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Episode #136

3 Things to Fix on Your Website So Photo Editors Can Find You


UPDATED: June 5, 2023


It's incredible how many image licensing opportunities have landed in my inbox because I've made it easy for editors to find my photos in Google searches. Here are 3 super simple things to do on your website starting today to improve the chances of photo editors finding your amazing work online.


Quick website fixes that make a big improvement

How do you get your images found by photo editors? It's a question I'm asked all the time. 

And the great thing is… 

You already have tools at your fingertips to MASSIVELY help photo editors find your work. 

That means – without you even trying – you can score image licensing opportunities, connect with and build relationships with editors at publications, and build your reputation and revenue streams for your photography work.  

All with a teeeeeensy amount of work upfront. 

In this episode, Jo and I cover 3 super easy ways to optimize your images for search (without getting overwhelmed or scared off by tech!). 


Resources Mentioned

Episode 136: 3 Things to Fix on Your Website So Photo Editors Can Find You

Shownotes: ConservationVisuals.com/136

(Digitally transcribed, please forgive any typos)

Jaymi Heimbuch:
[00:00:00] Jaymi: Welcome to this episode of Impact, the Conservation Photography podcast.

[00:00:04] Jaymi: And I'm really excited cuz it's been a while that we've had a Joe episode. And Joe, welcome back to the show. I'm so

[00:00:11] Jo: Yay. It's a Jo show. No, it's a Jaymi show with a Jo. I like that.

[00:00:17] Jo: Yeah.

[00:00:18] Jaymi: Well I'm excited to sit down and, and talk with you today, especially about this episode's topic because we are talking today about three things to fix on your website, so photo editors can find you. And this topic has really been on my mind lately because I have started a brand.

[00:00:39] Jaymi: Job, the Irreplaceable Susan Hanney is retiring from Ranger Rick Magazine and I have stepped into her role as photo editor for Ranger Rick and Ranger Rick Jr. And so= um, I have been doing a lot of Google searching for images and. It's something that I've always thought about and, and taught my [00:01:00] students and and dug into, but now I'm thinking about even more.

[00:01:03] Jaymi: How do you get your images found by photo editors? Because on the other side of that, as photo editors are like, we really wanna find good images quickly and easily. And so uh, I wanna dive in today about,

[00:01:14] Jo: Before we go any further, I wanna back up a second and say, congratulations, Jamie.

[00:01:19] Jaymi: Aw, thank you.

[00:01:21] Jo: have picked somebody better. That's just amazing. And I mean all, I don't know about the rest of your audience, but I know Ranger Rick had a huge impact on my life in early child. I mean, even to the fact that I actually liked going to the doctor because you could always find Ranger. Magazine and so I just thought that was just the coolest magazine, so congratulations,

[00:01:44] Jaymi: Thank you. Thank you. And yeah, I mean, same, same for me. I just, I grew up on Ranger Rick, like this is a really amazing publication that I think fundamentally helped shape the way that I see the world and, and it's. Fall in love with nature [00:02:00] and get really excited about learning all about animals. And so it definitely helped shape me as someone who is an advocate for nature and conservation and, you know, wildlife photography.

[00:02:11] Jaymi: And so to be able to play a role in. Helping to shape another generation of conservationists who, who, and also in a role that lets me get to really support photographers and, anyway, I, I won't go too far into that, but I'm very, very excited, very honored overjoyed to really stretch those photo editor skills inside this magazine that, that to me is just like an institution.

[00:02:37] Jaymi: So, yeah,

[00:02:38] Jo: And you're going to continue the podcast and continue with all of your other efforts. It's just, I don't know how you do all of that, but it's amazing that you do.

[00:02:47] Jaymi: Yeah, no, everything is staying the same with Conservation Visual Storytellers Academy, so nothing's changing there. Still gonna be teaching conservation photography 1 0 1 and opening that for enrollment. In fact, the next enrollment period is [00:03:00] May 2nd. So I'll be opening conservation photography 1 0 1 up on May 2nd for new students.

[00:03:06] Jaymi: So all of that stay in the same, I'm still in my student group Monday through Thursday, coaching everyone and giving feedback and so all of that, staying the same podcast. We'll keep airing, but in addition to that, I work a full-time job as photo editor of Rachel, Rick. Yay.

[00:03:20] Jo: you had nothing else to do.

[00:03:22] Jaymi: No, I was, I was just laying around with my, you know, sewing and embroidery which actually I'm really, really into, like I got super into embroidery recently.

[00:03:32] Jaymi: So anyway, random side notes. So,

[00:03:35] Jo: Nice. And we get to take all your editing skills with you and move them into this new world.

