My google ranking sucks

I have a small photography business that focuses on corporate and event photography.

We’re struggling with our organic google ranking. We feature very poorly – page 11 on a good day :(

It’s really frustrating because we offer an excellent service at a competitive rate but are unable to reach a lot of potential customers.

We use a template flash website with a html splash page. The html splash page contains “key words” that we hoped the google spiders would pick up – but it doesn’t seem to be working.

Can anyone give any tips on how to better our google ranking?
you'd need to identify the keywords you are targeting and then write all your marketing material on the website using those keywords as many times as possible. also use them in your domain name and page names, titles, headings etc... Make sure all your images have alternate text with those keywords as well. Also helps to put your site in different online directories, again using keywords in descriptions
You need forward/back links to many highly rates sites to increase your organic Google results. Better off paying a company that specialises in this stuff.

Keywords are just one aspect to getting decent results.
As evand says, might be best to just pay somebody to get the results for you while you concentrate on what you do best.

Are you on eBay?
If not, you could do a few listings for your services and link to your website through your "ME" page.
The more leads to your website the better.
Better off paying a company that specialises in this stuff.

Any idea how much something like this would cost? Has anyone had a good experience with an SEO expert they could reccomend?

Cheers - and thanks for the responses, very helpful!
You can't beat good old content I'm afraid.

If it was easy as lobbing in a few key words to get on the first page wouldn't everyone do it and get results??

I have built 3 websites which all feature on the first page of google. This was not intentional but has just happened. The largest site is a tad over 600 pages.

Some suggestions.
Links to and from
Photography forums - join with your signature to your website
Google Adwords
Regular update your MORE CONTENT

I'm not a fan of full blown flash sites.

Also ensure things such as your web page names and file/image names are related, not but
My one page site has ranked # 1 on google for my name and that finds me over the artist whom happens to have same name as me who was big prior to my site going up.

Its going to kill it when it goes live with all its interactive dodads next week.

I hear flash is no good because keywords get left out of it. Speak to web person about it though...
One problem with Flash is that it's not viewable when browsing from iPhone. That's frustrating when I am doing so- some sites have absolutely no non Flash.
Agreed to broaden where you're advertising.

Also i was told (correct me if i'm wrong) that you can advertise on facebook and you don't pay unless someone clicks into the link to your site.

But i think you're best off paying someone to help you push up where you're business sits in search results.
Most of these ideas are good ones. The best things you can do are have good quality content that contains your key words. Based on SEO work I have done previously, you should probably have your location and photography as your main catch.

One thing that I like to do is to share links, as has been suggested. Ring up a few bridal dress shop type places that have websites and share a link with them if they do it for you. Same goes for celebrants. Corporate function centres. The list goes on.

Another good way would be to blog. Regularly update a blog space, even if you just say 'we shot such and such at xyz location today", put up two preview shots.

Lil Skater, most ads you can run are paid by the click, not just on display. Google Ads for eg.

PM me for more details if you like and I can show you some sites with more examples. I wouldn't bother paying anyone that you don't already know as its a terrible rip off 9/10 times.
Can you post your website or pm me - I am a photographer and keep my up on page one most of the time - if I have a look at yours I can tell you what to change to get it there.
A few tips to help boost your ranking at no cost.

Increase your online profile. It is free to setup a Facebook fanpage for your business - you can link this to your current page.

Set up a Twitter account and start tweeting.

A general rule of thumb is that Google doesn't like static pages that don't change much. If you are constantly updating and improving your site Google tends to reward you with higher rankings for search.

An easy way to update your page is to add a blog to it. I use the most excellent Wordpress for most of my sites which is rock solid reliable and constantly being updated and improved by millions of people across the world for nix.

Most Wordpress sites also have RSS feeds which Google also favours.

See the signature thingy at the bottom of each and every post I make, you can be doing that in many forums, free advertising.

Google looks at your entire online profile, if it sees that many other sites are mentioning your site then you will move up the rankings.

Add video to your website. This is free and easy to do. Youtube makes it particularly easy.

I have mentioned some applications of these strategies here
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is to google the key words you want to bring up your site and then click the link to your site, it is a slow way of doing things but it will help - especially if you can do it from different locations.
Thanks heaps for all the responses and handy tips! I've taken them all on-board and I'm excited about boosting the profile of my website. My first little step is the url in my signature :)
Increase your online profile. It is free to setup a Facebook fanpage for your business - you can link this to your current page.

I agree with all this.
I decided to set up a blog rather than a website because blogs are dynamic.

My blog is on the first results page for a generic key word global google search, in a very competitive field.

I'd also suggest you become a member of key photography forums, and have your website as part of your signature, and mention your business name in your posts often.

Forums and blogs seem to have a huge advantage over commercial sites at the moment.