Is Your Web Presence Really Findable?

What’s the best thing a post can have? A ton of action. And I’ve been seeing a ton of buzz about a post I made a few days ago:

What’s Wrong With A Flash Website For A Photographer’s Business?

While I’ve had comments all over the board on this post, one underlying thread I’ve been reading is on the true capabilities of Flash at attracting customers. The chatter says photographers are artists – and artists should show their style in the most sophisticated way possible. A Flash presentation gives motion to an otherwise boring site, creates the “Wow” factor, and gives a photographer an edge over their competition.

Okay. I get that. I understand why photographers feel the need to show off their presentations through slideshows and Flash and lots of movement. I get the desire to have a cool presentation that really blows you away when you enter the site.

But as a professional photographer for almost 20 years now, and a small business marketing expert for 15, I always have one question in mind before I move forward with any marketing strategy.

What is my ultimate goal?

With a website, its not about impressing the people who have my web address in hand, type it into their browser and pull up my website. If they already know about me, that’s great. They can easily find me, and chances are will refer friends and acquaintances to me.

Instead, my goal with my website is to reach out to the millions of people that have no clue as to who I am. I want to be a part of the 31 billion searches that are performed every single month in Google, and rank high on the most important keywords for my business.

Google uses a spidering technique to rank websites. It enters your site, ranks your site based on the content it finds, and lists you accordingly.

So if you have a ton of content throughout your website and blog, and have a dozen or more posts all related to “wedding photography in Aspen Colorado” you’ll probably rank pretty high in the search results when someone heads to Google and types in “wedding photography in Aspen Colorado”. And if they do type that in and I come up first (or better yet, first, second, third, fourth and fifth) I’m probably going to connect in some manner with the searcher.

google results for wedding photography in aspen colorado

Google loves content. Always has. Always will. Their goal is to provide people that search with the best possible outcomes. That’s why they change their algorithms all the time. If people learn how to manipulate the system, they adjust their algorithms to improve the end ranking, so it’s more focused on quality content.

So if you create post after post about your weddings, you’ll have a ton of content related to wedding photography.

If you have a Flash presentation, Google spiders it, finds it to be a Flash player with no content available (it’s all on the inside graphic, which Google can’t see) and has no way of ranking you. So it moves on.

I’m not against Flash presentations – as long as they are on a small portion of your site that people have the option of clicking into. They can choose when they want to watch it. And Google still has a lot of other options on your site to help you rank appropriately.

If your goal is to have a great portfolio that you can direct people to, a little Flash may be your answer.

But if your goal is to have a findable site that helps you bring in clients from anywhere in the world – people you would have never connected with without being ranked in Google, well I would definitely question how much Flash you use.

Be conscious of your goals and your outcomes. Your marketing is simply a way of bringing people to your site. Don’t lose site of that goal. Make it easy for them to find you. Make it easy for them to connect with you. Then overwhelm them with photographs. If you post ten photos everyday in a blog, you would end up with 3,650 photographs available to your prospects to view after just one year.

If they see what you do, and can put themselves in your place, your job as a marketer will be complete.

1 thought on “Is Your Web Presence Really Findable?”

  1. As my business matures my goals change. As my goals change certain aspects of my social media / web presence need to evolve also. If my business goals are set at outcome A and my marketing is working towards B – it will be a tough road.


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