Apr 15 2017

New Website Needed

I’m in need of bringing my website into the 21st century, right now I’m like the Moai of Easter Island. 

I would like someone to design it so that I can easily maintain it after that. 

I’m hoping to find someone who would be willing to trade services for my art, either partially or fully.

If you’re qualified and interested, please let me know! 





Jul 3 2012

If You Help Me, I’ll Be Your Friend.

Can you please spend 3 minutes to help me improve my Google Rankings?  If you do, I’ll be your friend! (smile)

1.  Log into Google+

2.  Click on this link and it will open a list of my different web pages.


3.  Here is what each item on the list will look like:

Portrait of Breast Cancer – Cole Thompson Photography
www.colethompsonphotography.com/Linnie.htm  +1
In July of 2008 I had the privilege of photographing Linnie, she had a rare breast cancer, endured a mastectomy, was undergoing chemotherapy and feared she …

4.  Hover over the web address (green above) and you’ll see a faint +1 appear on the end of the address (red above).  Please click that +1 for a bunch of entries!  It took me less than 3 minutes to do five pages worth of clicking.

5.  You cannot imagine how much that will help my search rankings and how grateful I’d be.

6.  I will now be your friend.


P.S.  If you know me, you know that I’d be your friend anyway!

Feb 9 2011

Search Engine Optimization; What and Why?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization; what is it and why do you need it?

Put simply, SEO allows you to Google Search “black and white fine art photography” and have people find your website, on the first page if possible and in position 1, 2 or 3 would be the best.  What’s so hard about that?  Keep in mind that there are 2,700,000 hits for that search and all of those other websites would like to be on page 1 also.  So the competition is fierce.

The good news is that you don’t have to be smarter than those other 2,700,000 pages, just more consistent!  Most people do nothing to improve their SEO, so if you’ll work on it just a little, then you’ll be ahead of most of them.

When I started working on my SEO I was on page 64 for the search “black and white fine art photography.”  Now what are the chances someone will ever find my website on page 64?  Zero, hence the need for SEO.  After two years of minimal work, I am on page 1, position 1.  Keep in mind that I’m only on page 1 with this specific search phrase, and if you search for “black and white photography” I’m only on page 7, which is okay but not good enough.

So how do you get to page 1, position 1?  You can hire someone to do your SEO but most of us don’t have the money for that.  The great news is that there are some fairly simple things that you can do, that over time will put you ahead of the pack.  I’m going to keep these steps very simple for two reasons; first I’m not an expert at SEO and second, if it’s too complicated most of us will never get around to it.

Okay, here goes:

1.  First determine what search phrases you want to go after.  What do people search for when looking for your “product?”  I wanted to go after “black and white fine art photography.”  Now that I’ve accomplished that, I’m going to work on “black and white photography” and see if I can do better than page 7!

Your search phrase should not be overly broad as in “photography” which produces 498,000,000 results, or too specific such as “Yellow Daffodil Photography” which had only a few results (877,000) but will have very few people searching on that phrase.  So strike a good balance and consider using Google Analytics to help you analyze possible search phrases (more below).

2.  Choose your URL wisely because it affects your SEO and it is difficult to change later.  One approach is to put your key search phrase in your URL (eg: www.BlackAndWhitePhotography.com) which is very helpful when people search for “Black And White Photography.”  Another approach is to put your name in the URL (eg: www.ColeThompsonPhotography.com) making it easier for people to find you when they search for “Cole Thompson Photography.”

So, do you go for “BlackAndWhitePhotography.com” or “ColeThompsonPhotography.com?”  From a practical standpoint, you may want to go with the latter and use your name simply because most of the good key phrase URL’s have been taken, and sometimes they are just too long to be practical.  For example, I might have been able to get “www.ColeThompsonBlackAndWhiteFineArtPhotography.com” but it would have been a bit “unwieldy!”

3.  Tag your web pages, which simply means that your key phrases are put into special places on your website.  For example every photo should be tagged with your key search phrases, and there are also meta description tags, title tags and keyword tags.  Now you may not know anything about tags and could feel a bit overwhelmed right about now.  Relax and trust me that it’s fairly simple to learn and believe me when I tell you that you don’t have to know programming to create these tags.  I use Microsoft FrontPage to build my website and I never see a bit of HTML code, it’s all drag-and-drop and there are tools built in to help me create these tags.

4.  Use your search phrases in your page copy.  The more often you use these phrases, the better, especially on your home page.  You might also include them in your artist statement, your bio, about page and contact page.

5.  Have lots of inbound links.  An inbound link is your URL posted on other websites and you can get these by trading links with others, by posting articles on other people’s blogs, having your work featured on other sites and etc.  The more links there are there pointing to your website, the better.

6.  Start your own blog, this helps a lot!

7.  Create and post YouTube videos.  This really has a big impact, and be sure that you use your search phrase in the YouTube title and put your full link in the video’s description (including the http://).  Most Windows computers  comes with MovieMaker or it can be downloaded for free.  It takes me only about an hour to produce a 3-1/2 minute video of my work.

Here are a couple of extra tips; Sign up for Google Alerts and get a free daily report when your name or website (or anything else) is found on the web.  I search daily for “Cole Thompson” and “Cole Thompson Photography.”  You’ll be amazed at how often your work and website get mentioned.

A great data tool is Google Analytics.  Analytics helps you analyze what phrases are being searched most often, and more importantly, which of those phrases are the most “effective.”  Our natural instinct is to go for search phrases that will bring the most traffic to our site, but what if you could find a different phrase that had less traffic but more “results?”  Analytics can help you figure this out and you might consider using it to determine your search phrases in step 1 above.

One last tip; don’t try any “funny stuff” to improve your SEO.  The web-crawlers that go out and investigate your site are very sopisticated and cannot be fooled by writing “black and white photography” 1000 times in white type on a white background.  They’ll soon learn your tricks and get you blacklisted!

These are pretty simple things that you can do and if you’re consistent, you can get on page 1 with just a little patience.