Last night, I sat down to write this post and I had a bit of a situation. Well, a bit of a disaster actually! I dropped my phone onto my laptop screen and everything went dark. I’ve just taken my laptop to Apple and owing to my carelessness, I now have a five-day wait and a £460 bill to pay for a new retina screen, and it’s caused a delay in publishing this post! My apologies. Let’s get cracking!
So, every #TravelTuesday, here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, I land with a little something for you from the world of Photoshop, photography, travel, and life. Today, I’m going to tell you all about something you should be using, and which Scott showed you yesterday—Adobe Spark Page.
Adobe Spark is a creative suite in itself, within the Adobe ecosystem, which allows users to create social graphics, webpages, and videos on a web or mobile platform, and it’s awesome! In fact, all my header graphics here on Scott’s blog and on my own blog at capturewithdave.com are made using Adobe Spark Post.
Scott used Adobe Spark Page to create his story yesterday about his visit on the USS Harry S. Truman, and it delivered an amazing result both in terms of its aesthetic prowess and its storytelling ability. The user interface for creators is top-notch, as is the interface for the end user.
The app allows us to quickly and easily lay out our images, videos, and words, and it encourages good design and placement. The text alignment and animation creates a user experience with apparently seamless links from one section to the next. The ability to decide on the positioning of our images in a variety of styles, and with additional copy over them, gives us the ability to customise our page and truly tell the story in the way we want it to be seen.
As a photographer, I am of course a creative, but one friend of mine has some strong words which this app brings to life for me. Graphic Designer and KelbyOne instructor Dave Clayton says in his latest awesome class that a graphic designer is a photographer’s best friend. Knowing how to present your work in the best possible way is important for a photographer, and a graphic designer can help you to do this. It seems that this series of apps is the first step towards that goal.
Adobe Spark is part of your Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, and its best comparison is that it’s basically Microsoft Publisher turned up to 11, and it’s fast!
Hi all! #TravelTuesday has come around again! Aren’t you lucky?! That means I, Dave Williams, get to put down something for you to pick up and, this week, it’s all about how you, as a photographer, can make sure your website and/or blog succeeds!
Having a working and effective website is crucial. One element, which I’ll focus on is SEO—that’s Search Engine Optimisation. Let’s say you’re a wedding photographer in Tennessee. If you’re going to want people to find your website by searching the term “wedding photographer Tennessee,” then let’s be honest—there’s a good chance you won’t be #1 in their results. In fact, when I searched that term just a moment ago, only half of the results on page one were actual wedding photographers. The rest were agencies, blogs, media companies, etc., who had good SEO and had posts containing those three words. As a point of note, the top four results were paid results or ads too!
In order to optimise your own SEO (rather than pay a company to do it for you), I recommend these points to consider: –
(1) Update your content regularly!
When you search on Google, those little bot things that run around and scour the internet are looking for many things relating to your search term in order to decide which order to present their results. One of those such criteria, and perhaps the most important one to differ you from other results containing the same keywords, is how relevant your site is to the person searching. A measure of relevance is how recently the site was updated because a fresh website is likely to indicate strong, relevant content. Be sure to keep updating!
(2) Publish relevant content!
Like I just mentioned, the important word here is “relevant.” Quality content is the top SEO driver and nothing substitutes that. We all know (even if we don’t practice what we preach) that having a one-track website is very important. We shouldn’t start talking about gardening in a blog post on our camera review website—it just doesn’t make sense. Fine-tuning that principle, quality and relevant content created specifically for our intended audience increases our regular traffic. Take this site you’re on right now. People visit Scott Kelby’s blog daily, or weekly, because the content all ties in together. It’s relevant to the audience. Bear in mind that you want to drive further traffic through SEO, but having that base audience already present shows the little search bot things that you do have a trusted website and, therefore, are relevant for the search results. However, also bear in mind that whilst you should be plugging keywords and phrases that you want people to be searching for in order to land on your website, you should never sacrifice the quality of your content for SEO. And, on a side note, you can use bold, italics, or other similar methods to emphasise these keywords or phrases to the viewer, as well as the search engine.
One quick example, if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, is this: –
If you wrote a piece containing the best five spots to shoot in New York City, make sure your article contains the terms people may search for in order for your post to be relevant. Phrases like, “the best places to photograph in New York” and “these are my favourite spots to shoot Manhattan” are two such examples to include naturally and flowing within your post.
Okay, I may or may not have made up that word, but you totally know what it means. So, two notes on links: – Having a link, preferably reciprocated, between your site and another similar site demonstrates to the search engine that your site is relevant and that it is similar to another site, which it will now associate to yours and consider for SEO rankings. The link to another site will benefit both sites. But, here’s the other thing: – When you mask a URL behind the words “click here” or something similar, you provide no value to the link other than the link itself. If I were to link to my own website, using a phrase like “check out my awesome travel photography,” it will give meaning and value to the link within the search engine, applying terms to what is actually there through the other end of the link. Make sense? (Also, I have no shame to that slight piece of shameless self-promotion. ;)
When you make a site, either on WordPress or something similar or using HTML coding, you can implant metadata. It’s contained within the <Head> of the page and it describes the site through keyboarding and descriptions. Make sure you use this to its full effect by selecting a short list of keywords which relate to the content, because this information is searched by search engines returning your site in the results!
Finally, everyone loves a list! When you search things online, you’ll notice that there are lots of “Top 5” this and “Top 10” that, and there’s a reason these lists are so popular. So, just as I have in this post, make a list!