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PPA Today

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By Lisa Sharer


If you've read our previous article Marketing 101 for Photographers, you may have a general idea of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Now, let's break it down to exactly how it works, and what you can do to optimize your websites for search engines... and ultimately get more clients from improved search results.

Top Level Search Engine Marketing Factors

You probably know of some widely used search engines like Google.com, Yahoo.com, or Bing.com. These sites decide what rank to give to your website amongst the other photography businesses out there in the world and this directly impacts how far up your studio's name appears in a search results page. How they do that raking is a more involved process that you might want to learn to help you improve your own SEO ranking.

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Search engines sort the search results they serve based off a few different factors:

  • Content - Does your content match the search of your potential client?

  • Site Structure and Internal Links - Is it user friendly, and do all your links work?

  • Geographical Location - Are you in or nearby the city where the client is looking for photography?

  • Mobile Optimization - Is your site easy to use on a mobile device (phone, tablet, e-reader, etc.)?

  • Loading Time - How long does it take for your site to load its content (photos, videos, etc.)?

  • Social Signals - Are you getting traffic from social media platforms?

Search engines have "bots" or "crawlers" that visit websites and check each of the items above. Once they have tested those items they then compare your website to other similar websites. Your ranking will depend on how you fare against those sites, which is why it's imperative that you make sure each item is performing at its best.

Improve Your Ranking with Authority & Relevance

Google.com, Yahoo.com, or Bing.com all use two common criteria within the algorithm used to produce search results. And while they all evaluate them differently, there are two key factors for you to understand as they will help with your optimization: 

Authority- A website shows its level of credibility based off how many links tie it to other websites. This is what search engines call the level of 'online authority' and this is where you look to other sites and influencers to help raise your site's authority. When a search engine finds your site through an outside link, it's showing it that you have enough authority that other people/sites trust your content. Beware though, it's not the quantity of links that helps you but their quality. For example, a direct link from PPmag.com would fare better than JoeSchmoPhotography.net.

Relevance-  The content on your site must be relevant to photography or some version of your expertise (portraiture, wedding, etc.) in order to rank higher. That means you'll need to use keywords that speak directly to what your photography business offers to your prospective clients. It's not just the words on your landing pages that you'll need to keep an eye on, though. You'll also want to make sure that your URLs and text formatting are shouting about your business. For example, when PPA wanted to tell you how insurance could help protect photographers, then we created the link PPA.com/BeMoreProtected. Likewise, to emphasize the content relevance of a blog post, it earn will you more SEO brownie point if you embed keywords in the headlines of your blog post, and it is even better yet if you bold keyword-related phrases. Make sure to keep those small things in mind when creating any kind of content, as they make a large difference to the search engines that crawl your site.

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Keywords

When someone does a search online, they generally type in a few keywords. For instance, photographer or family portraits in [location]. These keywords are important to make sure you are attracting quality leads. Of course, it would be amazing to rank #1 for photographer, but if you're not Wikipedia, that's not likely to happen. That's why long tail keywords have become more important than ever to your SEO strategy. You'll need keyword lists in order to run search ads, but it's also important to think about these keywords when creating content for your site.

Remember, those search engine results pages are looking for relevant and authoritative information to improve your ranking. So you will want to include information and keywords that are specific to your specialty and locale. Rather than just "portrait studio," maybe you'll want to include things like "outdoor family photography in [city]" or "high school senior photography in [area]," etc.

Most photographers overlook the power and importance of long tail keywords. Getting by on the basic short tail keyword is fast and takes little to no research. So, of course, we want to get things done quick and easy. However, if you take that route you're missing out on a huge opportunity. Optimizing for long tail keywords will make your site stand out over the quick solution photographers.

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by Mayo Lawal

Best-selling wildlife photographer David Yarrow has spent a significant part of his life in exotic locations capturing nature at its fiercest.

"I spent nearly 29 hours over more than a week lying in the bottom of a boat off Cape Town hoping to get a shot of a shark feeding on a seal in False Bay," says Yarrow of one such adventure. "I was very specific about what I wanted. It had to be sharp; it had to be perfectly composed."

Read more about Yarrow's adventures in "Wildlife Photography From The Ground Up," on ppmag.com

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By Chris Homer

Have you visited theLoop recently? As an exclusive, PPA member-only forum, theLoop is a
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 great place for members to connect with each other, share information/advice, get image feedback, and overall - a place to go if you need help. Become a member so you can "stay in the loop" with theLoop, and if you already are, then head over to theLoop to see what everyone's buzzing about. 

