SEO tests

grahamphotograhamphoto Beginner grinnerPosts: 21Registered Users Big grins

I just got dinged by a customer who told me my SEO failed at every level. Yet I've filled out all the SmugMug forms until I'm blue in the face. Is the client onto something? Here's the test--
https://website.grader.com/
My site is http://www.grahamandgrahamphotography.com

Tagged:

Comments

  • Ball3011Ball3011 USPosts: 12Registered Users Big grins
    edited October 24, 2017

    Interesting... Mine wasn't very good either (I hadn't used this site to check)

    www.RMBallGalleries.com

    When I ran it on my consulting business site (developed and run on a different service), I get much better results. I'm not sure how many of the recommendations are actually feasible with SmugMug, but I'll be looking into them. My guess is that most of the feedback you received would be consistent across most SmugMug websites.

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaPosts: 4,494Registered Users Major grins

    @grahamphoto said:
    I just got dinged by a customer who told me my SEO failed at every level. Yet I've filled out all the SmugMug forms until I'm blue in the face. Is the client onto something? Here's the test--
    https://website.grader.com/
    My site is http://www.grahamandgrahamphotography.com

    Keep in mind that those tests are not the Gospel. Unfortunately you can't really "fix" most of those issues with a SmugMug site.

    For tests I prefer GTMetrix (https://gtmetrix.com/reports/www.grahamandgrahamphotography.com/3syrIZZY).

  • picsbydarahpicsbydarah Fort Collins, COPosts: 12Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 23, 2018
    @grahamphoto This is because Smugmug is not keeping up with Google's practices. Google updates their algorithms sometimes daily, sometimes weekly. You can find all of their updates by creating a Search Console account with them - their guides are far better.

    Problem with this is that some of the requirements to be compliant with Google are not features that Smugmug offers (not using iFrames, AMP, and other mobile-friendly integrations, canonicals combined with no ability to make your subdomain a 301 re-direct to your personally owned domain; no ability to add your own <alt> tags to images, no ability to verify site ownership to every different variation of your site that exists. For example: the subdomain that smugmug creates (in my case picsbydarah.smugmug.com) cannot be added to your Google Console account, robot.txt files that block GOOGLE'S crawlers, minimal sitemapping, inability to specify a language, inability to go into the head tag of the source code and add meta-info and breadcrumb features that are not compliant with Google's updates.

    And that's just to name a FEW issues.

    It isn't that your site is failing on every level. It is SMUGMUG'S fault, because they clearly do not have developers who are dedicated to search engine changes (including other search engines like Bing and DuckDuckGo.)

    With that in mind, I looked at your website's source code and it looks like you are having the same issues as I (mostly the issues mentioned above.) Take what those emails to you say with a grain of salt and do some of you own SEO work. There are some decent free tools out there - as I mentioned Google Search Console - the SEOQuake plugin which updates regularly as Google makes press releases or adds information to the Search Console - Google Analytics, Google AdWords, etc. Paid services make it easier (Moz and Marketing360 for example.)

    TBH I'm about ready to migrate off of Smugmug for their lack of customer support, SEO customization and the fact that when I brought this up to their support team they basically told me that I should look for a new service.
  • BeautifulWorldBeautifulWorld Beginner grinner ChicagoPosts: 62Registered Users Big grins

    This is very interesting. I'd never tested this before but it does make a lot of sense. The traffic I sued to get on Pbase.com was amazing. Using Google Analytics on both, I used to get 1000+ (even 3000+) visits a day on Pbase and I get less than 100 on Smugmug.

    I ran the test on both sites. I think their mobile grading doesn't make any sense as I think my site on Smugmug looks pretty good on mobile. :) Pbase was horrible. But I am totally surprised by the SEO. I was always under the impression that Smugmug was best in class. Is this not so? I thought it would be keeping up with the times but it looks like Pbase beats it hands down!

    Is this accurate? What can I do to improve the smugmug site? The lack of a community of photographers to interact with, the lack of guest posting and the bad SEO, i am rethinking my move to Smugmug.

    1. pbase.com/yardbird

    1. beautifulworld.photography on Smugmug

    Thanks
    Karthik

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaPosts: 4,494Registered Users Major grins

    @BeautifulWorld said:
    What can I do to improve the smugmug site? The lack of a community of photographers to interact with, the lack of guest posting and the bad SEO, i am rethinking my move to Smugmug.

    Guest posting is NOT going to help. You need to read my SEO for the Photographer link in my signature.

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaPosts: 4,494Registered Users Major grins

    Also, the tool you used is just a tool and it has some flaws. I have Page Titles and a Meta Description (not a ranking factor). I also have a h1 tag (Headers) and SmugMug uses a sitemap.

    I prefer using https://gtmetrix.com/ instead.

