5 Best Practices for Google My Business Photos
by Klaudia Marzec, on Sep 16, 2019 9:00:00 AM
Managing your online reputation should be a constant task because every time someone finds your Google My Business page, that becomes another opportunity to gain a new customer and convert a new lead.
You might think of your Google My Business page as a place for reviews and your local search positions, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But you wouldn’t be completely right either.
There is a lot more to it than a page with words. Your Google My Business listing can gain you a lot more with visuals since they get processed 60,000 times faster than plain text.
That sounds crazy; people can retain only about 10% to 20% of the information in text form, but when paired with visuals that retention goes up to 65%.
At any point in time, we can only process a limited amount of information, therefore it is beneficial to show photos in place of text to give your viewers more to retain about your business.
It’s all about making a good first impression, even online. Photography can say a lot about you, therefore having the right photos on your Google My Business page should be a top priority.
Especially since 60% of consumers say that they give more consideration in making a decision to their local search results that have good images. And 59% of consumers use Google on a monthly basis to find a good local business.
That sounds like a great and easy way to gain more customers just by posting photography on your page, but not all photos are created equal. So what photos should you be posting exactly?
We put together 5 best practices for Google Business photos to build a great online image.
Here are 5 Tips for Better Google My Business Photos
1. Upload a variety of photos
With over 80% of searches conducted, Google is a huge platform and your Google Business photos have great potential to increase your online visibility now more than ever.
You want to start by getting your business listing verified that way you can get access to upload photos, videos and monitor what is happening there at all times.
There are many different types of photos you should be taking to give your viewers the best idea about your business as possible.
Capturing photos of the exterior of your business and showing it if from every direction will make your customers more familiar with it even before they come on-site. It will also make it easier for them to recognize it when they do come in person.
Incorporating drone photography is an easy and efficient way of capturing the entire exterior from different perspectives, and has the added benefit of including surrounding land and businesses in just one shot.
Taking your Google Business photos at different times of the day is also a good idea to attract customers at different times.
Showing the interior of your business is just as important as it demonstrates how it feels to be a customer. We also recommend capturing the atmosphere of your business in the photos to give your prospects a welcoming feeling.
Snapping pictures of your staff will highlight the personalities that you have and give your customers a feel of what kind of business you have. Additionally showing those team members while they provide different customer services will make you look inviting and friendly.
You also want to consider taking photos of the products or services you provide such as your floor plans or available rooms that way people interested in your business will know exactly what they can expect to get.
Not only are the products important, but also the common areas such as your pool or clubroom, because you want to make sure your prospects have a complete vision of your business.
Now that you have some ideas of what you should be showcasing, consider if the photos will be timeless or if they possibly only works in a certain season such as winter Holiday decoration photos.
It is always a good idea to capture your photography for your Google My Business in a neutral season where the seasonal decorations are not yet up since the photos will be live all year long.
2. Google has standards
In order to make your photos look their best, you want to abide by certain guidelines such as keeping the format of your photos to either a JPG or PNG.
Quality is key here, therefore, it's always best to hire a professional real estate photographer who will know the rules and will take great photos for your Google business.
The size of your photos should be between 10 KB and 5 MB and the minimum resolution should be 720 px tall and 720 px wide. Making sure that the photos are in focus and well lit will also make a world of difference.
Aside from capturing the best quality photos, post-production is just as important. The photos should not have too many alterations and filters slapped on as you want them to represent reality.
The worst thing that can happen is a customer coming in after seeing an exceptional representation of your business and walking out disappointed that your online presence is far from reality.
This can really hurt your online reputation and ultimately hurt your entire business.
Compared to still photography, 360 photos and virtual tours were twice as likely to generate prospect engagement and 67% of people want more virtual tours.
By abiding by these standards and posting unique content you can tap into the 75% of people who are more likely to use a business with a visual appeal.
You can also post videos now, but those need to meet guidelines as well such as duration of up to 30 seconds, a file size of up to 100 MB and a resolution of 720p or higher.
With such variety as photos, virtual tours, and videos, you are sure to see your Google My Business page work magic for you.
You also want to focus on your industry-specific shots that best describe your business and what your customers can expect.
If your business is a senior living community, then you might want to consider taking photos that connect with your audience of seniors and adult children. Those images can include shots of the many facilities within your community such as a pool or an arts and crafts area.
It’s all about targeting the people who you wish to make your customers, and high-quality photos are a great gateway.
3. Stay away from stock photography
Stock photography is not the way to go if you want to appeal to more people and create a great image with your Google My Business photos.
Stock photos on your Google My Business listing make you look untrustworthy and show a lack of creativity. On top of that, Google will find the stock images and delete them.
The best way to get great and unique photos is again to hire a professional photographer who will know how to style your business in a creative way, make it appear colorful and display all that you wish to showcase.
If you are looking for inspiration to stand out from your competitors, then jump on Pinterest or Instagram for creative ideas. Put together a shot-list to help guide the photographer onsite so that you get the exact photos you’re looking for.
Another great source of content is user-generated photos. You can take that content and use it for your Google My Business photos, with permission of course. UGC posts that are shared on social media generate 28% higher engagement rates than posts coming from the brand itself.
If the photos are doing so well on social channels, then it definitely makes sense to share them on your Google page.
4. Optimize your Google My Business uploads for SEO
Keywords are your new best friend when it comes to optimizing your Google Business photos for SEO.
When posting a new photo, avoid the generic naming conventions such as IMG_123, but rather use keywords that best describe the image. Tagging them with the appropriate category will also make them more likely to be found by your audience.
Now that you know how to name your photos and upload them for best SEO, it’s time to talk quality. Like I mentioned earlier, high-quality photos will have the most impact on your Google My Business page as those are given preferential treatment by Google.
High-quality photos not only rank better, but they also make your business look more professional and trustworthy. It is also recommended to post photos that best describe you and your business.
So with all of that in mind, here are some stats to motivate you. Google My Business and Google organic searches will drive 58% of website traffic to optimized local business websites. By following these guidelines that can be your website next.
Google accounts for 74% of all search traffic, therefore if your Google My Business photos are not optimized, you are possibly missing out on all those searches your possible customers are doing.
5. Crop till you drop
One last thing to keep in mind when talking about your Google My Business photos is how they will appear on all of the devices people use today.
It’s 2019, and the smartphone is the new computer so businesses need to market specifically for mobile users. A study was published which revealed that 78% of mobile searches resulted in an offline purchase, meaning that people use their phone to look up a business and then as a direct effect, visit it to buy a product or service.
This leads us to the question, how to optimize my Google My Business photos for a mobile device. The key is for photos to display correctly on all types of devices, which is determined by the way we crop them.
The photos on your phone show up as rectangles while on a desktop they appear as a square. Google My Business recommends photos that are size 720 x 720, which would work great for the square aspect of a computer screen, but mobile might be tough.
With that said, you cannot predict on which device your customer will be searching, therefore it is best to upload photos that will perform well with both displays.
To make sure that the most important part of an image is seen by both desktop and mobile users, you will want to feature it in the middle of the screen. This will prevent you from losing the key elements of your photos, even if they get cropped on certain devices.
Need help optimizing your Google My Business photos? Let us know how we can help!