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Adding More Images to Your Business Listing Will Improve Search Performance

Here's Why You Should Be Adding 100 Images
to Your Business Listing

Visual quality plays a big role when it comes to promoting your local business online. With the rise of visually heavy platforms like Instagram and Yelp, their importance is only growing. Simply put, customers want to see what they are getting for their money.

Photos are a big part of the Google My Business (GMB) platform. They demonstrate just how important looking your best is for attracting consumers.

Need Proof?

A recent study looked at over 580,000 images found in 15,191 GMB listings. The focus of the study was to identify the impact of those photos on search and user behavior. Here are some key findings:
  • Businesses that have more photos uploaded into GMB get more attention. Businesses receive more website clicks, phone calls, and direction requests.
  • These images are often close to the CTAs.
  • The presence of more photos in a GMB listing increases the chance of customer moving from discovery to conversion.
Here are some details.
  • A business with over 100 photos gets over 500 percent more calls than a typical business. Those with a single image get 71 percent fewer.
  • A business with over 100 photos gets over 2700 percent more requests for directions compared to a typical business. Those with a single image get 75 percent fewer.
  • A business with over 100 photos gets over 1050 percent more website clicks than a typical business. Those with a single image get 65 percent less.
  • A business that has more GMB photos will get more views via search and more views on maps.

Get Found on Google Maps

Google has taken its Maps in new directions. They want it to be more than just a way to get directions. Maps users are looking for some place they can go to right now, not in a few days. Local businesses with a lot of foot traffic, such as restaurants and bars, get a head start when it comes to appearing on Google Maps. People frequently take photos and offer reviews at these types of locations. So, it’s no surprise that companies with a lot of photos get better local search performance in Maps, rather than the traditional search engine.
  • A business that has over 100 photos has almost 1000 percent more search views compared to an average business. A business with just one photo gets 62 percent.
  • A business that has over 100 images gets almost 3500 percent more map views than a typical business. Those with one photo gets 71 percent less.
  • A business that has more GMB images appear in more direct searches and discovery searches

Direct Searches vs. Discovery Searches

A direct search is one where someone searches directly for a business name or address. A discovery search is one where someone searches for a service, product, or category, companies offer. There’s still a strong trend between a high photo count and the number of times a business appears in both direct and discovery searches.
  • A business with over 100 photos gets over 700 percent more discovery searches than a typical business. Those with one photo get 65 percent fewer.
  • A business with over 100 photos gets over 1000 percent more direct searches than a typical business. Those with a single photo gets 71 percent fewer.

Is It the Photos or Something Else?

Even though the numbers show a strong trend between GMB photo count and the appearance in direct and discovery searches, is there a true correlation? The number of Google My Business photos may be affecting those search figures. However, it’s possible that the photos are part of a larger effort to boost search performance. Those extra efforts can improve actions, searches, and views. It’s also possible that the trend is related to industry type. Certain businesses get more pictures because customers want to take photos there. For example, restaurants, hotels, and bars are attractive locations filled with plenty of customers. They will take photos and post reviews of such venues. A factory, on the other hand, won’t get as much foot traffic or people wanting to take photos. Even if these trends are not a direct correlation to how many GMB photos are uploaded, the numbers provide a strong argument to increase the photo count on your GMB business listing. This applies to any business, from a trendy club to a stuffy accounting office.

Posting Your Own GMB Photos

Post your own photos to increase your GMB photo count. But, they can’t be just any photos. GMB photos need to be a reflection of the customer’s experience. So, posting photos of your staff doing their jobs isn’t going to do it. Host customer events and invite everyone to come check it out. Take some photos of your customers. Find interesting places inside your business and take a photo or two. Get multiple photos of your building’s exterior.

Getting Customers to Post Them

Encourage your customers to post photos of your business.

Google-using customers may get a request to review your business after they leave. You can also request a review from them yourself.

Ask customers to snap shot their experience in your business. Car dealers do this by asking customers if they want a picture of their new luxury car. The customer gets a great photo. The dealer gets a photo that the customer can use in a review.

For service companies, like plumbers or decorators, who want to increase local search performance, ask for photos of the completed handiwork. You make the customer happy, and the customer has a photo to upload.

Here’s a trick you can use. Create an interesting wall or area of your office where clients will want to take a selfie. The clients get a great photo. You get the potential of a photo-loaded review.

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Why Your Website Should Add Value To the Web
Why Your Website Should Add Value To the Web

Junk

Ever seen this type of writing on the web? Seriously? What does this stuff even mean? What we’re looking at here isn’t high quality writing. No, my friends, this is junk. Everything you publish on your site or on the web should ad value for the searcher. Never, ever, is it OK to publish junk, anywhere on the web. Unfortunately, the web is littered with junk like this:
Here's an Example of "Keyword Stuffing, Adding Junk to the Web."
Here’s an example of Junk Content on the Web, called “Keyword Stuffing.”
See how the words “red apples” are repeated over and over in the content of this paragraph? The process of doing this is called “keyword stuffing.”

