Main image for the current blog post

When you run a small business, it’s important to use every available tool to generate website traffic to connect with more clients. Traffic from local SEO is an essential part of growing your photography business online, and using Google Business Profile is a great way to get more of it.

Every photographer should utilize Google Business Profile because it will help your business get discovered by locals searching for photography services near them.

In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know about Google Business Profile, from what it is, why it’s important for your business to how to set up and optimize your profile. Let’s get started!

What Is Google Business Profile?

Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business (GBP), is Google’s platform for local business searches. It’s designed for brick-and-mortar local businesses like restaurants, grocery stores, auto repair shops, and photographers like you. Online-only businesses are not eligible for GBP.

Google explains, “Google Business Profile is an easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google. To help customers find your business, you can verify and edit your business information.”

Have you ever Googled restaurants near you and seen a variety of listings with a brief description, hours, contact information, Google reviews, and website links? That’s Google Business Profile. 

With 7 billion Google searches happening daily, business owners need to use every tool the search engine offers.

Photographer pinpointing their business on a google map.p

Why Is Google Business Profile Important for Photographers?

When you have a Google Business Profile , you’re eligible to appear on Google Search and Google Maps. That means when someone in your area types in a search term, “like photographers near me,” that matches your business description; your business may appear in their results.

Many people search for photographers on Google. You want your photography business to pop up right in front of them when they do. Remember:  If your business isn't a top local search result for photographers, someone else’s will be!

With Google Business Profile, you can manage the potential information clients find when searching for your business or the photography services you offer.  Google Business Profile also allows you to post photos with your listing and read and respond to customer reviews. You also have the option to create posts, offers, and events and share responses to frequently asked questions.

Another benefit of  Google Business Profile is that it gives you insight into the keywords customers use to search for your business and where they come from. You can even run ads on Google to stand out in local searches, then track the performance of your ad campaigns.

Setting up your Google Business Profile profile helps your business get discovered by local photography clients and supplies you with valuable information and marketing tools. The best part is that getting started with  Google Business Profile is quick and easy - let’s do it!

How to Set Up Google Business Profile for Your Photography Business

Now, it’s time to set up your Google Business Profile listing and optimize it, so it converts visitors into clients. The first step is claiming your business. 

Claim Your Business

  • To claim your business, enter your business name and click “Add your business to Google” on the Google Business Profile Manager.
  • Next, you’ll select your business category from a list of provided options, including photographer, photography studio, and photography services.
  • Google will then ask, “Do you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?”  If you have a studio address you want to list on your profile, click “Yes.” If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar space and travel to customers, select “No.”
  • Now, Google will ask the optional question, “Where do you serve your customers?” Again, we highly recommend using this feature to add the city you’re located in and a few nearby cities you’re willing to travel to.
  • Finally, you’ll add your phone number (if you want it to appear in your listing) and your website. Then you will hit “Finish” and receive a list of verification options. Don’t skip this step because your listing won’t be live without it! Verification options may include email, video, or postcard. If you must verify your business via postcard, you’ll enter your mailing address and receive a verification code in the mail within a week. You’ll then enter the verification code to confirm your listing.

Fill out your photography business information.

While you wait for the postcard, start filling out more information about your business. Google gives you the option to add a ton of helpful info, including:

  • Short business description
  • Business hours
  • Logo
  • Photos, including a horizontal cover photo
  • List of services or products you offer
  • Scheduling link (if you have one)

Here are a few tips for optimizing your GBP information:

  • Inject some of your brand personality into your description and include keywords your ideal customer might search for (e.g., “newborn photographer in Dallas” or “wedding photographer in Seattle”). You only have 750 characters, so keep it to a few sentences about your services and why your audience should care. What’s your approach to photography? What do you specialize in? Is there anything that sets you apart from local photographers offering similar services? This can be as simple as working well with newborns or children with special needs or your ability to make your photography subjects comfortable. Write in the first person.
  • Add your own services if you don’t see options that accurately describe your business. Again, keep in mind what your target audience is likely to search for. If you offer multiple services, such as newborn, family, and headshots, make sure to include all of them.
  • Choose high-quality photos. As a photographer, you obviously want to choose high-quality, well-lit photos for your  Google Business Profile profile. If you have product photos, add them to the “Products” section, not the “Photos” section. Enhance your  Google Business Profile photos even more by geo-tagging them or embedding the photo’s location in the file. This adds credibility and makes your listing scream “local photographer.”

Complete verification

Assuming you’re required to verify via postcard, it should arrive in about five days, although it can sometimes take a bit longer. 

When your postcard arrives, log into your  Google Business Profile listing. You’ll see a box with “Pending verification” and a blue link with “Enter verification code.” All you have to do at this point is enter the verification code listed on the front of your postcard. 

Once you do that, your listing is officially verified, and you’ve unlocked more options to optimize your GBP profile!

