Crucial for SEO: A Good Title Tag


Using our last chance to get you ready for tomorrows (Tuesday, Sept 17th) seminar, “SEO Essentials: Helping Clients Find Your Photography Business Online” with Blake Discher, we wanted to give you one more blog post from him. If you haven’t already, be sure to register here: and we hope to see you at 6pm for a social time, 7pm for the seminar. The address is bellow:

Gato Gallery, Thompson Building, 2nd Floor, Barry University
11300 Northeast 2nd Avenue 
Miami Shores, FL 33161

Written by search engine optimization consultant Blake J. Discher.

“One of the basics in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the content of a website’s TITLE tag which end up being displayed in the top-most bar of a browser window when someone is looking at your site. The tag is given significant weight by search engines in their effort to figure out exactly what a site is about.

Sounds super simple and you might think everyone already knows this, but as I speak to photographers around the country about SEO, I notice quite a lot of studio names (such as “XYZ Studio”) or the photographer’s own name (such as “John Smith”) in the tag.

Unless your name is nationally recognized by photo buyers, you’d be better off thinking about what keyword phrase potential clients would use to find a photographer that produces work such as you create. So for example, your TITLE tag might better consist of “Seattle Editorial Photographer John Smith.” Place the most important keywords toward the left of the sentence. About eight to ten words is good.

It is important to make certain your TITLE matches your page content, the “Description” META tag actually describes what on the page, and is unique for that specific page.

Good luck!”



Keyword Density, Prominence, and Proximity Explained


Today’s post is also from Speaker Blake Discher, see it on his blog here. Be sure to register for his upcoming speaking seminar at Barry University on Sept 17th (next Tuesday). Social time starts at 6pm, the seminar starts at 7pm, register here:

Written by search engine optimization consultant Blake J. Discher.

keyword“When writing body copy for your website’s home page, it’s important to keep three things in mind. By now most anyone who is working on optimizing their website for Google and the other search engines knows that excessive placement of the keyword phrases for which they are optimizing can hurt their ranking in the search engine result pages (SERPs).

That’s known as keyword stuffing or keyword spamming.

Keyword Density

Put simply, keyword density is the ratio (or percentage) of the number of times your keyword appears on the page of your article, versus the number of words on the page. For example, if your home page has 500 words of body copy and your keyword phrase appears 5 times, your keyword density is one-percent. No one knows for sure what the search engines consider ideal — the number changes with every algorithm update — but conservatively, two to four-percent is probably in the correct range. I wouldn’t exceed six or seven-percent under any circumstances.

Keyword Prominence

Keyword prominence refers to how prominent your keywords are within key elements of your web page. Specifically, how close to the beginning of the page’s TITLE tag, heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.), and meta DESCRIPTION, your keyword phrase is placed. You should always put your most important keyword phrase at the very beginning of your TITLE, DESCRIPTION, and H1 and H2 tags. Also try to begin your first and last sentences of body copy with the important keyword phrases.

Keyword Proximity

A search term can be made up of a combination of keywords. The keyword proximity refers to the distance between the search term’s individual keywords. For example: a website contains the keywords that make up the search term “Detroit Corporate Photographer” in the sentence “Detroit Photographer Blake Discher specializes in corporate photography”. The search term proximity between “Detroit” and “Photographer” is excellent, zero words, but between “Photographer” and “corporate” it is four words. The smaller the distance between a search term’s individual keywords, the more relevant it will be from a search engine’s point of view.

From an SEO standpoint, the sentence in italics above would be better written, “Detroit Corporate Photographer Blake Discher creates images for blah, blah, blah.” In this way all three of the search phrase words the searcher entered are next to one another.

(If you liked this post, please “Like” it below!)

If you’re the do it yourself type of person, my all new SEO DVD will help you do it right! It contains all of the information you’ll need to get the job done. It’s browser based, features full-motion video screen captures of the software and other tools you need in order to help boost the ranking of your own website. Get it here.

