What does it take to stand out on Google? Thanks to a new upgrade to Google My Business, a couple of photos may do the trick.
We all know that Google likes images. Images stand out from text information, whether that’s making the knowledge panel pop in search results or bringing a location listing to life on Google Maps. Either way, the search engine is eager to display a photo of your business—but now you can choose which one.
The new functionality is part of an overhaul of photos on Google My Business. In what appears to be an effort to improve photo quality, Google has created several different categories for images and offers guidance on how to choose good photos for each category. For example, Team Photos should show the faces of your team and how they work for your customers. Interior Photos should give an accurate idea of the atmosphere of your business, as your customer will see it when they visit.
Tucked among all this new functionality is the power to choose which of your photos Google will use to represent your business in search results. The photo in question must come from the Identity category, reserved for photos that represent your business overall. Within that category you can designate a Logo image, a Profile image and a Cover image. It’s these three that Google will let you designate for use across the web.
That may seem tightly constrained, but it’s a pretty smart set of constraints. You’ve ideally already chosen your Profile and Cover images to groom your Google My Business listing, and a logo is an obvious choice for what to use to represent your business.
Choosing the Best Photos
Okay, so what if you don’t already have great photos on Google? It’s time to put some up. Getting them on Google is easy—just go to your Google My Business account (free to sign up if you don’t already have one) and go to the Photos section.
Choosing the images to use can be easy, too:
- Logo. Your logo image should be a clean, crisp, high resolution image. Never use a scan of a printed logo. If you’re not sure where to find a clean logo image file, talk to your graphic designer or web designer.
- Profile. Your choice of profile photo will depend on the type of business you have. If you are a freelancer, consultant, or your business bears your name (such as a law firm) you may wish to use an actual profile photo showing your face. Otherwise, an image of one of your products is a good choice, especially for restaurants, bars and eateries.
- Cover. Your cover photo could be a picture of the exterior of your business, your team in action, or a dramatic shot of a major project (such as a finished building for an architect firm, or a dazzling party for an event planner). Generally you want some contrast between your profile and cover photos, with the profile being more specific and the cover being more broad.
These are the big three since they’re the ones you can use web-wide, but don’t neglect the other photo categories. Customers can and will see these when they bring up your profile on Google Maps or in search results.
No matter what sorts of photos you choose, this is one of those times when it’s best to be an early adopter. The new image functionality is here to stay, so with time all of your competitors will get around to putting up really striking photos. If you do it first, you can enjoy a few weeks or months of standing out visually in search results related to your industry. That’s not exactly free SEO, but it’s pretty darn valuable.
Need help taking control of your online presence? EverSpark Interactive is here for you. Contact us and get your free consultation today.
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