There has been a lot of hype about advancements in new technology, including voice search and how a business owner could utilize this tool for their prosperity. While staying current is important, there is a much easier search tool that can be optimized to grow online: image search.
Taking a closer look at the images within these search results, it appears that those who post images often overlook ways to use these images to draw traffic to their sites. Here we will cover the basics of image optimization for search engines.
Images are particularly effective in marketing for retail and consumer goods, as capitalized by Pinterest’s limiting personalized customer support specific to these two business areas. Likewise, Google’s Product Listing Ad categories focus on retail and consumer goods, and searches of any of these categories in Google Images brings up a carousel of sponsored shopping results above the organic results.
While images are surrounded by content, this content may not always accurately describe the image. Failing to provide extra data eventually equates to lost opportunities, leading to fewer clicks and traffic to your website. This can be remedied with images that are properly optimized and pleasing to the end-user. Enhancing images will be naturally ranked better on Google. Google values relevance and quality in returning search results. Below are a few tips for providing a good user experience with your images:
Use ONLY High-Quality Images. While that might seem obvious, one simply needs to look at LinkedIn and see how many bad profile pictures people post of themselves. Consumers equate the quality of an image to that of the product or service. The better the picture, the more likely someone will click on it. More clicks equal a boost in the ranking of that image.
Optimize image data, labels, tags and descriptors. Metadata, labels, and descriptors are all used to index an image properly within Google. These areas are important to Google when identifying the context of your image and where it is to be categorized. Better indexing means better ranking within search results.
Below are the main labels, tags, and descriptors that need to be customized whenever uploading an image online. This is also important when choosing to an image for ranking within Google Images.
Image file name: Begin with initially saving the image on your computer when you already have your content ready. Save the image name the same as the title of your content. For example, if I need an image for a blog I want to post on “Reliable Ways on Measuring Social Network Success”, I would save the image name “reliable-ways-on-measuring-social-network-success”. It is important that you maintain consistency with SEO.
Alt tags: Alt tags are HTML attributes used to describe your image and are often used to describe an image for the visually impaired through screen-readers. Alternatively, an alt tag is displayed when images are disabled in a browser or when the image can’t be decoded.
Descriptions: This area allows for a full explanation of the image and any additional details. Descriptions are displayed when an image within a post or on a site is clicked on and opened in a separate window.
Contextual information surrounding the image: Google determines the relevance of images to search results by the context of everything else around them including text content, other images, image sitemaps, page title, and page URL. Your image should be relevant wherever you’re posting.
Visual images are a dynamic method of engaging and reaching consumers. They captivate end-users and play a powerful role in helping businesses and their products or services get found. Too many businesses fail to optimize images separately from articles, web pages, or landing pages where they are displayed, and as a result, they lose valuable opportunities to promote their brand, store, product or service in search results. Spend a little more time in SEO for images and unlock the potential returns that so many overlook.