If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many web page views would that be?
Properly using images will do more than make your page pretty. It is an effective way to drive people to your website and increase customer retention once they are there.
How can you improve your search engine rankings by using Google image SEO? Read below for advice on how to take your site to the next level!
File Names Are Essential
If you take pictures using a digital camera, the file name will be numeric. These file names accomplish nothing; the file name 0002.jpeg has zero descriptive power. Google will not be able to tell what the picture is or distinguish it from other similar file names.
It is imperative that you change the file name of your picture before putting it on your web page. This alteration will ensure that you are following Google’s best practices and improve your Google image SEO ranking.
Changing the file name is easy and will allow the search engine to know whether your image matches the keywords searched for by the user.
If you’re a freelance photographer or operate a personal blog, this is essential for your success. Images will take up 20-30% of a personal blog, more for a photographer. Without optimizing these images, over 20% of your page isn’t being read by Google!
Don’t Skip The Dialogue Box
When you post an image on your website, a box pops up with various fields that can be filled out. One of these is the Alt text box.
Google has stated that this box helps to make your photo more discoverable, particularly when the thumbnail image can’t load. This text will show up instead of a thumbnail of your picture, providing a description of what should be there.
You shouldn’t fill the Alt box with keywords, as this will have no bearing on its visibility. Be as descriptive as possible. Instead of telling the reader what the picture is, use your words to show them. Be colorful, but stay around the 5-8 word range.
The title tag is what shows up when someone hovers their mouse over your picture or puts it onto their Pinterest page.
Use this space to sneak in a keyword or two. Don’t be over the top, however; if your page has four photos, putting the keyword in one title tag should be sufficient. Beating your audience over the head with keywords will turn them away from your work.
Finding Alternate Keywords
Once you determine what keywords you’re going to focus on, go to google images and type those keywords into the search bar to see what comes up.
Not only will searching for your keywords show you the type of images that others are using, but it will show a list at the top of the screen of similar phrases. These are search terms that people are looking for on Google.
Incorporate some of these into your images for Google image SEO. You can attract people that might otherwise go to another website.
Putting caption text under your photos will improve reader engagement and keep their eyes on your page a little bit longer. The more time someone spends on your page, the better your Google image SEO will be.
Captions are also a creative way to add personality to your page. You can connect images to your ideas, making them stand out to the reader. Experiment and see what works and what doesn’t.
Don’t Use Generic Images
If you are writing a blog post, and the topic is business related, you will probably be tempted to use the stereotypical picture of a board meeting in progress, and an image that shows a line chart…with the line moving upwards, of course!
The problem is that those two images, in one iteration or another, have been used by millions of other websites. You don’t want to be like the millions of other sites and businesses that aren’t utilizing Google image SEO, do you?
Humans process information based on visual stimulation. Visual processing impacts your choice of images in two ways:
1.) Pictures That are Related Directly to Your Company Will Have a Much Stronger Effect
Infographics that link an idea directly to your business will resonate with readers more than generic images. Showing YOUR success is more valuable than pointing to the success of others. Your readers are being trained to trust you.
Another way to build trust is to use personalized pictures. Instead of showing a board room filled with actors, show your employees at a table. Readers are more likely to view your company in a positive light if they see the people behind the brand.
2.) Personalized Images Separate You From Other Businesses
If someone has been to five other pages and seen the same types of images that are on your page, they will assume that you are presenting the same information.
That assumption will lead them to exit off of your page and go to the next one. If people are spending a small amount of time on a page, Google will determine that the page has nothing to offer and lower its ranking.
Images that have a direct correlation to what you are saying and that are unique will keep eyeballs on your site. Getting visitors to your page is only half of the Google image SEO equation; the other half is keeping them there.
Make Sure Your Photos Are Used Legally
Using pictures you find on the internet can be problematic. Seeing where pictures are posted is easier than ever. Using a photographer’s picture on your site without permission can get you fined, sued, or both.
If personalized photos aren’t an option, there are stock picture websites where you can legally purchase images. Some of these websites are free, meaning that you can save some money while making your website Google image SEO friendly.
Make sure that you are picking pictures that relay what you are talking about and that aren’t overused when using these sites. You don’t want your images to appear too “generic” as this can take away from reader engagement.
Use pictures that have diversity. The lack of diversity in stock photos has become a touchy subject over the past few years. When you put a picture on your site, it will come to represent your company, so use pictures that convey your values.
Check the Size of The Image
Make sure that the picture you choose won’t interrupt the flow of your article or post. An over-sized picture is more than an eyesore: it takes away attention from the ideas you are conveying.
A picture that is too small will have the same effect. Readers will spend time trying to figure out what the image is instead of hearing what you have to say. Look for images that fit nicely into the text of the article, and place them where they are visible but not overbearing.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to put pictures either between paragraphs or on the right of the page. Don’t interrupt the left to right flow of the reader.
File Size and Google Image SEO
File size is one of the main factors in load times for both mobile and traditional web pages. Too many images or large file sizes will slow down your site, causing viewers to go elsewhere and hurt your SEO efforts.
Be selective and strategic when posting pictures to your website. Choose a few small images that will convey your message and draw in visitors.
Use Your Images To Link Build
Link building is an essential Google image SEO strategy. The more links that are on other sites that lead to your page, the higher your web page will rank.
An effective way to use an image for link building is to watermark your original images. Put small text on the bottom of your image that lets readers know where the image originated and who writers should give credit to.
You can add other information to your watermark as well. Adding a social media account, such as Twitter or Facebook, is a great way to promote yourself and increase visibility with a new audience.
Unlock The Power of Visuals For Your Webpage
More and more people are focusing on Google image SEO. These websites know the value of being on top of search rankings and reap the rewards of their position.
An image that isn’t optimized is a wasted opportunity. Content is still the most important factor in SEO, but small advantages can be the difference between ranking on the first page and fifth page of search engine results.