5 Significant Reasons Why Photographers Need Local SEO
When people discuss Local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), they mean local search listings. Some while back, Google recognised that a high proportion of all searches had a local intent. And furthermore, searches with local intent tended to also have purchase intent, and usually a need to know the location of relevant local businesses. If the search query is “how to photography pets”, Google’s algorithms will want to serve the best informational content, regardless of the location of the website or business. But if a user is looking for a “family photographer near me”, they need the best local results and locations set out clearly.
Local SEO gives your small photography business a much higher position on the search engine results
The upshot of Google’s emphasis on local search results is that it is perfectly possible for small local businesses to sit above large multi-nationals at the top of the first page of search results. So Local SEO has evolved to become a very effective way to market local businesses online.
This is an example of what is often known as a “local pack”, and it is different from the standard organic listings in that users can immediately see the location, reviews and opening times.
There is less competition with Local SEO
Your local photography business is not going to match the deep pockets of a national chain, so this is your one chance to sit above them in the search listings. Equally importantly, very few other bakeries in the area are going to be concerned or engaged with Local SEO activities. According to the Local Marketing Institute, only 44% of local retailers have claimed their “Google My Business” listing – the key element to effective local SEO tactics. So a little bit of SEO effort here can yield some very welcome visibility and traffic.
Your local photography business will have a targeted audience
Whilst some online companies have the luxury of a global audience, there is a limit to the number of people who might be searching for bakeries in your local area. The difference is that the traffic that does come your way is likely to be highly qualified (serious about buying rather than just browsing). Providing your website and underlying product is up to scratch, conversion rates have the potential to be very high.
Local SEO Improves Credibility and Trust
One of the key features of local listings is that they are often directly connected to customer reviews. Search engine users tend to value online reviews – nearly as much as personal recommendations. So unlike standard listings, photographers can immediately signal their local standing and reputation. (Note that very few customers – even the most pleased – tend to make the effort to write reviews if they are not prompted. So, you will need to get into the routine of explicitly asking for reviews, and of making it easy for the customers to do them).
Greater visibility is also likely to increase your local branding presence more generally – not just with potential customers, but potentially with other small businesses too.
Local SEO is great for mobile traffic
Even on a general level, mobile searches now outstrip desktop searches, according to Google. And for local searches, the proportion of mobile searches is likely to be higher still. With local searches, customers are often looking for something immediately and want quick directions – so are looking to their smart phone for the solution.
Next Step – Claim Your “Google My Business” Listing
This is the single most important activity for achieving strong standing in the local listings for your business. Go to google.com/business, sign up and follow Google’s instructions (it’s free of charge). The process will involve verifying the physical address of your premises, but it clearly laid out by Google. (If you do not have a photography studio, you can use your residential address). Whilst you are waiting for your address to be verified, ensure that your listing details are fully completed and accurate. This includes the correct business category and your opening hours (do not spam the listing with keywords). Also, try to upload as many good quality images as Google will allow – and don’t forget your logo.
Once you have claimed your listing, check out our local SEO checklist for small businesses.