So here I am again, talking about SEO. A few of my fellow photographers have been using the Photographer's SEOBook from Zach Prez, so I decided to pick up a copy to compare to the SEO School ebook from Naomi Dunford of www.IttyBiz.com. Both ebooks cost the same at $39.
One of the main differences between these two ebooks is that Zach targets photographers only while Naomi's readers are small business owners. A few things that Naomi does: she gives you a lot of info on how Google works and how to figure out what type of site you are. She also gives a wealth of information on how to check your competitions' rankings and how they've set-up their SEO. Zach goes about things a bit differently, giving a brief overview of Google and then very specific information on setting up your key phrases, basic coding for your splash page and suggestions on where to find links. Both books review linking, anchor text and blogs.
If you know enough about coding to make you almost dangerous, then Naomi's ebook may be a better bet for you. She doesn't spell out do xyz, but gives you enough information to get started. Personally, I'm into more details on how the SEO process works and all that nerdy stuff, so I was digging the extra details about figuring out what type of site you are and other goodies like long tail searches. I really enjoyed the section in Naomi's book on checking out what your competitors do and how to "beat" them. I realized that not a lot of my competitors were implementing Naomi's suggestions, so I hope that I can quickly gain a better Google ranking by making some minor tweaks that they aren't using. If you have no clue about html code and you want a basic how to start the SEO process then you're better off to go with Zach's ebook because he tells you how to set up code for your site and where to place it. There's even a generic piece of code in Zach's ebook for your splash page, you just have to change the info for your area and speciality.
I started with Naomi's info and saw some great changes in my page rank on Google. A few of the photography-specific tips Zach suggested have also made their way into my SEO process and I've already seen a little more of a bump in my rankings as well. Is one book better than the other? Probably not, different users with different needs. If you're looking to learn tons details for for your SEO than I would suggest getting both books. If you want a quick, easy way to start than go with Zach (especially if you are only optimizing for photography) and if you want to learn more in-depth and know some html than go with Naomi's book (and if you aren't a photography business).
SEO is a huge tool for photographers in getting their name out there and finding new clients. But, remember that SEO isn't the only marketing option you have. Word of mouth is one of the best things to do to gain more business. People love using a product or service that their friends have high praise for. And there's a lot of other ways to market yourself as well. Since I still work a full time job and shoot on weekends, my time is somewhat limited in what I can do to market my business, right now SEO is key for me. Hopefully, photography will be my bread and butter job soon and I can really start focusing on getting out in the community more, networking and having displays in other businesses. Until that time comes, I'm making the most out of the internet, social networking and Google to bring in more leads.