When businesses think of local SEO, some of the most commonly cited areas of importance are content, social media and linking - the usual. However, one web aspect to remember is images. Not only are they important for enhancing content and marketing, but fair image search results can do a lot of good for a business' performance.
The sentiment was further reinforced by Google, after the influential search engine recently brought its indoor image database of local businesses to the forefront of its search result pages. Now, businesses will have to consider a whole new level of local SEO with the advent of imagery results.
Street View photos add value to local
When Google introduced its new and improved Google Maps app to iOS 6 devices, after an unceremonious ousting at the hands of Apple, the company highlighted the fact its enhanced Street View offering now included interior photography of more than 100,000 businesses.
Google is now making use of that mobile feature by adding indoor image results to its desktop SERPs. When Google has indoor photos for a business, it will display the top image beneath the map that is located on the right side of the page. Users are then given the option to "see inside," which will transfer them to a Street View-like 360-degree viewing option inside the business.
Image results require Google cooperation
Getting the special "see inside" treatment from Google requires personal collaboration with the tech giant. Google is currently extending the option for local businesses that work with the firm's "trusted photographers" in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Canada.
However, Google isn't the only mainstay in the search engine industry to stress the importance of quality images in local SEO. Bing underwent a recent update that enhanced the way it would display images. Now, Bing results will display images in a near full-screen mode, while also dimming the backlight to make it easier on users' eyes.
More than ever, businesses will have to concentrate on securing high-quality images to boost their strategies, as images are fast becoming the latest noteworthy advancement in local search marketing.