[00:03:40] Jaymi: Yeah. Oh man, it's so fun. But I also love it when our episodes are super, super useful for listeners. So I'm excited that one of the things that's been on my mind can be something that we nerd out about for tips for photographers to get

[00:03:54] Jo: Well, it sounds like a very useful topic because it's the, the [00:04:00] nuts and bolts of how to get in front of the right person's eyes, right?

[00:04:03] Jaymi: Mm-hmm. . Exactly. Exactly. And you know, so looking at strategies for, and really simple, easy to implement strategies on your website is something that I've always found really important because not only are you trying to get your images out there for potentially. Photo editors to discover and to be able to see, but also it just drives organic traffic to your website.

[00:04:24] Jaymi: And so if you are a nature photographer, and especially if you're a conservation photographer, where one of the parts of your work is bringing extra awareness and attention to issues that you care about, it's important to be able to bring additional organic traffic to your. Because everyone landing on that can then discover your work, find out more about these issues, find out about the species you're photographing, the places you're photographing.

[00:04:48] Jaymi: So it's incredibly useful. But in addition to that, it makes it easier for editors to find your work and then potentially find ways like unexpected outlets So you, you used the term [00:05:00] organic. What as opposed to non-organic, I don't understand.

[00:05:06] Jaymi: Great . I love how you set me up for that because I know you know exactly what organic and non-organic is, but that was a beautiful setup, Joe, and you're absolutely right. So organic traffic is, Any traffic to your website that comes through natural search. So someone is searching for something on Google and your website is something that comes up as one of those search results.

[00:05:28] Jaymi: And so people naturally just land or organically land on your website versus non-organic, which is where you're actively driving people to your website. So that might be through paid ads or posting on social media and saying, go. you are l to read the article or whatever. So that is stuff where you are actively driving traffic, whereas organic traffic is based on search results and just people essentially stumbling upon your website.

[00:05:54] Jaymi: And, and the more that you can do, especially the, the handful of things that we're gonna talk about [00:06:00] specifically in this episode that you could go implement today, will dramatically help your work be one of the search results that comes back on Google, so that you can drive that organic.

[00:06:11] Jo: and the things that you're gonna My, my first well, my nerd, tentacles come out in my ear or what, what's the word? Like,

[00:06:18] Jaymi: You like Spidey sense?

[00:06:19] Jo: Yeah. Yeah. The bity sense.

[00:06:21] Jo: I knew it was something with lots of legs. And, and so I get excited about that, but the reality is the things you're gonna talk about today are not super nerdy

[00:06:30] Jaymi: Nope. Yes.

[00:06:32] Jo: really cool.

[00:06:32] Jaymi: Yeah, basically if you have a website, a photography website, you can do everything that we are talking about today and just jump in and start doing it, man. And you could go and retroactively do this for everything already on your website, and you can implement this moving forward for everything you add to your website.

[00:06:50] Jaymi: So super, super easy. Shall we dive in? Okay, cool. The first thing that we want to make sure that you're doing [00:07:00] is optimizing your images for seo. I know that that sounds really like techy. If, if that's not something that you're used to hearing, that sounds like, oh my God, we're gonna go into seo, speak this, blah.

[00:07:13] Jaymi: No fun. But actually it is really, really basic stuff. So when we talk about optimizing images for seo, it basically says we're just gonna do everything that we can to make sure that search engine. So SEO is search engine optimization. That search engines can find that image because what happens a lot is photo editors will pop in some search terms for a species that they're looking for or a behavior that they're looking for, and will pop that into, you know, Google and then we'll look under the images and we wanna be able to see what images are coming up.

[00:07:43] Jaymi: And Google is basically saying, I found all these images on the internet that fill that search. So you wanna make sure that you are optimizing your images to show up for those things. And there's some very. Things that you can do too. Make sure that you are optimizing your images for seo [00:08:00] and also all of the stuff that we talk about.

[00:08:01] Jaymi: We're not gonna get into the nitty gritty of how to do all of this, like step by step. Exactly. Here's the, the part on your website, here's the field that you go fill in. I'm gonna link to some really useful articles in the show notes that are some of the best resources, most straightforward, simple step-by-step resources.

[00:08:21] Jaymi: So you can find those in the show notes. But we're gonna talk about the concept in, in. the first thing that when you're looking at optimizing your images for seo, one thing that you definitely wanna dive into is using descriptive names for your image files. So what I mean by that is oftentimes when we are looking at our image files, they are inside the camera under like undermine.

