Blogging as fast track to appearing in Google searches and rankings

google search

(Click on any image to enlarge)

Google search engine “spiders ” seem to  love blogs created in Word Press ! 

I noticed that when I updated my old website , new items took up to a few weeks before either individual new photo albums  titles or new pages  came up in either a Google web search or image search but , with my newer Word Press based johncoxonphotography.com  photography blog , as I found out today, Google spiders find and rank new entries even more speedily than I at first thought which is great news for professionals targeting and trying to market their services to potential clients who surf the net looking for specific skills or images. My latest entry adveritising my   GIG PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICE  appeared within just 24 hours  – result !

GOOGLE SEARCHING FOR  YOUR  PRESENCE OF YOU & YOUR BRAND AS  A SIMPLE MEANS OF ASSESSING YOUR “KEYWORD” EFFECTIVENESS ?

Where the internet is a large part of your marketing strategy, you can do quick Google searches to assess how  well you are doing in terms of being easily findable for potential clients browsing and if you struggle to find yourself on page one or two ot the search results it will flag up that you need to look further into how to improve your visibilty. Put yourself in the shoes of somebody looking for simialr stuff you are offering and try and think what they would  type in a search.

bnlogpix

I had on Friday created this new  blog entry announcing an addtional photography service to my repertoire careful to call it just “Gig Photography” in the Word Press dashboard title box as I wrote. I also added my location in the title since I wish to attract, in the main,  clients who are based in the county of Greater Manchester.  You will see  from the Google ranking page that my “Gig Photography” blog entry is first in the rankings and there today , just twenty four hours after I published it.

To be honest I cheated here for demonstration purposes!  I actually first searched for “Gig Photography  Coxon”. Previously I searched for “Gig Photography Manchester” or “Greater Manchester” but without my surname. I did learn something from that – leave out “Greater” and just use  the more popular and often used  “Manchester” and instantly not at the top of the rankings but closer. I have now changed the title and updated the blog entry because of what I discovered by  searching myself. A kind of market research I’d guess you’d call it.

shob

Where you are a photographer  marketing  images or services you naturally want your images to come up high in Google image searches and thus within my blog entry for the Gig Photography service I offer, I included carefully named images within the text  but in the main the sample images were hosted elsewhere ( on my Flickr) Any image within that set unlikley to come anywhere but low down on the rankings if at all. By the way , by rankings I simply mean the order in which images or webpages come up in searches. With images on web pages there is so much stuff already out there and remember that browsers searching the web in the main are impatient , often Fickle, and may very well just look at what Google throws up first on the first page or so  of  results.

I did hope new images within  WP based blog entry images would come up  as quick in google as new entires and this is so. It does not however mean that those images will be at the front of Google image searches even if you are careful using  key words in the actual file name but only  to the extent that the spiders find them.  Getting an image high ranked is dependent on how many other images have the same or simialr file names. Although for example adding your surname will find you higher up rankings you have to remember that unless you are a celeb or a household name searchers will not know your name and thus won’t add it to their search type in.

I guess the key here is , when blogging , tagging and keywording, naming images, always put yourself in the place of a stranger /potential client and think what kind of things are they likely to type in and try and arraneg your stuff so you inlcude those more likely words to increase your chances of being found.

Click on this image of coronation street star Shibona , a great singer , to view a slideshow of examples of my work in this field

Shibona Gulati singing

 

What can we learn from searching for our website images in Google ? I typed in the name of one of the artists I have photographed , Coronation Street TV soap actress Shibona Gulati who is also a very good singer  and made  a point of having an image of her singing that I took within the body of my text with just her full name as the image file name. Alas , in a search for her full name I went through the first three pages of Google image results and coul not find my image. Then I added my surname to her name it appeared, curiously second, that is because Google isn’t that bright and pulled out the “other” John Coxon , as in the musician – we are not in the same business but the two of us clealry confuses Google. (Happily I actually own the www.johncoxon.com domain name though!) Again here I cheated by adding my surname to try and find if  any image of mine of this lovely lady appeareed but even then, the image above, second top left was not the one I posted on my blog yesterday. Google in fact had found it in a previous Flickr upload I did a couple of years back. You cannot rely in my business on people knowing and therefore Googling with your name included other than those already in your network.

Can a photographer do anything to protect their images from copyright theft via Google image searches ?

I’ll be writing soon another entry on the merits of including Flickr to aid raising your social media profile but in the meantime what did I learn  from image search googling. The unexpected  in this case for an image from my blog of the singer actress  was that a Flickr picture came up not one from my blog where previously my old www.johncoxon.com images were more likely to be found by the Google spiders and this is due to changes of ownership and permisisons over at Flickr and business link up with Google.

