To understand the importance of image search in 2021, let’s look at an illustrative example. While trying to google how to use the VPR function in Excel, I was not satisfied with the results. The search engine has come up with several sites describing the feature, but I would like to see how it works with an example. Now let’s see the power of visual content. As soon as I selected the “Pictures” tab, I immediately found what I was looking for.
And in this regard, I am not alone. Today, only half of the users are satisfied with the results displayed on the search page. Others click other tabs to get other results (Pictures, Videos, Maps, and others). In 2021, marketers have begun to place an increasing emphasis on visual content in their strategies to drive traffic from search results. According to Krista Baker, marketing manager at HubSpot, the results of an experiment with the company’s blog show that search rankings on Google Images contributed to an increase in the number of clicks to their site.
Easier said than done, isn’t it? We decided to find out what constitutes search engine optimization using images. As a result, we have compiled 8 tips to improve your site so that it appears more prominently in Google Images search results.
WHAT IS IMAGE SEO?
SEO using visual content is a practice based on optimizing images on your site for search engines, taking into account several parameters: filling in the alt tag, adding appropriate captions, choosing the optimal size, and others. SEO image optimization allows search engine robots to identify your visual content, increasing the overall performance of your site both on the general search results pages and in the search results in the “Pictures” tab.
TOP TIPS FOR PROMOTION USING IMAGES
1. Fill in the alt tag with relevant and precise text that is understandable to both regular users and search robots
In case you forgot, the alt tag contains text describing what is shown in the image. For example, if you go to the Pipcorn website and display the HTML code of the page, you will see that the alt to the company logo image contains the following text: “Popcorn Family Pack Popcorn Pipsnacks LLC”. The text contained in the alt tag plays a critical role in the promotion using visual content.
First, alt content allows search engines to index your site more efficiently, which has a positive impact on search engine results. Secondly, this text contributes to a better perception of your content. This is especially important for visually impaired users and for those who, for whatever reason, we’re unable to download an image to their device. There are many tutorials on the internet for writing quality alt text.
One of the Google pages indicates that image search engine optimization helps the search engine index the site, increases the likelihood of its discovery by users in the Google Images tab.
2. Use captions to describe the content of pictures
Captions are optional if readers can understand what is depicted in the pictures by context. For example, we do not use captions for pictures, since we describe the contents of each picture right in the text of the article. If you publish a lot of images on your site pages, add captions so that users can understand the essence of the content of each image.
Use common sense when adding signatures. If you think that captions will help both search robots and users to better understand the content of your pages, then add captions to images.
3. Compress visual content to improve the page loading speed
Image compression is an important element of every SEO strategy. By compressing image files, you speed up the loading speed of your website pages. In turn, this will improve the user experience of your site, contribute to the growth of search engine rankings. Use the Compress JPEG or Squoosh tools to compress images efficiently. Practice shows that 100 KB is the optimal image file size. Please note that Google does not take into account the size of each image individually. The search engine determines the overall size of the pages.
For example, you have a small image, the quality of which is not critical. Squeeze it down to 50-30KB, leaving extra space for pictures that play a more important role. In the global network, there are tools that allow you to reduce the image file without significant loss of quality.
4. Use unique images
Both Google and users have a preference for original content. If you want to boost your site’s search engine rankings, only use original visual content. This is especially important if you have your own online store where you post images of your products. Many users evaluate the properties and quality of consumer goods by their images. In fact, 50% of consumers claim that the images influenced their final choice. If you use a low-quality image that does not reveal the properties of your product, you will most likely lose a potential buyer. Use Canva and another infographic, animated, and graphing tools to create visual content that will help your brand stand out from the competition.
5. Name the image files before uploading them to the site.
The name of the image file is also taken into account by search robots when crawling the pages of the site. Therefore, we recommend renaming visual files before uploading them to the site. For example, instead of the standard names like “img_001”, use relevant text with the addition of key phrases, similar to the text used to fill the alt tag. With the correct filenames, you will increase the likelihood of your visual content getting to the top of the search results in the Google Images tab.
6. Use responsive images
Responsive images are images that adapt to different types of devices: desktop and mobile. Today, it is imperative that your website pages are mobile-friendly, as both the usability of your website and its search engine rankings depend on it. If you load non-responsive visual content on your site, it will render poorly on devices with small displays, negatively impacting search engine optimization. Fortunately, many hosts make all images responsive by default. If you are using hosting providers that do not automatically optimize images, try the following markup code:
<img src = “people.jpg” alt = “People” class = “responsive”>
Or add the following CSS code:
7. Use images to post backlinks
High-quality, unique and original images are an opportunity not only to increase the ranking of your site in search engines but also to get backlinks if other sites use your images on their pages.
For example, consider an image created by Broadband that shows a graph of the trend in the number of requests generated from mobile devices over the past several years. This picture is in the first place in the search results in Google Images for the query “how many people use mobile devices to find information on the Internet.” Notably, an article on some blog containing the above image has around 3000 backlinks. Most likely, such a large number of backlinks is due to the presence of a picture posted by Broadband.
If you create quality images, there is a high likelihood that other companies will post your images on their site pages, leaving backlinks to your business. In fact, images have a direct impact on the amount of traffic, leads, and the number of users you’ve been able to reach with your marketing strategies.
8. Add images to the sitemap
If before you had to add images to your sitemap manually, today there is a handy tool Angeldigital.Marketing (available absolutely free). This tool creates a site imagemap automatically after entering the URL in a special field.
As you know, one high-quality image can replace a thousand words. So, just imagine the potential for an optimized image for search engine rankings. We hope you can find these 8 tips for optimizing your images to drive new traffic and increase your SERP rankings to help you.