Optimising a website for niche topics using a portfolio approach
Would you like your website to be found in Google for lots of different keywords?
Who wouldn’t like that.
The more a website shows in Google the more likely it is to be found and clicked onto.
Invariably that can result in more enquiries and sales.
It’s not usually going to be possible to optimise the homepage of a website for every topic for which one might like to rank in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
There could be hundreds of keyword variations that a website could rank for by creating very specific, detailed, unique pages.
How do we create enough material to compose such pages though?
One way is to write lots of blog posts.
Blogs are great!
They don’t get in the way of the rest of the website, they can be on any topic and they are organised by topic.
In fact you could do what we’re about to explain within the blog of a website if you wanted to.
We’re not going to bang on about blogs in this blog post though.
The simplest way we have found to align a businesses activities with the creation of content that can be used on their website is to use a portfolio concept of completed work.
A portfolio of completed jobs is simple to make.
This will look different for each business.
Perhaps it is a collection of finished buildings or mown yards or painted roofs or any number of things that businesses do.
If someone can describe the work done and take photos or videos that explains and presents that work in a way that is different each time then you can create pages indefinitely into the future by using the completed work for a portfolio on the website.
What we don’t want to do though is ask the employee or business owner to spend hours writing long descriptions or editing images.
So how do we organise this in a way that will take under 10min for the person doing the work to complete?
Use their phones.
The internet enabled cameras that most of us have in our pockets…. the smartphone, is the most wonderful gift businesses have got from the tech industry besides the web and social media.
It seems just about everyone we meet has a smartphone; and most of them know how to use the camera!
Setup shareable cloud storage
Before you start taking photos setup dropbox or google drive or one drive on the phone and learn how to use that to create folders and upload files. It may be daunting for non technical people at first but with a little practice its quite simple.
We have an explainer on installing and using dropbox here if you get stuck.
Once you have some kind of shareable cloud storage setup then you can start getting the material to your website people.
If you are just using dropbox for the purpose of sharing files with your website person then make sure they have the logins for your dropbox account otherwise you can share a folder with them and add your job folders within that.
Example of photos in Dropbox
Example of photos in Google Drive
Capturing the details of a job from the business
1. Take photos on the smartphone when at a job. Example photos to take:
- Close up shots of the completed work
- Before and after shots of a job
- Location shots showing equipment, vehicles, places and people
- Panoramic location shots can make for interesting scenes
- Get down low or up high for an unusual perspective
There are plenty of ways to make things a bit more interesting than just a head height view of the world.
2. Create a folder in Dropbox for that job
We’ll refer to Dropbox for this How To Guide but the other cloud services have similar features. Dropbox is probably the easiest to understand and use hence seen as the default choice. These screenshots are for iPhone and there are similar options on Android.
Create a new folder in dropbox
You tap on the three dots on the top right of the screen and tap create folder.
Name it something helpful such as the service and the location
You want your web person to know what the job was and where it was done and if its a commercial premises then you could put the name of the business or organisation in there too.
eg. Servicing hot water system in Wallsend
You will then have a folder to upload the files into.
Once you have uploaded the files then your web person will be able to access them from their computer and you will have access to them from your phone! Hooray, the magic of cloud hosted services!
Create a voice recording or video that explains the job
This is not strictly necessary but it’s really really really helpful because it means your web person can write out something in text about the job that is specific and contains the knowledge you have that is hard to fabricate. It saves time for the employee or business owner too because they don’t have to type or write anything in detail.
4a. Record a voice memo and upload it to dropbox
You can upload a voice recording from within the voice memo app on the iphone and video either from the photos app or in dropbox. For the purposes of uploading Dropbox considers a video the same as a photo its just a bigger file.
Then upload the voice memo to the dropbox folder you made earlier.
Your web person can then transcribe or write something around the topic and job based on your recorded speech.
4b. Or record a video which is even better than just having audio
Point the phone at the job or location and then speak, explain the job!
If you make a video that is reasonably well spoken and there is something to look at then your web person could even publish that video into the page with the photos and words will go! That would be the trifecta of content: words, images, video!
Then upload that video into the Dropbox folder.
Your web person can then transcribe or write something around the topic and job based on your recorded speech.
