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Photographers, Here’s a Quick and Free Way to Improve Your SEO


Backlinks are a pillar of SEO. As photographers, we have a unique niche in to getting backlinks. Websites need images for their pages, we have images, and some of these websites might be using your images and mentioning your business, but not linking to your website. These are called unlinked mentions, and they are some of the simplest backlinks you can get.

Today I want to explain to you a free and easy way of finding these unlinked mentions so that you can politely request a backlink and quickly improve your SEO. I do this by using the -inurl: google search operator.

Using it will help you find websites which mention you or your business that are not your own website. These website may or may not link to you, but by finding them you can check for a link and then contact them to ask that they link the mention to your site.

Here’s how it works:

Setup the Search With -inurl

First, go to Google and set up a search to find your name or business name on websites other than your own. You do not want your own website included in the search results for this. This is where the -inurl: search operator comes in to make sure the mentions to your brand are not from your own domain.

To set the search up, first put your business name in quotations. This tells Google that you want those exact terms to appear on sites it includes in the results. For me, it would look like, “Matthew Lim Photography” or “Matthew Lim” or “Matt Lim”. You can do separate searches for any iterations of your name and business name, like I have.

Second, following your business name in quotations, put the -inurl: search operator directly followed by your url without any spaces or symbols in between. Continuing with my own example, it should look like this:

From this, Google will show you any website that mentions your business name, or whatever you put in the quotes that is not from your domain. From here, click through each site in the search results and make note of each url that does not link to you. You will find sites that do, indeed, link back to your site as well. You can ignore those for the purposes of this strategy.

Email the Author or Editor

Finally, contact the author or editor of the post with a simple (and nice) email asking them to link to your site. Personally, I always thank them for including me or most likely my image on their page and crediting or mentioning me, (I always make sure to include the exact url or link to the page I am referring to), and then ask them to link back to my site. My typical email looks like the one I’ve included below:

Hi ________,

My name is Matt Lim and I am a wedding photographer. I noticed that you are using one of my images on your blog {Page title with hyperink} which I am stoked about because your blog is beautiful. I was wondering if you could provide a link back to my website via my business name credited. This would help me and my SEO endeavors out tremendously.

Thank you so much! And I look forward to hearing from you on this.



After you send the email, it is simply a waiting game for responses. I followed up with this website after a few days, to remind them of my request. Other websites got back to me and updated their sites within a few hours. In the end, I was fortunate to have gotten great responses and gained 4-5 new backlinks to my website with almost no work. Plus, one of the sites had very high domain authority correlating to my own site gaining authority for Google, and thus having greater potential to rank better for keywords.

On a closing note, I would not recommend asking them to remove their mention of your business or the image because Google still recognizes their mention of you, and attributes it in a small way back to your own domain. Even though it is not directly tied to you through a link.

In the end, I have found this method to be the simplest and most effective backlink strategy. Simply because the websites you are targeting are already mentioning your business and thus are familiar with you, they just haven’t taken (or did not know to take) the extra step of linking to you.

About the author: Matt Lim is a Wedding and Elopement Photographer based out of Rochester, NY. Matt’s time is also occupied by his family, home-espresso, and a growing fascination with table tennis. You can find more of his work on his website or by following him on Instagram.