Make or Break Small and New Business on Google Maps with Photos
On 24 March 2019, I had crossed 100 million views with 7,666 photos which were by no mean an easy feat. Exactly one month later on 24 April which happened to be my mum’s birthday, I had attained level 10 on this memorable day as a gift to her. The abundant views over the level signify quality over quantity of uploaded photos as a Google Maps Local Guide.
My achievement matters more than who I am for the past 2.5 years. I am a Singaporean, shuttling between Singapore and Belgium. I started Google Local Guides in August 2016 with a mere thought of getting the 100 Mb free Google Drive storage without knowing much what LG is all about. At that time, I merely wanted to show the world the stunning photos I had taken while travelling in South France then.
Six weeks later, I had garnered my first million views and subsequently, gained another million two weeks later. Things got serious as I found myself analysing over these photos, how to improve my photo position and in turn increase the number of views. By that time, I could not stop contributing as I was addicted to the escalating figures in a short time because I knew people were looking at it. I was compelled even more to upload photos on more locations so more people could see what I had shared.
I had no desire back then to upload more images for one location as some did not make the mark. They were either too dark, too blurry, had too many heads blocking the view or did not represent a place or an establishment accurately which put it in a negative light. Also, if the spot is touristic and has already many uploaded photos, Google will likely only select one or two good ones, and the rest would be redundant or even not awarded any points.
The most satisfying experience of being a Google Local Guide is to give life to new or small establishments that have no photos or reviews, nor owners to claim them.
A picture tells a thousand words… An attractive photo will encourage more clicks on a business to find out more and to read the reviews too. On a personal note, it will also put your photo on an advantageous position where Google Maps is likely to have it featured. On the other hand, a bad quality image does not speak too well for an establishment if one has not visited it before. It may look dull or uninteresting like what the photo has portrayed it.
|1| Images should be bright » If your photo taken is dark, you can make use of the “Editing Tools” in Google Maps to enhance your photo by giving it more brightness, sharpness or more saturated colour especially if your phone camera or the lighting circumstances do not make good quality photos. That said, I always enhance all my photos to present them in an optimal condition before submitting the images. Captivating images encourage clicks and add up to the number of photo views. Recall the professional photos that you have seen. Wouldn’t you want to admire the gorgeous photos and be like them?
|2| Good Angle of Shop Front » Avoid taking photos focusing merely on the shop name which does not help the community, consider capturing the image of the whole shop from a farther distance. Alternatively, you can take the photo from a slanted perspective with its surrounding. These two tips will let others have a better idea of the outlook of an establishment and make it easier for them to look out for it on the street.
|3| Focusing on the Shop’s Interior » Usually, an establishment will sell a variety of items and present them in different sections. Instead of focusing on one particular product, capture it in an angle where the same range of goods group together. It will help others to understand more of what the shop has. If it is an eatery, the image will let others know the interior size and plan appropriately. If a person has 10 pax in a group, then he is likely to choose one with more seating capacity.
|4| Give the Photos Some Description » Photos are more meaningful with some description. Tell us the exact spot that you have taken the beautiful scenery, give us the name of the mouth-watering cuisine that you just had, the area section where you have found the hidden product, the carpark is on the left or right of the building. These are some helpful pointers that you can add on a photo to help the community.
I always love taking random photos on the street to help me recall how a city looks like when I go travelling. It has become my photography habit. Later, I search for the names of the establishment and upload those photos on Google Maps. From there, I create names of new places of interests and establishments that could not be found on the map. The locations are also edited and shifted accordingly to where they should be found on the street. A systematic approach will help to organise the points correctly. Thus, they are not flying all around the place or situated in the middle of the road.
Because of the random photos uploaded, it gave many establishments their first photo. Some of the views surprise me as they have many people searching for it online, as many as thousands to tens of thousands number of views per day. Each time when I present a new look at a place on Google Maps, I feel wonderful to have done something for them when no one bothers to give the smaller establishments attention.
Smaller and newer establishments need a community like us to help contribute well-enhanced images to their business as there are still many people not savvy enough to claim their own business or to upload photos to it. We help project their presence in the market for their operation. More reviews may come in later when others are aware of the business. In conclusion, our photos help make or break their business.
Hi, I'm MissSJ, your virtual travel guide here. Travelling, Google Maps and YOU are my interests. I enjoy amplifying my stories and tips with online maps to calculate the distance figuratively and navigate the direction so several points of interests are conglomerated in the same area as possible. With a virtual assistant, take my ride and join me!
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