[00:08:45] Jaymi: It's like j h underscore 87, 360 4, whatever it is, like it's a file number. You put that into Lightroom and you're editing your.

[00:08:54] Jo: 3 0 9. Okay. Sorry. Keep going.

[00:08:58] Jaymi: That's good. We need to have that be the [00:09:00] file number for every example for this episode. So you, you pop that into Lightroom and you're editing your photo and you export it. And a lot of times folks will export as this, the original file number or maybe it's the original file number plus, you know, version one or version two. If you instead add a descriptive file name and you can always keep your your file number on there, but if you add that descriptive file name and that's what you're using as the file that you upload to your website, then basically you're giving Google. A leg up by saying, when you read this file name, you're already understanding what content is in that file.

[00:09:40] Jaymi: So for instance, I have whale sharks up in front of me on, on my light room, on my monitor right now. So if I were gonna export that file to put it onto my website, I would export it as Whale Shark, Baja California, and then original file number or Whale Shark. Feeding on Crill [00:10:00] original file number or something like that, so it doesn't have to be super long, but descriptive.

[00:10:04] Jaymi: Another really great strategy is putting your name in there so you could do whale shark feeding Crill, Jamie Heinbach original file number. That, but as long as you've got something in there that's descriptive as the file name, you're really helping Google out by saying, here's what's inside this image.

[00:10:22] Jaymi: And so Google can look at that and then if someone is to go to a Google search bar and put in whale shark feeding on Crill, your image is way more likely to show up in the search result because Google has that much more information for what that image.

[00:10:36] Jo: And you can make that file name however long you want. I mean, you don't wanna have a whole paragraph, but I mean, you could say Whale shark feeding on Crill, Baja, California and your name, and that's not too long. And cuz nobody sees that on your webpage.

[00:10:54] Jaymi: Well, people will see it on the webpage if they were to maybe like right click download and it's, it does save [00:11:00] as and it'll save as that file name. I wouldn't say go and. Make it a paragraph, like you said, like make it a reasonable length and you don't need to put in things like on it and the, you know, stuff like that.

[00:11:13] Jaymi: Just use those keywords. But the other thing too is it doesn't help to keyword stuff a file. So it doesn't help to say whale, shark, fish, ocean blue water, you know, and, and to put all these keywords into that file name. Just something simple for what that image is about, and maybe your name. I think that that's really helpful too, because if someone wants to search for your name, some of these images are gonna be coming up, which is great.

[00:11:39] Jaymi: And then that original file number, I keep that on there because that's for my purposes. it, Google doesn't care if there's a little bit of a a image file number on there. As long as there's that description and I know, oh, I can go easily find what that real file is in my hard drive where I'm looking at just those file numbers because otherwise it's way too confusing to try and manage all those [00:12:00] images.

[00:12:00] Jaymi: But that is a really helpful. For image optimization. Another thing that you can do along the same lines for image optimization for SEO is making sure that when you upload it to your website, you add in alt text. So alt text is that littlefield. Where you are describing what's inside that image. And this is actually something that's really important, not only for search engine optimization, but also for accessibility because that's something that the Americans with Disability Act set forward. And Joe, you can talk about this probably way better than I can cuz you're an IT specialist, but they put that forward so that someone who is visually impaired can still understand what's happening inside of an image as they scroll through the web. But it also helps Google understand what's inside that image.

[00:12:51] Jaymi: So,

[00:12:52] Jo: that's where it started from, and then Google took advantage of it. I mean, Yeah. Because the that, well, I don't know for [00:13:00] sure, for sure. But the idea is that, yeah, it was there so that you have some te descriptive text to tell somebody who is visually impaired. What is there. Yes,

[00:13:09] Jaymi: Mm-hmm. . So Google Smart. Then to lean on that, because that is a, a field, you only need to put in six to 10 words, something around 125 characters, very short, and you would literally just say, Whale shark feeding on crill. You don't need to say, this is an image of a whale shark feeding on crill blue ocean whale shark fish.

[00:13:31] Jaymi: You know, all of that stuff. No, we're not keyword stuffing there either. We're literally just describing a tiny little bit of the core content of that image

[00:13:39] Jo: And can I just say For the ADA stuff. I mean, that is its main purpose. So when you have screen readers that are going down, that's what they're reading to tell that person what's there. So when you put in things that are there for maybe Google, but not for them, it's just noise to that person.

[00:13:58] Jo: And that also is that thing that [00:14:00] when you roll over the image and you see the little. pop up that shows the text. That's the alt text, right? That's coming up. And so that is what's getting read. So it's really, really important in the alt text to keep that in mind that the main purpose is for visually impaired people.

