What is the Effect of Leaving Photos with Google Reviews?

Most potential customers will look up other customers’ opinions before buying from a business. This makes customer reviews one of a business’s most critical assets.

Over the years, customer reviews have remained text-based. However, an update to Google maps and local business reviews in 2016 made it possible for customers to add photos to their reviews.

While picture-based reviews have existed since 2016, little was known about their effect on review rankings, which can make a big difference in conversions. A recent study by Sterling Sky has shown a possible link between picture-based reviews and how long they stay at the top of the list.

The Initial Study

In the initial study, the company personnel asked a client that had left a positive review on their website years ago to add a photo to their old review without changing the text. The company also provided the client with a photo of their team to add to the review.

The review moved up to the third position in the list of reviews even while it was over two years old. It is also important to note that the review was not in the top ten reviews before the picture was added. Besides moving up in the list of reviews, the picture-based review completely changed the order of the rest of the list.

Previously, a one-star review left by a client frustrated with the company’s phone system was at the top of the list. After the review update, this negative review was bumped from the top ten and replaced by four older five-star reviews.

A Second Case Study

A second study was conducted on a client with a one-star rating in their third list position. This review never moved positions even as the client solicited better reviews from other clients. The team at Sterling Sky asked the client to contact one of their old reviewers with a request to add a photo to their review, which they did. While the results were not as drastic as the previous study, there were some notable changes on the list. The one-star review moved from the first to fourth position. The old review that was updated with a photo took position six, and an older five-star review that had not been in the top ten moved up to position one.

Google Photo Review Takeaways for Businesses

The approach was also tested on a client with a larger number of negative reviews. This time, the strategy helped push one negative review out of the top ten, although most of the negative reviews remained. The study suggests that this approach may not work well for businesses with a high number of negative ratings.

Businesses should consider reaching out to clients that left text-based reviews in the past and asking them to add a picture to their review. Better still, reach out to disgruntled customers with an offer to address their concerns in exchange for better reviews. To learn more about the potential effect of photos on Google review rankings, reach out to BluShark Digital today.