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Google Business Profile Optimisation [2024 Ultimate Guide]

Google Business Profile Optimisation: google homepage Creative Commons

Today, we’re going to talk about one of the most influential tools that can help businesses get noticed online: Google My Business or as it’s now known, your Google Business Profile.  In this article we’re going to be looking at Google Business Profile optimisation, and give you plenty of actionable tips along the way.

As WordPress web designers, we’ve worked on this with many photographers and done plenty of wedding photography web design, so we’re going to be using a photography business as an example in this guide.  Let’s get to it!

Why is Google My Business Important for Your Business?

Think of this: Have you ever typed something into Google, like “best coffee near me”?

Your Google Business Profile is the tool that helps businesses show up for these searches.

google search example

So, if someone is searching for “photographer in [your city]” or “wedding photographer nearby”, we want them to find you, right?

With Google My Business, your business can be easily found on Google Maps and in regular search results. This results in enquiries directly, or a chance to send potential clients to your beautifully designed website.


Easy Guide to Setting Up Your Google My Business Profile in 12 Steps

1. Getting Started with Your Listing

Setting up your Google Business Profile is easier than you might think!

Think of it as putting up a sign in the digital world for everyone to see.

We offer a Google Business Profile Set Up Service for those that would prefer to have it done for them.

Here’s how to begin:

google my business login screen

1.1 Visit Google My Business Start by:

  • Going to your favorite internet browser (like Chrome or Safari).
  • Typing in: google.com/business and pressing enter.

1.2 Click the Big Blue Button

This is your entry point to potential customers:

  • On the page, you’ll see a big blue button that says “Manage now”.
  • Just click on it!

1.3 Using Your Google Account

This is like having a key to all the cool Google stuff, including Google My Business

  • If you’ve used Google before (maybe for Gmail or YouTube), just sign in.
  • If you’re new, don’t worry! There’s a “Create Account” button. Click on it, and it’ll guide you. You’ll need to give an email and make a password.

Once you’re in, you’re on your way to showing off your work to lots of potential customers. Keep going to add all the details that will make your business shine!

google businesss name

Adding Your Business Name & Type on Google

2. What’s Your Name & What Do You Do?

Think of your business name and category like your name tag at a party. It tells people who you are and what you do at first glance. Here’s how to make sure you wear the right tag:

2.1 Choosing Your Business Name

Your business name is a bit like your own name; it tells people who you are

  • Keep It Simple: Use the name everyone knows you by. No need for shortcuts or fancy words.
  • Be Consistent: Make sure this is the same name you use everywhere else, like on your business cards or website.
  • No Extra Stuff: Words like “Best”, “Top”, or “Premium” aren’t needed here.

After you type in your name, double-check to make sure it looks good and professional.

google business category

2.2 Picking What You Do:

Your Business Category

This is like telling Google what you’re best at so they can show you to the right people

  • Start Broad: Type in something general like “photographer”.
  • Choose from the List: Google will give you options like “Wedding Photographer” or “Portrait Photographer” based on what you typed.
  • Pick the Best Fit: Choose the one that fits what you do most or want to be known for.
  • You Can Add More Later: If you do a few different types of photography, don’t worry. You can add more types later.

By picking the right name and what you do, you’re making it easy for people to find you for exactly what they’re looking for!

google business type

Simple Guide to Sharing Where You Are on Google

3. Where Are You Located?

Telling people where you are helps them find you or know where you can go to take photos. Here’s a quick guide on how to share your spot.

3.1 Got a Studio or Office?

If you have a place where you meet clients or take photos

  • Details, Details!: Type in your address just like you would on an envelope – make sure it’s correct so people can find you easily.
  • Map Magic: A right address means you’ll appear on Google Maps, so folks can navigate straight to you.
  • Safety Tip: If you’re using your home address, think about privacy. Do you want everyone to know where you live?

google service locations

3.2 Always on the Move or Working from Home?

If you don’t have a specific place people can visit

  • On the Move: If you go to different places to shoot photos, click on “No” for having a fixed address. This tells clients you’ll come to them or a chosen spot.
  • Home Studio: If you work from home but don’t want everyone to see your address, you can give a general idea of where you’re based. That way, you show up when people search nearby without giving away your exact spot.

3.3 Where Do You Usually Work?

(Extra Tip) Google lets you say which areas you usually work in, great if you move around a lot:

  • Your Areas: Maybe you often work in certain towns or neighborhoods. You can list them so when people in those places search, they find you.
  • Big or Small: Choose whether you want to name a few specific places or a larger area.

