How to Optimize Images for Better Google Business Profile Results

Drive user engagement by adding photos to Google Business Profiles. How can you optimize the value of these photos? Read on...



It’s an SEO fact that photos create more engagement, reach, and click-throughs for your Google Business Profile (GBP) or formerly Google My Business (GMB). However, not all pictures are created equal. When consumers look through your business profile on Google, are your photos enhancing your business or scaring potential customers away?

Note: To get access to upload photos onto your business profile in Google, ensure your business listings are verified. Once verified, Google will allow you to upload pictures, user-generated content, and videos.

Google Business Profile Image Types

What types of photos can be uploaded? Let’s qualify by size.

These are the image guidelines that Google tells us:

  • Format: JPG or PNG.
  • Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB.
  • Recommended resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide.
  • Minimum resolution: 250 px tall, 250 px wide.
  • Quality: The photo should be in focus, well lit, and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality.

Google Business Profile media types

Google differentiates images into specific types:

  • Exterior Photos: Capture a photo from each direction to be easier for customers to recognize your establishment. Another recommendation is to upload pictures that show your business at different times of the day.

  • Interior Photos: Capture photos showing what it’s like to stand inside your business as a customer. Portray the atmosphere of your business in your photos.

  • Product Photos: Showcase the most popular products.

  • Photos at Work: Capture photos of your team providing an array of services to customers.

  • Food & Drink Photos: Showcase your most popular menu items.

  • Common Areas: Add photos of your common areas to showcase the atmosphere

  • Rooms: Showcase all the different types of rooms you offer guests.

  • Team Photos: Show yourself and any staff to highlight your personalities. Give potential clients a feel for who you are. Show yourself and any staff to highlight your personality and give potential clients a feel for what you’re like.

Getting Ready to Upload Your Images

Now it’s time to optimize your photos for search engine optimization. Going through this step takes extra time, but will guarantee that the image will be optimized in every possible way.

Did you know that Google can 'see' what the image is?

Are you familiar with Google Vision AI?

The Vision AI system allows you to see what Google already knows about an image. Very simply, upload a picture, and Google will return known information about it.

As you can see, the image algorithm correctly labels elements within the photo.

Google analysis of Google profile photos

It will also analyze the image for several specific themes, tag facial expressions, and identify any text/objects in the picture.

Google vision AI photo analyzer tag results

Running your images through this free tool gives you excellent insight into the assignment of Google attribution/keywords by artificial intelligence and a clue about how consumers might react to an image.

What About Stock Images?

Google prefers that you do not use stock imagery for GBP uploads. Google definitely knows by using Vision AI if a photo is stock imagery.

However, some businesses have trouble getting original images, so what can you do if you are in that situation?

If you have to use stock images for your GBP listing, try to alter the image to make it look more personal to your business. Adding a logo or text to the image definitely helps.

Use High-Quality Images

Suppose you’re posting grainy photos of your business taken on an old camera with strange angles. In that case, you may be disadvantaged against competitors with quality, professional images.

Investing in high-quality photos can set your business apart from your competition and help entice consumers to visit your business. Take a look at these stats to see the power of an optimized photo presence on GBP.

  • Businesses with over 100 images on GBP get 2,717% more direction requests than the average business.
  • Businesses with over 100 images get 960% more search views than the average business.
  • Businesses with over 100 images get 520% more calls than the average business.

Does Adding Image Meta Data or Geo-Tagging Help?

It’s unclear if Google uses image metadata as a ranking factor. However, you’re always better off providing Google with more information if possible. 

You will hear many opinions on this subject because there is no way to test this effectively. With hundreds of rankings factors, many of them unknown, it’s impossible to isolate relatively smaller factors like image EXIF metadata.

My take on this is that if you can automate the inclusion of metadata into your images, go for it. There’s no known downside. However, manually adding metadata is most likely not worth manual effort. Even if it does help, the time it takes to add metadata is better spent on other SEO tasks.

Luckily, dbaPlatform’s GBP photo posting tool automates this process and will automatically add EXIF and metadata to any image you upload to your GBP profiles. Now you never have to think about it again.

Update Photos Regularly

Like GBP posts, Google encourages business owners to regularly upload photos to their listings. Uploading new images is not only great for improving client trust in the business but also adds SEO impact as well.

Try to add new photos to your GBP profile once a week. These photos can include exciting things like photos from recent events, the latest specials, or images you are already sharing on social media.

If you have many listings to manage, manually uploading images to every profile using the standard GBP dashboard can be a hassle. That’s where automation comes in. The dbaPlatform posting tool lets you schedule posts and cross-post them into many different listings simultaneously, saving you tons of time.

Frequently Asked Questions about Google Profile Photos

Does adding images help with rankings?

Images are not a direct ranking factor. Adding more images increases the potential for engagement on the listing. The more people who click and view your images, the more Google thinks your listing is essential.

Will Google penalize my listing if I use stock photos?

No, there is no penalty. Although Google would prefer you not to use stock photos, it’s better to use them if you have no choice. Sometimes Google will block a stock photo from being used. That is why we recommend altering images before uploading.

Does having the same photos in multiple listings hurt my ranking?

There is no problem using the same images across multiple GBP listings. Of course, getting unique images for each location is best. The algorithm has no function to check for duplicates, let alone penalize for it.

How often should I upload images to my GBP listing?

We recommend that you upload a photo about once a week. There is no official word from Google for images, but Google does recommend posting to GBP weekly. Weekly photo uploads also ensure that customers see fresh current content.

How do I change my Google profile logo or cover picture?

Go to your Business Profile. Select Edit profile and then Cover photo or Logo. Choose and add your photo. Note that Google does not always use the image that you have chosen if it does not meet requirements.

Can I use an animated GIF as my Google profile picture?

Currently, Google does not support using animated GIFs as profile pictures. You can only use static images in PNG, JPEG, or GIF format.


Local visibility is your most critical business metric when you manage a local business. Meaningfully grow that metric with dbaPlatform. dbaPlatform is the automation tool that eliminates the tedium of managing local at scale. Need more help? Contact our Pro Services experts if you don’t have time to optimize all your local businesses’ profiles on Google. 

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