How to Optimize Images for Better Google My Business (GMB) Results
It’s an SEO fact that photos create more engagement, reach, and click-throughs for your GMB listing. However, not all pictures are created equal. When consumers are looking through your business profile on Google, are your photos enhancing your business or maybe scaring potential customers away?
Note: To get access to upload photos on your business profile in Google through GMB, ensure that your business listings are verified. Once verified, Google will give you access to upload photos, user-generated content, and videos.
Google My Business 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 differentiates images into specific types:
- Exterior Photos: Capture a photo from each direction so that it will be easier for customers to recognize your establishment. Another recommendation is to upload photos that show your business at different times of the day.
- Interior Photos: Capture photos that show what it’s like to stand inside your business as a customer, and also 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 that you offer to guests.
- Team Photos: Show yourself and any staff to highlight your personalities 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.
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 an image and Google will return known information about the image.
As you can see, the image algorithm correctly labels elements within the photo.
It will also analyze the image for a number of specific themes, tag facial expressions, and identify any text/objects in the image.
Running your images through this free tool gives you excellent insight into the assignment of Google attribution/keywords by artificial intelligence as well as a clue about how consumers might react to an image.
What About Stock Images?
Google prefers that you do not use stock imagery for GMB uploads. Google definitely knows by using Vision AI if a photo is stock imagery.
Some businesses have trouble getting original images, however, so what can you do if you are in that situation?
If you have to use stock images for your GMB 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
If you’re posting grainy photos of your business taken with strange angles on an old camera, you’re going to be at an immediate disadvantage against competitors who have quality, professional photos.
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 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
Does Adding Image Meta Data or Geo-Tagging Help?
This is a very common question and while it’s true that you’re always better off providing Google more information if possible, we really don’t know if Google is using image metadata as a ranking factor.
You’re going to hear lots of opinions on this subject because there is no way to effectively test this. With hundreds of rankings factors, most of them unknown, it’s impossible to isolate a potential small factor like image EXIF metadata.
My take on this is that if you can automate the inclusion of metadata into your images, then go for it. There’s no known downside. However, manually adding metadata is most likely not worth the effort. Even if it does help, the time it takes to add metadata is better spent on other SEO tasks.
Luckily for you, dbaPlatform’s GMB photo posting tool automates this process and will add EXIF and metadata automatically to any image you upload to your GMB profiles. Now you never have to think about it again.
Update Photos Regularly
Just like GMB posts, Google encourages business owners to regularly upload photos to their listing. This is not only great for improving client trust in the business but also for SEO value as well.
Try to add new photos to your GMB profile once a week. These photos can include interesting things like photos from recent events, new specials, or images you are already sharing on social media.
However, if you have many listings to manage, it can be a real hassle to manually upload images to every profile using the standard GMB dashboard. That’s where automation comes in. The dbaPlatform posting tool lets you not only schedule posts, but cross-post into many different listings at once, saving you tons of time.
Frequently Asked Questions about GMB Photos
Does adding images help with rankings?
Images are not a direct ranking factor. Adding more images though increases the potential for engagement on the listing. The more people who click and view your images, the more Google thinks your listing is important.
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 other choice. Sometimes Google will block a stock photo from being used, and that is why we recommend that images be altered before uploading.
Does having the same photos in multiple listings hurt my ranking?
There is no problem using the same images across multiple GMB listings. Of course, getting unique images for each location is best, the algorithm does not have any function to check for duplicates, let alone penalize for it.
How often should I upload images to my GMB 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 GMB posts to be created weekly. Weekly photo uploads also ensure that customers see fresh current content.
Local visibility is your most important business metric when you manage a local business. The dbaPlatform is your automation tool. If you don’t have time to optimize your local business profile/s on Google, enlist help from our Pro Services experts.