Ever wondered how some brands get their logo to appear in search? You’ve noticed that these company logos show directly on the right-hand side of the results in a section called the Knowledge Graph. It’s visually appealing and it looks professional.
Google is now showing image thumbnails in almost 45% of search results compared to the meager 15% of previous results that showed image thumbnails. That’s an 183% increase, according to recent RankRanger data, and a change this big is indicative of how important Google believes it is to provide the data users want to see when they search for a company: Something visual.
If Google thinks prioritizing brand visuals is this important – after collecting and analyzing mounds of search data for years – it’s a sign that you should, too.
Now that Google is heavily prioritizing images in search, users are going to become even more accustomed to seeing images right away when they search on Google.
What does this mean for you as a small business owner? If your logo isn’t showing up on the first page of results, you’re losing an important opportunity to strengthen your brand and associate it with your own iconic image.
Worse, you’re giving your competitors a chance to have a visual advantage over your brand when their logo appears as a thumbnail and you’re represented by nothing but letters.
Showing users your logo when they search for your company accomplishes four important things:
- It tells users they came to the right place
- It confirms your brand identity
- It makes your brand look stronger and more established
- It ensures your preferred, current logo is shown to users
Whether you’re a brand new business or one that’s been around for a while, you’re going to benefit from having your logo appear in search when someone looks up your company name. Less than 50% of Fortune 500 companies are currently doing this, so if you can set it up, you’ll be ahead of the curve.
Fortunately, it’s not too complicated to make it happen. There are 2 simple actions you can take to make sure your logo and company information will appear in the Knowledge Graph anytime someone searches your company name. Anyone can do this and reap the benefits! Let’s get started.
1. Use Schema.org markup
Even if you’re not a webmaster or particularly “techie” person, you don’t have to be intimidated by this step. It’s the most important action you can take to give Google the indication that you have a preferred logo and that they need to show it to users, and there are tons of helpful resources online to show you how to do it step-by-step. It’s worth it because Google considers this type of markup very important:
“Markup like this is a strong signal to our algorithms to show this image in preference over others, for example when we show Knowledge Graph on the right hand side based on users’ queries.” Google Webmaster Central Blog
Basically, you’ll be adding special code to your website that gives specific instructions to Google on what information it should display about your company in the Knowledge Graph.
Before you delve into adding the correct markup to your site, make sure your logo meets Google’s criteria.
Does your logo meet Google’s criteria?
- Must be at least 112x112px, preferably larger
- The logo image must be crawlable and indexable
- Logo file must be .jpg, .png, or. gif format
Another thing to keep in mind: Don’t use a white PNG logo file for this. Because the background the logo will be shown on is white, it won’t be visible to users.
If your logo meets the rest of the criteria and you’re ready to set it to appear in search results, you’ll need to “customize” your markup.
You can take advantage of the awesome Structured Data Markup Generator (see right) from Kalicube to create your markup easily. Just enter in your company information line by line and it will generate the markup you need in JSON-LD (an alternative to HTML).
Bonus: You can enter lots of information here easily, from your company address and description to your social network profiles! All you’ll have to do is paste it into your website homepage head or body.
2. Set up your Google My Business page
While the Schema.org markup is the most important signal you can send to Google, know that Google prioritizes Google My Business (and Google+ profiles) in search results the same way a mother prioritizes her child.
This means if you have the correct logo for your business set up as your profile photo in Google My Business, it’s more likely that Google will associate that logo with your brand in search results.
But (frustratingly) it’s still not guaranteed that the logo you upload as your profile picture is the image Google will associate with your brand and show to users. Here’s what Google says about setting preferred photos in GMB (emphasis ours):
Profile photo: Help your customers recognize your business on Google.
Cover photo: Showcase your page’s personality. Adding a cover photo automatically sets it as your listing’s preferred photo. This action doesn’t guarantee it populates as the first image for your business, but it does tell Google you prefer to display this photo.
Mike Blumenthal, writer at Local University, explains that when it comes to GMB, images that Google believes will enhance the user’s map experience are prioritized, sometimes over logos and head shots.
“It [Google] will give the image you chose preference…but if it is a logo or a head shot and they have an image that would improve a user’s Map experience (like an exterior view), they will substitute that image for the one that you chose.”
Mike’s not alone in noticing this trend. ChatMeter ran several tests to see just how often Google decides to show a business logo versus interior or exterior photos of the business and found that the latter is much more common now:
“Google is trending away from using businesses’ logos as their profile pictures, and instead are showing more and more pictures from inside the store. Across multiple local search tests we conducted, these photos were getting priority in the search results.”
This means the first step in this post – inserting the proper markup into the head or body of your website’s homepage – is the most reliable action you can take to make sure your logo appears in search results.
Even if you’ve already done this, you still need to set up your Google My Business page and Google+ brand profile to really cement your brand’s presence online and make sure your customers can easily find your business. Follow these steps to get started.
How to set up a Google My Business page
- Visit Google.com/business or open the mobile app and select Get on Google to create your page
- Choose the Google account you want to use to manage this page
- Search for your business name and address to ensure a listing hasn’t been created yet
- Select your business or choose the option to add your business
- Input your address to have Google mail you the verification postcard – takes about 5 days
- Upload the correct logo or flashmark* as your profile picture
- Link to your website homepage in your profile
- Enter your verification code when you receive it – Google will now show your photos to users
*A flashmark is a simple, solid symbol used instead of a full logo on social media profiles, like the Apple and Nike icons
Taking these steps will give you more control and ownership of your brand online. In this digital age, there’s nothing more valuable. By using the correct Schema.org markup and ensuring you’re set up properly on Google My Business, you can not only make your brand’s logo appear in search – you can ensure your company address, description, phone number, and social media profiles do, too.
Once you’ve taken these steps, drop us a note and let us know – we’ll be featuring entrepreneurs who successfully utilized these tips!