We all want to rank on google as a photographer so that it will recommend us to potential clients. And while we may have tried basic SEO (search engine optimization) to our blog posts to our websites to boost our rankings, we still aren’t where we want to be. But today, I’m telling you my #1 secret that I’ve been using in my photography business for the last 7 years to get more clients and rank higher on google.
Google My Business is a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. By including things like your business name, location, hours; monitoring customer reviews; adding photos; and posting “updates.” You can improve your rankings for local web searches (which, newsflash, is the only kind of web search a photographer needs to worry about) and learn more about where and how people are searching/finding you.
If you are just getting started with SEO, creating a GMB listing is an AMAZING place to start since half of the people who make a local search (like, “peoria Illinois photographers”) will inquire with them that same day. So it’s super important that your business shows up when people search Google and that what they find is accurate, informative and complete! For these reasons, this is my #1 trick to rank on google as a photographer!
To learn how to create a GMB account, verify your business, and make it’s listing as strong as possible, keep reading:
First, you’re going to log into the google account you want associated with your business (or create one if you don’t have one). Then, you’ll go to google.com/business and select “Start Now” in the top right hand corner. You’ll enter your business name as well as your address. Then, since we go to your customer’s locations rather than having them come to us (unless you own a brick and mortar studio), you’ll want to check the box, “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” Check “hide my address” if you work out of your home and don’t want your address shown.
Then, you’ll choose your business category. Try choosing the most accurate category as possible because you’ll be telling Google what type of customers to send your way. Then add your phone number, website and hours.
Lastly, choose a verification option (postcard, phone, email, or instant verification).
After your business is verified, it’s time to finish “creating your profile.” Go to the GMB Dashboard, click the listing you’d like to work on and select “Info.” Fill out as many sections as you possibly can including profile picture, what areas you serve, your hours, website, etc.
If you want to rank on google as a photographer, you have to keep your My Business profile updated! According to Google, businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website. Your cover photo is the most important because that is what shows up front and center when people search. Your profile picture is what will show up next to the posts you make or the reviews you respond to. Along with your cover photo and profile photo, you should regularly upload photos to make your business more informative and engaging. It keeps people clicking and let’s Google know that you are still active and it should send people your way.
I also try to post 10 “updates” a week. Generally, I just save whatever photo I posted to Facebook and instagram and post it with a caption below. Basically, posts are like mini advertisements within your Google Profile that give people an idea of what you sell or the service you provide.
Having a GMB profile is how you get google reviews. And, if you use reviews in the right way, it appears to be one of the most prominent ranking factors when search engines consider who to show in a local search. According to Google, “pages with reviews that mention a keyword and/or the name of a city, were found to have higher rankings in Google’s local pack. At a high level, having a keyword you are trying to rank for, and a mention of a city you are working to rank in, in reviews has a high correlation with high ranking google results.”
If you’re confused on which is which, you’re not alone! Here’s a simple cheatsheet!
Google Places used to be Google’s tool for owners to manage their business profiles but it was retired in 2014 and now Google My Business is the central hub for making sure you show up on google searches, maps, and Google+.
Google+ is Google’s social network (it’s like Google’s version of Facebook). Don’t worry about using this for your business. It’s best to focus in on other marketing/social media channels.
Google My Business is GREAT for businesses who are trying to target local customers which as far as I know is MOST photographers.