Show Up On Page 1 With NO SEO By Optimizing Your Google Places Listing

Optimise your google places listing for your photography business

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.

 

1. Location

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.

 

3. Title
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.

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Comments

  1. Ryan Oakley says

    I was just thinking about this the other day. Do you have any advice for those of us that work out of our home and don’t have a studio? Will Google Places still work for us?
    Thanks!

    • says

      @Ryan Oakley Google places will still work, it’s just how comfortable you feel about putting your home address as your business physical address on google places… I know that in my suburb here in Australia the local newsagent has post boxes… perhaps you have a local club or a group or even a newsagent that would be willing to collect your mail and house your google places for a small fee??

      • says

        @Ryan Oakley One of my coaching clients has a local club that has agreed to let her use their physical address as for her google places listing. It’s highly unlikely that someone is going to get in their car and drive there looking for you, but if they do you need to be prepared. Perhaps you can have a poster/flyer in the club or local business with information on it on where to find you. It’s also a good idea to give the staff the heads up – make sure they have your contact details so if anyone comes looking for you they can give you a call.

  2. Ragamuffin says

    Fantastic advice! This is the first post ive read since the website switch over and im so impressed by your clarity! Very much looking forward to the next post.
    Do you recommend that we edit the title of out existing Google listing, rather than create a second listing with a keyword title?

    • says

      @DurangoCOPhotographer clients must have a google account to be able to write a google review.
       
      Steps to getting clients to review your site:
      1. Provide your client with your google plus business URL that is linked to your places account. example: https://plus.google.com/113521552213423070682/about?gl=AU&hl=en-AU If you don’t know what this is, simply google yourself and click on “write a review” in your places listing, this will take you to your page. From there just copy and paste the URL at the top. 
       
      2. Get your clients to click on the blue “Write a Review” button on the right hand side of your listing… 
       
      I might do a follow up video – explaining how to do this which you will be able to use for your clients… because I have had a few people asking me about this!

      • says

        @nataliesheree Thanks Natalie.  I googled myself, clicked on the google+ button but still don’t see any “write a review” button (I have a google account).  I hope you will do the video – that will probably help.  Thanks again

  3. treenmedia says

    Ryan, thats a great question. I have my house listed in Google Places as my address right now.
    I’m moving though and am wondering if I should do it again? I’d love to hear what you have to say Natalie.
     
    I think this idea you are sharing here could be a huge deal for any business.

  4. says

    Thank you for sharing such great information here. I always get frustrated though because I feel that I can’t make Google Places work for me. Here is why. 1. I also work out of my home (no studio) and am hesitant to use my home address as my business address. 2. I live in a small town and my target clients do not come from my town. I am surrounded (within 40-120 min.) by 4 large cities that I would like to draw clients from. Is there anyway around the “you need to be located in the city in which you wish to show up in”? 
     
    Thanks!

  5. clarefisherphoto says

    Great tips but where is the field to enter the keywords for the ‘title’ part for the Google Places listing?
    I have my full business name entered in the field called Company/Organisation yet only my personal name shows up on the listing (Clare Fisher as opposed to Clare Fisher Photography LLC).
    How do you create two listings? If I log in to create another, it asks for the company phone number and says I already have a listing and takes me back to the page to edit the information. Is there a trick or a work around for that?

    • says

      @clarefisherphoto Hi Clare – I was able to create two listings for Trojan because we have 2 phone numbers. I don’t recommend that you do this, because I am unsure of the consequences if you get found out from google – ie you could possibly be banned from google places. I only did it for experimentation purposes. Where it says company/organisation is where you need to put your keyword.

  6. paulinastevensphoto says

    How do you clients review the page, I have asked past clients but they can’t find the “review” button, do they have to be google + members?

    • says

      @paulinastevensphoto HI Paulina, they just have to have a google account, and be logged into that account. So gmail would be fine or another email if they have registered it with google. They don’t necessarily have to have a google plus profile, as far as I understand. I am planning to do a video on this that you guys can all use as I have had a few people ask this question but for now here are the steps: 
       
      Steps to getting clients to review your site:
      1. Provide your client with your google plus business URL that is linked to your places account. example: https://plus.google.com/113521552213423070682/about?gl=AU&hl=en-AU If you don’t know what this is, simply google yourself and click on “write a review” in your places listing, this will take you to your page. From there just copy and paste the URL at the top. 
       
      2. Get your clients to click on the blue “Write a Review” button on the right hand side of your listing…

  7. DavidWahlman says

    Thanks for sharing these tips, but there is one question I have that has kept me from adding my business to places. What if I don’t have a studio/office/exact address? I because I live outside my city, I have no specific place to put my marker. So, do I just stick it in some random place? Thanks

    • says

      @DavidWahlman Hi David, This has been asked below as well… My advice is to check out your network, who do you know in your city? I don’t recommend to have just any old address  on google places, but instead ask someone you know. It’s extremely unlikely but if someone drove to your physical address expecting to find you, they would at least find someone you know. Additionally (but also extremely unlikely) if you get any mail sent, someone you know would be able to collect it for you. Also, you don’t want the owner of “somewhere random” complaining to google about you if they also wanted to list their business at the same address.

  8. treenmedia says

    I’ve seen some photographers on google places have a circle instead of the normal google places circle with the triangle sticking out. When you click on one of their businesses it doesn’t have an address, only a service area.
     I found a setting in Google Places that says it takes your address off your listing. It does not seem to be working for me though. When I log out and go to google maps I still see my address for my business.

  9. says

    Having a good Google Places listing is vitally important for local businesses. If your result is one of the top listings, your customers will either be steered off to your competition or they will have to go hunting for your listing.

  10. dlloydphoto says

    OK, call me crazy but I cant find the edit field to change the title?  I see the company/organization field but nothing else.

    • says

      Hi – yep that’s where you put your keyword in the company/organisation field.

      I have seen one google places listing that has been cleverly optimized with their keyword they want to focus on it said “wedding photography by xyz photography”

      please remember it’s also important that you include your keyword in the “category section” and in your company description.

  11. says

    For all those that were concerned about targeting a city that they didn’t live in but lived close, I have seen listings that are quite far away from the area they were targeting and they are still ranking because:

    1. They have included their keyword in the heading
    2. The keyword was repeated (in a natural sounding sentance) in the description
    3. The keyword was also included under the “category” section.
    4. They had a few google places listings

    Please note: because google places is now linked to your google + business profiles, it would be beneficial to fully complete your google plus profile and pop your keywords on this page too where you can. Put a few posts up on the page so that google can see that you are active on your profile. Google loves new content, it will always favour listings and websites who constantly update their pages over those that don’t.

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