You will rarely find a marketing professional who neglects the power of images, but there are many who will fail to recognize the full potential of these visual aids. Pictures are usually relegated to boosting text content. They are used to build engagement with readers or to attract more clicks on social media.
Image-oriented searches on Google, however, can open an entirely new door for marketers when it comes to attracting more traffic and potential customers. Research has indicated that 63% of the clicks made on images will turn into site traffic.
There are tens of millions of searches made every day that are geared towards finding visual results, such as those that focus on housing design or clothing. When you type “House Design” into Google, right below the sponsored ads will be a series of image results that immediately draw the eye and address the question for most people.
Image optimization needs to be done so they can be displayed prominently in these types of searches can help direct relevant traffic towards your website.
Value of the image search
There is some debate surrounding the value of an image search. Many people making image queries are interested in ideas or the pictures themselves, they are not necessarily driven to make a purchase. There are numerous industries, however, that are built around images, such as stock photo companies or those who design site templates. Others will use images to display their skills or expertise, such as designers or photographers.
It is also important to recognize that even industries that are not directly related to images can still find value in ranking well for visuals. Increasing the traffic that goes towards your website will help to boost brand awareness and recognition. The value of this might not be immediately recognizable, but can play an important role when it comes time for people to purchase services later.
Providing users with quality, engaging images on your site can also increase the interested traffic to your site– traffic with people who will stop, interact with your page and explore a little. When you increase your rates of engaged traffic, you can raise the ranking of your site. This will then help you rank higher for queries more directly related to your products and services.
Image optimization for image search
To take advantage of the value offered by high-ranking images, it is important to follow a few rules for optimization.
- Make sure the aesthetic value does not change, but that the image loads as quickly as possible. Google wants to see high-quality images, but they know that visuals that take a long time to load will not please customers.
- Use unique, relevant images. Google does not want multiple copies of the same picture, so using stock images will not result in image rankings. Use images that are clearly related to the text so that Google will be able to link it to a particular context.
- Take advantage of all the ways available to label the image. This means using the alt attributes, title tags and image names. This will make it as easy as possible for Google to understand which queries the image answers.
- Use schema markups to emphasize images. Schema ensures that the search engines recognize the image and that they will display it when opportunities for rich snippets present themselves.
Measuring the impact of images
Google Webmaster Tools will provide you with some useful monitoring systems that you can use to start tracking your progress with image optimization. Once you log into the webmaster tools, you will want to click on Search Analytics under Search Traffic.
Then, on the screen that appears, go over to search type. Instead of selecting Web, click on Image.
This will then give you insight into the types of queries and the number of clicks you are getting specifically for image-related searches. You can also adjust your data to look at the number of impressions or the positions of your website. Use these insights to monitor your progress as you do image optimization.
The web is becoming more visual with each passing year. For brands to keep up, they need to make sure that the image optimization was done properly. This is essential to attract audiences searching for pictures. Following these guidelines, while tracking progress through Google, can help you see the value the images are adding to your website and the traffic they are attracting.