Marketing Tips

Increase Your Google Ranking with Local SEO

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Hey friends! As a fellow member of the Knoxville photography community, I’ve noticed that some folks have been feeling a little discouraged lately. It seems that with the uncertainty of the economy, many people are holding back on non-essential spending, which is affecting the usual booking rates for spring. But chin up, buttercup! This is actually the perfect time to evaluate and invest in your marketing strategy.

After a year of running a digital marketing and outsourcing agency for photographers, I learned a ton about building an effective Local SEO strategy. So I’m here to share with you all some tips for increasing your Google rankings as a Knoxville photographer, which can help you get in front of more potential clients. As you know, having a strong marketing strategy is crucial for any local service-based business. And in today’s digital age, optimizing your website for local search is the key to getting found by your ideal local clients.

So, let’s dig in.

woman writing at desk, increase google rankings


Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

First things first, make sure to claim your Google My Business listing. This is a free tool that allows you to manage your online presence across Google. Google prioritizes websites that have an active GMB listing in their algorithm. By optimizing your listing and filling out all the necessary information such as your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and services, you can increase your visibility in local search results.

You also want to make sure you are consistently receiving reviews on your GMB profile. An easy way to keep the reviews rolling in is to copy your share-able “leave a review” link into your completed gallery emails, asking clients to share their experience. They can simply click and quickly leave their feedback.

Action Item: Set up your GMB profile if you haven’t already. If you have, create a strategy for getting more frequent reviews from your clients.

knoxville photography studio branding image


Use Location-Specific Keywords

Make sure your website uses location-specific keywords, like Knoxville Family Photographer or Newborn Photographer in Knoxville. You should include these keywords throughout your website copy (in a natural way), in your page titles (sometimes found under SEO settings), in meta descriptions, and in h1 tags (you should have only one of these per website page.)

Action Item: Go into the back-end of your website and make sure you have a location-specific keyword as your page title, and in your meta description. I recommend formatting your home page title like this: location-specific keyword | business name, or “Knoxville Family Photographer | Knox Family Photo”


Create Location-Specific Landing Pages

Once you’ve optimized your main pages (home, services, portfolio, etc.) for your location keywords, you can create extra pages, specific to cities that you serve. These pages are dedicated to specific locations and can help you target potential clients in those areas. For example, if you specialize in family photography in Knoxville, you might create a landing page specifically for Maryville families. Usually, you would duplicate your home page (targeted toward Knoxville in our example) and change the keywords to Maryville specific keywords. You could also include sessions you’ve captured in this particular city, or a blog about some of your favorite locations to shoot in that city.

Action Item: Be sure that you’ve optimized your home page to your main target city. Then, consider which other towns/cities you could create unique landing pages for.


Get Listed in Local Directories.

Getting listed in local directories is another way to increase your visibility in local search results. These directories list businesses in specific locations, and by claiming and optimizing your listings on these directories, you can increase your chances of showing up on the first few pages of Google. Some great Knoxville directories to look into are:

Knoxville Moms –
Knoxville Chamber –
Expertise –

Action Item: Pick one local directory and apply for an annual listing.

Get Backlinks from Local Websites

Finally, getting backlinks from local websites can also help you increase your visibility in local search results. This is a big difference between local SEO and national SEO. With local SEO backlinks, the linking websites don’t need to have a lot of authority or traffic in order to boost your ranking – it actually means more if they are location-relevant, or in your area.

As a photographer, you can reach out to local businesses and organizations that serve the same clientele as you and ask if they’d be willing to link to your website. You can do a backlink swap and write blog posts about one another’s businesses to increase both site’s SEO.

You can also submit your work to photography blogs. Even though, they aren’t location-relevant, they are industry-relevant and can help boost your page rankings. Some ideas for places to submit are:

The White Room! You can submit your sessions captured at The White Room to be featured on our blog –
The Motherhood Anthology –
The Fount Collective –
White Wren –
The Kindred Path –

Action Item: Submit a recent session to one photography blog.


And there you have it, five tips to help you increase your local SEO as a photographer. By optimizing your online presence for local search, you can attract more clients and grow your business. If you have specific questions, I’d be more than happy to chat with you! Email me at


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