A great new study was outlined on Search Engine Land last week that shows a high correlation between the number of images you have on your Google My Business page and your listings search presence.  I don’t plan to go into all the details here, as the article covered that pretty well.  However, it is important to quickly note some key points below. The main takeaway here is to add images to your GMB in a big way.  If you can get over the 50 image threshold, that is great…the 100+ even better.

Image Count, Like Everything Else in Search, is Relative

With anything you talk about in the SEO world, things are relative.  Link strength only is relevant to your competitors. reviews are only relevant to your competitors.  This is important and a good aspect of the Google algorithm.  A divorce lawyer is going to get far fewer reviews than a restaurant but should be able to be on par with other divorce lawyers. The algorithm understands and adjusts to this. With that in mind, some businesses will have much better use of images than others. A contractor will have tons of great pictures of projects they have finished, while a therapist may not have as many to offer. Everything is relative, but the more you can add the better.

Correlation is Not Causation

Correlation and Google Ranking FactorsThe study talks about correlation, and those of us geeks in the statistics world know they always say that correlation is not causation, but correlation is a big part of SEO work.  However, we have to keep in mind that often these studies are done at a broad level and not at an industry level. Much like the average top-rated page on Google is over 2,000 words, when you break it down to small business targeted search and remove the news and article intent searches, this number drops significantly, with images we are looking at the whole market so many restaurant and travel-related searches are going to push up the average. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the idea if pictures are tougher to go by for you. There are still opportunities to add images to help people get a feel for your business.

Image Ideas for Your GMB and Website

If you are struggling to come up with ideas for images, Google actually separated the images into categories that may help give you ideas. They include the below categories to separate your images into.

  • Video
  • Interior
  • Exterior
  • Logo
  • Product
  • Team
  • Identity

These are all things you can use to give you ideas.  Images of your workspace. For consultants, images of results charts or client results you can share are possibilities. Of course, pictures with or of customers are great additions to show people you are real and working with real people. If you have products or equipment to show off, those are great pictures too.  You can add marketing images or blog post images that you have used, or pictures of team members at events or speaking engagements. The more the better.

Google Applies Images to Specific Searches

Google is getting smarter with the algorithm and the GMB information and will often pluck out relevant review text and questions to show for specific searches. They are also beginning to show images that they feel will be relevant to the search.  If you use Google Photos, you will see how smart Google’s machine learning is at understanding who and what are in pictures. They can do this for searches too. If you are a bakery that provides cakes, Google may pull out a cake picture from your images to show someone looking for cakes nearby. That’s why having great image representation of your business is important. Google, looking for a better search experience, may also choose to show your listing with a cake image over a competitor that doesn’t have one, because Google would prefer to show results with an image.

Get those pictures up there if you can!