Business Photos and Why Google Loves Them
If you’ve ever Googled a business name, you have probably noticed that on the right hand side of the search listings is a spot for the business’s “Google My Business” listing.
This section gives you a quick snapshot of the business information that users might find useful. It includes the business name, address (often with a map), hours of operation, contact info, web address, and photos.
It is this last item that I want to discuss today.
Business photos on Google are extremely important for your listing. According to Google itself,
“Photos help people find your business across Google—including on Search and Maps—and come from both businesses themselves and their customers. By adding your own business photos, you can showcase your products and services to people who are looking for what you offer.”
Keep in mind that one of Google’s stated purposes is “Since the beginning, our goal has been to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible.”
This means that they want their users to have the best possible experience when searching for information. When search results match user expectations then that goal is met.
Adding photos to your business listing is one of the most underrated tactics with regards to your My Business listing. (Even Google itself lists this as a way to rank better locally.) In this era of the internet and social media I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that we are a highly visual people.
Several recent studies have shown that social media posts with images get more engagement and shares than those that do not. It stands to reason then that our My Business listing would benefit from images as well. Besides, it’s a great way to help tell a visual story of your company, showcase your products or services, show people your team, and more.
With all this in mind, here are a few pointers for getting the most out of your business listing on Google from the proverbial horse’s mouth…
Types of Photos
There are several types of photos you should add to your business listing:
• Profile photo - Add a profile photo to help your customers recognize your business on Google. Your profile photo will be featured next to your business name on your Google+ page. It should be a different photo from your business logo, which should be added in the "Logo" section.
• Logo - Add your logo to help customers identify your business. Square-sized logos display best on Google.
• Cover photo - Add a cover photo to showcase your page’s personality. Your cover photo is the large photo featured at the top of your Google+ page. Note that this photo will be cropped to fit a 16:9 aspect ratio.
• Additional photos - Add different kinds of photos to spotlight features of your business that customers consider when making purchasing decisions. You can add different kinds of photos depending on the kind of business you manage.
Best Practices for Photos
Your photos will look best on Google if they meet the following standards:
• Format: JPG or PNG
• Size: Between 10KB and 5MB
• Minimum resolution: 720px tall, 720px wide
• Quality: The photo should be in focus and well lit, and have no photoshop alterations or excessive use of filters. The image should represent reality.
For additional info on these types of photos and best practices, check out these suggestions.
Adding Photos to Your Listing
Adding photos to your listing is a piece of cake. Just follow these simple steps for Desktop…
1. Sign in to Google My Business. If you have two or more locations, click Manage location for the location you'd like to manage.
2. Click Photos from the menu.
3. Choose the type of photo that you’d like to add.
4. Upload the photo from your computer or choose one you’ve already uploaded.
Or these for Mobile…
1. Open the Google My Business app.
2. Touch the menu icon > Photos.
3. Choose the type of photo that you’d like to add.
4. Choose a photo from your camera roll, or take a new photo.
In addition to the tips above, keep the following in mind as well…
Don’t Use Stock Images
Where possible, use actual images of your business, your products, your people, etc. Remember, Google is looking for an accurate listing and stock images just won’t cut it. (As a side note, custom photography is a service we offer…if you’d like a quote on what it would cost to get your business high quality images to use on your listing, just fill out the form at the bottom of this page.)
Encourage Customers to Add Their Own Photos
Google allows your customers to add their own photos to your listing as well and this can be a great opportunity for you to build engagement with your customers by encouraging them to do so. (This can also have negative consequences as well, so tread gently.)
Mix It Up
Don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit and include a wide variety of photos that help tell your brand story. Remember, people are looking to do business with companies that they know, like, and trust…your imagery goes a long way here.
To wrap up, adding images to your My Business listing on Google is a great way to make your business stand out, tell a story to prospects and customers, and showcase your products/services/team.
Make the most out of it by following the simple guidelines above.