There Are No Shortcuts to Web Success & SEO

                I read a lot on the topic of SEO when I began thinking about creating a website. It seems like there are a few different schools of though. Some believe you can pay your way to a better site and better ranking on google, while others believe you need to nurture your site and let it’s content do all the work. Yet others feel that SEO is so unaffordable that it’s not even worth chasing after and it’s better to just get yourself and your website out there via social methods.

                Looking at the first opinion, many would agree. Sure, this is also what I thought before I knew anything about SEO. Seemed simple enough, you pay a firm a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a month and they “optimize” your website, your back-links, and your text and make you jump up the ranks very quickly on google. For the most part this is still true, but only if you hire a reputable firm and if you have the up-front capital investment to pay good money for good work. If you are expecting to pay someone $100 to end up on the front page of google, read that sentence again and realize how ridiculous it sounds. Wouldn’t everyone be doing this? A good firm will cost almost a thousand dollars a month to hire for a small business and will produce steady long-term results.

                What about those of us who can’t afford $1,000 a month? Well, you’re in my boat then. I decide to take the hard road and do all the SEO myself. Depending on the site, if you are running a WordPress back-end you can use multiple plug-ins that will give you a better idea of SEO on your site and what is working. This means you have to write and maintain a blog, articles, reviews or other meaningful text-based content to go along with your website. Additionally you want pictures and media that is relevant to your website so that it draws people to your site.

                As a New York City based photographer, the competition doesn’t get much tougher. However, maintaining a good working schedule will help you stick out. Make it a point to regularly add articles, blogs and images to your website. Those that are slacking will get left behind in the rankings.

                One thing is for sure, SEO isn’t easy or cheap, and even if you are doing SEO yourself you have to realize that your own time is money as well. You need to learn to balance shooting days with website updates and your personal life.