Appropriate keywords for professional headshot photographers

I wanted to improve my SEO, so I set out to find keywords relating to headshot photography.

I aggregated and collated the keywords used by the best headshot photographers in the country. After removing chaff, and location specific terms I came up with a list of 284 terms directly relating to headshot photography.

It is amazing how many different iterations of the concept of professional headshot photography a ten people can come up with. I’m sure at least three of these photographers hired an SEO company, I could tell by the discipline applied to their keyword lists There were no stop words, no reordering of a term, no plurals, etc.

I was surprised to see that most had copied the terms of the best headshot photographer in NYC, Peter Hurley including the ones who hired SEO companies. As Milton Berle famously said, “I only steal from the best.”

Best Practices:

I always keep the dangers of black hat SEO in mind. Keyword stuffing is an SEO killer, but more important is the sophistication of the search engine robots. Google especially has gotten really good at removing the chaff that is most of the internet.

So, when choosing keywords it’s best to be careful, professional and most of all honest. We want our SEO to attract customers not just traffic. If I’m looking for headscarf, and I get drawn to a headshot photographers website it wastes my time and today’s sophisticated robots will lower the pages rank in the results because your content isn’t relevant to the term.

We have to remember that the robots still can’t see images (as far as I know). So, a picture of a woman wearing a headscarf accompanying a post about headhsots doesn’t exist as far as the robots are concerned. unless you write about her headscarf. I doubt including the word ‘headscarf” in the caption is going to make a difference.

As the guys at SEO Mark in the UK tell us we want to select keywords that are relevant, are in line with our commercial intent, have high search volume, and are appropriately competitive for our position in the marketplace.

That last bit is important. We have to make sure that we are competing in the correct market. I may use keywords form headshot photographers in NYC, LA, or even San Francisco, but I’m not going to use NYC, LA, or SF in my keywords, nor am I going to mention these photographers by name. I need to compete with Lisa DeNeff, Palo Alto Headshots, Hagop’s Photography, Spotlight Moments (who is around the corner from me), Craig Sherrod, Weinberg Clark and a half dozen other headshots photographers in my “backyard”, not the most famous and successful photographers in the country.

So, when you’re selecting keywords be honest, be relevent, be truthful and above all be nice.