After working as the SEO consultant for enterprise companies such as Allstate, and, I have seen my fair share of what works and what doesn’t in terms of search engine optimization.

In this article, I’ll be dispelling some of the 5 most common SEO misconceptions I’ve heard within the photography community. Let’s dive in.

1. SEO is a gimmick

SEO is far from a gimmick or a trick/scam. SEO is very legit and will only continue to be more important as we delve further into the digital age.

Search engine optimization is not about trying to manipulate Google to have your pages rank well, in fact, the pages that are optimized best for “SEO” are actually the pages that are the most informative and valuable to users.

Although SEO is not some trick, what does spoil the industry are the amount of fake gurus on the internet and people who reach out to you via email saying they’ll rank you #1 on Google in a month.

Just be aware that just like any industry, there are these snake oil salespersons. Just don’t let them taint your view of SEO.

This leads us to our next misconception.

2. You will see immediate results

SEO is a long-term game.

The analogy I often give clients was that it’s like planting an apple seed. Just like planting a seed, it will take a while before that one seed becomes a whole orchard that bears plenty of fruit.

Patience is one of the top traits of any SEO because it can take a while.

The most important thing with SEO is consistency and taking joy in the small wins such as your website ranking for a new keyword or your page increasing in rankings by a page.

And in reality, there is no specific time frame for SEO results so don’t listen to anyone that will say they’ll help you rank #1 in 30 days or something like that.

3. Set it and forget it

SEO is also not a one-time game. You don’t just “SEO” your website and then you are good to go.

It’s like cleaning your house, you don’t just clean it once and then it’s clean for life. I wish it were that easy.

But just like cleaning your house, it’s a continuous process. That’s why I mentioned patience and consistency is very important to seeing positive results.

4. #1 or bust

Another misconception is that you need to rank #1 for your target keyword in order to be successful. While ranking #1 would be the most ideal scenario, this statement isn’t true.

Instead, the goal should always be to first get on the first page of Google. This will result in drastic increases in traffic to your website. Then, try to work your way up to the top three spots.

Photo by Caio from Pexels

5. SEO is hard

Just like anything in life, something can be “hard” because we just don’t know it, but if we know it, then it becomes “easy.”

When I was first learning how to work my camera it was “hard.” When I was first learning how to edit photos it was “hard.”

Change your attitude on SEO and be open to learning it and your business will thank you.

The thing that frustrates people, and it frustrated me, is that you have to know SEO is constantly changing and that I’d say it’s 50% art and 50% science.

Luckily as photographers, we’re already artists! So you just have to learn the science part and that’s just learning the terminology and some best practices.

I wrote a whole guide on my site on SEO for Photographers and will be continuing to write SEO articles on here as well.

Final remarks

I hope you enjoyed this guide. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment down below!