Keyword Stuffing

Google defines keyword stuffing as the “practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.” Quite often, keywords appear over and over again in lists, groups, or patterns. Most of the time, these keywords appear totally out of context and repeated over and over. And, guess what? Google doesn’t like keyword stuffing. This is because the act of doing keyword stuffing is an attempt of manipulate Google’s algorithm. Google especially hates any attempt to manipulate their algorithm in any way. What happens when Google finds out a website is trying to manipulate them? Yep, you guessed it. Whenever Google finds violations like this they will “add a slap” to the website and penalize it in the rankings. In real world examples, this usually means that the offending site will drop out of Google’s First page into the second, third, or hundredth page. Basically, the offending website disappears from Google’s Search altogether and it can take alot of work to make that website “move to the top” again. Sometimes it’s not even possible.

Why Publish this Junk?

So why do we see this so called “keyword stuffing” across the web? Once upon a time back before 2012, keyword stuffing was actually common practice among people that did SEO. The reason that SEO people did this was because it actually worked. The combination of keyword stuffing and publishing articles across the web would actually make a website go to the top of Google. Unfortunately, the web was littered with more examples of things that look like this: Alas, here's yet another example of keyword stuffing. Google hates this. Keyword stuffing is, at it’s core, spam. And, Google hates spam. When the engineers at Google saw that the web was being littered with all this spam, they decided to do something about it.

Google Responds

Ready to laugh? We're some humor about keyword stuffing.
Here’s some keyword stuffing humor.
So, what happened? Google got smarter. Around 2012, Google started releasing a whole bunch of updates to their algorithm that began to penalize sites for keyword stuffing. At that time, thousands of sites that were using keyword stuffing dropped out of Google completely, never to be seen again. 2012 were dark days for many SEO’s because they lost thousands of hours of hard work down the drain. Because they considered Google unpredictable, many people stopped doing Search Engine Optimization completely. Since 2012, Google has gotten better and better at recognizing and penalizing all types of spam. The actual process of Google’s engineers updating the algorithm, over and over, have made it much more intelligent. It’s my opinion that all this algorithm updating has made Google into the first Artificial Intelligence (AI). No worries though, Google isn’t an artificial intelligence that wants to “take over the world,” it’s an AI that wants to make the world a better place by giving the user a great experience. Thing about it? If suddenly, Google started delivering search results that had spam, would people keep using it? Of course not. People would start flocking over to Bing (gasp) and Yahoo (double gasp) away from Google. Google would start loosing it’s 64% desktop market share of the search engine market. For that reason, Google’s top concern is delivering an excellent user experience. Google wants:
  • people to quickly find what they’re looking for.
  • results that solve problems.
  • results that answer questions.
  • to suppress spam as much as possible.
The more Google can keep doing those Four things, the more Google can stay ahead of the other search engines, make money, and grow.

Adding Value

One of my mentors would always repeat this mantra: “Always add value to the web.” When he said this, we meant that whenever we publish anything online, we must make sure that it adds value. We need to make sure that the content we’re publishing answers questions, solves problems, and helps people. Why is Value so important to Google? The reason is that sites that provide a high amount of value help people quickly find what they’re looking for. The more value that people find using Google, the more they’ll tend to keep using Google vs other search engines. When a site answers questions that people are asking for, that’s value. When site’s provide direction to life’s persistent questions, that site is providing value. When a site has a high quality design, that’s value. When a site publishes excellent content, that’s value. Value also gets ranked at the top of Search Engines.

How Can You Add Value?

Ok, we get it. Value is, well, valuable. Publishing high quality content on your site will actually boost your company in the search results and also increase your site’s value at the same time. So, what are different ways that you can add value to the web? Here’s a list of pages or blog posts that you could create on your site to add more value:
  1. Blog Posts that answer your most common questions.
  2. Pages that Answer Specific Questions.
  3. Videos about your Company’s Service and/or Offerings.
  4. Info-graphics about humorous, interesting, and great topics.
  5. Transcriptions of videos or audio that you’ve recorded on your phone.
  6. Blog Posts that comment on trending relevant topics on the web.
As a SEO Professional in the industry, we can assure you that if you publish this type of content at least four times a month, you’ll start showing up in more and more searches. You can’t publish this type of valuable content and NOT be ranking in Google.

Go Forth!

Now that you know the importance of value, we encourage you to start adding value to your site. Also, the process of creating great content doesn’t have to be hours and hours of writing articles while looking at the screen. Content doesn’t have to be boring; it can be fun! You can actually get a 500 word article by recording a 2 minute video on your phone, getting it transcribed at rev.com, and publishing the content as a blog post (along with the video). Go forth, always add value to the web, live, and prosper.
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