Following Google’s guidelines is crucial when creating, claiming, or updating a Google My Business listing. This applies to every element of the listing, from selecting a business category to uploading images. Google has very specific directions when it comes to the kind of photos they allow on their business listings and their social platform, Google+. If you don’t follow their guidelines, the images could get taken down, buried by other content, or even damage the brand.
2017 Google My Business Image Sizes
- Profile image – 250 x 250 pixels (minimum 120 x 120; maximum 5200 x 5300)
- Cover photo – 1080 x 608 pixels (minimum 480 x 270; maximum 2120 x 1192)
- Shared images – 497 x 373 pixels (minimum width 497; maximum 2048 x 2048)
- Between 10KB and 5MB
- PNG or JPG files
Additionally, the photos should be high-quality and in focus, without excessive filters or editing.
When uploading images, you’ll notice there are several different types of photos that can be added to a Google My Business listing and a Google+ profile. Today, we’ll share some of those.
Image Guidelines for a Google My Business Listing
1. Preferred Photo
This is the image the business would like displayed in Google Maps and Search results. Keep in mind that a preferred photo is only a recommendation and Google will ultimately choose which photo is shown first. Since Google is all about trying to enhance the user experience, they take several factors into consideration when ranking photos. These include:
- Content (Google tends to rank photos of real images higher than logos. The more relevant the picture is to the nature of the business, the better chances it has to rank higher and appear as the preferred photo).
There is still a chance of seeing pictures from other sources – such as other Google users and online sources – next to the business listing in search results. Since publicly-sourced photos are not always flattering, it’s best that the business takes control by uploading its own images. Following Google’s guidelines increases the chances the preferred photo will show up in search results. To update the preferred photo, click on the three-dot menu icon and select from Cover or Profile.
2. Additional Photos
Google also suggests uploading additional business-specific photos to help customers understand what the business has to offer. For instance, businesses should include images featuring:
- The store or office exterior. Add at least three images of the building to make it easier for customers to recognize the business from any direction.
- The business’ interior. Add at least three photos that capture the atmosphere of the business, such as common areas, spa, gym, or dining area.
- Popular products and services. Include at least three photos of the products and services offered by the business.
- Team members. Add three or more photos of employees and management to humanize the business.
Image Guidelines for a Google+ Profile
1. Google+ Profile Image
Choose a profile photo to represent the business on its Google+ profile. This photo doesn’t need to be the business logo (which is uploaded separately) or the preferred photo.
2. Google + Cover Photo
This image is displayed at the top of a business’ Google+ page, so it should have an aspect ratio of 16:9.
Simply upload the official logo so customers can easily identify the business online. Google recommends using square images for business logos.
What NOT to Do
It’s very important to adhere to Google’s standards if you want the business listing to be as successful as possible. For instance, a restaurant could include a photo of a menu and the sign out front. However, in most instances, Google doesn’t look kindly upon pictures that only feature text.
Businesses should also stay away from the following:
- The picture can’t be copyrighted.
- It can’t be a screenshot.
- It must be good quality. If it’s blurry, too dark or rotated, it might not make the cut.
And, of course, it can’t be pornographic in nature, can’t promote hate or incite violence, and can’t involve any sort of invasion of privacy – not that any of these conditions would apply to a respectable business, anyway.
Is Google My Business claiming and optimization a challenge for you?
We know this takes quite a bit of effort and we want to help! Partner with Advice Local and our local search experts will do the work for you. Find out how to start driving more traffic through the door today.
This post is part of our “Back to the Basics” educational series. Stay tuned as we continue this journey over the coming months.