Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Guest Post by Misti Marquette Cooke.

This is a completely real and honest post about what I’ve learned about SEO and marketing our destination photography business from Mexico.  For many photographers, we get our first camera and think that once we learn how to use it correctly, we’ll have a cash cow on our hands! It might seem that all it takes is shooting an event, editing and of course getting paid. But I have found the biggest part of building a photography business is…marketing and SEO.

Over a year ago, I decided to build our website with no prior website experience. I went to Youtube, found an awesome 2.5 hour long tutorial and followed it to a tee.  I ended up spending every day for 2 months learning a little coding, some html, web pixel sizing and everything else that is boring, technical and necessary.

And then…I waited. I patted myself on the back and thought, “mission accomplished”. I went to the beach, drank a piña colada and thought I’d just wait for the customers to start rolling in. I figured Google would automatically do the rest and we’d be on the first page in no time…boy, was I ever wrong!

Looking back, I had no idea what I was doing – and we had moved our whole life to another country to start this business (Hi, my name is Misti and I’m a risk-taker.)

I’ve created a pie chart to illustrate my fantasy/care-free life vs. the reality, so you really get the picture:

Destination Pie ChartFantasy vs. Reality
One night, there was a game changer. We met some friends at an animal shelter fundraiser, who are website and SEO experts. My friend said to me, “What are you doing for SEO?” S..E..What? Search Engine Optimization. (aka Google-ibility) I had never even heard of it! And so it all began… my journey into this crazy internet marketing world.

Fortunately, our first year in Playa del Carmen we received a lot of business thanks to Trip Advisor recommendations and referrals from former clients, and I am forever thankful for them… because it certainly wasn’t my Google skills! Word of mouth and referrals can be your best friend too – so don’t forget a little face to face interaction.

Today, I’m still learning something new every day on what it takes to get listed on page one for Google. I’ve found it is a lot of work (and money), and creating a monthly marketing budget is necessary, because ultimately ‘It takes money, to make money’.

Here are my top 7 SEO tips for your Wedding Business:

1. Add Homepage Content

The first page of your website should have words. A lot of them. And keywords at that. For example, I want to be found for “Playa del Carmen Photographer” on Google, so those words are definitely in the text on my homepage.

2. Do Not “Over-Optimize” Your Keywords

I would not want to write “Playa del Carmen Photographer” over and over again on my homepage. Google will think you are spam and “zap” your website from search results. So use other words that could be relatable like in my case, “Mayan Riviera Photography”, “Cozumel Weddings”, etc.

3. Keyword Your Photos Too

Most websites will allow you to keyword your photos. Once again, change up your words and do not write the same words several times. I keyword not only for my area, but for specific venues. “Gran Porto Real Weddings”, “Barcelo Resort Wedding Photos”. Think of terms people might do a Google image search for in your area and use those.

4. Content, Content, Content

When I first made my website, I had very little text anywhere. I wanted a clean, photo driven layout. While I still prefer that look, it’s just not preferred in Google’s eyes. Text will win over photos, every time. So blog, create pages with content and keep up with it!

5. Update Your Site Often

Even if it’s a little change here and there each week, Google likes to see fresh content. This is why blog writing is important! It’s 2 birds, 1 stone (I hate that saying, poor birds) – Blog writing updates your website and gives you more content. Check and mate!

6. Get Outside Links

I had read something terrible about getting outside links, and totally steered away from it – which was my biggest mistake of all! When your website URL is listed on other quality websites, this tells Google that your website must be important and they bump you up in the rankings. They key is to get quality links, and not to get too many at once. Search terms like: wedding directory listings, photography membership listings, etc. Search around for what suits your company and your budget.

Here’s my newest outside link advice: Write your alma-mater and see if you can be listed as an alumni business on their website. University websites are huge, high-quality websites and being listed on one (or a few) of those, could be a game-changer!

7. Use Facebook Ads

Facebook is a great way of getting your name out there and being able to interact with potential clients on a daily basis. Of course like many things in life, it’s not free. But it is cheap (in the world of marketing). You can set even a low daily budget like, $1.00 – target your demographic and Facebook will advertise your page on news feeds. It’s really simple, cost effective and can get you a lot of page likes for your business.

This is only the beginning and there’s a whole lifetime of learning ahead.

Maybe when I’m the next big thing, I can hire my own marketing team and have some more beach time again (I’m coming for you my sweet little piña coladas) but until then, I’ll love every second of all this hard work and crazy ride to achieve what I want. Because, how much gratitude is given to success if it didn’t take hard work to get there?