  • BeautifulWorldBeautifulWorld Beginner grinner ChicagoPosts: 62Registered Users Big grins

    Hi @Hikin' Mike

    1. So are you saying that Smugmug is doing everything right and the test is flawed? and I don't need to worry myself, the SEO is working.
    2. Or are you saying that Smugmug has the tools and we have to know how to use it right? Like define Page Titles, Meta and h1 tag. Where can I enter those for my site?
    3. Or are you saying that Smugmug doesn't have it, but maybe I need to go my Domain Name Registration site and enter all those values?

    I am going to go read your page to see if these are already answered. :)

    My comment on Guest posting is not related to SEO but to enable better interaction with a community. My primary purpose for photography is to inspire people to travel and explore places and cultures and in my old site (Pbase) it was great to have guest comment on my galleries and photos and then interact with them. People would reach out and ask me for tips and it was great.

    Thanks
    Karthik

  • BeautifulWorldBeautifulWorld Beginner grinner ChicagoPosts: 62Registered Users Big grins

    I searched on Smugmug help center and found this useful article.
    https://help.smugmug.com/make-my-site-seo-friendly-SkGPxgDk4rz

    Will go and check if I've done all of this.

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaPosts: 4,494Registered Users Major grins

    @BeautifulWorld - SmugMug does a decent job with SEO. Your current website needs help. Google likes text. Your home page has no text. Read my article. The article on SmugMug is flawed and I wish they'd remove it or update it. Meta descriptions and meta keywords are NOT going to rank you. You need TEXT.

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaPosts: 4,494Registered Users Major grins

    @BeautifulWorld - Clarification... while metadescription wouldn't help you rank, SmugMug displays that under the gallery title, so that WILL help.

  • AllenAllen "tweak 'til it squeaks" St. Louis, MoPosts: 9,698Registered Users Major grins

    By metadescription do you mean the gallery description?

    Al - Just a volunteer here having fun
    My Website | My Blog
  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaPosts: 4,494Registered Users Major grins

    @Allen said:
    By metadescription do you mean the gallery description?

    Yes.

  • FergusonFerguson Major grins Fort Myers, FloridaPosts: 1,285Registered Users Major grins

    @grahamphoto said:
    I just got dinged by a customer who told me my SEO failed at every level.

    Ok, so lots of good discussion already, and not excusing some of the issues but....

    Why does a customer you HAVE care about your SEO??

    SEO is about people who do not know you, finding you.

  • EverythingEverywhereEverythingEverywhere Extreme Traveler Posts: 91Registered Users Big grins

    After 10 years of trying, I've given up on image SEO.

    I've deindexed my entire smugmug site except for the front page. I'm just going to focus all my efforts in this area on my WordPress site.

    2014 Travel Photographer of the Year, Society of American Travel Writers
    2013 & 2015 Travel Photographer of the Year, North American Travel Journalists Association

    Facebook | Travel Blog | Travel Photography | Instagram | Google+
  • jimhjimh MinneapolisPosts: 40Registered Users Big grins

    I'm new to SM. I've sold photos on Fine Art America for years, with no marketing of my own whatsoever, typically a few a month. But FAA is going downhill, so I'm setting up on SM.

    I see some SEO discussion on DGrin, but not a lot. I'm looking for a forum for people trying to learn how this works, from the ground up. Not easy to find! Because the web is totally stuffed with bogus SEO 'tutorial' sites, wanting to sell you an eBook or an online course. It's hard to separate wheat from chaff. I'm a technical guy (former software developer) but I don't know SEO. And I see lot sof misinformation and just plain baloney in circulation.

    Anyone want to recommend a good site, forum, book, or other source of accurate SEO information and tips?

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaPosts: 4,494Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 30, 2018

    @jimh said:
    Anyone want to recommend a good site, forum, book, or other source of accurate SEO information and tips?

    Yes, good SEO forum: http://forums.seochat.com/forum.php

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaPosts: 4,494Registered Users Major grins

    Also, I've never used FAA, but SmugMug ISN'T FAA. You have to market yourself if you're going to use SM to sell photos..

  • jimhjimh MinneapolisPosts: 40Registered Users Big grins
    edited October 30, 2018

    Thanks, I'll look at seochat.

    FAA is a POD, SM is primarily a gallery site but there are similarities. I sold now and then on FAA despite having no marketing, people found me just by keyword search. FAA has its own internal search, but claims most buyers nevertheless find images via Google - although they provide no statistics, so you never really know. I've made some sales to art consultants that found me on FAA, they probably look at SM too.

    Really, no choice for me at this point as FAA is shifting focus to 'products' (the usual t-shirts and beach towels) and has recently changed their search presentation in ways that work strongly against me .

    We all know we need to 'market' but specifics are hard to come by, and things keep changing. I've tried a few Facebook ads/boosts with no real effect; it's hard to understand the targeting options and it's way too expensive. Facebook groups, maybe, but people in the groups aren't typically looking for wall art. From my time in the FAA forums, I learned that Twiiter and Pinterest are now a waste of time. For online photo sales, the bloom has been off the rose for years now and we probably need to scale our expectations.

Sign In or Register to comment.