LocalMN 101 – Google Photos for Businesses

Google Photos can be used best when thinking as a user. You can use it on its own, for Google products such as Maps, or an organizer to distribute your photos to Apple Maps, other local portals or social sites such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

And,  you can use all of this solely for SEO reasons. Please don’t.

As mentioned in the video, it can take awhile to set up and customized to your liking or needs. An organized Google Photos account can be like a switchboard. Once it’s ready and you need a photo, you can pretty much pick it, then title, describe, tag it and place where you need it.

 


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LocalMN 301 – Using Your Google Photos on Sites that are NOT Google

Now you should have a good idea how to organize your Google Photos and the basics on how to use Google My Business to submit them to Google Maps.

Now how about using your Google Photos, that you own, and place them on places that even compete with Google?

How about Siri?

Siri uses a lot of business information including photos from Yelp. Your business can sign up to Yelp for free to where you can upload your organized Google photos.

Yelp Photo

Yelp Photo

Of course there’s Apple Maps itself. You can sign in to Apple Maps Connect for free by just using your Apple ID, then add your organized Google photos. Speaking of Apple, many don’t know that Apple Maps is the default when you open your iPhone box. You could be searching Yelp results without even knowing you’re talking to Siri.

The same concept can apply to many other local/social portals including:

  • Bing
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Foursquare
  • Flickr
  • Pinterest

Just like Google, it’s important to add titles, descriptions and (geo)tags to each, individual photo. As well, you can do these either on a desktop or mobile with their apps. Whichever is more convenient for you.

Why would you do this for all of these sites?

Because Google loves these sites.

If you do a branded company search and the businesses have done this, not to mention your own site, the first page will be flooded with your portals. It’s even better for the user. Depending on their wants, they may specifically be looking for your Facebook page, Instagram feed or even Pinterest boards.

In the end, you still have all of your Google photos, organized to your needs or liking. All of this is a time saver, organizer, SEO tool, and user tool all wrapped into one. The time it takes you to do this is valuable, although the outside costs can be as little as nothing.


LocalMN Interactive offers full local search services which includes this, photography of your business and even overall digital marketing. Contact us to learn more.

48 Hours in Minneapolis/St Paul with a Custom Map

What should you do? Plenty I suppose! It’s really easy to get around, especially with public transit and bike-sharing. You can even add to the map for others to enjoy. First, a link to the map as well as the map itself.

A few notes:

I put just one place for accommodations for each city. I highly recommend setting up at the Radisson Red Minneapolis. Use your phone to book your room, open your door, order a pillow, order just about anything then head down to their OUI Bar & Ktchn and have Sari, #bridgey, Wil and Matt serve you food and beverages. They are four individuals that work perfectly together as one team.

Downtown St. Paul is really unique. It’s large enough to pretty much do anything, get around by foot, Green Line Light Rail, bus and Nice Ride bike-sharing. Even in the coldest winter days you can walk around via skyway.

The Ft. Snelling/Mendota Bridge area is a hidden gem for trail-walking. Remember to bring hydration for all of you as there aren’t really any convenience stores nearby. As close as it is to city limits, it’s pretty much you, scenery and the wilderness.

Familiar with the areas? Add to the map to share with others! We’d love to hear from you.

LocalMN 101 – Google Photos in Maps

By now, you’ve hopefully read and organized your Google Photos, which is the backbone for this. You’re now ready to add your favorite ones to Maps. There’s something very important you need to do first, though. It’s really easy, but it’s a must.

With your Google Account and/or your Gmail address, just create a Google My Business (GMB) account. As stated by Google themselves…

Get your business hours, phone number, and directions on Google Search and Maps — with Google My Business.

This is indeed the #1 things folks look for when searching for your business.

Once you enter your basic info online, check the “by mail” verification method. It usually takes a few businesses days to receive and just keep a lookout for a postcard that looks something like this.

Google Postcard

Open it, verify the 5-6 digit pin provided and you should be good to go, almost immediately. This YouTube video provides perfect basic insights on it all.

For photos, real pics are compelling, and the #1 thing people look for? Directions. Here’s an description example of cross streets to give customers a visual on where a business is.

The NE Bulldog Cross Streets

Before looking at the photo above, did you have a general idea where the NE Bulldog is? And after reading the description, do you now know EXACTLY where the NE Bulldog is?

This is just one example of how you can use your photos and descriptions in each photo to help entice visitors to come to your door.

Tip: Anyone can add photos to your business and most of them are customers, not photographers. This is fine. Showing “real” photos shows people being social and most of the time, that’s what we want. Combine these with the quality photos you take and describe, the photo presence in your Google listing enhances that much more.


At LocalMN Interactive, we specialize in local search and are listed in Google as a Trusted Street View Photographer. Contact us for services and mention this post when you do.

 

LocalMN Google Photos 101

Many people have photo tools they use for their business. Some are for Photos for MacOS users, some are Windows-based. For this series, we’re going to stick to Google Photos. One, it’s really easy to set up and organize, and it’s sharable either one-on-one or to the public.

Getting Started

You should have this anyway, but create a Google Account. If you already have a gmail address, you’re good to go.

The YouTube video below is 20+ minutes. You’re busy doing what you do so I’d recommend chopping away at it here and there.

Or, if you want the short and sexy version.

This covers Google Photos (and videos) as a consumer, or, your customers. The next two posts cover how to upload info you learn to Google Maps and other local and social portals.

According to Wikipedia

Google Photos is a photo sharing and storage service developed by Google. It was announced in May 2015 and spun out from Google+, the company’s social network.Google Photos gives users free, unlimited storage for photos up to 16 megapixels and videos up to 1080p resolution.

Setting this up is like putting together the umbrella. It looks like a lot of work, but everything in the next two post will fall from it.

A few final notes for this post. As mentioned in the YouTube video, Google auto-detects some of these and creates relevant albums for you such as your spouse, home, favorite ski area, etc. I would then recommend creating albums (either with photos or just shells) of photos you think your customers would find interesting.

Google Photo Albums

Example of Google Photo Albums

By now, you may have a visual list of all your albums, editable to you. Create a duplicate of these and place them in the same labeled albums but under their “shared”. At a later date, you can then allow/disallow other folks to edit these.

All three of these posts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding photos and how to use these on your business maps, but it’s a really good starting point. Next, we’ll talk about how to use these photos for Google and other mapping solutions.