Now that you have your photo blog up and running (see Creating Your WP Photo Blog), you naturally want to draw as many people as possible to your website and increase your audience. Search engine results continue to be the biggest source of traffic for most sites. In order to increase your placement in the search engine results, you’ll need to do some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with your blog. There’s a plethora of material available on SEO. Here, I’ll go over a few basic steps everyone should take to optimize their site.
Let’s start with your WordPress theme. Lately, some themes are including some SEO functionality built in. If your theme does not include it, be sure to install one of the SEO plugins available from the WP repository. I use the All in One SEO plugin by Michael Torbert, but there are other good ones as well. The All in One SEO plugin allows you to specify the title, description, and keywords of your site, as well as your page formatting and indexing options. A good SEO plugin will optimize your site to be more accessible to the search engines which will hopefully lead to better search engine results placement.
Next, be sure to include the proper descriptions and other identifying text with your photos—including alt text, titles, and descriptions (as well as captions if appropriate). Search engines rely on text to identify and index your images, so be sure to include this information.
Finally, be aware of what keywords you want to identify yourself, your site, and your work. Make sure you include these keywords in your page and post titles in addition to the keywords section in WordPress. Ideally, you also want to include these keywords or phrases within the text of your site, but be sure not to overdo it! I like only a 2% to 3% ratio of keywords, but every situation is a little different.
SEO is an ongoing process with your website. However, include the above items and you’ll be off to a great start.