The Visual Revolution: Images Take Center Stage in Google Business Profiles and Google Maps
I have been a huge proponent of posting pictures to Google Business Profiles for many years and in today's digital landscape, images have become an integral part of communication and engagement. They capture attention, convey emotions, and tell stories in a way that words alone cannot. This is especially true in the realm of local search, where businesses are increasingly relying on images to attract customers and stand out from the competition.
Google Business Profiles (GBP) and Google Maps have long been recognized as powerful tools for local businesses to connect with potential customers. But in recent years, there has been a noticeable shift towards a more visual approach to local search. This is evident in the growing emphasis on images in both GBP and Google Maps, images I have shared to GBP and Maps have been viewed over 144 MILLION times!
Images: The Currency of Local Search
Humans are visual creatures and we like pictures, the most popular places that we spend our time are centered around pictures and videos for a reason! Images are also playing a pivotal role in local search, they provide a more immersive and engaging experience for users, allowing them to get a better sense of a business's atmosphere, products, and services before even stepping foot through the door.
Images can also help businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors. By showcasing their unique offerings and personality through high-quality images, businesses can make a lasting impression on potential customers.
Additionally, and very importantly, images can boost local search rankings. Google has stated that businesses with photos are more likely to receive requests for driving directions and clicks through to their websites than those that don't. This is because images make listings more visually appealing and informative, which makes them more likely to catch the eye of potential customers.
The Evidence is Clear: Images Matter
The importance of images in local search is not just theoretical; it is backed by data. Studies have shown that:
Google's Increasing Focus on Images
Google is well aware of the importance of images in local search, and the company is actively taking steps to promote their use. In recent years, Google has made several changes to GBP and Google Maps that highlight the role of images for example, they added a "Photos" tab to GBP listings, making it easier for users to find and view images of businesses. The company has also made it easier for businesses to upload and manage their images.
In addition, Google is using images more prominently in search results. For example, image thumbnails are displayed next to GBP listings in Google Search, and images are also being used to populate Google Maps' "Street View" feature. These changes reflect Google's recognition that images are an essential part of the local search experience. Businesses that fail to embrace this visual revolution are likely to fall behind their competitors.
How Businesses Can Leverage Images for Local Search Success
To fully harness the power of images in local search, businesses should follow these best practices:
Encourage your team to take creative shots of your business from different angles and perspectives. And don't forget to tap into the power of customer-generated content. Ask satisfied customers to share their experiences and positive interactions with your business through images on your Google Business Profile. Every image posted is an opportunity to amplify your brand's message and reach a wider audience.
So, go ahead, get out there and start snapping! The world of local search is your canvas, and images are your paintbrush. Embrace the visual revolution and watch your business flourish online. If you still arent sure of how to get the most with images on your GBP lets talk!
Google has announced a new annotation for Google Business Profiles that will allow consumers to easily find small businesses. The annotation, which simply says "Small Business," will appear in the profile of any business that meets Google's definition of a small business.
This is great news for small businesses, as it gives them a way to stand out from the competition and make it easier for potential customers to find them. It's also good news for consumers, who are increasingly looking to support small businesses.
Why is this important?Google stats show that 84% of people say supporting local and/or small businesses is important to them. However, small businesses often have a hard time competing with larger businesses when it comes to online visibility.
The new Google Business Profile annotation will help to level the playing field by making it easier for potential customers to find small businesses. It will also help to raise awareness of the importance of supporting small businesses.
How to add the "Small Business" annotation to your Google Business ProfileIf you're a small business owner, you can add the "Small Business" annotation to your Google Business Profile by following these steps:
Other ways to make your Google Business Profile stand outIn addition to adding the "Small Business" annotation, there are a number of other things you can do to make your Google Business Profile stand out:
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