Lots of great discussions have been happening, so here are a few of the top posts to date in August. Check them out, provide some feedback, and perhaps even learn something new!

In this discussion, members share photography props and gear they've created themselves. Check it out and be inspired to create your own!

A photographer is looking for advice on how to change her business name. If you've gone through this before, share the steps you took - and if you're thinking about changing your business name, start by reading this thread!

Photographers chime in on their favorite SD cards in this thread. If you're in the market for a new SD card, take a look before you buy. 

What is the best lens size to use for real estate photography? Share your opinion in this discussion!

If you've got a corporate event to photograph, be sure to read this discussion! In it, photographers share their pricing advice for corporate events.

And there you have 'em, the top posts from theLoop! Remember to check out theLoop frequently as new discussions are posted daily. It's a great way to catch up with fellow PPA members! Not a PPA member? Join today!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.

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By Bethany Clark

It's time to connect and grow with your fellow photographers during this year's Fall Super 1 Day

Online registration is now open for Super 1 Day, October 2-16, when dozens of studios across the country will host all day, peer-to-peer education workshops that enhance skills and help photographers build a better business. 

This is peer-to-peer education at its very best: more than 150 all-day learning sessions created by photographers, for photographers. 

Participants will have the opportunity to experience classes like:

  • Building your business: pricing and marketing strategies
  • Finding your niche: seniors, children, newborns, weddings, landscape, boudoir, and more
  • Learning lighting patterns, equipment, and setups for studio and on-location, 
  • Discovering techniques for Photoshop® & Lightroom®
  • And much, much more
These don't even include the workshops on different post-production methods and posing techniques, becoming a certified professional photographer (CPP), or branding and sales knowledge. The point is, if you want to learn it, there's probably a Super 1 Day class for it!

In addition to the tips and tricks you'll learn, these classes also help you get closer to earning your degree! PPA members earn one service merit for paid attendance.

All photographic classes will be held October 2-16, 2017. Hurry and sign up today and you'll save $21 off the full, on-site registration price!

You have three easy ways to register:

  • ONLINE: Register online for only $99 between August 2, 2017and September 28, 2017. 
  • BY PHONE: Call your PPA Customer Service team at 1-800-786-6277 to register by phone until September 28, 2017.
  • ONSITE: All registrations after September 28, 2017 must be completed onsite and in-person for $120. Please contact the instructor prior to attending to ensure there is space available.
With more than 150 classes offered across the country, you are sure to find one in your area! So browse the class schedule at PPA.com/Super1Day, and register for a class near you!

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Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of everything photography, including learning, networking, shopping, and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13). 

Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every photographic and business topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is going to spend the next several months highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers. 

Let's Meet...

Nate Peterson, M.Photog., CPP

Twitter: npdp
Instagram: npdesignphoto

Sponsored By: White House Custom Colour

As a child, Nate Peterson was constantly doodling, never knowing this artistic talent would shape his career path. Formally trained in graphic design and visual communications, Nate then added photography to the mix and, with the introduction of the digital camera, fell in love with the craft.

Since then, he's been on a life-changing, nation-wide crash course, training with the leaders of the industry through PPA and state and local affiliates, WPPI, After Dark Education, and more, with the goal of becoming the premier portrait artist in his area. Nate's career has skyrocketed and with that, the expansion of his studio's personalized services, professional abilities, and boutique product options.

Today, Nate Peterson Design & Photography specializes in contemporary high school Senior portraits, sentimental family portraits, commercial product photography, and edgy sports images, based on the belief that a portrait is an artistic expression of its subject. Outside of his studio, Nate strives to help others find their photographic paths and stays active as a member of the American Society of Photographers, the Twin Cities PPA (where he served as a 2016 Board Member), the Wisconsin PPA, and the Indianhead WPPA Affiliate. 

Speaker Sessions:
Mon., Jan. 15 
8 - 9:30am The Grand Experience Experiment (Business, Inspiration)

Q&A:

