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Navigating the Local SEO Maze: A Practical Guide for Photographers and Artists

November 20, 2023

local seo blog header over black and white image

Have you ever wondered how some photographers or artists constantly pop up on Google when you search for “services near me?” The answer is no magic wand, but a magical tool—Local SEO.

Whether you’re a  family photographer capturing life’s most understated moments or an artist creating visual wonders, understanding this branch of SEO can make you a local star. And if local stardom isn’t enough to sway you, conversions from Google should – Local SEO is the driving force behind some of the leading trends.  Let’s break down what it is, why it matters, and how you can leverage it to be the go-to creative in your area.

How ‘Near Me’ Searches Lead Straight to You

The most commonly asked question is: how do I show up in “near me” searches? Local SEO plays a key role here. For example, when someone types in “photographers near me,” local SEO efforts help your name come up in the results, making it incredibly likely for potential clients in your geographical area to find you. This targeted visibility increases your chances of being hired. And it’s not just about your Google Business Profile; your website itself can appear in these local searches, leading people directly to your portfolio.

Think of ‘Near Me’ as a signal to Google to match a user with a business that’s geographically close and viewed as an authority on the subject they are looking for.

The Fine Line Between Local and General SEO

Before diving deeper, let’s differentiate local SEO from its broader counterpart, general SEO. The latter works to make your website globally appealing to search engines, employing techniques like keyword optimization, meta descriptions, backlinking to name a few. It also considers how your users find your website and, most importantly, how they behave once they get there.

On the other hand, local SEO focuses on making your business visible in your immediate locale, even without someone typing in the location. It uses location-specific keywords, leverages local business directories, to help you rule your local market. Your website matters a little, but how Google views your presence in the local market matters 10x more. 

People without a website can rank locally with only a Google Business Profile. Do I recommend this? No. But I want to make the point that your local impact can stand on its own two feet.

Local SEO includes your Google Business Profile AND your website. However, with your website, it’s not so much looking at engagement rate, session time etc…. It’s looking mostly to determine how much it can trust you’re located in a certain community,

The Unique Value of Local SEO for Creative Professionals and Photographers

For photographers and artists with a local focus, the advantages of mastering local SEO are tremendous. If you have a physical gallery or offer on-location services, your next client could very well be a neighbor who found you through a local search. Local SEO not only puts you on the map but also funnels quality leads to your business—people who are actively searching for services you offer, right in your hometown. Google will match you to people in your sub community without your user having to request that.

Local SEO quote by MB Bryant

Local SEO Essentials: What You Need to Know

Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of optimizing to be found in your community effectively.

Create a Google Business Profile (Formally Google My Business)

Your Google Business Profile is your digital calling card, showing off essential details like your business name, location, contact info, and services. Keep it updated to improve your local search rankings.

Add relevant photos that showcase your brand and fill in all the information you can to connect with your potential clients just like a mini website.

NAP: More Than Just an Acronym

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. These details should be consistent across all platforms, directories, and mentions of your business anywhere on the internet. But where can these be? Consider local business directories like Yelp, YellowPages, or even local community boards. It could also be mentions in local newspaper articles or blogs.

The good news about a NAP? It doesn’t have to come with a backlink to your site to be effective. The key is consistency; the more consistent your NAP details are, the more credible you appear to search engines, improving your local rankings.

Note – Your NAP needs to match your Google Business Profile exactly for it to count. It’s OK if you don’t have a physical address, but make sure the rest of your information is spot on.

The Power of Reviews

Customer reviews are not only social proof but also a significant ranking factor in local SEO. A consistent stream of positive reviews can propel you to the top of local search listings, so don’t hesitate to ask satisfied clients to leave a review.

Keywords and Local SEO

Keywords are as critical in local SEO as they are in general SEO.  Most of the time, if you’ve already optimized your website for local key phrases, you’re on the right path. But don’t forget to include smaller communities that might not have a lot of SEO reach.

Local SEO Roadmap

Friends, Local SEO is a fast-growing portion of your overall visibility online.  I encourage you to lean into this lesser-known side of SEO because you could have some amazing results. It’s an ongoing effort, but the rewards—in terms of visibility and business—can be substantial. So why wait? Start your local SEO journey today and become the go-to creative genius in your area.

Ready to tackle your local SEO? Sign up below for a free PDF to get you started. Think of it as a part checklist, part challenge to get you going.

Life’s biggest adventures in modern photos co-crafted with you. Spokane Photographer | Serving the Pacific Northwest

Life’s biggest adventures in modern photos co-crafted with you. Spokane Photographer | Serving the Pacific Northwest

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