If you’d rather do what you know best — your own business — and want to let me do the work for you, visit my website ( or drop me an email and I’ll contact you for a free consultation to assess your needs and put together an SEO plan customized for your website. Click to email me.”


Five Do-It-Yourself SEO Improvements


Welcome to our second post to help members get a better understanding of Search Engine Optimization! Today, we asked upcoming speaker Blake Discher’s to write something for us in light of his upcoming seminar. You can read the original article on his blog here.

Be sure to Register for our upcoming seminar with Blake on Tuesday Sept, 17th, social time starts at 6pm, seminar starts at 7pm, “SEO Essentials: Helping Clients Find Your Photography Business Online”.  Register at


Written by search engine optimization consultant Blake J. Discher:

1. Keep Your Content Fresh
The search engines love, love, love fresh content. Change your site’s content as frequently as possible. This doesn’t mean have a blog as your home page. Doing so will bounce you up and down in the rankings since your copy is constantly changing as your new posts bump off the older ones and the amount of keywords changes with each post. One photographer I know puts up a “picture of the day” each morning. That’s a great way of changing up the page’s content without altering your body copy.

2. Create a Search Engine Friendly Website
Using a website that is based entirely in Flash and has no body copy does not provide search engine spiders information about your site. Google relies heavily on body copy to determine what a site is about and if a site has none, all things being equal, your site will not rank as well as a site with descriptive body copy containing your keyword phrases.

3. Avoid Over Optimizing Your Website
“Some SEO is good, so more SEO must be better.” False! File this one under ask me how I know. More important now than ever, over-optimization can hurt a sites rank. Keyword stuffing (an excessive number of uses of your keyword phrases) and excessive hyper-text links with anchor text consisting of your keyword phrases can also hurt your rank. Don’t go crazy and as you’re changing your site, tweak it in small steps, and then wait for the engines to re-crawl your site. You want to be able to know exactly what change to undo if your site’s position falls.

4. Create Good TITLE Tags
Simply put, this should contain the phrase for which you think most search users will enter when searching for someone who provides your services. The TITLE should generally be about eight words in length and not repeat words. Unless you think potential clients will search for you using your name, leave it out of the TITLE tag.

5. Write a Good Meta DESCRIPTION Tag
Generally, this will be about 160 characters in length and should include your keyword phrase(s) near the beginning of the text. Keep it straightforward, this is what is displayed as a description of your page in the search result pages.

Download this post in PDF format for easy reference as you work on your site! Click here and then on the orange bar in the middle of the page!

Closing quote, also from Blake, “I’m presenting “SEO Essentials: Helping Clients Find Your Photography Business Online” on September 17th, 2013 at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. Information and registration here.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO), The Basics


In light of our upcoming seminar on Search Engine Optimization (also known as just SEO) on Tuesday, Sept 17th at Barry University (register here: we wanted to share some blog posts about SEO. We asked Samuel Trotter, Portfolio Director of Ecommerce for Boutique Hospitality Management and ecommerce specialist contributor for to write a basic introduction to Search Engine Optimization for us. In his words “SEO should just be a small part of your web campaign. To go even further take a look at this guide for e-commerce sites. Most of the rules apply to you but not all. To see more of my tips and articles about e-commerce, SEO and social media follow me on Twitter and of course, please follow me on Google Plus!” This first blog post will give you an idea of what SEO is, why it is important, and some of the key items you work with. Be sure to register for Blake Discher’s upcoming seminar to learn all you can do to optimize your website and be found!

What is search engine optimization and why should you care?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO has become a common term increasingly over the past 15 years. In plain terms, SEO is the strategy and techniques for improving a website in order to increase the site’s ranking on popular search engines like Bing and Google. The desired results of course being more visitors to your website at a lower cost than of buying that traffic through pay per click campaigns or through other means. SEO should be part of every marketing campaign for any serious business.