What did you want to be as a kid when you grew up? A Disney animator
What was your first concert? Aerosmith. Floor tickets. Tripped on a wire track on the way in running toward the front row, but held my balance. Got crushed in the front against the gate for the next 2-3 hours. Vivid memories...
Coke or Pepsi? Sparkling Water/Club Soda/LaCroix - Gave up pop many years ago. But it was Pepsi growing up and Diet Coke in my adult years before I quit.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? "Just one more" as in one more pose, one more shot, one more look... to the client.
What has been your proudest moment? Completing a 5-year dream of leaving my full-time career and building a premier studio, purchasing and restoring a 100-year old commercial building for our studio and eventually selling our house to build a residence inside the studio building and getting my PPA Masters Degree and regional Senior Portrait awards all in the process. Now I'm just not sure what I want to do next. Rest maybe.
Most embarrassing moment: Very early in my photography career and as my previous career was winding down due to the economy and the future was uncertain, my co-worker and I found a new habit of leaving early on Fridays and heading to happy hour at the local sports bar/restaurant... After about four hours of sitting at the bar drinking, I got up to use the restroom. As I stumbled out back toward my barstool, I heard some kids excitedly yell "Hey Nate!" It was a family I had photographed a couple weeks before. I slurred a small conversation with them and probably left a very poor impression.
The good news is that was the beginning of the end for me with drinking. I decided if I were to make it in a small community with my name on the side of my building, I could no longer allow myself to be compromised like that. About a year later, I walked away from drinking all together. Life started getting better immediately... (not preaching... just sharing my experience.)
If you could have a theme song, what would it be? Most days I'm "You Got A Friend In Me" from Toy Story
What would be your advice for photographers just starting their career? Join the ranks of the professionals... Join their associations, such as PPA or local affiliates. Get to know handful of people whose imagery and business you admire. Learn from them. Listen to them. Implement what they teach you. And you can become the ones the next group of new photographers look up to and then give back to them. #mentorsrule


Nate Peterson is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018! Registration is online now so take advantage of the Early Bird rates for passes and your hotel!



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By Bethany Clark

  

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It's been quite a week, so take some time to relax and recharge with our favorite photography blog posts from around the web this week!

 

How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse: 

TIPS: A total solar eclipse will be seen in North America on August 21, and DPreview has compiled tips on how to properly photograph this rare phenomenon from trusted sources such as Canon, National Geographic, Nikon, and more.

 

Embedding Your Copyright Information in Your Meta data:

COPYRIGHT: Photographers and creative artists are always looking for ways to make sure their images are protected by their copyright. One popular way to ensure your image has your copyright is to embed your copyright information into your metadata. Learn more about it on PPA Today.

 

The Benefits of Offering Mini-Sessions:

BUSINESS: Check out this post from Fstoppers to uncover some lucrative reasons why you should consider offering mini-sessions to your clients!

 

Imaging USA 2018: Award and Degree Ceremony's NEW Night!

CONFERENCE: PPA's got big news for this year's Imaging USA 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. For the first time, the Award and Degree Ceremony will be held on MONDAY night, January 15th, instead of on the final night of Imaging USA. Learn more in this article.

 

Tips for Improving Your Composition Skills:

We all know that composition can make or break a photograph. PetaPixel offers this 7-minute video in which photographer Peter McKinnon offers three tips to help you improve the composition of your photographs.

 

Documenting the Mood of a Nation with Protest Photography:

Photographs taken by intrepid photojournalists and documentary photographers have been informing the public and galvanizing people to take action on social issues for over one hundred years. Check out this post from Fstoppers to remember why a picture is worth a thousand words.

 

PPA Discount: InterDrone Convention and Expo!

You never know what you'll find out about on theLoop, PPA's members-only social network. Recently, member David Bailey, M.Photog., CPP, shared info about InterDrone, the biggest Drone Conference and Expo in the country... and we've got a special discount for PPA members!

 

Tips for Posing Female Models:

The right pose in the right circumstances can make all the difference, particularly when photographing for fashion or advertising. Get a few tips from this PetaPixel article.

 

Recording a State's History Through Photography:

You'll want to take a moment to enjoy this historical digital archive of images documenting the history of South Carolina. They're among the oldest photos ever taken in this state!

 

World Photo Day - August 19, 2017:

World Photo Day takes place Saturday, August 19, celebrating the fact that a photograph can change the world. Register to participate and share your favorite photo!

 

 

There you have 'em, our weekly blog post roundup! What photography blogs or podcasts do YOU follow? Post your favorites on theLoop or email them to us at OnlineContentCommittee@PPA.com.


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By Chris Homer

Imaging USA 2018 will be here before you know it...three-to-six days of everything
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 photography, including learning, networking, shopping, and partying! It's all going down in the Music City, Nashville, TN, January 14-16, 2018 (Pre-Con classes January 11-13). 

Imaging USA is known far-and-wide as THE place to see some of the best speakers in the photography industry, as they take you on deep-dives into every photographic and business topic you could want to learn more about. In order to get you even more excited (if that's possible!), PPA is going to spend the next several months highlighting our 2018 Imaging USA speakers. 