How do you use SEO for your wedding business?

Misti from Bohemia Photography

About the Author:

Misti Marquette Cooke owns Bohemia Photography with her husband, a destination wedding photography business out of beautiful Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

 

Photos and Graphics by Bohemia Photography.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted By

Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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137 thoughts on “SEO Tips from a Destination Wedding Photographer”

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  71. Naman Modi says:

    This is a completely real and honest post about what I’ve learned about SEO and marketing our destination photography business from Mexico. For many photographers, we get our first camera and think that once we learn how to use it correctly, we’ll have a cash cow on our hands!

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  79. Thanks for sharing the useful information for the seo and the wedding planner.

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    Hi
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    Thanks a lot for sharing

  84. Amazing tips, Stephanie! As the photography marketing is getting more competitive by the day, it’s imperative that professional photographers craft their unique presence online. While your SEO strategies look great, I’d like one more: the photographers should try to reach out to other websites and share their ideas via guest blogging. Guest blogging not only earns you good links, but they help you reach out to a whole new audience who can spread the word as well.

  85. Nice tips for seo and marketing

  86. Great work i found some tips that really helped me thanks

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  89. Thanks for sharing great tips regarding destination wedding photographer. I am also destination wedding photographer from Udaipur.
    Thanks

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  97. Ruby Hall says:

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    Thanking you for sharing a very effective post with us!

    I have read your article very carefully and learned a lot about SEO. You have a great writing ability with easy languages. Please, continue your writing in the future. You are great!
    I have a question about SEO, Keyword prominence and keyword proximity are important?

    Again Thank You!

  98. Nice post. Thank you for the info. Keep it up.

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  103. Amrita says:

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  104. Amrita Spa says:

    Thanks for Sharing Your Thoughts!

  105. Anita Garg says:

    Hello, Wonderful Article.. all tips are very useful and helpful.. Thanks for these blogs..

  106. Meter says:

    Great tips! I am sure the approach has also been applied by others in different niches

  107. Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts with us & our readers.

  108. Davidtakh says:

    Hi,

    All your SEO tips is useful and informative. But i would like to add some tips also regarding facebook ads, we can add instagram and pinterest also for wedding SEO.

  109. Raj Mahi says:

    Greate information you shared, update SEO related information

  110. Saleema says:

    Keep posting these SEO techniques, It will help us to improve our SEO skills. Thanks

  111. namct says:

    great article, interesting information for seo

    1. vishnu kumar says:

      Great Article, Wedding photography for SEO tips are usefull. thank you for sharing

  112. Mazhar Ahmad says:

    Excellent tips Stephanie ! We will definitely apply all these useful tips to improve our website.

  113. Mariya says:

    Incredible Post , the all points are awesome and interesting , this post is so informative and very helpful , thank you for sharing the blog.

    1. Lepresca Torres says:

      Hi, Mariya! Thank you for commenting. We’re so happy you found this article to be helpful. Keep being awesome!

  114. alena says:

    Great post ,the SEO are very important for wedding sites, thank you for sharing the post.

  115. Songs Pk says:

    Effective suggestion for photographer. Now a days photography marketing becomes hard. Thanks, Stephanie Padovani for sharing your idea…

  116. William says:

    I really enjoyed the read

  117. Nice tips for seo and marketing per-pus..

  118. Ashishh Gupta says:

    This is very loving post and will like and share on other reader.

  119. I am new to this fantastic forum where i see many people helping each other out with out any self interest, i am a newbie here and i apologies in advance for any mistakes i might make here …..

  120. AshwinKannan says:

    Thanks for sharing the useful information for the seo and the wedding planner.

  121. Julie says:

    Great post , its very interesting , thank you for sharing the blog.

  122. john Mahoney says:

    I agree that when it comes to photography it is a good idea to update your site often. I can see how this would not only help you get noticed more but also let potential customers know that you mean business and are ready whenever they are. I would want to hire someone that is active and that offers the services I need. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Great post , its very interesting , thank you for sharing the blog.

  123. Amazing tips, Stephanie! As the photography marketing is getting more competitive by the day, it’s imperative that professional photographers craft their unique presence online. While your SEO strategies look great, I’d like one more: the photographers should try to reach out to other websites and share their ideas via guest blogging. Guest blogging not only earns you good links, but they help you reach out to a whole new audience who can spread the word as well.

  124. Dawn Thomson says:

    Thank you for these wonderful tips…seo is a mind field 🙂

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