So on-page SEO is the next section. So we talked about technical, we talked about keywords. On-page SEO is kind of completing the triangle a little bit. Now, it just basically refers to steps taken on a page-by-page basis. Now, the goal is to optimize the content of a page or blog for the keywords we want to focus on. So we talked about the keywords, we talked about optimizing, now we're gonna kind of give you a little bit more of some information on that. So the meta title, which is the title of the page, meta title is just a fancy technical term for it, so what Google sees in the search engine results page, otherwise known as the SERP. So this is what a meta title looks like, aka the page title. So Lindsay Adler Photography, and this is an actual screenshot of Google, so that's your meta title. And that's what we talked about, you could type in anything you want. So you had a wedding photographer, a best wedding photographer, whatever you want to try and rank for. Typically people pu...
t in their name and their location, but you know, you can change that up. So the meta title, aka the page tag we're talking about, it draws a lot of SEO power. It should be descriptive and also contain the keywords.
Which makes sense, 'cause it's saying, like, this is what this page is about, so the SEO is gonna, Google's gonna pay attention to it.
You know, you could also entice people to click through to your page. Like this is especially important in a blog post versus, you know, just a generic title of your homepage, but a blog post should be equally as descriptive. And that's where also the meta page description comes in too, because that's where another area where you're going to describe what something's about. And they should be unique, we talked about that. You shouldn't have the same exact page title for every blog post or every page or your about page or anything like that. A couple examples. Keep it short and concise. Google likes shorter page titles, so don't try and write like a huge sentence. And it's a max of 65 characters. One of the worst things you can do is to have it cut off in the Google search results and you see a little dot dot dot, people are like "Alright, well I guess I can't tell "what that page is about," you know. A couple of examples. Lindsay Adler Photography, New York City; About Lindsay Adler; Lindsay Adler Photography Pricing; and Contact, instead of just Contact Us you could contact Lindsay Adler Photography. Each one of these is unique, but it also has, I mean, we could add the keyword Fashion Photographer in there. So Contact Lindsay Adler Fashion Photographer. So you don't have to put the same exact thing, but at least it reinforces your keyword a few times in the title. So the meta description is basically the description of the page. It describes your pages about in the search engine results. So the meta description "portfolio of New York Fashion "and Beauty Photographer, Lindsay Adler." And it actually bolds your keywords if it finds the exact match, which is nice, because that stands out to people. They go "Oh, that's what I was "exactly searching for, so, and it's bolded!" There's another one under that we've highlighted there, the "blog of fashion photographer Lindsay Adler." So, again, these don't really hold a lot of weight in SEO, but it holds weight for the user, so this is gonna get what people use to click through to your site. Screaming Frog is, again, another thing that you can use to crawl your site to see if things are missing. You can go page by page if you have a small site, but if you have a couple hundred blog posts, doing that manually is gonna be a hassle, unless you really want to devote that time, a couple of hours to a day and go "Oh, I didn't fill out the queue," it said you didn't fill out all the meta descriptions on your Squarespace site, or your page titles. If you have a lot of pages, it's gonna be annoying to go through. But this'll tell you exactly which ones are missing, which is good. So where do I edit the meta description and title? It varies depending on your host. Wordpress, we talked about the Yoast SEO plugin. Basically it shows you a little snippet in Google, you type in what you want for the SEO title, you type in what you want for the meta description. So they kinda make it pretty effortless. It even shows you what it's gonna look like in Google.
And it's telling you if you're doing a good job or not with what you wrote, as well, which is why that button.
It shows you the length based on like this little bar, whether or not it's long enough, short enough, too long. So, you know, in Squarespace, for example, your page title, your search engine description, Squarespace is on a page-by-page basis, so you can do one for your general site, but you can also change it for your blog post and your page. And other websites, usually the field will say site description, title, meta title or meta description, or page description. So it can vary depending on if you have Format or PhotoShelter or something else. But generally, you wanna fill those out no matter what. Now another one that we see a lot of people, and we've been guilty of this too, is not properly filling out the image alt tag and the filename. So the image alt tag is super, super important, because Google crawls this, and it's also important for screen readers, for, you know, the visually impaired. So make sure it has a descriptive file name, first of all, instead of image_4563, rename it to bride-groom-atlanta-wedding. You know, something that's related to it.
And one of the things that I find this useful for, particularly for me as a fashion photographer, is a lot of times if people are searching for some kind of visual, they're actually looking in Google Images, and so if you have it alt tagged and everything correctly, your images come up. So if you actually, it's really funny, a lot of times I'm searching keywords and I'm looking in Google Image for inspiration, it's all my photos, (laughs) because I like know how I would keyword them, so it brings them all up. But just think of it like that. If somebody would be searching for images of maybe inspiration of the Genesee Grande Hotel, like wedding photos taken there for inspiration, and they're looking in Images, well, if you've done it correctly, then your images come up, they click on it, it takes you to your site, then you can convert them.
And also, if you have Pinterest on your site, like the ability for people to pin, and I mean, they can do that without you having it on your site. If you don't have the alt text filled out, it'll resort back to the filename, which is not going to help you on any Pinterest SEO if the name of your title is the name of image_4563. So that in and of itself, you can write more descriptive information specifically for Pinterest, but you're gonna want to just make sure that they're filled out. So, again, Bride and Groom at the Venetian in Garfield, New Jersey, not Wedding Photographer Photography Bride Groom Weddings alt photos, you know, you want to make sure that your alt text, that just describes the image, and again, very important for Google. If you've ever gone to Google Images, you know, like you had just said, that's how you're gonna get found. Google doesn't know what the image is about until you tell it.
