Search engine optimisation (SEO), keyword research and great content form the foundation for attracting your website’s target audience. But an often overlooked aspect of search engine optimisation involves your website’s images.
The Potential for Using Google Image Search to Drive More Traffic
Because Google does not release image search data, finding the latest data brings challenges. Here’s what we do know.
- According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes about 40,000 search queries per second. That’s approximately 3.5-billion search queries per day. For each of those 3.5-billion daily searches there is an image tab.
- In 2010, the most recent official statistics release for Google images, Benjamin Ling, Director of Search Products at Google, claimed daily page views of Google images is over 1-billion. That’s in 2010. You don’t need to be an SEO genius to assume that number has increased drastically since then.
- In 2010, Google indexed over 10-billion images. Again, that’s in 2010. No doubt these numbers have increased drastically.
- Unlike a traditional web search that lists around 10 pages on its first search page, A Google image search produces hundreds. Is your image one of them?
Knowing the immense potential of optimising your images for Google image search must lead to action if it’s to help your website.
How to Use Google Image Search to Drive More Traffic
Rule #1 in using Google image search to drive more traffic is images are content. More importantly, images are content that should be optimised. Here are the basics.
Edit your file names. The default name for your images are neither user-friendly nor search engine friendly. Make sure your edited file names reflect the content; otherwise, nobody’s going to click on the image, in the same way a misleading blog post title will drive users away.
Modify your image alt tags. Alt tags consist of meta-data that describes your image to the search engine. The ideal alt tag is short and keyword rich. Modifying alt tags allows Google to better index your images and provides an SEO boost. Alt tags should be an accurate description of the image.
Compress your images. You want the largest image possible while using the least amount of storage possible. Image compression applications allow you to compress images, so they take up less storage without losing quality.
Create your own unique images. Remember, there are hundreds of visible images on a Google image search. Which one will a searcher notice? a stock image? Or your unique image? Original photos can be traced back to you and your website, which makes getting credible backlinks–via photo credits–more likely. In addition, a Google image search, when confronted by similar images, will place the original image location first. Custom images also improve the look of your site.
Use relevant images. When producing and optimising content, you’re trying to attract your target audience. Make sure your images are relevant to the content. For example, if you’re targeting high school English teachers and one of your blog posts contains an optimised image of Lebron James telling kids to read, you might get a lot of basketball fans, which is nice, but you’re targeting a completely different audience.
Watermark your images. Watermarking your image accomplishes more than staking a copyright claim. It lets image users and others know where the image came from and where to find similar content.
The other side benefit of optimising your images is that it acts as another ranking factor for the actual page the image is on, so it’s good for your SEO in general.