You’ve probably heard the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words.” What does this phrase bring to mind? Yes, it means you can have many different meanings, emotions, and implications from a single picture. But it also implies that pictures and images are highly important to our processing, which is true. Because of this, it’s safe to assume that people are actively searching for images online—much like they search for content. In fact, Google’s MUM update prioritizes images in search and Google image search, itself, is one of the top three search engines (bigger than both Bing and AskJeeves). Here’s how utilizing Google image search can help out your business and its SEO.
Using Google Image Search to Bring in Traffic
While actual numbers are iffy, we do know that Google image search boasts a boatload of traffic. Plus, image search can pull in during regular search too. We also know that Google is indexing more and more images as time goes on, which is a pretty good indicator that image search is increasing in use and popularity. What does this mean for your business? It means that Google image search can be a great way to help funnel traffic to your site, especially if you’ve already pursued more advanced SEO tactics.
Why Images Are Important
First, we’re not trying to discredit or downplay regular keyword and key phrase search. In virtually all respects, you’d be right to assume that these should be prioritized; they offer too much value on their own not to. However, image search can be highly advantageous to your SEO if you’re at an advanced stage. Not to mention the fact that image search’s first intended use was to help the visually impaired—still an important aspect to this day. Accessibility is a major part of web development and good website design.
Think about it for a second: people regularly use images every day. They need them for blogs, videos, newsletters, presentations, papers—you name it. People are almost always on the hunt for a good image or visual to help their content. And that’s not all. Images can also help your audience understand you better. Again, a picture is worth a thousand words. Having high-quality images out on the web can help your company stand out and bring in traffic to your site because of it.
The Basics for Image SEO
Ok, Ok—let’s say we’ve convinced you about the importance of images and the significance of Google image search in your broader SEO strategy. So how do you go about actually optimizing images? Here are some ways to do just that:
Create a better file name. Oftentimes, cameras default file names to something unintelligible like DCS_0002.jpg. Adobe Stock does similar if you choose to go that route. Going in and editing the file name to a keyword allows search engines to more accurately crawl the image, which can pay off in SEO value for you.
Properly “alt tag” your image. Alt tags are another way search engines understand your image, and it helps with screen readers and accessibility as well. Be sure to properly “alt tag” your image so that it depicts what the image is supposed to be. For instance, an image of a girl riding a bike would be tagged as “blonde girl bike ride” or something similar. Alt tags are also a good place to add in your target keyword as it applies.
Compress the image to an optimized storage size. As a general rule, you want images to have an inverse relationship between size and storage space: You want images to be as big as possible without taking up too much space. Compressing an image allows you to retain image quality while reducing storage space. This can help with load times, a potential factor in bounce rates.
Use related images. The images for you on Google image search should be relevant to your business in some way or, at the very least, not distinct to another known brand, person, or place. If not, there can be instances of user confusion, which can impact your bounce rate. Say, for example, your blog features an article about basketball (no pun intended). For images, you have the choice between a basketball court and Lebron James. You’d likely want to opt for the basketball court as people searching for Lebron James are probably interested in seeing player statistics, things about his personal life, and the like. They may decide to click off your site once they realize that your content isn’t what they’re after.
Make your own. Images unique to you are great to use. You don’t have to worry about copyright, and can even backlink to your site. Stock photography should be used only when absolutely necessary. In fact, images unique to you offer benefits stock photography can’t soon replicate. For instance, we’ll often enlist a photographer at company events to shoot original photography we can use on social posts, Facebook and Instagram stories, blogs, and more.
Need more help with your image SEO or SEO in general? Uptick Marketing has the SEO expertise you need to see a rise in organic traffic. Reach out to us for a no-obligation fact finder about how we can best propel your page rankings to new heights!