[00:14:16] Jaymi: Yes. Yeah, that's a really great point too, is you're thinking about user experience as well. Like you're not necessarily thinking, oh, I wanna keyword stuff this field, in order for Google to have all this informa. No. We're thinking about user experience for being able to understand what's happening in that image.

[00:14:34] Jo: right.

[00:14:34] Jaymi: But yeah, it works for search too. So so those are two things. Making sure you have a descriptive file name. and making sure that you fill in that alt text field. Those are two super, super simple things that really help with your image being found and understood right away, both by Google and also by whoever is looking at this image, they can really easily say, okay, it's definitely falling under what I'm looking for or what I'm understanding about what's going [00:15:00] on in this webpage, because I can see the file name, I can see the alt text. Now a third thing that comes in, definitely for user experience. Yes, it matters for Google. For Google, basically rewarding your webpage for being on your best behavior. But it also is really important for user experience is watching your file size that you upload to your website so that it loads very quickly. And this is really important for for two reasons. Like I said, Google wants your website to load quickly, so the more quickly your website will actually load and display for people and be a really nice user experience, the more Google is going to bump you up there on the search results because this is a nice experience for users to have.

[00:15:40] Jaymi: The slower your website is to load, the less likely Google is gonna say, oh, this is a great website. I'm gonna put it at the top of search results. But also that's there for user experience. People are moving quickly, and so we're also talking about like, Hey, if you wanna be found by photo editors, photo editors are looking at a lot of information really fast.

[00:15:59] Jaymi: And [00:16:00] if it takes a long time, For an image to load, we're just gonna move on to the next page unless it's something where we're like, no, that's definitely an image I need to see, or I wanna see, we're gonna jump to the next thing. So making sure that that image loads really quickly is a great way to make sure that if your image is found, that person clicking on it is gonna stay on the website long enough to really see that image and then to be interested and, and wanna move around on that WebP.

[00:16:25] Jo: Okay, so here I've got a question though for if I am trying to get an editor to like my pictures and the. Files smaller. Does that mean the quality's lower and then they're gonna think something's wrong or not as good with my photo as something that's maybe an image with that's bigger and maybe higher quality.

[00:16:48] Jo: So how do I balance that? You know, I don't want, yeah, that's great. They found me. But then they go look at it and they go, that looks like crap. And it's like, oh, no, no, no. It's just because it's a, you know, low res [00:17:00] file as opposed to the quality of the image.

[00:17:03] Jaymi: What a great question. Yeah. So again, we're not gonna go into the weeds too far on the how to. So I'm gonna make sure that I link to a great article that explains image sizing and compression without losing quality and all of that stuff. But basically what you wanna do, cuz this is such a great thing to bring up and actually uh, I remember, I don't know.

[00:17:25] Jaymi: Gosh, 12, 13, 14 years ago, I did a portfolio review with a stock agency and they were considering me for their agency, and we did a portfolio review and I was showing them images from my website and they said, well, one of the reasons why we're not taking your work is because, see how it's soft here and it's soft there?

[00:17:44] Jaymi: And I was like, oh no, those are tax sharp images. They're just displaying badly on my website. So I lost out on this whole opportunity. , one of the things that that you'll look for in making sure that your image loads quickly is not necessarily making a really tiny [00:18:00] file size in terms of, oh, I'm only gonna make an image that's 800 pixels on the long edge and upload that.

[00:18:05] Jaymi: You can actually utilize a larger image, like maybe 1280 or, you know, 1500 pixels, something that can display nicely on a monitor, but then you can actually compress that image while maintaining quality with a tool. So for instance, Tiny JPEG is a website where you can actually drag and drop your files and it'll compress them without dropping any image quality.

[00:18:30] Jaymi: So you can take a file, you export it from, let's say you export your file from Lightroom at 1500 pixels on the long edge, but it's still kind of a meaty file. You can drop that into a tool like Tiny Jpeg, and it will compress that to be a much smaller file size. But the image looks. really nice. You upload that to your website and then that way the image loads much more quickly.

[00:18:55] Jaymi: It's still a really high quality image, but you don't have to worry about it [00:19:00] being all pixelated or it's too tiny for an editor to really view very well, and so they can't really see what the image is, or they're worried that maybe, oh, that's a great image. I might wanna use it, but the file is gonna be too little.

[00:19:11] Jaymi: I won't be able to print it. You can really display something lovely, and there's lots of tools out there. I like tiny jpeg, I just utilize that. But there's a tool called Magnify, and that's a plugin that you can put into your WordPress site. There's all kinds of image compression tools out there.

