Good photos are crucial for getting noticed online.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a professional photographer to take great pictures for Google Business Profile.
If you’re familiar with Reputation Management at all, you know that you can’t do business without a Google Business Profile (the artist previously known as Google My Business). And if you have a Google Business Profile, you know that you need images in order to get the best rate of return.
“Businesses with photos are more likely to receive […] clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t have photos.” – Google
But if you’re going to have images on your profile, you need to know how to take great images that will actually do what you expect them to do.
In short, you need to become a makeshift photographer.
Take Your Images Seriously
“‘Become a photographer’? If I wanted to do that, I would have just gone into photography!”
Okay, first of all, I said “makeshift” photographer, so chill out.
Second, I know it sounds complicated. But this doesn’t have to take up most of your day. We’re just learning how to take better pictures because that’s what your business deserves.
You can think of Google Business Profile (GBP, if you wanna be “hip”) as like a dating site for your business. You can’t be content with taking a bathroom mirror selfie if you’re looking for “The One” and neither should your business.
Whether they’re looking for a date or looking for a business, people are visual creatures. Offering good-quality images lets potential customers know what to expect.
We’re just asking you to put a little more thought into the images you’re posting online. Just like a dating profile, you need to make sure your photos are attractive and represent the Real You.
Types of Photos To Include
Luckily for you, Google doesn’t make you guess too much when it comes to what type of photos to include on your GBP profile.
Your individual shot list will look different from everyone else’s, depending on what industry you’re in. For example, you won’t need to take a picture of food and drink if you’re a chiropractor.
But your photos should answer three main questions:
- Who Are You? – Include photos of your logo, your team members, and anything else that might give potential customers an idea of your company culture.
- Where Are You? – Add at least three images of your location (inside and outside) so that customers will recognize your business when they show up.
- What Are You Selling? – If you specialize in food/drink or any physical product, this should be a breeze. But if you sell a service, this can be a little less obvious. Google recommends photos of yourself or team members at work (get the clients’ permission first!) or the general atmosphere.
Watch this quick (2-min) video to see
exactly the personalized video we will make for you!
Finally, pick One Photo To Rule Them All and make that your cover photo. This image should be the best representation of what you offer.
Follow Google’s Guidelines
Like it or not, this is Google’s sandbox. And if you want to win, you gotta play by the rules.
“Hey, I thought this was a free country! Why can’t I just do what I want?”
It is a free country. You’re free to put up any images any way you want, and Google is free to value all of your competitors instead.
(That’s called capitalism.)
Google’s recommended size for images is 720 pixels high and 720 pixels wide. This allows your photos to be displayed the best on a wide variety of devices.
Save your image as a JPEG or PNG file. If yours are a different format, there are plenty of free websites that will convert them for you.
Your device may want to save your images with the file name “Image_4382” but you can always change it. Instead, pick something that describes the image, such as “Chicken_Parmigiana.”
Less Is More
The goal of white hat SEO is to be as honest as possible. Limit your use of filters.
So how do you make sure your photos look good?
Well, your best course of action would be to hire a professional photographer. But we understand that not everyone has the budget for this.
Fortunately, it is possible to take great photos with whatever equipment and skill you already have. You just need to follow a few photography tips.
First, use the best camera you can get your hands on. Note that I didn’t say “the best camera you can afford.” You don’t need to go out and buy anything extra.
These days, everyone has a great camera on their phone!
Second, set up good lighting.
Relax! This is a GBP profile, not Fashion Week. You don’t need to go out and buy a ring light. Just make sure your images aren’t too dark or too washed out to see anything. You can even bring in a lamp from home if you need to.
If you offer products, buy or or make a lightbox to show everything off at its best advantage.
They aren’t necessary, but tripods can help stabilize shots to reduce blurriness. Some versions even come with a handheld shutter button so you can take selfies without having to set a timer.
Shoot Your Shot
Having the right stuff is only half the battle. You also want to frame your shots so they don’t look like they were taken by a drunk bonobo.
First, make sure everyone is dressed for success. Let the team know that you’ll be taking photos so they can look their best. (Get their permission, of course!)
Next, clear your workspace of clutter. Or at least move it to another room for the time being. If there are things you just can’t get rid of right now, zoom in or crop the photo.
When it’s time to set up the shot, look at the big picture. Yes, I mean literally. Look at the entire image before you hit the shutter button. Did you miss any clutter? How is the lighting? Is your subject in focus?
Photo composition can make a huge difference in how your photo is viewed online—both by your customers and by Google itself. In fact, Google even allows you to upload an image to get a sneak preview of how their AI identifies it.
We’re living in the future!
Update Photos Regularly
Your business isn’t static, and your GBP profile shouldn’t be either!
Every month or so, upload new images and remove those that no longer reflect you. Maybe you had a limited time offer that’s expired. Perhaps the seasons have changed and photos of your office’s Christmas decorations aren’t relevant anymore.
You can also use this as an opportunity to review any images uploaded by your customers.
User images are great at keeping businesses accountable. After all, you have a reason to make your business look better than it is; Sally212 doesn’t. However, this is the internet and trolls are a real thing. If someone uploads something that doesn’t represent your business (i.e. a selfie in their room), you can flag it for Google to review and (hopefully) remove.
Analyze the Data
If there’s one thing you can trust Clarity to geek out over at any opportunity, it’s data. After all, if data wasn’t useful, no one would bother to collect it.
Every so often, check your GBP Insights to see how well you’re doing. Do you have more or less images than your competitors? Are they getting more views?
Studying your past lets you know what to do in the future.
Google Business Profile isn’t just another stupid thing to add to your to-do list. It has a huge effect on your company’s success (and the statistics are here to prove it).
And one of the biggest things you can do for your GBP profile is to take images that put your business in the best light. By taking the right photos, conforming to Google’s guidelines, and following a few simple photography tips, you can take pictures that are worthy of any online profile.
Looking for other ways to help your business stand out? That’s literally all we do!
Shoot us an email, reach out on social media (or GBP!), or call so we can discuss your business and see how we can help.
Clarity Creative Group is a digital marketing company located in beautiful Orlando, FL. We don’t want to offend any drunk bonobos. I’m sure there are plenty of things they’re great at, but I doubt photography is one of them.