Are You Ready for Your Close-Up?: Adding Photos and Videos to Your Google My Business Listing
Adding quality, story-telling visual elements, including photos and videos, to your Google My Business listings can go a long way in selling your business, but having no visuals at all also says a lot about your business (and, trust us, it doesn’t say anything positive).
Google My Business allows you to upload both photos and videos with a maximum of 25 visuals per location. Recently, the search engine giant also added the option to include 360° photos and virtual video tours. Simply go to the “Photo” tab to upload your latest visuals.
You’ll notice that photos and videos can be added by both owners AND customers. Visuals uploaded by you will appear under the “By owner” tab and customer uploaded videos will appear under the “By customer” tab.
Leave the filters and Photoshop on Instagram. Any pictures you upload to your Google My Business listing should accurately reflect what your business actually looks like. While slight edits and subtle filters are permitted, they shouldn’t be noticeable. So, start embracing that #nofilter philosophy and showcase your business’s natural beauty.
Basic Photo Requirements
- Photos must be in one of these formats: JPG, PNG.
- Each photo must be between 10 KB and 5MB.
- Photos should be larger than 720 x 720 pixels and smaller than 3000 x 3000 pixels.
- Landscape photos look better than portrait photos on your listing. However, the longer dimension of the photo shouldn’t be more than double the length of the shorter dimension.
- Original photos only! That means no stock images, screenshots, drawings, posters, or any other non-photo (other than videos).
- For traditional digital photos (and videos), superimposed content, like logos, cannot take up more than 10% of the image or video and must be limited to a single edge.
Types of Photos on Google My Business
“Identity” photos, which include both your profile and cover image, are the main pictures that your potential customers will see when they click your listing:
- Profile: Your profile picture helps users to identify your business across Google. It shows up prominently in Google Search and Maps, so you’ll want to make sure that this image is the best representation of your business. Exterior, interior, or product photos are preferred. Also, Google may sometimes reformat or resize this image to fit in various contexts, so try to choose an image that works well in either a square or landscape layout and that looks good when it’s sized down for a mobile display.
- Cover: The cover photo allows you to inject a bit more personality into your listing, and you have a few options for what you want to do with this space. Maybe you want to add a picture of your team hard at work. Or you may choose to include a picture of the outside of your building to make it easier for any potential customers to locate. Or maybe you want to use this valuable online real estate as a place to show off the awesome interior of your storefront. Whatever you choose, make it representative of the overall vibe of your business.
This is where you want to play your A-game. Make sure that your identity photos are professional and high-quality.
Any images you decide not to use for your cover photo, you can still include in the additional photos section. Your cover photo, however, will be set as your listing’s preferred photo. While that doesn’t guarantee that it will be the first image displayed for your business, it does tell Google that you prefer to show this image to searchers.
Along with your identity photos, Google also recommends that you upload some additional “business-specific” photos to your listing that help spotlight the things that potential customers most care about. Google recommends you add a minimum of three photos of each of these types:
- Exterior Photos: Taken from each direction your customers could approach your business, exterior shots let people know what your business looks like from the outside and make it easier to find your storefront.
- Interior Photos: Interior photos show potential customers what they’ll see when they open the doors to your business. Your photos should give viewers an accurate idea of what it’s like to step inside.
- Product Photos: Whether your business is a restaurant, a small boutique, or a bed and breakfast, people want to know what to expect when they make a purchase from you.
- Photos at Work: If your business is service based, you may not necessarily have a physical product to showcase. In that case, you’ll want to include pictures of you or your team working on a project.
- Team Photos: Photos of yourself and your team add a personal, welcoming touch to your listing. Keep in mind that we’re not looking for your LinkedIn headshots here. Instead, these pictures should capture the individual personalities of the people who work at your establishment.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to shoot video, so don’t let a lack of fancy equipment or editing software stop you from making the most of your Google listing’s visual capabilities. You can start off by just using your smartphone to shoot and share videos. You can always invest in nicer photography equipment later. Don’t let the best by the enemy of the good!
Just make sure that your video is stable, focused, and has good exposure. Viewers should be able to clearly see what’s going on in your video.
Take videos of your location’s interior, exterior, employees working, and customers enjoying your products and services. Videos posted on your Google My Business listing cannot be framed as commercials or advertising, and they must be taken at your location. If video content isn’t relevant to each specific location, Google will probably remove it.
Basic Video Requirements
- Videos can be up to 30 seconds long.
- Videos may have a maximum file size of 100 MB.
- The minimum resolution for any uploaded video must be at least 720p.
- Filters are allowed, but the changes must be minimum.
- Superimposed text or graphics, including promotional content such as logos, must be limited to one corner. It cannot take up more than 25% of the image.
For search and map users, videos will show up the same as photos. If you have two or more videos, a video subtab may show up on mobile searches.
Photos and videos have a substantial, positive effect on consumer engagement. According to a BrightLocal survey, 60% of consumers give more consideration to local results that have images, and 23% of consumers are much more likely to contact a local business that has an image attached to its listing. Using your listing to showcase quality images of your business location helps build the trust that many customers need in order to overcome the fear of the unknown and try a new business.
Humans are naturally visual creatures, and we’re drawn to images over text. If you want to capture that attention and stand out in the search results, now’s the time to channel your inner shutterbug!