Fine-tune your site for search engines.
Everything you type into the Content Management Tool is visible to search engines like Google. Even though you have a Flash-based site, we automatically output a search engine-compatible version behind the scenes. That means your captions, overviews, file names, and text sections are optimized for search engines.
We're now offering even more control over the information that search engines see. Previously, your sections' keywords, descriptions, and image ALT text was generated automatically from your site-wide information and captions. You can now tailor that data for each individual section if you so choose.
How does this help? Adding ALT Text, keywords, and descriptions to your images adds even more searchable content for Google to catalogue. Essentially, an image with this added information is far more search engine friendly than an image alone. By having an image caption, gallery overview, meta tags, and now custom ALT text, you are adding more ways that people can find you via search engines.
To get started, you can either click on your domain name at the top of the left column, or click on any specific section. You'll see a new "SEO" button at the top of the middle column. Once you click it, a new panel appears at the top of the screen.
The "Page Title" is what appears at the very top of your browser window. The page title is also what people click on to enter your site from a search engine.
- Suggestion: Limit the text to 8-10 words, including both the name of your company and any strong phrases that describe your overall business or the specific gallery if this is for a sub-page. Ex: John Doe Photo: Commercial photography in the Seattle, WA area.
The ALT — or alternative — text was originally designed for the visually impaired so that a photo's content could be read aloud. Search engines are also able to read this information to give context to your images. By default, your caption information will be used as the ALT text.
- Suggestion: Be succinct in your descriptions, but provide relevant information and keywords that describe your images. As with all other meta information, you'll want to avoid "stuffing" keywords in hopes of improving your search results. That kind of practice is actually frowned upon by search engines.
The "Meta Keywords" are phrases that help search engines find your site based on common words people search for. Although their weight isn't what it used to be in terms of SEO, the relevance to your text content is important.
- Suggestion: Keep it between 10-20 phrases, using keywords that are found in that page. The best keywords are terms people actually search for; think about how potential clients might be trying to find your business.
General SEO Tips
Our recommendation is to beef up your captions with subjects, locations, and any relevant information that people might use to search for your work. You can also add "Photo by: your name" to the captions.
A page with nothing but an e-mail link and a telephone number doesn't look near as interesting to Google as a page with an image and lots of relevant text. Users will appreciate the added information, too.
Perhaps the most important factors in search engine rank are the links to your site. The more places on the Web that link to you, the better: professional organizations, colleagues, etc. Few if any outside of Google's doors know the details of their search algorithms, but it is essentially a popularity contest. The more popular you are (the more legitimate links to your site) the more your relevancy and rank increase. To see which sites are pointing links to you, type the following in Google's search box: "link:your_domain.com"
- Something to consider: Imagine a breaking news story. The same story is distributed on hundreds of news sites. When you search for the story, links to all of the sites containing the story are returned. And only one is at the top, even though all the stories and all the text is exactly the same. Why? The sites with the highest ranking--with the most links to them--rise to the top. Not the site with the most text within it, but the site with the most links to it. To rise to the top you need more links to you.
Google Analytics is a great tracking and statistics service (and free!). If you don't already have Google Analytics installed, sign up for a free account here: google.com/analytics and get an account ID. To add it into the admin area, click on your domain at the top of the left column in the Content Management Tool, and you'll see that you can now enter your Google Analytics Account ID in the middle column.