Custom sites are live and starting to show up in search results. If you have a custom site at Village.Photos it's probably because you want to promote and possibly sell your art. You can have the most amazing portfolio and website in the world, but if people can't find you, it's not doing you any good.
We do everything we can to make sure you'll make it onto Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines - but you have to do your part too.
- Link, link, link! Most important. Add links to your website everywhere you can. Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and any other pages you have. Add links on every website or social media network that will let you add it.
- Use Clean Album and Image Names! That's critical. Those album and photo names are what will drive search engines to match your content against what people are looking for.
- Provide good descriptions for albums and photos! Also critical - this is the primary text that search engines will index. Leaving off a description on either an album or a photo will drastically reduce the amount of text that can be indexed, and could mean a page won't make it into results at all.
- Fill out your biography for the about page.
- Blogs. It may seem counter-intuitive, but quality content in your blog, especially if you're linking to a photo or an album, can really help. Search engines thrive on text content, and well, photography hosting is typically short on verbiage. Write blogs about your photo trips, a session you shot, tips and tricks for other photographers, things you have learned.
- Sitemaps - we dynamically generate a sitemap for each customsite. These sitemaps are used by search engines to locate all of your content without spidering and parsing every single page. Your sitemap URL can be found on the Settings page. We suggest you take your sitemap URL and add it everywhere that accepts them. Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools are the big ones.
- Google Analytics - we highly recommend you sign up for Google Analytics. It's free and you just need to have a Google account. Create a new property, using the URL of your custom website, then get the "UA Code" to enter on the Settings Page. Google Analytics might be intimidating at first, but there are some valuable metrics about your website traffic, performance, search engine results and more.
- Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools - both indispensable tools. Register for each of them and add your website. You'll need to verify them, use the "HTML Tag" method of verification, then paste the tag they provide in the Global Meta Tags, in the Settings page..
Most of these tips apply to regular Village.Photos members too! You can't register your standard Village.Photos account on analytics or webmaster tools, but the other suggestions above will also help you get found on search engines.