If you’re using Google My Business, you know that the quality of the photos can make or break your online presence. Ensure all your photos are optimized for local search and driving traffic to your business. Don’t get all dressed up with anywhere to go.
Photos are a crucial element that Google uses to determine the ranking of your business listing. Since photos are such an essential part of your Google My Business page, you’ll want to ensure that each one isn’t only relevant and optimized for Google’s image search engine.
There are many ways to optimize your photos for search on Google My Business, but most rely on creating great-looking photos that differentiate your business from the competition. We recommend following these tips to take advantage of this powerful feature:
1. Use High-Quality photos
Taking high-quality photos of your business is essential for the success of Google My Business. A picture is worth thousands of words, and that’s true in the online landscape. As with dating profile photos, people will instantly judge your business based on a cursory glance. The quality of your photos directly impacts how your business appears when someone searches on Google Maps or in Google Search results (i.e., as a Local Finder result) and how it ranks on other local search engines.
2. Photo Size
When creating Google My Business posts, it is essential to pay attention to their image sizes and correct them, so they appear as planned on the post and its thumbnail. If you end up uploading a Google my business photo size that is very wide, then the application will primarily crop up some of the image detail to fit it into the frame and thumbnail. This can be worked with for generic photos, but if the image text includes something important, you would want it to be on the thumbnail and in your Google My Business posts.
- Default Size – 720 x 540 pixels
- Maximum Size – 2120 x 1192 pixels
- Minimum Size – 480 x 270 pixels
- Aspect Ratio – 4:3
3. Add Photos to Showcase Your Business
Adding photos in the right places will make your business more memorable and ultimately increase customer interest. Think of your business listing as an introduction to your customers that needs to be as well-rounded as possible. An exterior shot is essential, but including photos that give people a reason to visit you specifically – like interior shots of dining areas and kitchens – can help draw visitors’ attention. To make your image gallery pop, try to include most or all of the following:
- Showcase your interior & exterior shots taken from multiple angles at different times of the day. Be sure to tag walls, doors and light fixtures.
- Produce professional photography that showcases your products and services to customers.
- Showcase your business and products by adding photos demonstrating your quality, attention to detail, and working with happy customers.
- Adding photos of your employees doing their jobs is a better way to showcase your work to the customers that you have an active staff.
High-quality photos will make your listing stand out. Choose photos that reflect a sense of style or highlight unique or desirable features. Add as many photos as possible that show your property and its features well, provide clear, full-view pictures, and show off the best parts of your home.
4. Make Photos an Ongoing Priority
Google’s search algorithms tend to favour listings that are updated regularly. This means higher search rankings for your listing and an easy, competitive edge. At the very least, you should try adding a new photo every week. It will require a bit of your time, but it will signal to Google that your business is active and committed to providing helpful content to customers.
Adding photos to your profile is a great way to showcase your style and personality. If you’re confused about what to add, consider things like:
- New photos of products or services
- From a recent company event, upload team photos
- A picture of the interior or exterior from a previously unseen angle
- A snapshot of the daily or weekly deals/specials
- Photos of satisfied customers with products (with their permission, of course)
- Some “behind the scenes” shots (production process, facilities, or preparation work)
Post photos of your business in action. It’s essential to stay on top of these posts because Google uses imagery to test your pages for quality. When you want a simple and easy way to get more clicks on your listings and make them more appealing, try adding a photo gallery to your site.
5. Optimize Your Photos
If you don’t optimize your photos, you miss out on an opportunity to rank higher in local searches. Use different relevant keywords for additional photos. For starters, use your primary keywords when naming your files. So if you’re posting an exterior pic of your business, you might use a file name. Suppose you post photos of your ecommerce product; you should name the image ecommerce-product.jpg instead of the generic IMAGE001.jpg. You then fill out information like coordinates and physical addresses in the metadata (using programs like Adobe Bridge or ASAPmaps).
Use different relevant keywords for additional photos. Use your primary keywords when naming your files. This significant opportunity can be the difference between ranking well and not ranking.
6. Do Not Use Stock Photos
Stock photos are not allowed on your Google My Business listing. They need to convey accurate information about your business and could lead customers to an outdated or incorrect location. Instead, we recommend adding high-quality photos that accurately represent your business and the products/services you offer. That way, as customers search for something in your area, they may see your listing and decide to visit it officially.
When it comes to google my business photos, Google is particular about the types of quality photos that they’re looking for:
- Profile photo
- Exterior photos
- Interior photos
- Product photos
- Pictures of people or tools at work
- Food & drink photos
- Common areas
- Team photos
7. Don’t Worry About Geotagging
Geotagging photos for Google My Business does not matter. Joy Hawkins at Sterling Sky had an experiment where they found that geotags were removed from the photos after they were uploaded. Geotagging may make sense for other platforms, but it’s not a significant factor on Google My Business.
8. Keep an Eye on User-Generated Photos
The beauty of Google My Business is that it allows users to submit photos of your business. You’re not the only one who can add photos to your GMB listing. Any user with a Google account can add pictures of your business. This is good because it allows customers to do some of the work for you, keeping your page populated and helping to build a buzz for your business.
However, this crowd-sourcing freedom can be a double-edged sword. You must check your listing regularly and review all photos published by third parties. Whenever someone shares an image that’s irrelevant to your business or has malicious intent behind it, you can report it to Google and request deletion. To do this, click the flag icon in the upper-right corner of the offending photo and fill out the form (see the image above). A Google representative will review the image and remove it if it violates their guidelines.
9. Review Photos Added by the Public
A picture is worth a thousand words. That saying might be accurate, but if you have bad photos of your business on Google, it’s probably not enough to convince customers to buy from you. When customers see positive photos, they feel more confident that they will have a good experience with your company. In addition, when potential customers are searching for your type of business in their area, they expect to see photos of how things look at your store. If they see poor or outdated photos, they may decide not to come in and give you a chance (or worse yet, go somewhere else).
10. Avoid Irrelevant Photos
Including all of the best photos on your business Google account is tempting. But don’t do it! When you have a lot of photos, especially repetitive ones, Google will pull those photos first over less popular ones. This can hurt your SEO and negatively impact your listing. Resellers, in particular, should handle this problem carefully. You may want to remove any photos or videos that convey outdated information about the product or service you are selling.
11. Monitor and Maintain the Photos
Businesses must monitor and maintain their photos in their Business Profile. Poorly lit, blurry or outdated photos represent a poor impression of your business and can lower your ranking in search results. If you renovate a storefront, redecorate the interior, or repaint your facade, you can take all new photos and replace the outdated ones.
In conclusion, optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) photos is a critical way to improve the visual appeal of your listing and attract more customers to your business. By using high-quality, clear photos that accurately represent your business, choosing various photos that show different aspects of your business, using relevant, descriptive file names, and using alt tags to describe your photos, you can make your GMB listing more appealing and effective. Additionally, updating photos can help keep your GMB listing fresh and engaging.