And Jess had a question.
You had a question?
So if you have a series of like your bridegroom, Atlanta, wedding, images, would you then add a one, or try to add a new keyword of something that's in that image to each in the set?
It doesn't have to be a long filename, but it should be, or you're talking about specifically the filename, I'm assuming, right?
Yeah, like if you have a set from a specific wedding, would you change each filename--
You're not gonna get dinged in Google for that.
To another keyword, or just 1234 after your file?
Let's say that it's a set but it looks a little different, like maybe you can include Wedding Cake in that or something, like that's descriptive. Same thing with the alt text. Yeah, it becomes different to think of like, 25 unique different alt titles, but you're actually just describing what the image is for Google to see. So you wanna maybe put Bride and Groom at the Venetian, Eating Their Wedding Cake, or something like that.
And you said it should be dashes, not underscores?
Correct. Don't use underscores for filenames.
Which I always did.
Yeah, Google likes the dashes instead.
Oh, I see someone very upset! (laughs)
Yeah. The reason for that is (laughs) there are certain, it gets a little technical about why, but Google has its reasons.
(laughing) Google has its reasons!
You can use Screaming Frog, again, to crawl your site for missing alt text if you have a large site, or if you just don't wanna have to go through every page, this'll do it in three minutes and you'll be done, and then you can go "Oh, okay, let me go "through each one of my blog posts that doesn't have it." So try to include text around your images, such as a caption. Google rewards more image, I guess, heavy websites if you have a caption also below it, because it knows through proximity. So you might use an alt text to describe the image, but a caption to describe something a little more about the image.
Because an alt text they don't see unless they mouse over it, so it's like, it actually describes it so that they can see it visually.
Yeah, so a caption is good to add to it as well. It's not a necessity. Your website URLs, this is a big one we see too. So instead of site.com/gallery/ or site.com/blog whatever, that's not descriptive at all, and Google doesn't like that. So instead, include gallery/south-carolina-beach-wedding or your blog elegant-wedding-at-venetian-in-garfield. So you have your keywords in there, these are the things that you're wanting to rank for. I wanna rank for this is elegant wedding, and it's at the Venetian, or I wanna rank for beach wedding, and it's in South Carolina. So we see a lot of galleries, and by default, there's a lot of websites. Whether it's, like, SmugMug or Zenfolio, they'll use the gallery names like that. And even Wordpress is guilty of, you have to go into Wordpress and change it from site.com, you know, the page equals 123, to what's known as Pretty Permalinks, and that makes it where you can actually have the keywords in the title first.
And it's not coding, it's just like you check the little box and you rewrite it.
Yeah, that's it.
It's not anything hard. If it's hard, I'm like, yeah. (audience laughs)
She won't do it, so it does matter, anyway. The first three to five words have the most weight, so site.com/wedding-photography-prices, you wanna make sure that instead of having, you know, such and such photographer wedding photography prices. You also don't want to make these super long. We had said that they should be kind of concise. You know, 'cause Google'll look at that as trying to game them as well, like keyword stuffing more, if you're including a sentence for your website page, you wanna make sure that it's short and concise. So we talked about not using underscores and only dashes. Time commitment, technical issues. Three to four hours, you can expedite it with Screaming Frog or Moz. It'll tell you real fast instead of you sittin' there and doin' it. Literally, Screaming Frog or Moz will tell you in two minutes, but actually having to kind of update, it might take a little longer. You wanna update the missing meta descriptions. That could take a little while, depending on how many pages you have. We have 2,000 pages or more on our site. If we did not do that properly, it's gonna take a commitment. Update the image alt text. That's probably gonna take you a little longer, especially if you have galleries. It's important. I'm gonna say the alt text is more important than if you were to spend time, maybe, on, like--
You know, other miscellaneous parts. I would start to see if you have your alt text. Again, Screaming Frog can help expedite that. You see, it'll crawl all of your images and say "Okay, it's missing," or it'll give you a breakdown of what it is so you could export it to Excel or a spreadsheet and say whether it's got a very non-descriptive alt text, and you go "Okay, I've gotta change this one, "this one, this one, and this one."
And I know, like, I had a section of my site that I knew I didn't have the alt tags. I discovered this recently. And so, when I listened to this podcast, I listen in the morning, that was my alt text time. (laughs) Like, my alt tag time, just 'cause I knew I had to catch up on it. So, like, you know, work it in.
So this is not something you have to do all the time. This is kind of like, you know, once you know then you know, alright, I gotta name this file something other than that, I have to, it's repetitive, you're gonna do your image alt text, you're gonna do your meta description information as you go along. You can visit LindsayAdler.photo/website-auditor. It's a free little service that we have on the site that you can put your website URL in, it'll tell you if you're missing your meta tags, your meta descriptions, but it does it on a page-by-page basis. It's not like one of these other softwares that will do the whole site. So you can check that out.
I see Jess saying "Oh, no! "All of them!" (laughs)
Yeah, this is a little daunting, but it's important.