[00:19:28] Jaymi: Yeah.

[00:19:29] Jo: Cool. So you can make sure that you're still displaying your best stuff and it load quickly.

[00:19:35] Jaymi: Yeah, absolutely. I'm really glad that you brought that up. Cause that's a very, I. Thing to mention because it's definitely the case that you might see a cool looking image on Google search results, and then you click to the webpage and then it doesn't look so hot, and then you really question like, okay, so does this photographer know how to handle their files?

[00:19:55] Jaymi: Are they like, it brings up all kinds of stuff on how much does a [00:20:00] photographer know about? Processing their images or quality of images and all of that. So if you can actually make sure that your images are displayed beautifully on your website, nice and sharp, and great resolution and all of that loading really quickly, then that's a really great leg up and a great sign that you're, even if you're not a pro, you're acting like a pro, right?

[00:20:21] Jaymi: Yeah. So we talked about making sure that you've got a descriptive file. , making sure that you're filling out that alt text. And on both of those, you're thinking about user experience and Google experience. Making sure that that photo actually loads quickly so that not only does Google say, Hey, this website is running really nice and quickly, we're gonna make sure that it appears in the search results.

[00:20:43] Jaymi: But also when someone clicks on that, they're not just sitting around drinking their coffee, waiting for that image to finally load. They actually can click on it and see it. . And then the other thing to make sure that you're adding is captions, image captions. Because [00:21:00] once a photo editor lands on that website, they've had a great experience.

[00:21:03] Jaymi: Your image was the first one to show up on Google search results. It looks gorgeous. They clicked on it. Oh, it's this beautiful resolution. It loaded really quick. Everything's a great user experience. The next thing they're wanna gonna wanna do is find out more information. Exactly what species is that?

[00:21:18] Jaymi: What's happening in the photograph? Where is this located? You know, all of that great information that tells a little story about that. That is a fantastic way not only to inform the user, but it also gives Google a little bit more information to be able to understand what the image is about. See that you are providing a great user experience for people looking for that image, and so that's gonna help you rank more highly as well.

[00:21:45] Jaymi: Adding captions in. It's funny because so many photographer websites out there, when I go into galleries, I can't find captions anywhere. It's just a row of images with no information whatsoever.

[00:21:58] Jaymi: And if you can provide [00:22:00] some information, even if it's a caption that only appears when you hover over the image or you have to click on the image and see it. , even if you're just providing a caption in that way, it is so, so, so useful to have that in there.

[00:22:12] Jo: And so not only for the search engine, but for the editor. Like, okay, if it said whale shark feeding on crill in Baja, California in the spring or whenever it is, they do it. And they wanted whale shark, because I, I'm making this up. I've no, I know nothing about whale sharks, but they migrate to Alaska like the whale do or something.

[00:22:34] Jo: And they won. It's more about Alaska than about Baja, California. Then that helps them, I mean, does that make that big a difference when to editors? In terms of when you're putting , information in the caption, what kinds of things , is an editor going to wanna know, like location and what the action is and all that kind of stuff?

[00:22:56] Jo: Or is there other things too that weird things that we [00:23:00] wouldn't think about?

[00:23:01] Jaymi: Oh yeah, that's a great question. And, and this is something that I teach all of my students in conservation photography 1 0 1 also, is even if you aren't getting super in depth at a caption, there are some things that you wanna include just for basic information, like baseline information that are really helpful.

[00:23:17] Jaymi: So if it's a place. Making sure that you're being very specific on the place names, so we understand like if it's Yosemite, you're not just saying, oh, it's Yosemite. You're saying Yosemite National Park, California North America, you know, something like that. So that we have a little bit of information and a little bit of story is great.

[00:23:39] Jaymi: you don't have to go on some long narrative but like, a little bit of story about that place can be really helpful. If it's a species. So for instance, I have a lot of urban coyote stuff

[00:23:49] Jaymi: so inside of a caption I might say. And I, I wouldn't worry too much in my caption on a website about , caption structure, like saying, Coyote, [00:24:00] Canus la, you know, whatever it is. I would just say, like let's say it's an image of an urban coyote under a streetlight. Then I would say this coyote that lives in the heart of San Francisco was, you know, active in, or is active in the middle of the night.

[00:24:17] Jaymi: Typically they're a cri species, but they transition to an nocturnal activity when they're in an urban environment in order to avoid people or something like that. If you are someone where you're photographing primarily portraits of species and not necessarily stories about them, have the common name in the Latin name, in the caption, because then that way a photo editor is gonna know, okay, is this a, is this a s.

