How To Optimize Your Pictures and Videos

One of the best ways to set yourself apart is by uploading photos and videos into your Google Places profile.  At present, Google allows up to 10 photos and 5 videos.  I recommend you fill every last slot with a great picture and an outstanding video that represents your business well.

For photos, square photos work best.  Try to choose great looking photos that feature your smiling face, your place of business, a staff photo, or your reception area.  Show photos of you doing what you do and that promote your services and /or products.  It's like the ad agencies say:  "Show the car!"  Seems simple, but show the obvious and let your pictures help you do the selling.  This is the beginning of your relationship with the customer.

Since you'll be uploading some great photos to the internet, you might as well optimize each photo's title, description and other attributes.  This gives each of your photos the best chance of being found in search, or in a Google "images" search.  A title of your picture that reads "Picture_0008_12-22-08" does not do you any good.

Optimize your photo like this:

Right-click on your photo and choose "Properties" and then choose "Summary".  You'll see a window open up like the one of the left that you can populate with keyword rich data.

Feel free to copy and paste your descriptions from your Google Places Description in your listing.  (That way you do not have to keep re-writing it for each of your pictures).  Or, you can vary it from photo to photo, the choice is yours.  Either way, give your photos some content so you have a chance of them ranking (all by themselves) in search results.

With any luck, you might find them leading a new customer right back to your website.

How To Optimize Your Videos

You get the opportunity to upload up to five (5) videos into your Google Place Page and I recommend using all 5 spots.  The videos must be Youtube videos and all you have to do is copy and paste the URL for each of your Youtube videos right into the spaces provided.

Now, you might be saying, "I don't have a video, let alone 5 of them."  That's okay, creating video is pretty easy and you do not need a full scale documentary.  All you need is a :30 - :60 second clip that provides information to your consumer on who you are and what you do.  Video gives you a great chance to present your company's image, either by being entertaining, educational, or both.

A video can be a collection of slides with a simple voice over that you produce in Windows Movie Maker or iMovie.  Drop in a little music in the background and you will be looking like a pro in no time.  Some best practices for creating your own video are to:

  1. Have a standard opening with musical intro
  2. Fade the music as the voice over starts
  3. Keep a good pace and time your slides to change at a natural time in the voice over
  4. Use your wrap as a compelling call to action
  5. Put all your contact details on your final slide
A nice pace is to change a slide every :06 - :08 seconds, so a nice :40 second video clip will only need 200 words of copy and 5 or 6 photos.  Of course, you can go longer if you want, but you don't have to.

If you don't have any videos and you don't want to create one, you still have two great ways to get video clips into your listing.  The first way is to search on Youtube for unbranded content that describes what you do, like a public service message.  For example, if you own an auto repair shop, you might find a manufacturers video that talks about how to change your spark plugs.  Just copy and paste the URL into your listing and you will be set.

A better option would be to have a video produced for you that says exactly what you want it to say and that promotes your business.  I can create simple videos for you inexpensively and I also have some excellent contacts in the industry that can help you produce killer videos.  Contact me to get started.

Another advantage to doing your own video is that you can upload them to your own Youtube channel and have them act as both back links and lead generation mechanisms back to your website.  I can create your Youtube brand for you or you can do it yourself - just check out the social media portion of Google Places Ranking.

Ready to get started?  Everything you need to do it yourself is here at Google Places Ranking.  It's a lot of work and it's going to take some time and skill to do it effectively, but you can do it.  If you decide you'd rather hire me to do it for you, that would be great, I am happy to help your small business grow.