A colleague of mine was browsing through her Facebook news feed the other day when she saw a picture that a FB friend (who lives across the country) had posted. The picture was of a colorful Mexican restaurant front with a sign in the window that said, “Soup of the day: Tequila.”
She recognized it immediately as a restaurant (Rose Pepper) in the city where she lives (Nashville). This photo had gone viral to some extent, but the point I want to make is that all photos can be used to boost your small business search engine optimization (SEO) and in a couple of different ways.
Great photos key
Using photos for local small business SEO is a fantastic strategy. That’s in part what my Rose Pepper example illustrates.
It starts with taking excellent photos. You’re going to be using these photos yourself, but you also want them to be shared in the social media. We know that sites like Facebook are becoming increasingly important to the search engines, so if a photo of your small business goes viral, it may have a significant impact on SEO.
This gives you your first strategy: Take good photos that are “share worthy” at your place of business. Save these photos to your computer and give them names that include your keywords and, ideally, the name of your business. Upload them to your social media accounts, adding a keyword-rich description when you can. Also, be sure your geo-tag feature is turned on when you take the photo.
However, don’t limit your photo uploads to Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Flickr is a great site to leverage in your quest to boost your local small business SEO using photos. Name your files as I described above, but Flickr also gives you space to add a description and tags. Again, be smart about this. Use the appropriate keywords, tags, and the name of your business if possible.
You’ll also have the chance to define who has the rights to your photo. For most purposes, it’s a good idea to let others reuse your photos, perhaps asking for credit…or not. However, if you have people featured in your photo and the photo wasn’t taken openly in a public place, you could have model rights to deal with. If all your photos feature employees, have them sign off on their model rights via a release while they are working for you.
Google will find your photos and index them. Hopefully then, others will find your Flickr photos useful and want to use them on their websites or social media.
I might also suggest that using Flickr as your central repository for your small business photos will help you keep track of them and give you a good cloud service to store them that is free. And if you properly tag and describe your photos, I think you’ll be surprised how many people view them over time.
If you’re more of a visual person than a wordsmith, leveraging photos to improve your small business SEO should be easy, enjoyable and effective.