By sharing where you work, you make it easy for people nearby to find and hire you!

contact details for GMB

Simple Guide to Sharing How Clients Can Reach You

4. Sharing Your Contact Details

Having a business means being there for your customers. Let’s look at how you can easily let people contact you.

4.1 Where Are You From?

Picking Your Country

  • Why It’s Important: Saying which country you’re in helps local people find you.

Plus, it lets them know you understand how business is done there.

nick Haigh wedding photographer

4.2 Have a Website? Share It!

Your website shows off your photos and more

  • See Your Photos: Your website lets clients see your style and the types of photos you take.
  • What Others Say: If you have reviews from happy clients on your site, it helps build trust.
  • Details & Booking: Clients can look up prices or even book a photo session with you.
  • Bonus Point: Linking your website can help your business show up higher on Google over time – Essential SEO for photographers.

4.3 Give a Phone Number

Some people just want to give you a call

  • Quick Chat: A call can be the easiest way for clients to ask questions or talk details.
  • It Builds Trust: Showing you have a phone number means you’re real and ready to chat.
  • Other Ways to Chat: If you chat on apps like WhatsApp, let clients know. It can be an easy way to keep in touch.
  • Keep Private Private: If you don’t want to share your personal number, think about getting a business-only phone or an online number.

get verified

Simple Guide to Making Sure Your Business is Real on Google

5. Getting Verified on Google

People like to know they’re dealing with real businesses when they’re online. So, Google has a way to show that your business is genuine. Here’s a simple guide to what that’s all about.

google search result

5.1 Why You Should Get Verified

  • It Shows You’re Real: When you’re verified, people know Google recognizes your business, which makes them trust you more.
  • Be Seen More: Google might show your business more in search results if you’re verified.
  • Learn More: After verifying, Google gives you special tools to see how people interact with your business online.

5.2 How to Get Verified

Google gives you a few ways to prove your business is real

By Mail:

  • Google will send you a card in the mail with a special code
  • Once you get the card, go to your Google business page and type in the code.
  • It’s easy but waiting for the card might take a few days.

By Phone:

  • Pick this way, and Google will call your business phone number.
  • They’ll give you a special code on the phone.
  • Then, just like the mail way, put the code on your Google business page.
  • This way is super fast!

5.3 Tips to Make Verifying Easy

  • Get Details Right

Before you ask Google to verify you, make sure your business address and phone number are right.

Act Fast

When you get your special code, use it quickly! It won’t work forever.

Stay in the Loop

Sometimes, Google changes how they do things. So, it’s good to check their website once in a while. In short, getting verified is a smart move.

It makes you look good online and can help more people find and trust your business.

photographers services example on GMB

Easy Guide to Showing What You Can Do on Google

6. Let People Know Your Services

If you’re a photographer, you do lots of different things. On your Google Business page, it’s good to tell people all the cool things you can do with your camera. Here’s a simple guide on how to do that.

6.1 What Kinds of Photos Do You Take?

Just like there are many types of music, there are many types of photos

  • Different Kinds: Do you take wedding photos? Or maybe photos of babies or families? Let people know what you’re great at
  • Special Photo Sessions: Maybe you have special photo sessions for pregnant moms or people getting engaged. Talk about these so people know they can book them
  • Events: If you take photos at parties, company events, or birthdays, let folks know. This shows you can do many things.

6.2 Extra Cool Things You Offer

Taking photos is awesome, but you might offer even more

  • Photo Booths: These are fun at parties! If you have them, tell people about the funny props or cool backgrounds they can use.
  • Photo Albums: If you make beautiful photo books, talk about how they look, feel, and any special touches you add.
  • Printing Photos: Maybe you can print photos on canvas or other materials. Let people know they can get cool prints from you.
  • Online Photos: Do you give people their photos online or on a USB stick?

Mention this because some folks love digital copies.

6.3 Tell a Little Story About Each Service

Instead of just saying “I do wedding photos,” you can say something like, “I love capturing the special moments when two people say ‘I Do’.”

  • Show with Pictures: If you can, add a photo next to each service you mention. It lets people see your awesome work.

6.4 Keep Things Fresh

Your skills and what you offer might change. Maybe you started doing cool drone photos? Update your list so people always know what’s new.

In short, your Google Business page is like a menu in a restaurant.

Make sure people know all the delicious things you offer so they can choose what they like best!

wedding photographer working

Easy Guide to Sharing When You’re Available for Photography Work

7. Tell People When They Can Reach You

When you have a photography business, it’s good to let people know when you’re available. This is like telling friends when you’re free to hang out. It’s simple: just share your working hours, so everyone knows the best time to chat or visit you.

