The 6-8-7 of Google MyBusiness for Photographers
6 elements that you need to get listed in Google MyBusiness
8 elements that have a negative impact on your listings
7 things that you can do to optimise your Google MyBusiness listing
Everything you need to know about how to setup your Google MyBusiness listing correctly.
For many photography search terms, your website should be listed on Google MyBusiness (formerly Google Places and Google Local) if you want to be listed on the first results page. Executing this process correctly can expose your photography services to your local audience.
How your website is listed on Google MyBusiness depends on several things.
For example: wedding photographers in Dallas are listed differently than portrait photographers in New York. The location of your business, the photography niche that you’re in, the keywords that you are targeting and several other important factors can influence your listing in Google MyBusiness.
This post will help you setup your Google MyBusiness page and cover several key factors that can influence where you list when people search locally for photography services like yours on Google. If you are interested in taking full control of you local search potential, please read the theoretical case study below and explore our Local Search Membership plan.
Six elements that you need to get listed in Google MyBusiness:
Ranking Element 1: your address
Ranking Element 2: your business category
You must make sure that your business is listed in the correct category in Google MyBusiness. If you’re a wedding photographer then your website should not be listed in the portrait photography category. You can specify the correct category when you submit your website to Google MyBusiness.
Ranking Element 3: citations of your business
Citations (also called “web references” or “business listings”) are mentions of your business name, address and phone number on other web pages, even if these web pages do not link to your website.
For example, a yellow pages directory or the local chamber of commerce might list your business without linking to your website. The more citations your business has, the more likely it is that it will be listed for local searches.
Citations have a similar effect on local searches as backlinks have on regular website listings. Try to get your website address listed on as many websites as possible to show Google that your business is real.
Ranking Element 4: data consistency
Your business name, address and phone number, known as your NAP data, have to be consistent across the different websites that list your business. If your business is listed with different information on multiple websites this can diminish the trust factor of your photography business being legitimate and will affect your local rankings.
Ranking Element 5: you must have positive reviews
Google MyBusiness is basically a recommendation search engine. They recommend local restaurants, plumbers, hotels, etc. in the search results. If the recommended businesses offer poor products and poor services, then people wouldn’t continue to use Google MyBusiness.
Positive reviews and ratings help Google to gain more confidence in your company. The more positive reviews your company has, the better. Encourage your customers to write a positive review if they are satisfied with your products and services.
Ranking Element 6: proximity to the searched location
If your business is located near to the searched location, then it is more likely that it will be displayed in the search results.
If you have a wedding photography business operating from an address in Dallas, then it’s likely that Google will show your Google MyBusiness listing for search terms such as “wedding photographers in Dallas.”
Eight elements that have a negative impact on your listings:
If you want find out about 8 elements that can have a negative impact on your Google MyBusiness listing appearing in the local search results then we ask you kindly to share this post.
Negative Element 1: negative review sentiment
It takes a strong amount of negative reviews to affect your rankings. If negative reviews affected the position of your rankings, it would be an easy way for competitors to destroy your rankings.
For photographers, the influence of negative reviews on the rankings might be higher. In general, negative reviews will decrease the click-through rate so you should try to get as few negative reviews as possible.
Negative Element 2: local keywords in categories
Google enables you to suggest categories when you submit your site to Google MyBusiness. Do not add local keywords (for example “Wedding Photographer Dallas”) to the category.
This is against Google’s guidelines, and it can result in a massive ranking drop.
Negative Element 3: non local phone numbers
Companies with an 800 phone number can rank fine on Google MyBusiness, but it might be better to avoid it. A local phone number seems to increase the rankings on Google MyBusiness for many sites.
Google suggests you use a local phone number instead of a call center number, freephone and cell/mobile whenever possible. It is always best practise to follow Google’s guidelines!
Our research show that there is a marked increase in photographers listing their cell/mobile numbers as the primary contact number on their Google MyBusiness.
It’s very easy to purchase a digital local phone number online and set it up to redirect to a cell/mobile if this is more convenient to you.
Negative Element 4: multiple locations on your Google MyBusiness landing page
Negative Element 5: multiple Google MyBusiness pages with the same business title
Your business should not have multiple Google MyBusiness entries. This just makes it more difficult for Google to pick the right one for the results. Clean up your listings and create one good listing.
Duplicate addresses can happen with office buildings. In that case, use suite numbers to differentiate your address.
Negative Element 6: using a P.O. box as the main address on your website without a real address
Google does not consider P.O. boxes accurate physical locations. Listings submitted with P.O. Box addresses will often be removed by Google.
If your website only shows a P.O. box address, this can have a negative influence on your Google MyBusiness rankings.
Negative Element 7: hiding your address on your Google MyBusiness pages
Negative Element 8: multiple Google MyBusiness pages with the same phone number
This seems to be the most harmful factor. Technically, a business owner could legitimately be running several business with the same phone number, but you should use a distinct local area code phone number for each distinct business.
Multiple Google MyBusiness entries with the same phone number have been used by spammers in the past. That’s why this can have a negative impact on your website listing.
Seven things that you can do to optimise your Google MyBusiness listing
Step 1: increase the number of reviews
Step 2: increase the number of citations on major data providers
The more often your business is mentioned on Internet Yellow Pages portals and other data providers that are used by Google MyBusiness, the more likely it is that Google will pick your site.
You can use your Citation Tracker and Google+ Report to easily identify new potential citations and the existing citations your local competitors have.
Step 3: use keywords in your Google MyBusiness page description
Step 4: add as much information as possible
Step 5: get backlinks with local keywords in the anchor text
Step 6: add your full address to your Google MyBusiness landing page
This is a trust factor and it makes sure that Google will properly associate your website with your Google MyBusiness listing. The full address of your business on your website can also be indexed as a citation source that can have a positive impact on your Google MyBusiness listing.
Step 7: add geotagged photos and videos to your Google MyBusiness listing
Geotagged photos and videos can make your Google MyBusiness listing more relevant to the location. Many new compact cameras and mobile phones can automatically add location information to photos and videos.
How to create a Google MyBusiness listing
Creating a Google MyBusiness listing is easy. Just go to this page, login and submit your website information. When you submit your website to Google MyBusiness, make sure that you follow the tips above.
Other local sites and review sites to which you should submit your website.
The more local directories list your website, the better. Here’s a list of popular local sites. Many of them are also used by Google:
- BestOfTheWeb Local
- Bing Local
- Yahoo Local
Whilst the 6-8-7 of Google MyBusiness for Photographers is a great starting point, it is only the tip of the iceberg to achieving a long term, page one business listing for your town or city, state, region or county.
Photographers who use our Local Search Membership package have access to 100’s of citation websites and full competitor analysis of the citations the highly ranking Google MyBusiness pages have in the local search results.
If you would like to find out more please explore our Local Search Membership for photographers. We provide a comprehensive membership package that covers in depth every aspect you need to know to send the right signals to Google so that you can outrank your competitors in local search.
Local Search Membership Plan
If you would like to find out more please explore our Local Search Membership Plan for photographers. We provide a comprehensive membership plan that covers in depth every aspect you need to know to send the right signals to Google so that you can outrank your competitors in the local search results on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
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