An analysis of 580,853 images in Google My Business taught us how GMB images can influence user behavior.
In the era of Instagram, TripAdvisor and Yelp, we don’t think it’s possible to overestimate the importance of photography for local businesses. Even before such platforms appeared that made it possible to visually present consumer experience, people wanted to see with their own eyes what they would get for their money.
Therefore, it is more important than ever to look better when consumers are looking for companies like yours.
Do not believe? Look at the evidence to understand that you need to take GMB photos seriously.
How important are Google My Business photos for local search performance?
A recent Google My Business Insights study by BrightLocal analyzed GMB Insights 45,000 businesses in 36 industries and four countries. How this data has changed over time and what is the correlation between the number of images visible in the GMB profile and other GMB performance indicators, such as clicks on websites, calls, searches in search, and much more.
Companies with lots of GMB photos get more clicks, calls and referral requests
Clicks, calls, and referral requests from GMB profiles have the strongest link to image visibility.
Unlike other Insights metrics (for example, views on search / maps and discovery / direct search), we know that GMB images can directly affect customer actions, since they are more likely to be visible in the same place as the buttons call to action.
There is a constant correlation between the number of images in the GMB profile and the number of website visits, phone calls and referral requests received through Google My Business. The more photos on your Google My Business list, the better your chances of leading customers from opening to conversion:
• Companies with more than 100 images receive 520% more calls than regular ones, while companies with one image receive 71% less.
• Companies with more than 100 images receive 2.717% more referral requests than medium-sized businesses, while companies with only one receive 75% less.
• Companies with more than 100 images receive 1.065% more clicks on websites than medium-sized businesses, while companies with only one receive 65% less.
Companies with lots of GMB photos get more search and map views
Although Google is making efforts to make Google Maps more social, more, we must remember that the key functionality is still in the title. This is more of a map than a business directory.
All of this means that Map users are mostly looking for a place that they can visit right now. Naturally, these local companies, such as bars, restaurants, etc., are regularly photographed and reviewed, so it is not surprising that companies with a very large number of photos receive more queries in Maps than in traditional searches.
• Companies with more than 100 images receive 960% more searches than the average business, while companies with one of them receive 62% less.
• Companies with more than 100 images receive 3459% more map views than the average, while companies with only one receive 71% less.
Companies with a large number of GMB photos appear in direct search and search
Direct search: the client directly looked for your company name or address.
Search upon discovery: the customer searched for the category, product or service that you are offering and your ad appears.
Again, we see a strong trend of a large number of images correlating with a large number of both types of searches, especially in the case of local enterprises with 101 or more images.
Here are the main results of the analysis of deviations from the median:
• Companies with more than 100 images receive 713% more searches than the average business, while companies with only one image receive 65% less.
• Companies with more than 100 images receive 1038% more direct requests than medium-sized businesses, while companies with one of them receive 71% less.
Question about the ratio
The above graphs do not show a causal relationship, but simply a correlation. The number of GMB photos present can indeed affect these numbers, but it is also possible that a large number of images in a profile is a targeted effort to increase local search performance, and these other efforts can make a significant contribution to improving actions, searches and browsing.
In the same vein, it is possible that this trend depends on the type of industry. Companies that receive the largest number of photos are likely to be the most attractive in terms of visual perception and, therefore, will be more often photographed by customers (for example, hotels, restaurants, restaurants, bars). To get so many photos, you need a lot of customers, which, in turn, requires a successful business strategy and marketing.
Even with these considerations in mind, the above results provide a strong argument for spending time and effort adding more images to your Google My Business profile.
Based on the foregoing, let's take a quick look at how your business can improve the quality of GMB photos.
How to get more photos on Google My Business profile
Post them yourself
Seems obvious, right? But, as the original GMB Insights study shows, 6% of companies with photos have only one photo in their GMB profile, and 24% have 2 to 5 photos!
If you can, hold events and invite your customers. This is a great opportunity to take some pictures (ideally, of course, with the consent of the client). Take pictures of interesting parts of your office interior.
Get customers to send them
Your customers can send photos from events, discoveries, etc.
To get the most out of this, try to encourage your customers to take photos.
If customers bought a luxury item, ask your sellers to ask if the customer wants to take a picture with him.
If you work in a service industry without a physical place, such as a plumber, decorator, or builder, ask them to photograph your work as soon as it is completed.
The secret to more photos from Google My Business is ...
Finally, this will not work for every business, but we would recommend creating what experienced influential people call an “Instagram wall,” namely, a wall or area in your office or a building that customers simply cannot miss and do not take a selfie.
It can be an outstanding work of art or sculpture, a large model, a fun mural or exquisitely decorated seating in the garden. Organize a photo zone!
I guarantee that your customers and customers will upload photos to your GMB and their social networks and possibly (as the above results show) improve your GMB performance before you know about it.