How to improve your blog ranking for SEO

Jan 1, 2021

How to tidy up your blog, Marie Kondo style – and why it’s the best thing you can do for your SEO


Let’s set the scene…

You’re at a wedding fair and a couple comes up to your stand. You already think they look like your kind of people, but after just a few minutes of chatting you know they’re your dream client. Like walk-away-squealing-and-praying-they-book dream client, would-almost-shoot-the-wedding-just-for-fun dream client. You get on like you’ve been best mates forever, you have loads in common, and their wedding is super cool. And they seem to like your work, too! They take your business card and head off.

Meanwhile, you start thinking about what they’re going to find when they look at your website. Sure, if they stick to the homepage you’ll be fine. If they look at the most recent blog posts they’ll love it. But what if they dig deeper, go back through the archives? Scroll down to the very bottom of your portfolio? Do you shudder at the thought of them discovering that old edit, or the very-not-on-brand wedding you shot in 2012, or photos of things you wouldn’t even dream of shooting today?

If so, you need to Marie Kondo your portfolio and blog! And now!


Who the heck is Marie Kondo?

When I first saw Marie Kondo on TV, the first thing I did was clear out five bin bags of clothes, no hesitation, no surrender!

Marie Kondo is an organising consultant, and a modern-day superhero – her power is to convince you that you don’t need a lot of the stuff you have and to throw it all away. She teaches you how to declutter your life, and she makes you genuinely want to throw things away. And she’s right, it feels so good!

And if you can do that for the physical things in your life, you can do it for the digital things too. In fact, if you want to attract dream clients, you should Marie Kondo your blog and your portfolio.


Why would you want to Marie Kondo your portfolio?

Be honest, when was the last time you updated your portfolio? And I don’t mean adding new stuff, I mean getting rid of anything that’s not on brand for you anymore too. You want your portfolio to reflect who you are now, not who you were in 2012 when yellow skies were cool, every photo had a different filter and Dutch tilt looked fun. Any photos that water down the bad-ass photographer you are today can make a couple think twice about what they’ll receive from you. It lessens the impact of your epic work – anything that doesn’t make them excited to book you just edges them closer to closing that tab and finding someone who makes them feel 100% excited.


Why would you want to Marie Kondo your blog?

Every photographer starts off blogging every single wedding or shoot. Over time, we get busy with bookings and more blogging that we forget about the old posts and they just keep building up. Or we get lazy and don’t blog anything new, but keep the old posts live just to have something on the blog. Over time we end up with a blog that is full of all sorts of stuff that is hurting our business. Not only that, but your Google search results are getting clogged up with blog posts that aren’t relevant, and the new updated ones for the same keywords aren’t even showing up (this is called keyword cannibalisation, and is something every website owner needs to know! It’s an SEO thing and fixing it helps your SEO. You can learn more about it here).

Then we do a course (like this one!) where we have an epiphany and realise a whole bunch of stuff on our website is causing people to turn away and not book us. Or cause the wrong people to book us – and the wrong people are worse than no people, because they don’t value you, therefore they don’t treat you well and are more likely to end up complaining and leaving bad reviews. 

The end goal of this task is a blog you’re proud of and that you want your dream client to browse! You want every image and every blog post to represent who you are now. So let’s do it – it’s a new year, so it’s time to declutter!


Where do you begin?


How to Marie Kondo your portfolio

Techi-ness rating: 0/10

  1. Profile your dream client (use this quick and easy post or check out the Kick Ass Course to do it in detail)
  2. Work out your style of photography (also a lesson with a fun challenge that we cover in the course)
  3. Get rid of anything that doesn’t appeal to your dream client
  4. Get rid of anything not in your current style
  5. Re-edit any photos that are still your thing but has an old edit that makes the portfolio look inconsistent 
  6. Add in any new photos you’d love your dream client to see
  7. Order them from strongest to weakest
  8. If you have too many (more than around 50), cull from the bottom
  9. If you show your portfolio as separate shoots rather than one gallery, do steps 1 to 5, then carry on with Blog option 3 below)