Techniques involve:

-Targeting Keywords: What keywords are you targeting? For example the most popular term for this group would be “Miami Photographer” and it would be wonderful to rank well for this search term, however attaining that number one position will be difficult with limited resources. Understanding what niche keywords to target, measuring the competition and estimating the traffic potential all play a role in keyword targeting. An example of a targeted keyword would be “Miami Indian Wedding Photographer”. Google has a number of tools to understand keywords and you should be using them! Check out Google Keyword Planner for traffic estimates and even costs of pay per click campaign and to see how a keyword is trending navigate over to Google Trends.

-Site Architecture: This is about how to structure your site so that search engines can understand the content of your site. The Google algorithm changes annually, simply knowing your own site’s performance will clue you in on what is working and what is not. Some important factors in a site’s performance: mobile re-directs, number of pages it takes to access content, header titles, use of flash, rich data, etc.

-Links: Getting high quality links to your site is another key factor for Google to understand the importance of your site. I have had this article on building links bookmarked for years as a reference for ideas on how to attain additional links.

-Social Links: Mentions, Google Pluses, Twitter links all help build your credibility. The key to being successful is to have excellent content. Whether that means a hilarious top 10 list, exhaustive tutorial or simply amazing photography the goal is for people to share you and your site to their followers and friends.

-Speed: Yep, speed matters. On sites centered around photography this can be a difficult task, fortunately there are a number of tools and techniques you can use to reduce that page load time.

-Great user experience/Usability: This is the toughie, build a great site that is the number one source for the keyword(s) you are going after. This is not something that is accomplished overnight, this means that it is a constant. From writing articles, publishing new photos and constantly updating your information and site to meet the requirements of your visitor.

These techniques can all be measured using analytics software. By far the most popular, due to it being completely free, is Google Analytics. If you don’t know how many visitors you have coming in a monthly basis, how can you measure your effectiveness? One of the best parts about SEO is knowing for a fact whether or not a technique is working or not. Write an article and you will know for a fact how many visits it received, how the person got there and even how long they stayed on that particular page. Go even further and understand where a user is viewing your page and what device they are using. Analytics tools are your eyes and ears on your performance. Other tools can even tell you your average rank on specific keywords and how it changes over time.


Blake Discher’s seminar, “SEO Essentials: Helping Clients Find Your Photography Business Online”  has been made possible by a grant from the ASMP Foundation. Tuesday Sept, 17th, social time starts at 6pm, seminar starts at 7pm in the Gato Gallery, Barry University, 11300 NE 2nd Ave Miami Shores. RSVP via Eventbrite: we hope to see you there!


The Light of Florida shines over Miami on June 16th

Dear friends and colleagues in the South Florida Visual Community:

After the huge success of our “Light of Florida” Show in Key West,  we can’t be any happier to announce the show must go on, and this time, we will be opening the LOF exhibition in Miami, during the Bird Road Art Walk, next Saturday, June 16th, in 74 Avenue Gallery.

Led by the invite from our host Adam Brand, owner of 74 Avenue Gallery, the Light of Florida print show is opening doors in this new gallery, that has given us the chance to bring the exhibition to Miami.

With the active collaboration of several ASMP Chapter members and Boards, Sid Hoeltzell, Sandy and Barbara Levy, Matthew Pace, Tom Salyer, Antoine Heusse, Mark Vacker and Daniela and Jorge Parra, who worked tirelessly on June 5th to set up the entire show well in advance of the opening date,  we are now planning to have a press conference before the opening.

Here’s a view of the empty gallery when we just arrived there:

photo ©Matthew Pace
 and here ‘s the view after our Production Super Team set up the entire show:

photo ©Sandy Levy

Here is a Time-Lapse motion piece of the gallery set up:

The show is ready to go!

Address for the 74 Avenue Gallery is : 4432 SW 74th Av. Miami FL 33155

For any additional information, please contact Jorge Parra ( or Matthew Pace (, heads of the South Florida Chapter’s Fine Arts Committee.

See you at the Gallery  Opening on Saturday,  June 16th, @ 7 Pm !!

