Imagine a print magazine with several commercial listings on one page. The advertisement without any imagery will likely recede into the background, whereas a balanced and colorful advertisement stands out. Although it is not an online medium, a reader’s experience with a magazine highlights the importance of great imagery in business listings.
A business needs more than a storefront image or a logo for its online listings. Captivating imagery sets a great competitor apart from a good one. Online consumers do not necessarily choose sellers based on logic but rather on which listing makes them feel good. Imagery plays a key role in giving consumers the right feeling about your brand.
Business Listing Imagery: The Essentials
Include a storefront and logo image with every business listing. As a starting place, these images are essential. They provide local searchers with visual cues for locating your business. If you have multiple storefronts, a basic listing should include clearly marked locations. For instance, a branch on the west side of town should not include an image of the main location. Make sure every listing for your business has basic image content posted where available.
Avoid using a quick shot of your storefront with your mobile phone. Your business listing images should appear professional and clear. Take some time to work on yard maintenance, if applicable. Clean the windows, and hire a freelance photographer to come snap a professional image. Your initial image should showcase what your brand has to offer when prospects search for related services or companies.
Expanding Your Subject Matter
In some listings, you may have limited imagery opportunities. Some listing organizations may allow only a certain number of images, or they may restrict the type of images used on the website. However, some listing organizations offer much more flexibility. To generate local business and capture the attention of individuals searching for your products/services in real time, consider making image optimization a marketing priority.
Once you have great images of your storefront, add images of your workplace. These images should provide consumers with the visual information they need to come to your brand. Think about your business strengths and try to capture those sentiments with professional photographs. Avoid using stock photos, and invest in professional images of your workplace. Consider targeting:
- Interior spaces – Show online visitors where you interact with clients. Instead of focusing on an empty office, capture a moment when your employees are working. You may need to stage some situations, but focus on creating an atmosphere that accurately reflects your company culture and personality.
- Employees – Do not hire models to represent your brand. Include real employees, and tell a story with each photograph you choose to include. Consider including a team photograph.
- Contextual Images – If your company regularly serves a large number of customers, consider including pictures of the parking area and a wider view of the storefront. Consumers who can place a storefront in its context may find another reason to use your brand over a competitor’s. For instance, operating a restaurant next to a boutique or gift shop may improve real-world traffic.
- Infographics – Does your company offer a specific process or set of services? Consider including key business information in the form of an infographic. On review sites and business listings, an infographic succinctly describes a business without overloading a searcher with too much information.
- Products – Do not include your entire product line in your business listing. However, you can and should highlight your product line or services in an online listing. For instance, a hair salon might include an image with several shampoo or hair dye brand logos. A tire shop might create an image with tire brands. Include a representative image that will help consumers say, “Yes, that company has what I need.”
- Promotions – Add promotional images to your listing profiles to generate more interest. Keep up with where you post time-sensitive promotional content, and add or remove image content based on your current promotions and offerings.
Optimizing Online Images for Business Listings
Businesses should use search engine optimization tactics to enhance the performance of every piece of content, including business listings. Use keyword-optimized tags to ensure search engines pick up your images and lead more traffic to your company. Include relevant product/service information in image descriptions as well as a location.
Take time to correctly upload and tag all of your online images. In addition to using keyword-based tags, use keywords in your file name. Any words associated with the image can improve online visibility and search engine rankings.
Making Images Work for You
Including diverse images in a business listing provides consumers with a window into a brand. When compared with basic business listings, image-enhanced listings stand out and promote credibility. Tell a story, build a following, and earn online and real-world followers with professional, optimized images.