Will search engines find my SmugMug site?

Updated: Mar 27, 2014 02:42PM PDT

Seeking fame & fortune?

If you dream of seeing your name on page one of Google's search results for Salt Lake City wedding photography, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help it come true.

Feeding Google

Salt Lake City wedding photography

SmugMug's NiceName feature lets you place the search words that matter most where they count most: in page titles and URLs.

For example, suppose you create a top-level category named Salt Lake City. Under it, you create a gallery named wedding photography. The URL will be:


And the browser's title bar will contain your gallery NiceName.

More ways you can feed Google:

  • Sitemaps, so they'll receive the most recent information about the content on your pages.

  • Easy Customizer's Browser section, or the Page Title area of your Advanced Customization.

  • Image names like wedding-cake.jpg trump IMG2031.jpg.

  • Search Engine Settings. Fill in your Homepage Meta Description and Google will pick up the first 140 characters to display a description of your home page in their search results.

  • You can also fill out the Homepage Meta Keywords box, so search engines can classify your site.

Tip: Want to replace SmugMug's default text when you post to Facebook? Fill in your Homepage Meta Description (found in your Account Settings, under Discovery > Search) and enter a gallery description for your galleries.

Impressing Google

Google is impressed by links to your site from high-credibility sites that are relevant to yours.

Links from your own blog will help (but Twitter and Facebook won't because they have no-follow tags). Links from major figures in your industry will really help.

Google looks closely at the words the linking page uses when they reference you. If you post on photography forums, put a link in your signature to your site with the words Salt Lake City wedding photography.

Google has stopped using meta keywords since they're often overused.

Google isn't impressed with repeating words in your URL or page title.

Google cannot see Unlisted (Anyone with the Link) and password-protected galleries.

Check your Site Visibility settings in the Discovery tab of your Account Settings. Make sure both "Google Search Visibility" and "SmugMug Search Visibility" are set to "Yes."

Replace that default SmugMug page description 


Outside SEO experts familiar with SmugMug

Here's a wonderful SmugMug SEO overview from an independent expert. Use the code SMUGMUGSEO to get their free E-book. And for $39, you can download a PDF loaded with SEO wisdom.

We hear good things about tofurious' SEO workshop but we haven't attended so you may want to ask other photographers for references.

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