Jorge Parra

The Light of Florida Exhibition in Key West: The Video

The promo Video for The Light of Florida Exhibition in Key West is finally out!!! 

Many thanks to Mary Beth Koeth for her video/editing work on this, and to the entire ASMP South and Central Florida Chapters for making such a great show with our member’s photographic works. Enjoy and Share it with your friends!!

The Light of Florida Exhibition in Key West: The Video

The promo Video for The Light of Florida Exhibition in Key West is finally out!!! 

Many thanks to Mary Beth Koeth for her video/editing work on this, and to the entire ASMP South and Central Florida Chapters for making such a great show with our member’s photographic works. Enjoy and Share it with your friends!!

Nancy Brown’s Love Affair With China

When South Florida Chapter member Nancy Brown, who has been a professional photographer for three decades, took her first trip to China, she was immediately enthralled.

“When I stepped off the plane on my first visit,” she explains, “I began my photographic love affair with China and its people.”

Five years and six additional trips later, Nancy has released a 289-page large-sized coffee table photography book, “Simply China”. In the book’s introduction, which contains text in both Chinese and English, Nancy explains how the deep kindness of the Chinese people, their pervasive warmth to a stranger in their midst, and the glorious beauty of China’s landscape, architecture, and art continues to move her.

Sunrise over 17th Century water town, Zhouzhuang, Jiangsu Province. © Nancy Brown

She also explains why, with the exception of the Forbidden City, she tends to head for the rural areas – what she calls “the real China” – where not many  non-Chinese go.

Nancy comments, “It is heaven for me to wander around villages and remote areas of China with my cameras around my neck. Making the images in this book was pure joy, and I hope that those who see them feel the beauty and spirit of China as I do.”

The book is divided into seven sections: The Forbidden City, Inner Mongolia (the grasslands of China), Guangxi, West Sichuan, Zhouzhuang, Tibet, and Qinghai Province. Its numerous captivating images, ranging from a snowfall at The Great Wall, to yurts in the grasslands, to monks at a remote monastery, to wild Mongolian horses, powerfully reveal the beauty the photographer sees.

Buddhist Monk strolls with prayer beads in Lhasa, Tibet. © Nancy Brown

Nancy’s first trip to China was in 2004 when the South Florida chapter, along with student’s from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, were invited to attend the Duyun International Photography Exhibition  in Guizhou Province, China. The chapter sent a selection of photographic prints that were among the thousands displayed at dozens of venues around the city. Between opening ceremonies and banquets, Nancy says she was first introduced to the Chinese people during photographic outings sponsored by the Chinese Photographers Association (CPA).

She quickly made friends within the CPA, which led to invitations to judge at other photography festivals, lecture at a photography trade school, and to specially designed trips to locations in China  off the tourist track. Nancy reports that in remote Inner Mongolia, and again in the western Tibetan homelands of Sichuan and Qinghai Provinces, she would go nearly two weeks without seeing another Western face.

The Great Wall near Beijing after rare October snow fall. © Nancy Brown

Her relationships within China culminated in 2010 when she met in Beijing with the China Nationality Art Photographic Publishing House, which was interested in publishing a high quality coffee table book of photographs with a Western point of view. The book is also being distributed in China.

Nancy insisted the book be priced reasonably, and it is listed at $50 with the ISBN number of 978-0-615-42824-6. Available at Amazon, or an autobraphed copy can be purchased directly from her studio.

Nancy Brown shares photographs and makes friends with early morning exercise group, Yueqing, Zhejiang Province. © Tom Salyer

Nancy Brown has been a commercial photographer for over thirty years, specializing in lifestyle and beauty images for advertising agencies, magazines, design firms, book publishers, and pharmaceutical agencies. After working out of her New York studio for thirty years, she now works from Boca Raton, Florida. Nancy has had five photography books published and was made a Nikon Legend in 2001. Getty Images is her stock agency.  China has become her favorite beauty subject.