This is what we learned about the impact of GMB images on user behavior after conducting an in-depth analysis of over 500,000 photos from more than 15,000 Google My Business listings.
Taking into account what platforms like TripAdvisor, Instagram, and Yelp have achieved, emphasizing the importance of photos to modern enterprises is no brainer. The writings are already on the wall. Long before the inception of these platforms, individual still wished they would see what they were spending their hard-earned cash on.
Consider how pivotal photos are to the now-prevalent Google My Business. You will understand how critical it is to ensure that consumers see the best of your company when they are searching for enterprises like yours.
Digging a bit further...
Besides the study on BrightLocal, our Google My Business Insights Study also took into account the insights of 45,000 businesses in 36 industries from four different countries. This enabled us to systematically track how data has changed over time and determine if there is any
We sought to determine if there was any correlation between the number of images displayed on a GMB profile and other performance metrics such as calls, clicks, and views on search, among others.
From the data, it was vividly clear that enterprises with more GMB photos got more clicks, calls, and direction requests. I’ve decided to go with elements that signify the last stage of consumer discovery since they are more likely to influence consumer behavior.
There is a visible, consistent relationship between the number of images on GMB profile and the number of site visits, phone calls, and direction requests received through Google My Business. Therefore, the higher the number of photos in your Google My Business profile, the more likely you will get your customers to move from the discovery stage to the conversation stage.
It is also evident that businesses with more GMB photos also get higher views on search and view on maps. If you are new in this field of GMB insights, here is how Google defines these metrics.
Views on Search refer to when a customer locates an enterprise via Google search. On the other hand, Views on Maps is when the customer finds the business through Google Maps
While the number of GMB photos on a profile may be genuinely affecting how consumers behave, it is not easy to show causation, just correlation. It is possible that having many images on a profile represents the commitment by business to improve search performance.
In the same line, the type of industry would also have a significant effect on the trend seen in our study. Enterprises that have many photos on their GMB profile are more likely to be aesthetically appealing. Therefore, they entice and sway more customers to take photographs. These include things like hotels, venues, and bars. Conversely, for a business to get more photos, they need to experience high traffic. And to achieve this traffic may be a result of executing successful business strategies such as marketing.
However, while these considerations might be valid, investing time to add more images to your profile, whether you are in a photogenic beach bar or law office, may be fruitful in the long-run.
Seems quite simple, but you have to make the effort to do so! From the GMB insights study, it was discovered that 6% of businesses with images have a single photo on their GMB profile, and surprisingly 24% only have 2 to 5 photos. For an image to pass the legitimacy test on GMB, it must reflect the customer experience. So, if you are planning to use your staff’s snaps over and over, I’m afraid it won’t cut it.
Holding events that involve customers can present you with an excellent opportunity to take great photos. Your office interior or outside of your location building can give you multiple snaps.
Since Google always asks customers to review your business once they have purchased a good or service, you can make the most out of this situation. Additionally, if you are great in reputation management, I am sure you won’t let a customer step out of your premises before asking for a review.
Always encourage your clients/customers to take snaps that show their experience at your premises. For example, if a customer purchases a luxury item, you can ask them to take a photo with it. While the customer will feel special when posting the images on your GMB profile, they will be helping you achieve a milestone when it comes to branding.
Lastly, here is an excellent idea though it might not work for every enterprise. It involves creating what seasoned influencers dub as an “Instagram wall.” This is an area in your business premises where every customer or client stops to take a snap. It could be an exquisitely manicured garden with seats, an alluring piece of art or sculpture, a funny mural, or a large model.
With such an alluring space within your premises, you can be sure that many great photos will be uploaded to your GMB and on social media accounts by customers. And before, you know it you will be having hundreds of photos that will help improve your GMB performance.