Have you ever wondered how you manage to get your photography website listed as one of the local businesses in the maps results that show up when you do a local search on Google? This is called local search engine optimization for photographers and it is based on a concept known as citations.
Competition in the photography sector is tough and grabbing the attention of potential customers is difficult but with the proper use of citations for local SEO, you have a far greater chance of reaching out to more customers online.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to improve your local search results rankings using specific local search engine optimization techniques.
What is “Local Search”?
Local search is a term used to describe the process of searching for businesses and services that are located near you. Typically, local search results show up as a list of businesses that are nearest to your location. These results will include details of the business, plus a link to their location on a map.
These search results are often known as “the map pack”.
This is important for photographers because many potential clients will search for photographers in their local area. If your photography website doesn’t show up in local search results, you could be missing out on a lot of business!
The local search results are usually shown when you search for a keyword that includes a “location” type keyword. e.g. “Wedding Photographer New York”, or “Portrait Photographers near me“.
Google will typically show the top 3 results from their Google Maps database for those keywords, followed then by the normal organic search results.
You can see therefore how much impact on your business there would be if your website could be included in those top 3 maps results.
Google will occasionally slip some advertising into those maps results, so you may sometimes see more than 3 results depending on the demand for that location.
How to get your photography business listed in Google Maps
The process to get your site listed in “the map pack” is called local search engine optimization for photographers.
The first step for getting your business found in local search results is to ensure your business is actually listed in Google Maps, and to do this you need to create a Google Business Profile. Until mid-2022 this was known as a “Google My Business” Profile, but they are essentially the same thing.
You can check or create your own Google Business Profile here: https://www.google.com/business/
When creating or updating your profile it is important to use good-quality images. Try to ensure that your images include some that were actually taken at your location and include the GPS data within the image – this really helps to increase the chance of your business profile ranking well on the maps database.
The other key ranking factor that Google uses to influence maps results is the number of times Google sees your business mentioned on trade directories with your name, address and phone number data included. This is often referred to as “NAP” data and the most important thing here is absolute consistency. Every mention of your company’s name address and phone number should be 100% consistent.
How to get your photography business listed on Bing Maps
Whilst you are doing this, it makes sense to also have your business listed on Bing as well. Whilst Bing is not as popular a search platform as Google, it still gets a lot of traffic, so it shouldn’t be ignored.
Bing’s equivalent of the Google Business Profile is called Bing Places for Business and can be found here: https://www.bingplaces.com/
How to get your photography business listed on Apple Maps
Another place to list your business is on Apple Maps via their “Places on Maps” service.
You can register your business on Apple Maps here: https://register.apple.com/placesonmaps/
What are Citations?
Any mention of your business on a directory or listing site is known as a “citation”. These citations help improve your local search ranking because they act as “signals” to Google that your business exists, and is located at a specific address.
Citations don’t necessarily need to include a link back to your website (aka a backlink), but it’s generally accepted that citations that DO include a link are more valuable than those without.
There are many different types of directories where you can list your photography business, and some will be more valuable than others depending on their popularity, age, and authority.
How to get Citations for your business
Getting citations can be a bit of a time-consuming task, but it’s definitely worth the effort! Here are some tips for getting citations:
- Firstly, look for directories that are specific to the photography industry or your location. These will usually be more valuable than generic directories.
- Make sure you fill out your business profile completely and include as much information as possible. The more information you can provide, the better!
- Use good quality images on your profiles – this will make your business stand out from the competition.
- Include your website address in your profile – this will help to drive traffic to your site.
- Make sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) data is consistent across all of your profiles. This is important for Google to be able to correctly identify your business.
For UK businesses here is a good list to work through:
For US businesses here is what you should use
How will citations help my local search results?
Creating consistent quality citations for your business is the fastest and easiest way for a business to improve their rankings in local search results – it is essentially the easiest SEO task you will ever do.
Once your citations are created, you will generally see results within 4-6 weeks.
How to improve your Local Search Rankings further
There are a number of ways to improve your local search rankings:-
- Take time to learn the basics of Search Engine Optimization. You can download a copy SEARCH SECRETS EXPOSED here, and this will teach you the basics of SEO and much much more.
- Next, ensure your home page is fully optimized for Google. By downloading our Search Secrets Exposed eBook and Video Training Couse, you will learn exactly how to do this: http://members.marketingforphotographers.com/search-secrets-exposed
- Encourage your clients and friends and family to leave reviews for your business on your Google Business Profile.
This article outlines the importance of citations, and provides tips on how to easily get more citations for your photography business.
Citations help improve local search rankings and can result in better visibility for your business online. There are many different types of directories where you can list your business, so it’s important to make sure all of your information is consistent across all profiles.
Creating quality citations can be a time-consuming task, but it’s definitely worth the effort! Once your citations are created, you will generally see results within weeks. Improving your local search ranking is an important part of getting your photography business found online, and citations are one easy way to do this. Local search engine optimization for photographers is actually quite easy when you put your mind to it, but so many choose not to do so – THAT is YOUR opportunity!