What comes to mind when you think of digital marketing for your firm?
Is it a modern, sleek website, or maybe ranking on the first page of Google search results?
We’d guess when you think of digital marketing or law firm SEO success, the result involves the phone ringing and signing more customers.
To run a successful digital marketing campaign, you need to establish your business as a law firm people can trust to handle their case.
To establish this trust, your content must be relevant and strategic. One underutilized resource to achieve this is quality photography by a Google Trusted Photographer.
Think about it: when someone goes to Google and searches for your firm, what images do they see? Do they see any images or videos at all?
What Google Trusted Photography is
A Google Trusted Photographer (also known as a Google Certified Photographer) provides a service that produces still images and virtual tours for your website that can help lead to your firm’s success.
A Google Trusted Photographer is also someone who has taken the time and effort to get certified. To break down the basics of what that looks like, we sat down with Google Certified 360 Specialist Vinny Crocitto, a local guide (level) 9 with more than 22 million views of his photos over the last 8 years.
(Considering there are 10 levels of certification, this means Vinny is highly trusted by Google as a photographer!)
Google Trusted Photographer requirements
Google takes its endorsements seriously, and when the program first opened, it was a rigorous 3-month process of applications and interviews, followed up by pro-bono work to prove their skills and get used to the equipment and software.
Since then, Google has shut down the application process, so someone with this accreditation can be extremely beneficial for your business as they’ve been tested and proven by Google to be good at what they do. Because they’re vetted by Google, a higher emphasis is placed on their work.
Google Certified Photographers can go into Google’s servers and build out a virtual tour on the platform itself. On the back-end of the photos, they can geotag your location which helps increase the SEO value of your business listing.
A local guide can also go into any Google My Business local listing and change content on the business page which can be approved the next day—change at warp speed.
Credentials matter, especially on Google
If your firm doesn’t have access to your Google business page, it takes a Google Trusted Photographer to be able to quickly make changes or updates for you.
You’ll reap the rewards from the time and effort you put into working with a Google Trusted Photographer. Google reports that “listings with photos are twice as likely to generate interest” and add credibility to the firm as an authentic place for business.
Our CEO Jason Hennessey notes that having a virtual tour and crisp, high-quality images are a “strong variable in the Google algorithm [and] are the most powerful citations that you could have on your business page to increase optimization.”
Visual content and the Google algorithm connection
Google looks at photography from a Google Trusted Photographer as a Google product.
When it is listed on your Google My Business page it is always going to help the Google algorithm, even if the Google algorithm changes. This type of product will always help with the local and organic rankings.
Google My Business listings with virtual tours tend to rank higher than their local competitors.
It also raises the possibility of ranking in local listings. This is typically because users spend more time on a Google listing that has 360 images – which in turn tells the Google algorithm that people are interested in the business and increases your ranking on the SERP.
Views and clicks to high-quality content help your rankings.
High-quality content increases your click-through rate, so adding a virtual tour and high-quality photography increases traffic to your site. Having multiple geotagged photos as content benefits your local business because the more photos you have, the more views you’ll attract, thus helping your rankings.
A Google Trusted Photographer gives you a leg up on your competition.
Because ranking on the search engine results page (SERP) for a law firm is an incredibly competitive space, If you have 3 law firms in your location and one has the Google-certified virtual tour on their business page and the others don’t, the business page with the tour and photos is going to stand out from competitors.
Google Maps and your local business
Having high-quality photography and a 360-degree virtual tour as visual imagery to represent your business is a powerful sales tool for your website.
Google reports that, “41% of business searches on Google Maps result in an on-site visit.” When you choose to hire a certified photographer, you can rest assured that your images will be high-quality, true-to-life images that will help your audience get a first-hand experience of your firm and improve your SEO rankings.
Having a virtual tour of your business enhances the visibility and exposure of your Google listing. Google considers it the best citation you can have on your Google My Business page because it proves you’re at the location’s physical address; it’s essentially geotagging pictures.
Forty-four percent of consumers use Google when mapping out locations for companies they’re considering or want to do business with.
You don’t want just any photos on your site or in your GMB listing. For optimal success, use photos that meet the requirements that Google is looking for. This list includes the correct image ratio, quality, and size: bases a Google Trusted Photographer covers for you as a certified professional.
As marketers, we know that evergreen content is important and that photos and a Google virtual tour will never expire. Once the photographer posts the tour and images to your site, your content lives on forever.
Just make a one-time payment with no annual fees to make the virtual tour live, and you’re set (until you update your office and need a fresh tour for your new digs!)
How Google Certified Content adds value
You want to be found easily online, and Google’s algorithm can sometimes be finicky.
‘Google Certified’ means it works on Google. Google recognizes the photographer and trusts their work, placing a higher emphasis on your business page.
In this digital marketing age, visual images are an important part of advertising because catch the eye of the person doing an online search.
When it comes to your online presence, Google looks for real-life photos and images that give the viewer a practical view of the business. (Want more proof? The growing importance of images is addressed in our June 2021 Google Core Update.)
The old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words holds true in marketing and the business world, and quality images increase your visibility on Google. How do we know? Research shows virtual tours increase interest by 100%!
Pride in your brand exhibits transparency and builds trust.
In an era affected by COVID-19 restrictions and limitations, potential clients can experience your office and get a feel for who you are as a company without having to visit in person. You’ve worked hard to establish your business, so why not show it off?
Pride in your brand exhibits transparency and builds trust. Not only are you telling your audience about your business, you’re showing it to them, all while giving you an edge over competitors who aren’t invested in SEO or who don’t understand digital marketing.
So step into the 21st century and speak to, attract, and interact with potential clients in a way that words can’t quite describe with quality visual content from a Google Trusted Photographer.