to wedding photography. You can enter in other topics, such as wedding dresses, wedding venues, and other wedding commodities. BuzzSumo reveals a list of popular topics that you can take and put your spin on them. You also want to make sure that you put a local spin on them as well.

The other tools we listed can help you evaluated your competitor’s websites to determine which content that is on their website, is the most popular with Google and with social. By seeing the pattern of what’s popular and seeing what brides and their audiences are attracted to, can help you to guide your way to discovering your selection of topics. After years of conducting this specific research, below is a list of 100 keyword topic ideas for wedding photographers.

Content Planning

After you have discovered your target long-tail keyword opportunities, you create content and publish them on your website. I recommend putting together a content plan and map out at least six months worth or blog posts. You include the dates that you intend on publishing each piece of content. A content plan helps you stay on schedule, on target, and motivated to keep your content wheel in motion.