Expert Advice: Google Analytics Setup
Photographers spend quality time establishing their brand, organizing their photos, and building a website that can truly showcase their photography. The next logical step is to share it with the world. While social media, mass emails, and other marketing campaigns are an excellent way to connect with people you know, you’ll also want to make your website easy to find by people you don’t know — especially when they’re doing an organic Google search. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in.
The objective for Google is to organize and present the most relevant information for any given search. SEO is the process of describing your photography business in a way that Google can understand, thereby making your website show up when people search for your line of work!
How to Improve Rankings for a Photographer’s Website
Every time you search on Google, you get tremendous results, but the ones that matter only show up on the first page or two. "Page Rank" refers to the status of your website in the eyes of a search engine, meaning the more relevant you are to a search query, the higher your site is going to rank. Tracking codes are a piece of actual code that you use to sync your website to Google Analytics, thereby gaining insight into your rank and activity. Here are some useful changes that photographers can implement to improve their SEO:
Adding Google Analytics To Your Site
Once you sign in to Google Analytics, these steps will direct you to your tracking code, also known as Universal Analytics (UA).
When you click on the admin button (looks like a gear) in the lower left-hand corner, a window will show three categories: “Account,” “Property,” and “View.”
Select “Tracking Code” in the Property column. Here you will find the UA to add to your website and monitor your traffic.
Copy the tracking code from the coding window, so you can paste it into your hosting platform.
Here's how you add your UA to Squarespace and Wordpress!
- In Squarespace's settings, on the left-hand navigation, select "Advanced."
- You will arrive at a window for External Services, where you add your UA.
The easiest way to add a UA to Wordpress is through a device called a plugin. A plugin is a set of functions that add specific features to your website. They allow users to customize their website as needed, without unnecessary applications. If you can’t access your plugins, WordPress has excellent customer service that can help you find and add this feature.
The most user-friendly and efficient plugin for Google Analytics is a tool called “MonsterInsights.” At the top of the Plugin page, you will find an Add New option. That is where you can search for the MonsterInsights plugins by name.
To link MonsterInsights to your Wordpress site, you will need to register for a license key. It will send this key to your Gmail account. The license software will let you connect MonsterInsights. Make sure you use the same email from Google Analytics to connect with Monsterinsights.
You Have Analytics, Now What?
Now that you have tracking codes attached to your website, head back to Google Analytics to look at the data. Primarily, you should focus on three numbers: Users, Bounce Rate, and Geography.
Users refer to the number of people who visit your site within a given time frame.
The Bounce Rate shows the percentage of users who view the landing page and leave without exploring further. As a photographer, your goal is to attract viewers to your site and have them look through all of your pages. Generally, a bounce rate under 50% is successful; however, any website with a rate of 70% or more needs some reevaluation. If your bounce rate is too high, it means either people are not finding what they expect when they come to your site, or your content isn’t that interesting even if it matches their search. To solve the first problem, make sure that you’re accurately describing the services you offer. To address the second problem, you might need to show better pictures!
The third important factor for SEO is Geography. In the example above, Wonderful Machine's analytics show that 55% of our users originated in the United States. This percentage has dropped over time since we've gained a more international audience. It is useful to know where your audience is — especially for international photographers. Because European countries are much closer in proximity, it may be beneficial for a photographer to have recognition across Europe, where they have easy access to clients, regardless of location. Also, the US has plenty of international publications that are always looking for photographers to take on assignments. Building an audience in the US will help get the recognition necessary to work with those publications.
Adding The Search Console
The Search Console shows that your page is in the search engine's index. It also helps show you what your prospective customers are searching for in Google.
To find the search console, go to the Acquisition tab in the left menu. Then select “Search Console” and then “Landing Pages.”
There will be a section to add your URL, which will transfer you to Search Console.
Once you've added your URL to the search console, head back to the admin tab at the bottom left corner of the screen.
Linking Google Analytics To Search Console
Google Analytics and Search Console must be connected to show the data you need to optimize your website. Here's how you link them:
Under the Property column in the admin page, you will see a button for “Property Settings.” The link will open a tab where you can “Adjust Search Console.”
Confirm in the Analytics settings that the two are linked.
Sign Up For Google My Business
Companies on Google My Business need a traditional address (a PO Box won’t cut it) displayed at the top or bottom of every page on your website.
Once you log in, using the same email or username as Google Analytics, you can customize your account to increase the visibility of your website.
Here is a Google My Business listing for Sean Bolton Product Photography. His company's name consists of keywords: “Philadelphia Product Photography.” This strategic title will move his business up in the rankings for a google search.
There are a lot of buzzwords involved with SEO and Analytics. If you get confused, check out our handy SEO Glossary!
If you have any questions about your website's SEO, reach out via email or give us a call at 1 610 260 0200