In a world where images reign supreme, there is rarely any information on the internet without an image attached. Images are shown to boost engagement, Click Through Rates and visibility. A study published through Google+ came to the conclusions that posts with images were shared on average, three times as more than those without. BrightLocal also ran a study where they discovered people were more than 50% likely to contact a business with images on their profile.
While an image can help you on Google, it can also harm your online presence as well. Lack of an image reduces your visibility, and pushes users away from your site or business. For now, it looks to be that images are displayed primarily in maps, on mobile devices and in the local 3 pack of search results. Where we see images in our search results is likely to change as Google will want to stay up to date with an image based world.
Considering all of this information, you may be wondering how to optimize your images on Google to increase your search result displays. While Google can be fairly unpredictable in what it displays, these tips will help you adapt to the ever changing web.
First, don’t let Google choose a picture for you. Even if you don’t claim your Google My Business profile, Google can still assign a picture to your business based on what is around it, or a picture taken by a “local guide” (guides working for Google who research businesses and take photos) who can tag your business. In addition to this, the public can post photos to your business page, which is something you wouldn’t want to take a chance on. Choose your own image that best communicates your company, and be in control of your business’s reputation.
Second, upload a profile photo to your Google My Business page. Google will choose what photos are displayed and hasn’t informed us of the algorithm yet, so all we have to do is check back, and keep changing the photos if your ideal picture isn’t being displayed first.
Third, quality of the photo and how it represents the business is one of the factors Google considers in what is displayed. The photo should be a good quality, and the correct size for the upcoming crop on your listing. The quality of your image will please Google, and your customers as well. Make sure any of the images that you upload could work as a profile picture, in case Google chooses a different image to display OR in case Google swaps out your profile picture unexpectedly.
Lastly, be careful of using stock photos. If potential customers detect the photo could be fake, this will harm your reputation with them, and steer them away from your business.
Images are the smartest way to get ahead of your competition and build up your reputation as a company. Take a look at your Google My Business page, and update your profile with some crisp, exciting images. Then, sit back and watch the engagement rise!