Optimizing your Google Business Profile listing

If you followed the steps we listed above while waiting for verification, your  Google Business Profile listing already contains all the essential information. But with verification, you can take additional steps to make the most out of your listing, such as:

  • Turning on messaging
  • Sharing your profile on social media
  • Sharing a review form via email to start getting Google reviews
  • Adding a video
  • Adding the ability to book you through Google
  • Creating price sheets for your services
  • Creating ads and posts
  • Accessing “Insights,” which are  Google Business Profile analytics showing where customers come from and what keywords they searched to find you

Improve Your SEO with Your Google Business Profile

Feuza Reis, CEO at Fuse Creative Inc, helps photographers increase their online visibility and get more leads. Read on for some great tips on how to improve your SEO with your Google Business Profile!

"Google My Business makes up 25% of Local SEO, so it is truly a small business's secret weapon to being found online. If you do zero SEO on your website, please work on optimizing your Google Business Profile listing."

Here are three hacks she recommends:

1. Check your insights.  Go to performance, then "searches breakdown," and see which keyword your listing is being found for. Next, use these keywords in the text when posting your Google Posts. Make sure you write complete sentences and not lose keywords.

2. The "Ask a Question" feature. Get some clients or even friends who have Gmail accounts to ask a question in regard to your business. Make sure they use a keyword. Then you, as the business owner, can answer these questions.

3. When getting reviews, if you can get some clients to use some keywords regarding your services, that is ideal.

Google Reviews Update for 2022

Google has changed the way you ask for reviews from customers. It’s important to know the most up to date method for getting reviews so that they show up on your Google Business Profile Page when someone searches for you in Google. Here are the steps:

  • Sign into your Google Business Profile account
  • Scroll down to the”get more reviews” section (about half way down the page) and click on the button that says “share review form”
  • Copy the link that pops up and paste it in wherever you want- text message, email, social media messenger- whatever method you are going to ask clients for reviews

This method makes it simple for you to send customers directly to the review form. Now, it is super easy for clients to leave reviews which is great for your business.

Google Posts

Google Posts are very similar to social media posts on Facebook or Instagram. For example, you can share announcements, specials you’re offering, or a recent image you photographed with a caption. 

The key difference between social media and Google posts is that Google Posts go away after a week. So, try to post something each week, and you’ll always have a post that shows up when people find you on Google Business Profile. You probably already have a posting strategy for at least one social media site, so simply use at least one of your weekly posts on your Google Business Profile  GBP as well. This strategy should gradually increase traffic to your website.

TIP: Use Google Events to promote your mini-sessions

Utilize Google Events for those Mini Session Events. When someone searches for photographers in your area, your event can appear in their search feed. Tons of people are also searching for “mini sessions near me,”- so don’t forget to use this tool for marketing your minis!

How To Use GBP Insights To Build Your Photography Business

We briefly mentioned GBP analytics already, but let’s dive into some more specifics. 

GBP shares information with you about views, searches, and map views. The data is considered less accurate than other Google tools like Analytics, but you can still compare how you perform in various categories each month.

The most helpful Insights feature is “Queries used to find your business.” This feature displays the search queries that people typed in to find you. Make sure that the most popular search queries align with your business. If not, update your GBP profile (and your website, if needed.)

Ensure the most popular search queries are used in your business description. And if you find queries with fewer clicks than you’d expect, try working them into your description and your profile more.

You can access GBP Insights any time, but you’ll also receive a monthly email detailing how many people viewed your profile and how many of them clicked on your website. If you’re getting a lot of views, but not a lot of clicks, experiment with reworking your business description and the photos you feature on your listing. 

Photographer editing his photos at his desk.

Get More Photography Clients with Google Business Profile!

Creating your GBP profile can help you appear near the top of searches for local photography services. In addition, optimizing it can help you convert profile views into bookings if you want to grow your photography business; the more ways potential clients can find your business, the better.

Best of all, Google makes it fast and easy to create and update your listing. Use analytics to see how your listing performs, and continue making adjustments as needed. Don't miss out on this important strategy for getting found online!

Additional Resources For Getting Ranked On Google

If you need personalized help for your Google Business Profile, check out the folks at The Photography Business or Leah Severson. Both are fantastic resources to help you get started and get ranked on google! 

Image of an ebook preview

If you're a photographer looking to elevate your business skills, tune into the "Focus on Business" podcast by our CEO and Founder Jane Goodrich. No matter where you are on your journey- if you are just getting started, or have been at it for a while- these conversations will get you closer to your goal of running a profitable photography business. Jane is talking to experienced photographers and getting the scoop on the experiences- the good, the bad, and the ugly -that paved their path to making a living doing what they love, so you can too. Let’s build the photography business of your dreams!

For More Business Tips - Head to The Focus on Business Podcast Show hosted by our very own CEO, Jane Goodrich

Get it all done with one simple plan

Sign up | Access tools | Get the business you want