[00:24:41] Jaymi: An island Scrub Jay or a California scrub Jay, I really, I'm looking for something about island scrub jays. They look really similar. How do I know that this is the right species? So I think that making sure that you've got that Latin name in there when you're dealing with plant or animal species that can be really helpful.

[00:24:59] Jaymi: With [00:25:00] coyotes, I think that it's less important because unless you. I don't even think there are subspecies of coyotes like there, I think Eastern Coyote might be a subspecies, but like if you're dealing with something that is super obvious, there's no subspecies to worry about, it's not as important.

[00:25:14] Jaymi: But if you're dealing with like, let's say wolves, there's plenty of very distinctive wolf populations that you need to make sure, okay, is this a Mexican gray wolf? Is this a like, so you really wanna get specific on certain things that editors are gonna be like, I need this species in. Location in order to like stay true to the story.

[00:25:35] Jaymi: I think I feel like I'm getting into, I could talk about this all day long. I feel like I'm getting into the weeds a little bit on, on captions, but captions are important in a lot of ways. I think that people can stress out about them. So I would say don't stress out about it too much , but do add in a little bit about what is it that we're looking at, maybe a little bit of the story behind.

[00:25:55] Jaymi: Behavior or location or something that's interesting about it? Something [00:26:00] that's relevant to that photo.

[00:26:02] Jo: There was a reason why you liked that photo and wanted to put it on your. and wanted to tell people something. So if you ask yourself that question, it seems like that would be a pretty easy answer then to put in the caption.

[00:26:15] Jaymi: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. And I also enjoy reading captions that not only verify what it is that I'm looking at, like, oh yeah, I am looking at, you know, this particular species. Okay, cool. But like, Behind the scenes of how the shot was made or some cool factoid. You know, all of that stuff is really, I think, really helpful not only to perk the interest of the reader, but also I think it reveals.

[00:26:42] Jaymi: How much you know as a photographer, how much you can be leaned on for helping maybe shape a story or come up with a new angle or you know, the way that you think as a photographer. Like my buddy Morgan Heim, I think she's just exceptional at captions cuz she always thinks about [00:27:00] a little bit of like, The philosophy behind an activity or how it relates to the bigger picture of something.

[00:27:07] Jaymi: And so I feel like I'm always like, not only learning a little bit, but like understanding more about something that's experiential or you know, you can really add in stuff like that. If you're someone who's a prolific writer, like just go for it.

[00:27:20] Jo: Well, and, and then an editor will help edit whatever they're gonna put in a caption in your photo that's published,

[00:27:29] Jaymi: Yeah. The odds of your caption that you put on your website, ending up with the photo in print is slim to none. So yeah, you don't have to stress about that at all.

[00:27:36] Jo: Yeah. Sweet

[00:27:38] Jaymi: So we've covered, for images anyway, we've covered descriptive file. Making sure you get the alt text in there, making sure that you are uploading high quality files, but that are small enough that they load quickly so that that image is loading really speedily and adding in captions so that once someone lands on your webpage, they're understanding what that image is about and which also helps [00:28:00] Google.

[00:28:00] Jaymi: but there's also other things that you can do to your website as a whole that can help it rank more highly on Google search results and help your work be found. And Joe, I know that this is something that you know quite a bit about and you've got a tool that can be really helpful.

[00:28:17] Jo: Well, I would say I know quite a bit about it, but I am curious. Out it and I'm, I wanna learn more about it. And that is just different tools that point to places on your website that will be more successful. For a search engine to find you like the words you use in the headers of your pages or your actual text in terms of how it reads.

[00:28:39] Jo: Is it too technical? Or maybe you want it to be technical and that's okay, but it might tell you that in terms of just grammatically how it reads, it might be more difficult for some people than others and different Building tools will, will give you different things to use. So, for instance, in [00:29:00] WordPress, you know, a very common one that gets bundled with, with a WordPress installation is Yost and it's got this great little, you know red, yellow, green sort of things that you can just look at it and it'll tell you on your webpage, okay, this section of your webpage is a red.

[00:29:16] Jo: And it's like, oh, why? Oh, well, because you. You put an image there and there is no alt text. And so beyond the fact that it's gonna be hard for searching to find it, it's not good for, for people who are visually impaired. So you should go put something there and it'll tell you, oh, you didn't put any descriptive thing over here, or, oh, you should change these words.

[00:29:37] Jo: And so it walks you through pretty simply what to. and you know, there's lots of free versions of these things out there and different platforms have different things. Squarespace, and I'm sure Wicks must, I haven't seen it, but I'm sure they must as well. So it's not hard to go through that and then get yourself at least two, for instance, a yellow or a green, but the least, you know, you covered all your bases.

