Showit Website Design Refresh
Robyn is not only a photographer, content writer, and SEO pro, she’s also been also a close friend of mine for well over a decade. In fact, I credit much of my SEO knowledge to her. She’s a familiar face in the Showit User Group and you may have seen her offering website coaching alongside the Showit Design Partners at United.
As a Showit Design Partner, I work exclusively with photographers. But in this particular case, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help a friend refresh and refine her website. There are so many people out there today that “offer SEO,” so my list of trusted pros is quite short. Eleventy7 Marketing (isn’t that an awesome name?!) is certainly on my list not only because Robyn is an amazing copywriter and SEO pro, but because she is also a photographer. That industry experience gives her an edge, particularly with Showit which at its heart is a platform designed for photographers.
Enhancing The Eleventy7 Brand
Robyn had a lot of great content for her website but needed a designer’s touch to pull it all together. Much of the site is custom-designed, and some of it is just a customization of her already existing content. (The original design had canvases from templates by Elizabeth McCravy and Jessica Gingrich.) Her main brand colors were already in place so my first step was adding in a subtle accent color and settling on fonts. I rearranged the placement of her already-fantastic copy to give the homepage intro a StoryBrand vibe. We wanted this site to have a strong focus on blog content, so you’ll notice featured blog posts sprinkled throughout.
Overall, this website refresh is a true representation of Robyns experience, skill, and quirky personality. There are even some GIFs hiding in various places, one being the 404 page. (Which you’ll probably never see live because Robyn is a master at making sure redirects are set up properly!)
An Interview With Robyn
Tell us a little bit about you!
I’m a Showit SEO expert for creatives, particularly photographers and videographers. I’ve been a photographer for over 10 years and now focus on helping creative types get the most out of their websites and attract the right clients.
I’m working on a Blogging for SEO Course specific to Showit users. I’ve also been working one-on-one with a lot of photographers and videographers lately to improve their SEO and work through marketing strategies for their website.
I’ve been living in Myrtle Beach for the last 10+ years after I graduated from West Virginia University. I recently joined the local Technology Advisory Group for the city to help support more entrepreneurs and tech leaders in the community.
I’ve FINALLY found a good balance between work and home life. I have an office outside the home but spend a lot of time with my husband and two kids. I love being able to take off to take my kids to the doctor or watch my son’s soccer games. And my 12-year-old daughter’s friends recently told her that I seemed very business-y online. So I guess you could say things are going pretty well. 😉
Let’s talk about your brand. What’s the story behind Eleventy7?
Once upon a time, I had a complex explanation about the numerical meaning behind eleventy-seven and honestly, I forget what it was so it must not have been that important! Now, I see my brand as a balance between an obsession with analytics and creativity from behind a photographer and writer for so many years. Analytics are important, but it’s also important to reach past being a robotic type obsessed with numbers and business strategies to remember to be an actual person. I pride myself on being technically savvy and on top of updates with Google and Google Analytics, but none of it means much if you can’t have a connection with real people or have fun with what you do. So the meaning behind Eleventy7 has evolved into a fun play on a nonsense word that has to do with numbers.
What tools do you use in your business that you find indispensable?
It seems almost everyone “offers SEO” these days, what things should I be looking for when hiring someone to do SEO?
If you’re trying to decide the best option for investing in SEO, first decide if you want to learn how to do it yourself with a course, learn by working with an SEO professional, or just want to pay to have it done for you with regular updates.
Since SEO is ever-changing and not fully understood by most non-SEO experts, less ethical companies will take advantage of this to get by with the minimal amount of work while still accepting your money. If you hire someone or a company to manage your SEO, make sure you understand the scope of the project and have been given realistic expectations. Avoid anyone who promises to have you on page 1 for anything!
Also make sure you’re willing to make changes to your site based on SEO recommendations. You also may need to add or update content. You can prepare to write or edit content yourself or pay to have someone do it for you.
Be sure to check out this blog post before hiring anyone for SEO: https://eleventy7marketing.com/5-red-flags-of-seo-agency-and-how-avoid
What do you love about Showit compared to other platforms you’ve had experience with?
I love the community Showit has built, especially with the designers. Everyone is supportive of each other. It’s great seeing all the creative ways designers use Showit. I also appreciate that Showit utilizes WordPress. That gives us SEO nerds a lot more freedom with plugins and workarounds.
Every platform certainly has its strengths and weaknesses, and I’m sure we can agree that it’s up to the user to know how to work around the weak points to build a successful, well-ranking website. What is the biggest tip that you would give photographers when it comes to building a Google-friendly website on Showit?
I have a blog posts specifically for the best SEO advice for Showit: 4 Showit SEO Tips to Improve Your Website Rankings
- Make sure you’re tracking your website traffic properly with Google Analytics. Too often I find multiple GA tags on a page which duplicates the page views and skews the reports. The culprit is usually a plugin with a Google Analytics tag AND the GA ID in the Site settings.
- Take the time to write intentional titles and descriptions for your pages AND posts. It seems like such a small detail in the Showit app, but it plays a major role in your Google rankings.
- Have a simple site audit run on your site that includes SEO. Especially after a launch or redesign, you can easily forget broken or missing links that affect your user experience and Google when the Googlebot crawls your pages.
Blogging has changed quite a bit over recent years. What should photographers be blogging about to help their SEO?
If you’re going to take the time and energy to write a blog post, make sure there’s a purpose for publishing it. Many photographers blog to feature their clients because their clients appreciate it. And that’s fine. If you can also work that blog post into content that shows off a session or wedding AND gives potential clients insight into working with you, even better.
I would highly recommend planning your content out ahead of time. Assign a topic, call-to-action, and keyword topic to each post. Then make sure those posts are organized by linking to them from appropriate pages/posts and link from the new post to relevant pages/posts or even external websites. That creates an organized site structure that makes it easy for Google to crawl and leads your visitors to other interesting content that keep them on your website until they’re ready to reach out and hire you.
To get the most SEO value out of your blog posts, you can hire an SEO analyst to review your content and optimize your blog posts for you. I offer 1:1 live SEO help where I optimize content for clients and show them how to do it themselves.
I also have a Blogging for SEO Course coming that teaches creatives using Showit how to write and optimize blog posts to get more traffic and offer higher value content.
You know I couldn’t end this interview without asking… what is your favorite Liz Lemon quote?
I can’t just pick one…
“Workin’ on my night cheese!”
“Ain’t no party like a Liz Lemon party ‘cause a Liz Lemon party is MANDATORY!”
So now that you’ve learned a bit more about Robyn and her rockin’ SEO skills, all that’s left to do is to go check out her website! And be sure to sign up for a free website audit to get a customized video review of your website with recommendations for SEO and content that you can implement right away.