I usually focus on written content when it comes to SEO.
This is the main part of my marketing strategy and the thing that works best for my blog (or at least I think so).
Still, there are a lot of people who work with images and will always prefer ranking in Google search engine with such content.
By focusing on Google images you are doing a completely different type of search engine optimization.
If you run a business or sell products that are highly dependent on photos, this is something that can make or break your site.
I will elaborate in a bit.
Let’s begin by explaining what’s so special about Google image search.
Why should you improve your images rankings?
Same way you would use Google search engine and Chrome for written posts, users prefer them for image search as well.
Image taken from Moz.com
As you can see, 59 % of users will go for Google.com while 26 % will reach their post with help of Google Images.
Wait what? 26% is HUGE!
Anyway you turn it, great deal of traffic will come from this search engine. In terms of traffic percentages, YouTube is on distant third with just 3 %.
Obviously, Google image search is a powerful alternative way to get some quality organic traffic.
Unfortunately, most website owners do not realize this.
Images are usually seen as tools that better your text.
They should help you rank among top positions of SERPs by increasing:
- time spent on a website
- site’s bounce rate
- number of social shares, like and comments
- and finally – backlinks
As we focus on our article, we tend to forget that images can also bring some free, unexpected traffic by themselves.
Images for e-commerce sites
Google photo search is best used for online stores.
By rankings for particular keywords you are able to find new clients and increase your conversion (leads and sales).
Although images are important for almost any commercial website, in some industries they are crucial.
For example, it is really hard to lead a mobile phone store or fashion business if you’re unable to show consumers your goods.
Now, you are probably wondering.
If there is a completely same image on several sites why is it important for yours to rank first?
Generally speaking, people who perform image search oftentimes do it in order to see a photo of something. Most of the times it is out of pure curiosity and it doesn’t go beyond it.
When you type a keyword into Google images, you will get a list of image results. You may check some of them and then decide to go onto the next query.
What we’re interested in are people who search Google with a commercial intent.
When such an individual sees your web picture, it is normal for them to click on the result. This way they will land on your website and can even purchase the item if they like it and what you sell.
This is where advanced Google image search optimization makes sense.
Things to consider during Google image search optimization
Let’s review some of the main image optimization factors and how to adjust or improve them.
Improving user experience has emerged as one of the most important factors of optimization.
As we all know, there is a strong correlation between great content and high rankings in Google. This is something I wrote about numerous times.
Same goes with Google image search optimization.
Here are some of the things you need to bear in mind:
- Same as any type of content, images need to be of high quality. This is the basis upon which you build your entire optimization process
- Consider resizing. If you have an image that becomes pixelated in certain resolutions, it will affect user experience. Check all the images in different sized before you make the final decision of publishing
- Reducing size of the file will usually affect user experience through slower loading speed. There are various apps that can help you reduce the image without losing quality
- Make sure to sign all author images. They are intellectual property and need to be treated as such (especially when made by a renowned photographer)
- Images need to be extension of your brand. It is important that readers remember them and that they bear a similar mark. This way, if they like them, they will be able to quickly recognize them in future while browsing
- Avoid copying images from other websites. In some industries you might get a report and even a law suit. If you still wish to do it, make sure to notify original creator (usually with a link). You don’t need negative publicity!
Tags and descriptions
Tags and descriptions are the second part of the image optimization process.
In this case Google takes into account all the different ways you used to mark your images.
You cannot simply rank among top 5 because you made a nice photo – it is also necessary for the search engine to find and index them.
Here are some tips how to:
- Image name is the most important part of the photo. Based on it, search engine can track it. Have in mind that rules of keyword research and SEO still work here. It is much better to create an image that is highly sought after than the one with low traffic. At the same time it is better to give it a catchy name for users
- Alt tags are an alternative way of representing your image in a textual form. These tags are primarily made for HTML and are used in events when website is unable to show the image. Never forget to add an alt tag for your pictures
- Descriptions are body of text. You use them to share valuable info about the photo with your audience. They also can contain a link to your website so that people can find the original post easier. At the same time, it is a subject to optimization and is necessary to have your main phrase within it
- Have in mind that all the information presented with an image is subject to optimization and Google will consider them. Whether we are talking about links, title, descriptions or captions, they are all crucial for Google image search optimization.
Promoting image content
If you are a professional photographer or have a fashion brand you wish to promote, you probably wish to share the news whenever you create something new.
This is something that is often referred to content promotion and it falls under the same rules like any other content on your site.
Although source pages are very important for optimization of an image, as well all other factors that we’ve mentioned, you still need to do your best to promote this content.
According to our limited knowledge (Google has already confirmed it) UX factors such as clicks may affect positioning of an image within the search engine. Liking, sharing and linking to it can also play a part.
So, whenever you create something make sure to notify people who are potentially interested.
This especially goes for influencers as just a tweet from them can be a very powerful weapon for you.
Images are oftentimes neglected as we focus on bigger, bulkier pieces of content.
This shouldn’t be so as they can be very important for promoting products and services and can be the main reason why we closed a potential client.
Google image optimization isn’t as complex as some other SEO processes. Still, without a good photo, your chances of ranking among top results are really slim.
So make sure to always start SEO with good, high quality images made by a professional.
Do you optimize your pics for Google Image search? Do you promote them? How important are they for your business? Share your views in the comment section below, contact me on Twitter or send me an email!