Looking for another way to enhance your Google Place Page to set yourself apart from your competition? How about a Google-sponsored photo shoot? No. Really. How about one?
During last week’s Social-Loco conference in San Francisco, Google’s Marissa Mayer formally introduced everyone to an offering known as Google Business Photos. Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling reminds us this isn’t a new service, but a more public formalization of one that’s been available on a very limited basis since last year.
With Google Business Photos, business owners can apply to have a Google-sponsored photographer come and take some inside shots of their business. The pictures can then be added to your Google Place Page to enhance your listing and show potential customers what you have to offer once they walk through the doors. You get to pique customer’s interest in your business while they’re still sitting at home or the office debating where to go for lunch.
Google has provided a quirky video to showcase exactly what the service does.
Why is Google doing this? Google says that interior photos are a great way to show customers what your business is really like, citing that people will able to peek inside your restaurant from the comfort of their own homes. The photos will also help SMBs spice up their Google Place Page and give them a leg up over competitors who haven’t been quite as proactive. Really, it’s more incentive for you to optimize your Google Place Page.
As a business owner, you if you live in one of the select cities you should apply to get a Google-sponsored photographer to come to your establishment and take some photos to show off your goods to customer. But if you don’t live in one of those cities, or you don’t want to wait for Google to come knocking, then take those photos yourself.
Google is 100 percent right that showing people the look and feel of your business is a great way to build trust and make them feel more comfortable walking through your doors. And as a small business owner, you really benefit from not only building credibility where you can, but also highlighting your personality and the quirks that can help you find an audience. However, that doesn’t mean you need Google to take the photos. Break out your camera, stage some clever shots, and then upload them to your Google Place Page. Don’t want to stop there? Take some video and upload that, as well!
In case you weren’t previously aware, the ability to add photo and video to your Google Place Page is something you already have. Simply edit your listing and add it. It’s that easy, and is a smart move you can do for your business today.
I think it’s pretty neat that Google is offering this as a service to select small business owners, both to highlight its own Google Place Pages and allowing SMBs to give potential customers an additional reason to check them out. But this is your business. Why wait for Google to do it for you?
More in: Google
You can always upload your own photos, but a professional photographer would be cool.
Will the service be available in other European countries in the future?
Lisa: Marvelous post to get business owners thinking about how to use images (photos and video) to “personalize” their business and gain more customers.
I can confirm that photos helps local businesses… in fact, I just came back from moving my daughter home after 1st year college. I needed to find a self storage spot for the summer. Googled online and choose the local owned spot (not the big brand chain) due to pictures of owner and facility on the web. It personalized the business and gave me the confidence to reach out to them.
Glad Google is helping, but as you said… don’t wait, do it yourself. Or search for freelance photographer on LinkedIn or Google. There are numerous freelance photographers that provide great pictures at a terrific price.