TARGETING PLACE: Hunter
Harrison’s use of location-based
keywords paid off when booking
these suburban weddings in
Broadview Heights, Ohio (left) and
Lakewood, Ohio (above).
PLAYING “NICE” WITH
GOOGLE TO BOOST
Google has really helped me to book a full
When asked about advice for photogra-
phers new to Google Analytics, Harrison
says, “To be frank—get it done. Setting up
Analytics is paramount. Also, invest lots of
effort in SEO. Doing it right is definitely
important and will change the nature of
A success story like Harrison’s is uncom-
mon. Learning basic SEO strategies and moni-
toring results in Google Analytics is a quantita-
tive approach to getting more business.
In an earlier life, Hunter Harrison was responsible for major corporate projects targeted to improving search engine optimization
(SEO). When he left the technology world
for a new life in wedding photography, his
accumulated knowledge in Google Analytics—including how to monitor its reports to
make smart business decisions—was crucial
to his new business’s success.
In his first year as a Cleveland-based
wedding photographer, Harrison shot a few
weddings; he shot 24 the next; the year after,
he shot enough to go full-time. In his early
marketing efforts, Harrison noticed that a
significant number of people were searching
Google for specific Cleveland suburbs, so he
focused on weaving location-based keywords
into his blog posts and Web content. “I could
see people hitting my site when they searched
for photographers in Cleveland suburbs. So
instead of targeting Cleveland by name, I tar-
geted individual suburbs,” Harrison explains.
“This helped me gain business from searches
competitors weren’t targeting.” Over time,
he targeted searches for “Cleveland wedding
photographer,” which landed his site on
Google’s page one for that term.
Install Google Analytics on your site
from day one. This way, you set a
benchmark against which you can gauge
future Web site and marketing efforts.
Use the Organic Search Report to see
what keywords people use to end up on
your site. Weave these into your site’s
content to further boost your rankings.
If you’re implementing SEO strategies
for the first time, try targeting less
competitive terms. For example,
use smaller cities or suburbs of your
location as keywords rather than
“Los Angeles” or “New York City.”
all photos this page © Hunter Harrison