I’ve talked in past blogs about the benefits of registering your business with Google Places. If you’ve read those posts, you know that you can register your business in up to 100 “places” – as long as you legitimately do business or provided services in those areas – and you can do so whether or not you have a brick & mortar store or office. If yours is a virtual business, my recommendation is to list yourself in the top 100 metropolitan areas.
But now here’s a new boost for those of you with a physical address – Google’s Business Photo Program. Google just launched a “trusted photographers” program and, while it’s not free, it’s a very streamlined service to get high quality photos of the interior of your business on Google Places and Google Maps. Basically, Google has vetted known professional photographers that you can contact to come to your business and photograph its interior, including a panoramic photo. The photographer comes over, takes the photos, and then posts them on Google Places and Google Maps for you. It’s not free – you negotiate with the photographer on his/her fee, and it’s not available everywhere, but it’s worth checking out.
You can also embed the images on your own website, Facebook page, link to them with Twitter – you get the picture. And of course having images on your site always gives you a better chance of being seen on search engine results pages because when the searcher chooses “images” for their results, you’ll be there. With high quality photos, yours could also stick out from the crowd on the images results page and be that much more enticing, encouraging better click-throughs.
So spiff up your shop and be the first on your block to take part in this pilot program – and get a new boost for your online presence.