You will need your phone to be on 4G or a good fast wifi connection for the upload to go reasonably quickly. Don’t try and do all this uploading in a remote location with one bar of 3G coverage, it just won’t work well.
Other places to find written content for pages
Other places that you can look within a business to find useful text to go with projects:
- Quote documents that have project specific descriptive text
- Invoices that list components or aspects of a job
- Proposal or tender documents that explain a job
- Emails sent to a client that explains work done
Try and make use of whatever existing information you have in a business and repurpose it. You don’t have to publish prices or detailed costings or any private in confidence details. Many businesses find that having a great set of before and after images of completed work makes it easy to show a client what was done.
The content is captured and shared. What will be done with it!
This part is up to your web person and how your website is configured. The following examples below are to illustrate some ways that portfolio content can be used on a website that will index by Google.
Example 1: Demato Construction
The following screenshot is an example of one of the project specific pages.
There are images of the work done and short descriptions for each along side a few factual points about the job.
Below you can see that the page indexes and ranks well in Google for ‘azzurri club refurbishment’. Which of course is a very niche topic but the point is clear. If you have a website that Google has indexed and there is uniquely interesting pages on that website then it is possible for them to rank for quite specific keywords.
The images that Google has embedded into the search results also link back to the Demato Construction website. This is why its a good idea to have plenty of keyword tagging and text around the images so that Google knows what they are photos of.
Example 2: Wow Flowers Singleton
Here we are looking at the wedding flowers page which is setup like a gallery using a custom post type in WordPress. Each wedding has a feature image and title on the page.
Once you click onto one of the wedding images then you end up on a page like this with words and images specific to that wedding.
You can see how this kind of page can rank very nicely in Google in the two screenshots below.
The first is a search for gabrielle’s wedding singleton.
The second is a search for pete’s wedding singleton.
You can see also that Google has decided to include images from the wedding page into the search results. These link back to the Wow Flowers website as well.
It’s plausible that someone could search for a friends wedding or similar and end up finding the Wow Flowers page.
Example 3: A & K Mackay Building Company
Much of the website for A & K Mackay Building Company is a portfolio of completed work such as residential and commercial projects.
In the screenshot below you can see part of the page for the completed residential projects.
Each project can be clicked through to an individual page which usually has extra photos.
An example of a search term that it shows up for would be karoola rd, lambton development. And you would likely find there are a range of other similar topics that it could be found for too such is the nature of Google search.
Example 4: Greenhaven Funerals
Greenhaven Funerals has a series of sections setup on the website which present words and images of locations around Melbourne where a funeral could be held. This makes their website rank well in Google for all sorts of specific location + funeral venue search results. So whilst it may not be appropriate in this case to be showing lots of images of the funerals held by creating pages in this way it achieves a similar result. Additionally this passes the test of usefulness because there would be people in Melbourne who would like help picking a funeral venue and Greenhaven Funerals brings them together in one place.
You can see for example the page about The Centre, Ivanhoe
Which ranks well for ivanhoe funeral venue.
The category level pages since they have a good amount of text and images on them also rank pretty well for their topics. In the example below you can see the page for Bayside Suburbs.
Which ranks just fine for bayside suburbs funeral venues.
Example 5: Mammoth Projects
This is a really neat site and has stacks of great photos. It was designed by Ryan of Simmer Studio and the projects section and pages we setup do index for their project names in some cases. This is a pretty narrow niche kind of search but people type all sorts of random things into Google every minute of the day that have never been searched before.
Here is a screenshot of the first project in the sequence.
And an example of a related Google search result.
Example 6: Ceramex
This page has been setup for some years now and is a quite memorable example as it was one of our earlier experiments for ranking project pages. It’s basically a gallery of work with job specific sections and some have descriptive text.
The detail page has various photos.
And you can see that that page ranks fine for apple store tiler.
Have we convinced you yet that it’s worth the effort to have a portfolio section on your website?
Collecting the images and ideas for the pages is not all that difficult when you make use of a phone and dropbox.
Leverage the time of the people within a business so that they are quickly capturing and sharing the images, audio / video and then let your web person do what they do best curating a terrific portfolio or project page.
Of course if you have an easy to update website like a WordPress site with a Custom Post Type similar to the way that Jezweb usually configures this part of a website then you might like to learn how to do it yourself or delegate it to someone in your business to do each week instead.