The last few blog posts have focused on SEO (search engine optimisation) and running an online photographic-based business.
One thing you will have picked out is how important it is to have good writing and to have a naming convention that matches the requirements of Google and the other search engines.
I guess the key takeaway from all this is how precise you have to be, and that search engines’ make judgments about your site based not on the quality of the images (the main focus of the search engines in relation to photos is assessing whether or not they have been compressed to speed up the time it takes for website page to be uploaded) or how great the website looks, but at whether or not you have followed their indexing and writing conventions.
I think this is one of the most frustrating things for photographers, is having decisions about a website’s quality based on whether or not you followed a particular writing and indexing convention. So unless you get the writing and indexing right, you won't rate in Google or the other search engines regardless of how good your photos are or how innovative your products are.
I guess it's a reminder that at the heart of most computing systems are based on simple mathematics (in other words, they are really not that sophisticated) and that any translation of the numerical terms into written language is going to follow this simplicity so that it can integrate with the mathematical formulas behind search engines.
This has taken a long time to get our heads around this; that the Google rankings are not a commentary on the quality of our products, be they calendars, greeting cards or canvas prints. Instead, they are a commentary on our ability to understand Google's indexing system.
And that, even if you get the writing spot on, if the other websites aren't linking to your website and in the process giving your website credibility and authority in the eyes of Google and the other search engines, your ranking will be lower than other websites that have more links to their website, even if the photos or the products aren't as good.
This leads to a very important point that is often not made by businesses that promotes search engine marketing services. Getting other websites to link to your website is actually about a whole lot of off-line relationship building (in short, getting out and talking to real people about your business).
This last point only become crystal clear to us in the last little while (not the bit about building business relationships off-line, but rather the impact off-line relationships has on building links to your website).
Getting your landscape photos to an audience in this day and age, in one sense is simpler than it used to be, but in others it is a lot more complicated than just letting people know that you have great canvas prints, greeting cards, calendars, photos printed onto the chocolate, or photos printed on the T-shirts and hoodies (and hopefully other clothing items in the future).