Optimizing your Images and Videos for Google+ Local SEO
by Alex Bungener
One of the most powerful Google+ local SEO practices you can do is to properly optimize the images and videos in your Google+ local page. We know that Google+ Local has replaced the old Google Places and local business site owners must tweak their sites to leverage the new features of Google+ Local.
Google+ Local combines the social connectivity of Google+ and the local business listing of Google Places to put local businesses right in the forefront of the world’s new generation of shoppers—online. If you want to bring customers and clients to your doorstep, you must land on the first page in online local searches.
Remember that when online shoppers Google for local products and services, they rarely go past the first page in search engine results. If your local business is not on the first page, then you cannot capture the new breed of online shoppers.
Today I will discuss the importance of images and videos in your overall Google+ Local SEO campaign and how you can optimize the images and videos for local searches.
Importance of Images and Videos
Fundamentally, images and videos wield so much power. A relevant and attractive image immediately catches someone’s attention while a relevant and concise video holds the promise of telling in less than a minute what would take your online guests several minutes to read.
From a Google+ Local SEO standpoint, images and videos are technically and practically essential. If you have noticed from local search engine results pages, videos and/or images come up fairly often on the 1st page — especially true if the searcher is using a mobile device. Sites which have relevant, engaging and properly-optimized videos and images usually seize the elusive first page in local search. For more info on video SEO please read our prior 2 blog posts.
How to Optimize Images and Videos for Google+ Local SEO
A basic way to optimize images and videos is to upload as many images as you can to your Google+ Local listing. At the very least, you should have 10 photos. A change has occured with Google whereas videos no longer allowed on business listings. This may very well change again down the road. If Google allows them again, then max out the number of videos they allow.
By quality, I do not mean magazine-grade images and videos. Users generally expect their local gardener’s or town hairstylist’s videos to be homemade and authentic, not Hollywood-produced.
As a rule, however, images and videos should be clear enough to show product and service details. Your images and videos should also be relevant to your product, service or brand. For industries that are very visual, i.e. landscapers, home remodelers, interior decorators, etc. they can be an excellent way to give a brief exposure to your portfolio. Lastly, they should be engaging as well, in the sense that they are either useful, informative or entertaining.
Remember that those inanimate index-generators called web spiders and crawlers do not recognize images and videos, only words. As such, you must properly tag images and videos in order for the web spiders to identify and index them on Google.
Tagging images and videos simply means incorporating your keywords or key word phrases in the image or video description. This image and video optimization trick adds up to your overall Google+ Local SEO campaign.
Additionally, you can go even farther — Geo-tag your images and videos. Geo-tagging photos means sneaking in geographical identification metadata to your images and videos. Doing Geo-tagging is a relatively recent and sophisticated Google+ Local SEO secret which helps users find your exact location, right down to the longitude and latitude details! This will literally put your local business on the map in Google+ Local.
Some cameras and camera-phones now come equipped with a GPS enabled Geo-tagging feature to help you in this area. If you don’t have a GPS device, you can do this manually using Google Maps. But in many cases you will need to change that info so that it reflects your business location – not your clients’ location.
If you have neither the time nor the inclination to create, upload and optimize images and videos, we can do that for you. Contact us today.