They say a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s actually worth much more than that. 

Your brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than it does text. Why is this the case? Visual language has been around much longer than written or verbal language. Long before we humans started writing letters, we were drawing pictures on cave walls. 

Why does this matter to your business? Well, Google listings with photos attract 35% more click-throughs than those without photos. Plus, half of shoppers say photos inspired them to buy. That said, the type of images you post—and how you post them—matters. 

Start with these elements of your Google listing:

  • Logo. Help your customers recognize your business immediately.
  • Cover photo. Choose the photo that best represents your business.
  • Additional photos. Keep reading for different types to include. 

Then, make sure to upload the following:

  • Exterior photos. Help your customers visualize and recognize your physical location. 
  • Interior photos. Give customers a feel for what it’s like to visit your location.
  • Experience photos. Show your employees and customers interacting in action.
  • Product photos. If you don’t sell a physical product, show proof of the quality of your service. 
  • Team photos. People want to do business with people, not brands. Help them put a face with the name.

Now that you’ve read all that text, let’s see in real time how much faster these visual examples get the idea across (meta, right?).

Assume you live in Salt Lake City. Which of the above furniture stores would you choose? They each have near-five-star ratings with a similar number of reviews. They each open at 10AM. They’re all even on the same street. 

However, one helps you envision right away what your living room could look like, while the others show you something much less inspiring. In other words, one understands that we were once cave dwellers and that pictures immediately tell our brains a story. Let’s look deeper. 

Turns out, Ivy Interiors and Forsey’s Fine Furniture do have quality photos, they just need to update which of them appears in the search view. Since only 5% of search views result in action, the first impression is your best opportunity to beat the competition. 

Unfortunately, Google does not give you complete control over which photo shows up in the Map Pack. While Google treats your profile photo as your “preferred” photo, there’s no guarantee that it will be the one to appear. 

So, what can you do?

For starters, only upload photos you would feel comfortable showing to a potential customer. 

You can change your photos like so:

  1. Sign in to Google My business
  2. Select the location you’d like to change
  3. Click “photos” from the menu
  4. Select the photo type
  5. Browse your computer for the photo (or video) you’re trying to upload

If you’re a multi-location business, this can be difficult. Especially when there are multiple people adding photos to your listings. Luckily, you still have some control. 

You can flag a photo for removal like so:

  1. Sign in to Google My Business
  2. Select the location you’d like to manage
  3. Click “Photos” from the menu
  4. Identify the photo you want to flag
  5. Click the flag icon (top-right corner)

Because Sugar House Furniture (from above) is doing a few simple things well with their Google listing—one of them being a better profile photo—they’re likely getting chosen more frequently than their closest competitors. 

Sometimes the answer is much simpler than you thought. Sometimes it pays to think like a cave dweller.