Why Local Businesses Should Publish Shelfies and Where to Find Them

Your camera is now more valuable than ever as a business asset if you manage or own a regional brand. In a commercial context, I see the “shelfie” coming to the fore as a signal to both customers and search engines of what to expect on your premises. Early smartphones may have inspired the selfie, and it’s a great idea to photograph the owner and staff of a local business to prove both its authenticity and approachability.


Since a few years ago, I’ve pushed local businesses to take photos of their most sought-after products and services and upload these images to their Google Business Profiles. But shelfies are different; rather than taking photos of a single item, take photos of your shelves and displays to convey the variety and personality of what you sell. Any consumer would understand from one glance at this on a local company listing that this is a fantastic nearby location to go for socks:


Why are local business shelfies published?


The link is made instantly (in fact, 400% faster than textual learning) if a potential consumer sees a great image of what they’re looking for. They might not bother to read all your local business listing categories, business descriptions, or posts. Additionally, Google is also picking up knowledge from your shelfies. In a Duct Tape Marketing interview, local SEO expert Mike Blumenthal suggested the following:


In a Google webinar for Product Experts, I was listening to… They also liked what they dubbed “shelfies,” which were images of your products displayed on shelves so that Google and customers could get a clear concept of the layout of your store and the variety of products you were selling. They have a phrase for it, and they are obviously concentrating on it. And in my opinion, it’s the kind of image you desire.


Google has become so adept at image parsing that they can now match the photos to the perceived query intent. Google distinguishes between photos of individual products, as we well know. As an illustration, have a look at this search for “engagement rings san francisco” and pay attention to the local pack’s images:


But notice how the image for the company in the top slot changes when I substitute “diamond necklaces san francisco” for my original search term. The company is the same, but I chose a completely new image to go with my inquiry.


In the 3-pack for shelfie-type inquiries, I haven’t yet found a live instance of Google acting in this way, but what we do know from Google’s Cloud Vision API is that they are fairly capable of differentiating between numerous objects in a single image:


Given Mike Blumenthal’s report from the Product Experts webinar and Google’s continually improving image parsing capabilities, I strongly advise you to take photos of your most popular shelves of inventory this spring because I believe Google will treat shelfies in the same way that they currently treat single-object images. Additionally, in 2023, when supply chain problems persist, evidence that your location is well-stocked makes common sense.


Where to post your neighborhood business shelfies


Here are five venues where you can advertise your excellent shelf photos:


Google Business Profile: Upload a fresh shelfie to your primary photographs set on your listings two to three times per month. It is believed that a steady trickle has a greater impact than a flood. Using the New Merchant Experience, you can upload shelfies, which represent product lines rather than individual products, to the Products part of your listing. Finally, promote the breadth, depth, and availability of attractive merchandise using shelfies in your Google Updates (formerly Google Posts).


Maps on Apple: SimpSocial Customers in your area should be aware that you can upload up to 100 photos to your dashboard, and we’ll send those photos to Apple Maps. Apple Business Connect is a sign that the firm is taking local seriously, and you should too. Showcases, an ABC feature that is similar to Google Updates, is another place where you might microblog about your shelfies. Once more, a slow drip is probably the ideal strategy for progressively demonstrating the active status of your listings.


Your additional in-text citations: Any local business listing with images should include Shelfies. You can either manually add them or let SimpSocial Local distribute them for you.


your web page: Make sure your location landing pages include some shelfies to provide potential customers with a quick glimpse of what they can expect at your various locations.


Those of you on social media: These would be the perfect places to share the most recent shelfies of difficult-to-find goods that are in low supply, holiday-related offers, and new product lines you’re launching to the public.


I recall being excited when I was a child to see the tastefully decorated holiday displays at various stores. A tiny delight was experienced when dazzling paper crackers from the UK were imported for Christmas or when the witch’s kettle of candy corn appeared in the grocery store’s fall display. Shelves gave me insight into my neighbors; the unique Manischewitz matzos and Kedem grape juice served during Passover and the red envelopes and paper lanterns displayed in celebration of the Lunar New Year let me appreciate the cultural diversity and festive spirit of my neighborhood. People frequently photograph and even paint the markets in Spain because of how beautifully the goods are arranged there.


Making displays you’re proud to photograph and promote is a modest goal you can definitely achieve in the months to come. If your displays are inspiring enough, customers may choose to opt in and add their own shelfies to your local business listings as well as reviews and social media posts about your company. Some aspects of local search marketing are enjoyable, and it’s good when they don’t require a lot of work to succeed!

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