How to Marie Kondo your blog – option 1: posts you never want to rank for or be seen by anyone (“OMG how embarrassing” posts or “kill me if I have to shoot that venue again” posts)

Techi-ness rating: 3/10

  1. Go through your blog and pick out any that aren’t at all on brand or venues/areas you’d ever want to shoot at again. For me, for example, this is styled shoots, London weddings and destination weddings
  2. Set up 301 redirects from those posts to a relevant post if you have one (you can do this with the Redirection plugin on WordPress or Squarespace in the Advanced section) or delete the post if it isn’t driving traffic for you, or is low quality. 301 redirects are signposts to Google that the old post no longer exists and the new one is the permanent home to that content


How to Marie Kondo your blog – option 2: posts with keywords you still want to rank for where there are multiple posts with the same target keyword (eg you still want to be found for a particular venue but you have 5 posts targeting that venue – eek!)

Techi-ness rating: 6/10

  1. If you want to know why you shouldn’t target the same keyword on more than one page, check out Fuel Your Photos)
  2. Look back at past posts and note down any that use the same target keyword
  3. Work out which post is ranking best for that keyword using this free tool from Moz
  4. Combine those posts – copy the info from the non-keepers to the best-ranking post (this is called “cornerstone content – the main post on this topic is a cornerstone post and the most definitive guide that topic on your website eg everything you need to know about a wedding venue
  5. Make sure the post isn’t specific to a client – make it about the thing you want to be searched for, such as info about a venue
  6. Delete any posts that aren’t ranking or giving you traffic if you don’t want them to be seen
  7. If the best-ranking post has a client’s name in the url, set up a 301 redirect to a new page with a better URL (something with your keyword in) and copy the content to that post
  8. Set up a 301 redirect from all the posts you don’t want to keep, and direct them to the one you do want to show up in Google results
  9. If you want to keep those posts, simply un-SEO those posts (remove keywords) and just make it about the client or details of the shoot, as an example of your work, then link them to the main “cornerstone” post and link back to these from that cornerstone post.
  10. Or if the post isn’t driving traffic for you, or is low quality, you can just straight up delete the old posts
  11. If you’re stuck, check out Fuel Your Photos to learn more about all this, because those guys know ALL about this stuff


How to Marie Kondo your blog – option 3: Nurture the posts you still want people to see (SEO-friendly or not!) – I’ve seen some epic and fast SEO results from doing this one!

Techi-ness rating: 2/10

  1. Profile your dream client (use this quick and easy post or check out the Kick Ass Course to do it in detail)
  2. Work out your style of photography (also a lesson with a fun challenge that we cover in the course)
  3. Go through all the posts you want to keep but aren’t 100% on brand and don’t represent your ideal client
  4. Retitle them to be more on brand and relevant to new readers (eg rename the post from “Gemma and Rob wedding” to “Hawthbush Farm Wedding”). Don’t edit the URLs – if you want to change the URL (for example if it has the couple’s name in instead of the venue) you’ll want to do a 301 redirect to a new post with a new URL and copy the content into the new post – never just edit the URL!
  5. Remove any photos from each post that aren’t on brand or don’t represent your ideal client
  6. Add in any photos that are more representative to who you want to attract. Yup, that means digging through the archive! It could be that you no longer do portraits and want to add in some more gritty docu shots, or it could be that you now show more details, so you can add those in
  7. Re-edit any photos that have an old edit
  8. Re-write the post with better SEO if you want to rank for it
  9. If it’s a post you want people to see when they first check out your blog, edit the date to a recent one


While you’re at it, it’s worth looking at the size of the images, too. Large images can slow down your website and affect your SEO – you can reupload the images smaller, or run an image optimiser like Shortpixel through your site.

Let’s declutter our websites!

If you want to turn your whole website into a dream client magnet, you need the Bag the Bookings course!


Some of the SEO tips in this article were donated to us kindly by the lovely Corey of Fuel Your Photos

This article contains affiliate links, which means I earn a few pennies from qualifying purchases. It’s doesn’t cost you any more! I would never recommend anything I don’t use and love myself, so it’s a way of earning some money through helping you with my articles and reviews!


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