[00:29:59] Jo: And I [00:30:00] think that while it's like, ugh, really have to go do that, it really doesn't take very long. And there's nothing wrong with cut and paste. You know, that each page has the exact same thing on it. It's just that section is filled out, you know? And so I just. to keep in mind that there are other pretty simple tools to use that you don't have to be very technical.

[00:30:19] Jo: That could definitely get more results of a search for your website as a whole and not just the images.

[00:30:27] Jaymi: Great. Yeah, there's simple fields that you definitely wanna fill out that are things like your meta description and your, you know, page title like a lot of times when we talk about page title, it'll be something that. Comes up where it's like, test page two. Well, you wanna make sure that you change your page title to portfolio gallery Whale Sharks or whatever it is, so that it doesn't show up as test page two on

[00:30:53] Jaymi: Google

[00:30:53] Jo: Yes. I got one of those just the other day when I was searching for something. Yeah.

[00:30:58] Jaymi: But yeah, having a tool [00:31:00] like Yost, s e o, it's y o a s t. Seo, that plugin is super helpful, super easy. if you're on a WordPress page filling out, you just scroll to the bottom and yo will tell you, well, here's what you need to make sure to add in on all of these fields.

[00:31:15] Jaymi: How readable is it? And all of that, and not super helpful. And yeah, like you say, Squarespace, Wix, every platform. , even if they don't have it like a a plugin tool, they've got a checklist for you to go through and make sure that you're hitting on everything to optimize your site.

[00:31:32] Jo: Yeah. And the, thing that you have to make sure if you are a checklist person, like Jamie and I, or you're just like get lured into rabbit holes, you just gotta make sure that don't , you know, just some basic stuff that you have to worry about. The next thing's like, but what about this and what about that?

[00:31:52] Jo: And do I have to do this? And oh my God, what about that? And it's like, no,

[00:31:55] Jaymi: Exit the rabbit

[00:31:56] Jo: Yes, exactly. Just fill in the basic stuff. [00:32:00] And that's the other part is if you're not a rabbit hole person and you see all of this stuff and you go, oh my God, I don't wanna go down over there, it's gonna be too hard. It's not, you know, here's the five things you just have to do.

[00:32:12] Jo: And that's it. And it'll make a big, big difference without a whole lot of overhead of, of just sort of work that you have to put.

[00:32:19] Jaymi: Yeah. I will say though that as someone who has experienced all the levels of webpage, Ooh, this is fun. And webpage, this is awful. I never wanna look at this again. Experiences . Um, It is really helpful to actually set yourself a checklist, so even if you're not following, You know the ultimate checklist of SEO optimization, and these are all the things, even if you're like, I just wanna do these basics, it's really helpful to have a checklist that just has your basics.

[00:32:50] Jaymi: Did I do a descriptive file name? Did I include the alt text? Did I add my caption? Because. When you're working on your website, every time you go back in there, it's [00:33:00] probably gonna have been a little while between the last time you updated a portfolio gallery. The last time you wrote an article or something.

[00:33:06] Jaymi: A little bit of time has passed by, so it's easy to forget, oh yeah, I'm supposed to do this, or I'm supposed to do that. So build yourself a little checklist of the basics so that every time you go back six months later, you have new. To add, you can just pull up that checklist and be like, oh yeah, these are the things that I wanna make sure that I do when I do this update the, I'll add these new images to the gallery so that everything's really consistent on that website, and I don't have some images on there that are optimized and some aren't.

[00:33:35] Jaymi: And oops, I accidentally put in the high res file and it's, you know, however many megabytes and someone can download it. And you know, you run into all kinds of issues. It's like, Nope, I've got my little checklist here. This.

[00:33:48] Jo: Yeah. And for those kinds of things. . I think that's great because what it does is it makes it seem less daunting when I go to do it, because I can go back and pull out that checklist and go, oh yeah, that's what I did. [00:34:00] Oh yeah, that's, that's right. I just have to do these five things, and that's not that big a deal.

[00:34:04] Jo: And also it doesn't have to be anything fancy. It's literally a scrap of paper in a folder somewhere. You know? It's, it's just that simple. Yeah.

[00:34:13] Jaymi: That's what I'm working from right now too, because I'm in the middle of rebuilding conservation visuals.com. I'm gonna be adding in an article section, and so, I don't know, six months ago was when I started the project and I started to build out what I wanted that to look like and how I wanted to have my naming convention on my images and all of these, you know, different things I wanna make sure that I do.

