Book Review – Blog SEO Zen for Photographers and Vendors
Author: Zach Prez
Publisher: Zach Prez (2010)
Pages: 37 pages
As a WordPress trainer, designer and consultant for creative folks, I’m always on the hunt for solid online marketing gurus who specialize in the same niche as my clients. When I needed to learn more about promoting sites where the pictures tell the story, I did what anyone would do, which was a Google search, and that’s how I found Zach Prez. You see, he made it very easy for me to find him first on Google because he uses the same SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies that he teaches in his book, Blog SEO Zen for Photographers and Vendors.
The first part of the book is an overview of how a blog works and the elements search engines use to rank them. Zach is an efficient yet effective writer. He tells you the essentials you need to know about blogging, including how viewers find your posts, hosting, and why he favors WordPress.org. Most of his suggestions center on that platform. He delivers the information in a way that will satisfy a novice blogger while giving a more experienced site owner new ideas.
I was particularly impressed with Zach’s acknowledgement of how much a theme design, and the way WordPress is installed, can effect SEO. I agree with him that hiring a pro to help you with these initial steps will pay for itself in the long run. And, he states that most theme designers don’t know SEO. He’s right, which is one of the reasons this book is so valuable. Prez presents what you need to know and the tools you need to use to cork the SEO holes that are present in most theme designs.
From there he dives right into how to optimize your blog settings including the page and post URLs as well as the URL of each image on your site. There are multiple screen shots where you can easily see the settings he recommends and Zach’s instructions are perfectly clear. He also tells you exactly why setting these options are important and how they will impact your SEO and site performance.
At the beginning of the book Zach states that the information presented is squarely focused on SEO and not as much on developing site content. However, there is plenty enough information on titles, meta descriptions, and keywords peppered throughout to help you start developing your content creation habits on the right foot.
Zach’s chapter on image optimization for SEO is outstanding and will be useful to anyone who features pictures and graphics on their site. His chapter on link building is equally as impressive and is useful to anyone who promotes online.
Prez does one of the best jobs I’ve seen of explaining keywords and site analytics, which can be a major source of confusion for new bloggers. He cuts right through the mumbo jumbo and gives you real-world examples, tips and tools, as well as advice on making sense of the reports those tools deliver.
Overall, I found Blog SEO Zen for Photographers and Vendors a very helpful resource with clear examples and explanations that even non-techies can follow easily. It has an abundance of links to more free resources as well as discounts on a few paid services.
If you are a photographer, artist, or retailer that uses pictures to tell the story on your site, this book is a must-have. If you promote online in any niche, you ought to check out Blog SEO Zen. You’ll definitely learn a few SEO tricks your competitors don’t know, and that will give your site an extra edge.
Zach Prez has been helping small businesses rank in Google for about 10 years and specializes in search engine optimization for photographers. He is the author of Blog SEO Zen, Photographers SEO Book, Splash Page SEO Guide, and a SmugMug SEO How to Guide.