Google Places is a wonderful (free) tool. Most photographers have a specific area or region they like to cover and Google Places will allow you to show up in organic search results as well as on google maps for an area-specific keyword. However, to be visible and get the edge over your competitors there are a few key things you need to keep in mind when managing your Google Places listing.
If you are a wedding photographer in the Boston area, obviously showing up on page one of Google would be beneficial for a keyword like “Wedding Photographer Boston”. Google looks at many things when working out which Google Places listing to show up for an area-specific keyword, however there are 3 main things that will greatly increase your chances of ranking higher than your competitors.
It is important the address listed on your Google Places Listing is located in the area you wish to show up for. Returning to the example above, you would need to be located in Boston if you wanted to rank for “Wedding Photographer Boston”
2. Google Reviews
If you have positive reviews on your Google Places ranking, Google knows you are a viable photography business and is more likely to recommend you to others that are searching for your services.
Through some personal experimentation I have learned that what you put in the title of your Google Places account greatly affects which keywords you show up for on Google Maps and in organic search results. You are more likely to show up for “Wedding Photographer Boston” if this keyword is the title of your Google Places Listing.
being located in Boston is important. “Photographer Boston”
So the steps to optimising your google places listing are as follows:
1. Select an area-based keyword you would like to rank for eg. “wedding photographer boston”
2. Make sure your business is located in the area you have selected and that the address is listed on Google Places
3. Edit the Title of your Google Places listing so that it displays the keyword you want to rank for, NOT YOUR BUSINESS NAME – this is the “company/organization” field on the google places edit page
4. Make sure you include the keyword you want to rank for in the description along with any other keywords you may also wish to rank for. Ensure that the description is human readable.
5. Ask your clients for Google Reviews – the more reviews you have the higher you will rank
If you don’t have a google places listing already, get one here: google.com/places.