7.1 Why Advertising Your Hours Matters

Making your hours publicly available helps in many ways:

  • They Know When to Call: It’s like telling friends when you’re home, so they know when to ring your doorbell.
  • You Get Work Done: By setting hours, you know when to take photos, edit them, or do other things without being disturbed.
  • Time for Yourself: Remember, you need breaks too! Setting hours means you can also have free time.

7.2 Setting Hours for Photographers

Your work is special, and so are your hours

  • Studio Time: If you have a place where people can visit, tell them when it’s open. This way, they know when to come over to talk or see your work.
  • Best Times to Call: Maybe there’s a time when you like to chat on the phone? Share this, so people call when you’re ready.
  • Special Photo Times: Do you sometimes take photos early in the morning or late in the evening? Let people know you’re available for these cool shoots.

7.3 Special Times and Changes

You might have days when your usual hours change

  • Special Events: If you take photos at big events, like weddings or parties, tell people they can book you even if it’s outside your normal hours.
  • Busy Days or Seasons: Maybe there are times when you’re super busy, like during wedding season. Update your hours if they change.
  • Taking a Break: Everyone needs holidays or days off. If you’re not working for a few days, just update your hours.

7.4 Keep People Updated

If your hours change, like if you’re taking a day off or working extra during a busy time, tell people.

You can do this on your website, social media, or even in emails. In short, think of your working hours like the opening times of your favorite store. You want to know when it’s open, right? It’s the same for your photography business. Share when you’re “open” so people can easily work with you.

incoming phone call

Easy Guide to How People Can Reach You

8. How Do You Like People to Contact You?

When you have a photography business, you want people to easily chat with you. It’s like picking whether friends should call, text, or visit you. Let’s make it simple to choose the best way people can talk to you about photos.

8.1 Types of Contact and What They Mean

There are a few ways people can contact you. Let’s see what they are:

Text or Messages:

  • Good Points: It’s quick, friendly, and people can ask simple things.
  • Not So Good: If too many people text, it can be hard to reply to everyone fast.

 Booking Times:

  • Good Points: Perfect if you like to plan things, like when to chat or take photos.
  • Not So Good: You might need a way to keep track of these bookings.

Email

  • Good Points: Don’t have to be present, or awake, to receive contact. Can be sent 24/7.
  • Not So Good: Emails can go into junk folders. Emails can build up and get lost amongst additional SPAM emails.

8.2 How to Pick the Best Way Think about:

  • What People Usually Ask: Do they want to chat, book a time, or know the price?
  • What You Can Manage: If you’re super busy, you might not want lots of texts. Maybe booking times or giving prices is easier.
  • Being Friendly: If you like chatting with people, texting might feel more friendly.

8.3 Make It Easy for Everyone

It’s good to pick what’s easy for you, but think about what’s easy for others too

  • Simple to Use: Whatever you pick should be easy for people to use.
  • Replying Fast: Tell people when they can expect a reply from you. This way, they aren’t left wondering.
  • Ask How It’s Going: Every now and then, ask people if they like the way they contact you.

photographer editing photos

8.4 Making Everything Work Together

If you have other ways people book or contact you, like on your website, make sure it works well with your chosen method.

To wrap it up, think of contact methods like doors to your business.

You want to make sure people can easily knock, come in, and chat with you about photos.

So, pick the door that’s best for everyone!

How to Describe Your Photo Business for Everyone

9. Tell Everyone About Your Photo Business!

Your business description is like a quick story that tells people what you do with your camera and why you love it. It’s like telling someone about your favorite book in just a few sentences.

Let’s learn how to make a great story for your business!

first impressions

9.1 Making a Great First Impression

When people read about your business, it’s like meeting you for the first time. You want them to

  • Remember you.
  • Feel your passion for photography.
  • Know what makes you different from other photographers.

9.2 What Should You Include in Your Story?

  • What You’re Best At: Tell people your favorite things to photograph. Weddings, black-and-white photos, or even special everyday moments.
  • Your Camera Adventure: Share why you started taking photos. What’s your story with the camera?
  • What Makes You Special: Everyone is different. Maybe you have a fun style, use only eco-friendly gear, or have a special way of editing.
  • Happy Customers: Share a nice thing a happy customer said about you. It helps new people trust you.

9.3 Guide People to See More of Your Work

  • Get Them Interested: Ask them to look at more of your photos. Maybe say something like, “Come see the magic I’ve captured over the years.”
  • Give Clear Steps: Tell them exactly where to look, like “Check out my photo gallery to see my newest pictures.”

