How to optimize photos for Google My Business (GMB)
Google processes over 3.5 billion searches a day. Nearly half of these searches are from consumers seeking out local information, with Google My Business (GMB) as one of the top resources to find this local business information.
So how can your business leverage GMB to reach these local, purchase-ready consumers?
This is where photos come into play. Consumers use photos to decide if a business is worth visiting, whether it’s for a restaurant or a hotel.
Investing in high-quality photos can set your business apart from your competition and entice consumers to visit your business. Take a look at these stats to see the power behind having an optimized photo presence on GMB:
- Businesses with more than 100 images on GMB get 2,717% more direction requests than the average business
- Businesses with more than 100 images get 960% more search views than the average business
- Businesses with more than 100 images get 520% more calls than the average business
Keep reading to see how your business can stand out on GMB with photos.
Choose High-Quality Photos
Whether it’s photos of your business or products, it’s important to know that your photos set the standard for customer expectations. Photos are often the first interaction consumers have with your business. Dark and blurry photos won’t entice customers to visit your business. This doesn’t mean you have to go through the extra effort to get professional photos of your business – you can take great photos on your phone too. Just make sure they’re clear, well lit, and have minimal alterations (filters, emojis, stickers, etc.).
Format Photos with Recommended Guidelines
Before uploading photos to your GMB, make sure to optimize images with these best practices:
- Upload photos in JPEG or PNG format.
- Compress images between 10 KB and 5MB. You can use a tool like Compress JPEGs or TinyPNG.
- Aim for a resolution of 720 pixels tall and 720 pixels wide.
In addition to image size, you should also optimize the image names. Your file names should include keywords that best describe the image you are uploading. For example, if you’re posting a picture that shows the outside of your bakery in San Diego, it’s recommended to name your file something like “san-diego-bakery.png”. This is a crucial yet overlooked step, that many businesses don’t realize can limit GMB rankings.
Choose Photos that Showcase Every Aspect of Your Business
Google has category-specific photos available to use in GMB. These photos help highlight different aspects of your business to consumers. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when uploading photos for each of these categories:
- Exterior Photos – Add a minimum of three photos that will help your customers view the surrounding areas outside your business. These photos should be taken from each direction of your business. Additionally, make sure these photos are from different times throughout the day to help customers recognize your store-front.
- Interior Photos – Add photos that showcase a customer’s point of view when they walk into your store.
- Product Photos – Showcase any products that are popular with your customers, as well as new products that you’d like to gain more visibility on.
- Photos at Work – Share images of how your team interacts with customers and provides customer care.
- Food & Drink Photos – Upload high-quality images of your menus, food, and drinks. Have a popular dish? Make sure to take a few extra photos of those items. Another good tip for choosing food & drink photos is to go through your reviews to see what your customers have raved about.
- Common Areas – Customers will want to see what your common areas look like when planning to visit a business. Add a minimum of one good photo for every common area such as your lobby or breakfast room. Remember to update these often. Customers may be dissuaded from visiting your business if they see photos that go against any COVID-19 protocols.
- Rooms – Share accurate pictures of your guest rooms so customers know what to expect before they book a hotel room.
- Team Photos – Team photos give your business a chance to show off some personality! Add a minimum of three photos of your staff either with or without clients. Team events and lunches are always a great time to capture photos. Make sure to get permission before sharing photos of your employees.
- COVID-19 Guidelines – If you have certain COVID-19 guidelines in place, make sure to include them in any of these above categories that apply. Consumers will want to be aware about social distancing, sanitary protocols, and any other rules that may impact their in-store experience.
Monitor any User-Generated Content (UGC)
If you didn’t know, anyone can add photos to your GMB profile. Sometimes this can be a nightmare – especially if these photos are not good quality or are a downright misrepresentation of your business. Although you can’t remove these photos yourself, if they violate GMB guidelines you can submit a request for removal.
However, not all UGC is bad. Your business can leverage UGC to increase engagement and brand awareness. Positive UGC gives consumers a third-party view of your business, making them more inclined to trust your business is worth purchasing from. A significant 70% of consumers will consider reviews or ratings with UGC before making a purchasing decision. At least 41% of them will read four to seven UGC reviews to gain important insights on a product.
Update Photos Regularly
Just how listings aren’t a “set it and forget” type of strategy, neither are photos. Your photos need to be updated regularly. Try to add new photos to your GMB profile twice a month. These photos can include interesting things like photos from recent events, new specials, or images you are already sharing on social media.
Photos are more important than ever. They’re the biggest asset for consumers to gauge whether your business is worth visiting. Photos also clue consumers in on the experience they’re going to receive. A well-optimized image library on your GMB profile will generate more leads, conversions, and visits to your listing.