Let's Meet...
Alli Peck
Facebook: glowportraits
Instagram: glow_portraits

With over 11 years of experience, Alli Peck is an expert photographer, and Alli knows children! She is a skilled Baby Whisperer, specializing in newborn and maternity portraiture and she uses her lighting and posing techniques to create treasured portraits. As a busy mom to 4 children of her own, it's no wonder that Alli is able to effortlessly capture an expecting mother's beauty. She is also a much sought-after instructor, traveling throughout the United States and Canada, teaching maternity workshops. She has taught at Imaging USA in 2016 as well as The Baby Summit. Where Alli goes, workshops sell out with photographers eager to hear the secrets and skills that have made her such a success. The same relaxed and candid personality that puts her clients at ease makes Alli an excellent instructor and mentor.

Speaker Sessions:
Mon., Jan. 15 

Q&A:
What is your life motto? 'C'est la vie'
What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty
What did you want to be as a kid when you grew up? A ninja
What was your first concert? Bon Jovi
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Well, I'm Canadian...eh?

Alli Peck is just one of the many amazing speakers you'll get to meet and learn from at Imaging USA 2018! Registration is online now so take advantage of the Early Bird rates for passes and your hotel!


ch_headshot_100x100.jpgAbout the author:
Chris Homer is PPA's SEO & Web Specialist, which basically makes Google Analytics his best friend. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Chris cheers passionately (and obnoxiously) for the Bulldogs in all things from football to checkers. When he's not hard at work on PPA's websites, you'll find Chris at auto racing events around the southeast, where he's known as a master architect of tent villages.

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kenny_junkerman.jpgThe International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum announced its 2017 class of Photography Hall of Fame inductees, and first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

  • Kenny Rogers, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, photographer, and author, will receive the 2017 IPHF Lifetime Achievement Award, the first of its kind awarded by the IPHF.

Nine photographers or photography industry visionaries who demonstrate the artistry, passion, and revolution of the past and present craft of photography were selected for induction to the Hall of Fame, including:

  • Harry Benson, iconic portrait photographer
  • Ernest H. Brooks II, black-annd white underwater photographer
  • Edward Curtis, photographer of the American West and the North American Indian
  • William Eggleston, pioneer of color photography
  • Anne Geddes, portrait and infant photographer
  • Ryszard Horowitz, pre-digital special effects photographer
  • James Nachtwey, photojournalist and war photographer
  • Cindy Sherman, conceptual portrait photographer
  • Jerry Uelsmann, photomontage photographer

A nominating committee of IPHF representatives and notable leaders with a passion for preserving and honoring the art of photography selected the inductees. To be eligible for induction, nominees were considered based on the noteworthy contributions they made to the art or science of photography that had a significant impact on the photography industry and/or history of photography. The inductees, though widely differing in style and practice, are individually seen as significant innovators in their respective fields. They are all risk takers who introduced the world to new means of artistic representation and expression.

"This year, the IPHF is honored to recognize ten creators who have uniquely revolutionized the modern photography industry," said Patty Wente, Executive Director of the IPHF. "Our 2017 awardees are innovators who broke the norm of tradition and conceived their own ways of creatively communicating with the world around them."

In addition to honoring the 2017 class of Photography Hall of Fame inductees and Lifetime Achievement award winner, the IPHF will be honoring the late Ken Whitmire, former IPHF board member, for his many contributions to the Museum and for his passion and commitment to photography.

iStock_000054785490_Large.jpgHave you seen this? PPA's CEO David Trust has published an article on Medium.com and it's all about the fight for copyright reform. Be sure to head over to Medium, give the article a read and SHARE it with your social networks. It's only through the support of the entire artistic community and beyond that we will move Congress to take action on this very important issue.



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By Bethany Clark

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World Photo Day takes place Saturday, August 19, celebrating the fact that a photograph can change the world. 

Register at worldphotoday.com, and on August 19th share your best photo of 2017 to help inspire positive impact in our world through photography.

More about World Photo Day:

In a world where millions of pictures are uploaded every minute, World Photo Day is inspiring thousands of photographers across the planet to share a single photo with a simple purpose: to share their world with the world.

From everyday life to incredible landscapes, our global gallery is an evolving mosaic of images captured by photographers of all skills levels living in a diverse range of countries and cultures.

No matter who you are, where you are or what equipment and skills you have, World Photo Day can help open your eyes to the possibilities of photography, and enable you to share the world as you see it.

Register at worldphotoday.com, and share your photos tomorrow!


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