Thursday, August 13, 2009

Search Engine Optimization

My web presence is through PhotoShelter. Until late last year I was with Digital Railroad until the wheels came off their cart but that is another story. Photoshelter is a very active particpant in the photo community and in April of this year published an SEO cookbook. What is it? I was vaguely familiar with the the term Search Engine Optimization but didn't really understand how it could effect my web traffic. Basicaly, SEO is a way to get your website ranked higher in searches on Google and other major search engines and by doing this you can drive more traffic to your website. What I gleamed from the cookbook is that in order to sell anything on the web customers have to find you and to find you they search by keywords. Have the right keywords associated with your web site makes it more likely you will come up higher in the search results than someone who doesn't. You can also drive clients/customers to your site through links. By joining networking sites, creating blogs like this one and linking back to your own web site you can increase traffic and potential sales. Your site should be e-commerce compatable and your ready to go. Also we have the standard ways to get clients to our web sites for sales and assignments and that is though mailings, portfolio revues etc... and those to are still very important in this highly competitive market place. I want to give you an example of how this works. It is a simple story but it does high light a key point on how to get people to visit your site. PhotoShelter has given its archive members a chance to particpate in what they call their Photoshelter homepage slide show. If your image is selected then for a month on their homepage your image along with 20 other members are displayed. Well, to make a long story short my image was selected Spaghetti image at right) and along with the image being displayed Photoshelter included a brief bio of my specialties and then showed what custom web template I chose to sell and market my image archive on PhotShelter with and then linked that back to my website galleries. Well previously through Google Analytics (SEO cook book describes it is a great way to see who is coming and browsing your site) I was maybe getting 1 or 2 visits a day if I was lucky and no one was really looking seriouly at my images on PhotoShelter. Well after the posting of just one image on the homepage of Photoshelter I have seen a 600% increase in traffic to my PhotoShelter website and also some image downloads for comps and some activity on the sales side of the site. All this because I was able to get one image put on a heavily trafficked website like PhotoShelter and then link it back to my images. Wow. I am not the best tech person in the world but this SEO is beginning to make since and I will continue to develope more links and keywords on my web pages to drive more potential customers to my site. And no I am not being paid by PhotoShelter.

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10, 2009

Welcome to my blog. I have been shooting stock photography for a long time. I first entered this arena in the mid-eighties when I joined Aperture PhotoBank in Seattle. Aperture changed it's name to Allstock a short time later and I have been submitting to Photo Agencies ever since. Now however, we call them Image Portal Distribution Sites or something like that. The Stock Photo Industry sure has changed over the last decade and what that means to the photographer is more production work not in necessarily shooting (there has always been prep time, scripting, logistics, etc.. for photographers) but in post production on the computer. With digital cameras shooting is still shooting. But there are differences like having to turn your camera off when changing lens ( that is why zooms I guess are so popular) but I like fixed focus lenses so I have to stop my momentum in the shoot and hold back the concept of time, everybody freeze that pose and change lenses and begin again. I know why don't I have more than one camera body, simply right now cost. Anyhow I will be posting new thoughts coming up on Digital vs Old school analog shooting, getting into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how I believe Digital shooting is making the photographer lose sight of exploring the subject we are shooting. Hint that back monitor on the digital camera has got to go. That's it for now.