[00:34:35] Jaymi: And so I made that checklist. An sop, a standard operating procedure document. And so I started to create that. Well, last week after a long break away from it, I went back in and was like, oh wait, what did I say I was gonna do for image sizes consistently? And, oh, what was I gonna do? And I just went back to that checklist and was like, oh yeah, this is what I decided on.

[00:34:56] Jaymi: Okay, cool. So it's something that no matter how experienced you [00:35:00] are, man, that comes in handy when? When a lot of time has gone.

[00:35:02] Jo: Isn't it nice? Sometimes you go back and you do that and you impress yourself because you thought about all those things. that a really good, I'm glad I remembered that.

[00:35:14] Jaymi: It's so funny that you say that because I totally had that moment and I was like, oh, how thorough you are, Jamie. Well done. Well done but also it saves you the energy of having to refigure it. And so you're like, oh few, like you said, it makes it so that the next time you wanna go update your website, it's not daunting. You're like, nah, I got my checklist. I'll just do that. I don't have to go relearn any of this. I just go and follow my checklist.

[00:35:39] Jo: Yeah. And it's just for you too. So that's the other beauty of it is, is that you can write in whatever shorthand. That, you know, you'll remember. And you don't ha, it's not like you have to explain it to somebody else, it's just yourself. So that's the other nice thing about it. It doesn't have to be super fancy.

[00:35:54] Jaymi: Yeah, absolutely. So if you're listening to this and you have never considered search engine [00:36:00] optimization for your website, but you wanna make sure that your images are really getting seen by people who are searching for the species, the places, the behaviors, the whatever it is that you are working on.

[00:36:11] Jaymi: These are some really simple things that help you to get found and you don't have to go down the rabbit hole of learning SEL to make it happen. So descriptive file names, alt text, watching that file size, adding in captions. and then maybe hitting some of the other basics of seo. And like I said, I'm gonna have some articles that explain the how-to of all of this way better than I ever could.

[00:36:37] Jaymi: And those will be in the show notes. So just scroll on down from where you're listing, you'll be able to go to the show notes and find all these links to really awesome, very clear resources so that you can not feel overwhelmed. Not tumble on down the rabbit hole, but just be like, okay, these are the basics.

[00:36:53] Jo: And now you know what a organic searches are,

[00:36:56] Jaymi: I don't . Exactly. And [00:37:00] organic is good because honestly, I mean, I, I don't even know how many times in the last couple weeks I've done this where we've got our images that we're considering for a story. But I'm like, but I kind of wanna find something that might be like this. And off I go to Google. because I don't necessarily have a photographer in mind or something.

[00:37:15] Jaymi: I'm like, I just need to find some Google images. I'm gonna go down this Google Rabbit hole. And you really depend on finding that. And I don't even know how many images I've had licensed because a photo editor found me randomly by searching. And so I've had, I remember an a Northern Elephant seal.

[00:37:32] Jaymi: Photo that was licensed outta nowhere because they found my Elephant seal article that I'd written on my website. And just because I had optimized that there was an image licensing opportunity. So you're really helping out photo editors, you're helping out yourself, and trust me, it's super, super easy and trust Joe when she says it's super, super easy.

[00:37:53] Jaymi: These are are basic things that aren't scary yet. We promise. Hi [00:38:00] I feel like you could, that's a Halloween costume where you're just like the SEO monster. You just come into a room and go, boo, so Or it's, or it's like what was the big tentacle guy in Stranger Things,

[00:38:23] Jaymi: you know? And so it's like, oh,

[00:38:25] Jo: Yeah.

[00:38:26] Jaymi: tags coming at you, Ron.

[00:38:30] Jo: okay, we're gonna have to coordinate our costumes

[00:38:32] Jaymi: yeah, I know.

[00:38:34] Jaymi: Okay. I gotta come back. I, So, Joe, before we we wrap anything up, do you have any other tips or tools that you wanna make sure to put out there for this particular topic?

[00:38:45] Jo: No,

[00:38:46] Jo: I think that's enough, because I think if you try to do more, you won't do it.

[00:38:50] Jaymi: Yeah, that's a very valid point. Okay.

[00:38:52] Jo: I think, I think those were excellent tips to just stick to that, and you'd be good.

[00:38:57] Jaymi: All right, well we will go ahead and wrap [00:39:00] this up and if you are someone who's like super skilled with SEO and you have some other tips that you think we should definitely share with other photographers, feel free to find me on Instagram and DM me and let's make sure that we get that out there. Otherwise we'll talk to you all again next week.


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