 

Flickr is a much less cluttered , better organised and  advertising free user and visitor interface  than Facebook  so linking embedded slideshows from sets of images you create there are a great cost effective  marketing aid.

Flickr is a much less cluttered , better organised and advertising free user and visitor interface than Facebook so linking embedded slideshows from sets of images you create there are a great cost effective marketing aid

Due to image theft being rife on the net, especially from social media sources , I now watermark any image I publish on the net visibly but that Flickr shot of Shibby was before that so unprotected. Need to go and delete it and replace it with a protected version ! Flickr is much more secure from image theft than Facebook and you can adjust setting that declare you can’t copy and past if a visitor right clicks and it affirms your copyright. Facebook offers no protection. Of course anyone can do a screen capture image theft so, whislt many businesses have no need to mark their images, photographers are unwise and naive if they do not. There is some merit in image theft if your name or website URL is visible on the actual image where it would not be easy to crop out as  it is one form of free advertising.

 

John Coxon Photograhy Business Facebook

I use both Facebook and Twitter  to interact with potential clients and present images that represent examples of the differnt services I provide. I maintain two Facbooks , one not a page but  a personal Facebook but I link between the two and when I add content I link that to my blog and or website. Consider a page for business as it comes with a bonus that it gives you insights and statistical information about visitors , free anyltics. Standard Facebooks do not.  the page works by page likes which is a problem because people friend as contacts more willingly so now and then again ask people to like you page !  Omn my business Facebook I have around 800 likes but on a friends of fans of my page the total reach is over half a million people and that is free advertising to bear in mind.

My personal Facebook has a large number of likes and people on my friends list – it adds to the number of marketing oportunities and extends my potential audince  – friends of course have friends so the reach can be considerable.

john coxon Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter I find is far more effective in linking up with clients or  for developing contacts and networking with those enterprises that have a vested interest in the kind of services I provide and instead of shortened url links  leading Twitter followers to my business Facebook, I now link more and more to my photography blog, my shop window. Facebook strips out exif information on upload and also numbers images having stripped off the keyworded file names and images posted there do not crop up in Google searches.

johncoxon Twitter

The Hash tag # feature on Twitter is a valuable simple audience and contact reaching tool if you use it wisely. For example if my Tweet is related to PR  and using social marketing and say a sport tweet I’d ensure I include #PR #sportmarketing #social media in the tweet. People in PR and Social media based associated business will search tweets for say marketing and PR, social media hash tagged words and it throws up a list of entries that are on those themes. You get people following you and retweeting and that again increases your range of networks and raises your profile.  Since my business is to provide professionals in marketing and editorial work with photography services those professionals are easier and more likely reached via Twitter if you are willing to reciprocate, support and keep your stuff fresh, useful and regular.

What’s in a word or your name?

It is not a bad idea to check how you , your name or your products or other work appear to outsiders looking via the Google search box. It is amazing how for example, if you trade under your own name, variants in the search box throw up a variety of things and trying some random searches is a good way of judging your over all profiel on the net. here are a few screen captures of search I did with the words I typed in and see what they turned up !

1.My main doman name  and then a web search for my name

john coxon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

john coxon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image s earch /my name and field of work /market  top of the rank but some of John the guitar musician of the same name.

john coxon photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

john coxon photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

john coxon photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In summary after this brief discourse on the subject that I will update you  as I learn more, here is  brief  summary of my main points

1. Add a Word Press based blog to your social media and internet profile to attract new business and increase your chances of being found in a Google search.

2. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer or client and do checks now and again by typing in a google search what they migth do and get as much information as you can aabout the effective use of key words in the content of your blog entries to make you more visible on Google.

3. If you are in the photography business watermark them visibly with your website address at the least so if, as inevitably will happen, people steal your images and upload them to social media illegally, you can identify your work or, if they remain undetected, at least  your name and website adrress is being publicised. Make such bad beviour on the part of image theives a positive, even set things up to spread your name via a watermark!

4.Add  Flickr to augment your social media presence  as a cheap source of image hosting, with the ability to very easily organise and display products and images in sets and collections  and providing a much less cluttered and confusing interface for  visitors.

5. Take care in giving images you upload to the net carefully thought out file names to increase the chances of them coming up in image searches.

6. If your market is local to where you live add the name of your location in the title of your Word Press Blog entry  to ensure the entry appears higher in the search  rank/Google search results.

7. Marketing is all about being aware of your strengths, merits and also the benfits you have to offer against the competition but it also about standing out in the market, giving out the right messages, presenting yourself professionally and anywhere you appear on the net ensure that anything you do drives up your profile , is positive and attractive and work hard to make sure you can be found in a Google search by the people you are looking for as customers or clients for what you have on offer. Use social media carefully and be professional courteous and positive in interactions and don’t on social media just shout products and your own thing – support and interact with others.

 

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