Monday, January 5, 2009

Business - Building Your Web Presence, Part 2

This is Part 2 of 3 in a mini-series on Building Your Web Presence as a Photography Business.

Part 1: Building your Web Site
Part 2: Driving Eyeballs to your Web Site
Part 3: Providing Commerce on your Web Site

In Part 1, we discussed the elements and steps to create a web site. So let's assume you have built this site, bought your domain name and you are ready for people to see it. How do you bring visitors?

There are two keys: (1) Getting good search results, and (2) Creating lots of pointers that people can locate and then navigate to your site.

Getting Good Search Results

There is an entire industry built around Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It's the art and science of getting search engines to home in on your site(s) when the user enters keywords in web search engines like Google. One of the main ways to do this is through placement of keywords on your main page(s). For example, my keywords are:
Senior,Photography,Erie,Pennsylvania,PA,Photo,Family,Wedding,Engagement,Dance,John,Huegel,Senior Photographer Erie, Erie Family Portraits, Erie Wedding Portraits, Dance Studio Photography, Edinboro, Meadville, Chautauqua, Jamestown, Warren, Party Planning Services Erie
These are made active using the following line in your main file (index.html):

META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="Senior,Photography...all the rest of the stuff above..."

Search engines like Google chew on these keywords and use other tricks to place your site(s) in the search results. For example, the higher count of other sites pointing to your site, the higher score you may receive. You also want your DESCRIPTION and TITLE set to have the right keywords.

You may want to spend some time reading about search engine optimization. I have done all my own optimization, and it has worked for me. I am outranking most of the local photographers, some of whom are 10x my business size.

Creating Lots of Pointers

Your main web page should not be your only web presence. There are several other places where your work and your presence should be made known:

1. Merchant sites. These are free or paid listing sites that you can enter your business information, and they provide a listing or page for you. Most of them let you link back to your home page. Good examples that I use are Merchant Circle, and Insider Pages. I particularly like Insider Pages, where I have a number of my customer reviews available for people to see. Each of these sites will be both a standalone billboard for your business, and a link that points back to your home page.

2. Blogs. You must have at least one blog! It's a great way to be informal, show the recreational side of yourself and your business, and basically let your customers see you from a different angle. And here's a tip: Make your blog titles relevant to your search keywords and they will also rank on Search Engines. For example, highlight a wedding photo in your blog and title the entry "Louisville Kentucky Wedding Photography: Ella and Jack". Then when someone searches the web for "Wedding Photography Louisville", your blog entry will hit, and they can use that to see a wedding shot, and then navigate from your blog to your homepage.

3. Other writing, publications or videos. I made it a point to start writing ezine articles to polish my writing skills and increase the level of recognition of me as an "expert". To date I have 30+ articles posted on Each one of them has a link to my homepage. Some of the people that read the articles will navigate to my pages and then contact me. Other people pick up the ezine feed and "syndicate" my article, and it shows up all over the place, but they all point back to me. You can do the same thing with videos, ebooks or editorial stuff.

4. Press releases. We'll talk more about press releases in a separate blog entry, but once you have written them, your business name and web page become permanent fixtures on the web, and the press release continually reminds people that you are active in your community.

To grow your web presence, one GREAT resource is The Publicity Hound. Joan Stewart really knows how to generate publicity, both on the web and off. Sign up for her newsletter and she will send you 90 days worth of great marketing and exposure ideas.


You need to be active on merchant and review sites. You absolutely need to blog. You should consider writing or other ways to generate other links. And every one of those should have your business name and website URL.

Don't believe me? Google "Senior Photography Erie" and see where I place. Go through the top 30 listings...On the day I posted this, I had 7 of the top 30 listings, including #1,#2, #3 and top placement on the map! Google "John Huegel Photography" and you'll see literally dozens of my links, each which provides evidence that I'm alive, active and doing things that customers will want to see, and which drive eyeballs to my web site.

Next up:
Providing Commerce on your Web Site


  1. Hi,

    Thanks for all the information. Hey you really have a very good knowledge about home based business. It is true that posting blogs to blog directories helps us to improve our business and also give useful information to people who are interested in Home Based Business.

  2. Stephen, I assume that posting blogs to blog directories can't hurt, as it has the potential to increase readership. I have just recently started doing this, but there's no guarantee that your target audience is watching those directories.

    I will say that it will improve your business, because it forces you to think abstractly, strategically, and also tactically as you describe things for people to think about or do to make their home based business better.

    And I believe that it does help other business owners...provided you get them to your blog to read.

    Thanks for the comment!