SMX Overtime: Here’s why optimizing images in Google My Business is important
SEO pro Greg Gifford explains why professionally shot, high-res photos will win over user-uploaded photos if you take the time to manage it right.
SMX Overtime is part of our speaker series from conference presenters who answer questions from SMX attendees on a variety of topics.
Vice President of Search of SearchLab Chicago, Greg Gifford, was one of the SMX West speakers for the “Google My Business: Optimizing Images, Content And Q&A For Ranking Visibility And Engagement” session in San Jose back in February. Attendees asked a lot of questions about optimizing in GMB and Greg took the time to answer them here.
Is it better to have friends or family upload GMB pics as opposed to the business mass uploading pics ourselves?
I would always suggest that businesses upload photos AS the business. People occasionally ask this question since many times, user-uploaded photos end up showing up instead of the business-upload photos… but it’s a much better signal both to Google and to customers if you’re loading in images AS the business.
Remember, GMB is basically a direct interface with Google’s entity database – so when you upload as the business owner, you’re directly telling Google that these are photos related to your business. It also looks better to human users – they can see what you’re trying to show about your business.
If you’re fighting against user-uploaded photos showing instead of yours, you need to be sure you’re uploading professionally shot, high-res photos – they’re more likely to be “chosen” by the algorithm.
If you have a business with multiple locations, can using the same photos (i.e., food in a restaurant) hurt you?
Yep – no problem there at all. As long as you’re not uploading stock photos, you’re good. But with this example, you’d WANT the consistency of showing the same photos of food at every location. Again, think about the entity model. You might have multiple locations, but they’re all part of the greater entity that is the restaurant – so it makes sense to display the same photos on each listing.
Should you remove photos of products that you don’t carry anymore?
100% yes. Forget the anecdotal evidence that changing your pictures on a regular basis tends to result in a lift in visibility. Go back to what I talked about above – GMB is a direct entity interface with Google. It’s also a first-impression view for potential customers. Would you display photos of products you don’t carry on your website? Of course not. So get them off of your GMB listing as well.
GMB Post Views have been trending downwards across the board for all my clients over the past year. Have you also noticed this and have any insight?
If post views are decreasing, do you also see a downward trend in GMB visibility? In some verticals, we see fewer views, but in others, we’re seeing an increase. But really, views don’t matter. You should be creating Posts with CTAs, and those CTAs should lead to a page on your site – and it’s much more important to track how many people are clicking through to your site. Conversions are much more important than views… Make sure you’re following best practices and optimizing what shows in the post thumbnail view (both image and text), and make sure Posts are promotional in nature, so people have a reason to click. Remember, many times, people are seeing your Posts before they’ve even been to your site.
Our business owns multiple brands in the same office. Should we split them up and have separate GMB. If it’s a national online brand(s) is there a different strategy since there’s a Max number of locations?
It would be helpful to know a bit more about this situation… Google just changed the rules for car dealerships, but for most other businesses, the standard GMB rules apply. To be eligible for a GMB listing, you need 1) a separate entrance, 2) permanent signage, and 3) dedicated staff present. So most likely, you’re only eligible for a single listing.
The online part is a different issue. In most cases, if you’re doing online/e-commerce sales, and people don’t come to your location to buy your product, you don’t need a GMB (and aren’t eligible for one). You would be eligible for a listing if it’s the corporate HQ, but otherwise, you don’t really need a GMB. Sure, the rules allow for one listing per state for national brands, but if you’re all online, you don’t need a GMB listing.
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