Google, Yahoo, and other search engines can be very useful to get your business name out there. I know personally when I need to know something I Google it. Google can be so useful and a pain in the butt sometimes. Useful in the means that you can find almost ANYTHING and EVERYTHING by using Google as a search engine. Pain in the butt...well if you are a business owner your images will more than likely be plastered all over Google, gosh, like those old hideous ones where I color popped and made pink hazes for vignettes.
Yep, true story, pink vignettes.
How can you make sure your images or website pops up when someone is using a search engine to find a photographer?
When I blog, I tag my blog with specific key words pertaining to the blog. When I name my images I key word them as well. Why? Well, if someone was searching boudoir photography on Google or Yahoo, I want my images to pop up, don't you? YES, as a photographer we do AND THIS IS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO WATERMARK YOUR WORK!!! People, I don't watermark my online images because I am afraid of you stealing them...I mean yeah, I don't want you stealing them but if you do steal the images are still mine and you broke a copyright law, primarily it is your problem now. ;)
(see below, I have a watermark on my image, it is not flashy, but hey it's my business name and it is my signature watermark on my art....something simple goes a long way if this image were to be found on a search engine)
When a search engine pulls your image from cyberspace because of the key words a Google or Yahoo user typed in, you want your watermark displayed on your images BECAUSE you WANT people to know where they can find more of those wonderful images! It's your logo and a part of your brand, and if you are consistent with the way your work looks...the help of your logo and the consistent look of your imagery will be ingrained in the viewers head...so next time they see an image they might even notice it is YOURS before they read the watermark! Don't believe me? Well, we all know off the top of our head what symbols like Ford and Chevy or the colors of Walmart look like. Why do we automatically relate these symbols to their product? Because we are use to seeing it and their look has been consistent! It is a NORM, we have been socialized to relate their product with their logo. (okay, pulling myself out of marketing chat for now)
So, what comes up when you go to www.google.com and type in your business name? This is what comes up when I Google my business name:
Hits were found leading to my website, facebook, some old deals a news station ran over a year ago...and if I kept scrolling down some hits were from blogs my images were published on or blogs where my business name was mentioned. Now, here is what happened when I clicked on the "images" that were found for my business name.
Are those all my images? Yep, 95% of them! If I click on any one of these images, google tells me what the image source is. For instance, the image below was published on a blog, Confessions of a Prop Junkie. (Screen shot shows how I clicked to enlarge said image and then the blog it was featured on).
Still happy I watermark my images? YEP! :) When clicking on a lot of those images, some were from my blog but most were from blogs the images were featured on or from Vimeo.com (from my husbands videos). So in short, if I hover over any of those images it will tell me where I can find the source...let's check an image of mine whos source is Pinterest. If you go back up to the very first screen shot, I clicked on the image in the second row second image over (toddler in red and yellow car). AND, here is is on Pinterest.
So there it is. I clicked that very image on the Google image hit list and then it took me to pinterest. If you see the red rectangle in the top left of the image where it reads, "Pin it 426"....well, that means that this image has been shared or PINNED on Pinterest.com 426 times. The cool thing is that if you click on the 426 it shows you all the people who shared it and the folders they have it in....like their "Christmas ideas" folder on Pinterest. SO glad I watermark my images. Best part about it, I did nothing but take this image and share on my facebook page. Gotta love a watermarked image that gets great free marketing. :)
Maybe I am just easily amused. I find it crazy how much STUFF can pop up when you do a simple search on Google.com or even Pinterest.com. Dare I say this...??? I remember when the Internet became its big bad self! I mean really, I remember when in Middle School we were so stoked to have computers in the library. Heck, I remember in elementary school when Oregon Trail was the most awesome game in the world! Anyone with me?
Point of the story, if you post your images online or submit to blogs or anyone shares your images/chats about your business name....you are BOUND to be found on search engines. Use this to your ability, it can be great marketing that requires no work from you!!!! There is so much info out there on how to increase your search engine hits and how to optimize your website for search engines, but that is for a different blog and something I am still working on myself!! Educate yourself, and please, watermark your work so you don't have a naked image floating around!! Use key words when naming your images or tag your blog with key words! Now, go google yourself....see what pops up and come up with ideas on how you can market yourself better so search engines can find you!!! Have fun!