9.4 Make Your Story Perfect

  • Be True to You: Your story should sound like you. If you’re fun, be fun. If you’re more serious, that’s okay too.
  • Keep it Short and Sweet: You don’t want your story to be too long. Remember, it’s like a quick chat in an elevator.
  • Update When Needed: Sometimes, things change. Maybe you find a new passion in photography. When they do, update your story.

In the end, your business description is like opening a door.

It invites people to learn more about you, your camera, and the beautiful photos you take. So, make sure your story is just right, and it sounds like you!

Making the most of your description is one of the best Google Business Profile optimisation tips!

Final Steps: Google Business Profile Optimisation

Creating your Google Business Profile is a big deal! It’s like setting up a shiny shop window online that makes people stop, look, and want to come in. Let’s break down what you’ve achieved:

11.1 Double-Check Everything!

  • How Does it Look?: Before everyone can see it, pretend you’re someone looking for a photographer. Ask yourself if your page makes them want to click on it. Is everything clear? Does your page look better than others?
  • Everything Matches: Make sure your page looks and sounds like you, just like everywhere else online. This helps people remember you.
  • No Mistakes: Double-check for typos or wrong info. Maybe ask a friend to help spot anything off.

11.2 Why You Should Get the “Verified” Badge

Setting up your page is great, but getting it “verified” by Google is like opening the shop’s door! Here’s why:

  • Trusty Badge: When people see the “verified” badge, they know Google trusts you. It’s like getting a thumbs-up sticker!
  • Easy to Find: Verified pages often show up first when people search. So, more people might see you!
  • Cool Tools: Being verified lets you use Google’s special tools. You can see how many people visit, what they like, and more.

11.3 After You’re Set Up

  • A Bit More Waiting: After getting verified, it might take some days before everyone can see your page. Google just wants to make sure everything’s perfect.
  • Keep Checking: Every week or two, look at your page. Reply to messages, add new photos, or update info. It’s like tidying up your shop and keeping everything fresh!

In short, great job on setting up! Now, keep it shiny, check it often, and watch how it helps your photography business stand out online! 🌟📷👏

improvement metaphor

Keep Improving Your GBP: What’s Next?

Having an online page for your business is like owning a shop. Just putting up a sign isn’t enough; you’ve got to keep the inside neat, update the window display, and chat with the customers. Here’s a simple guide to help you keep things sparkling:

1. Always Make Tweaks: Keep Your Page updated!

  • Stay in the Loop: The online world keeps changing, so make sure your page does too. This will keep you in the spotlight.
  • Keywords are Cool: Make sure you use words that people type in when they’re looking for photographers. Change these words now and then. Your Local SEO will improve as a result. Take a look at this photographers SEO case study to see how else you can improve this.

2. Reviews are Gold: Make People Trust You!

  • Ask for Reviews: After a photoshoot, ask your happy clients to write something nice about you online. If you ask nicely, they’ll probably do it!
  • Say Thank You: No matter what someone writes, always say thanks. If they weren’t happy, see if you can make things right. They might change their mind about you!

3. Update Often: Keep Things Fresh!

  • Change Things Up: If you have a holiday deal or a new type of photoshoot, update your page. This keeps things exciting.
  • Show Different Things: It’s great if you have a favorite kind of photography, but showing different styles can bring in more people.

4. Learn from Your Page: What Works Best?

Google Tells You Stuff: Google can show you what people like on your page. Maybe they love a certain photo? Or visit at a certain time?

Make Changes Based on What You Learn: If people love something, show more of it! This makes your page even better for visitors.

5. Stay Friendly Online: Be the Best You Can Be!

  • Reply Quickly: If someone asks a question, try to answer fast. It shows you care.
  • Chat with People: If you have messaging turned on, you can talk to potential customers directly. It’s like them walking into your shop!
  • Stay Calm and Kind: If someone’s upset, stay cool. Try to solve the problem. It shows everyone you’re professional.

So, keep tweaking, chatting, and learning.

You can always optimise your Google Business Profile further!

Author – Jim Adams

Jim Adams, Owner of Designers Up North

Jim Adams is a designer with over 25 years of experience in the industry. As the owner and designer at Designers Up North, Jim has led numerous projects that have significantly impacted clients’ brands and digital presence.

Having attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Design & Photography with honours, mentored by professors such as Jem Southam, Jim has since worked extensively in web design, branding, and graphic design. Over the years, Jim has earned a reputation for crafting both print and web design solutions that surpass client expectations.

Thanks to his photography background he has an expert knowledge of web design for wedding photographers and continues to work on websites and marketing for some of the UK’s best photographers.

Connect with Jim on LinkedIn or contact Designers Up North.