Images have always been a powerful way to increase engagement. Using the right images within your content is a great way to add depth and provide a funnel for people to understand your content. For example, the Internet connects people from all over the world with some of them NOT able to understand as clearly as others. Using images within your content provides a visual aid to those people who find text confusing and hard to grasp. Images also provide a quicker way to get your point across, which is why infographics are being increasingly used by bloggers all over the world. Here’s something else…
Did you know that images can be used as an effective link building strategy? For those of you NOT aware, Google has an awesome image search that links images to the homepage they are displayed on. This means if you type something like “link building” and head over to Google images, you’ll find the URL of the website next to the image. It’s a great way to increase traffic and brand awareness. It’s also why it’s important to name your images correctly before uploading.
Head over to Google search and type in a keyword. In this example, I’ll be using “link building strategies” and then click search. Once Google generates its results, you can click on images at the top. You could have done an image search directly, but I wanted to show you how to browse to images from the main search engine.
Here, you have several images to choose from and Google images are ranked according to optimization. The ONLY catch is that there are over 100 ranking factors for images. I’m going to quickly list some in point form below…
- Image copies
- Engagement or shares
- Links to image
- Blog authority
- Keyword density on page image is displayed
- File name
- The domain and page authority
These are just some factors and you’d be surprised how good they are for those blogs that create high quality content and put effort into creating substance. If you’re someone who has been blogging for years and put enormous effort into growing your business, then it’s ONLY fair your images rank higher than others. Next, the factors being closely related to the blog’s authority decreases the chances of people manipulating image results and gaining traffic WITHOUT putting any hard effort into content, blogging, and credibility.
I’m personally glad that image and general search results are closely related as it keeps the playing field balanced.
A Cool Statistic
When uploading images to your content, you have to keep Google image search in mind. Here’s why…
I did some skimming online to find traffic potential from image search. I found this quick graph that shows traffic increase and decrease through their image search. When viewing the image, keep in mind I’m just trying to illustrate the potential images have in generating traffic. For example, 87 websites were studied and this was the traffic seen within “1” year of combined data. The decrease you see at the end of the chart is the result of algorithm updates that knock down the authority of the websites and, ultimately, their traffic.
The illustration is provided by SearchEngineLand.com
At its peak, you’ll notice these 87 websites had a combined traffic reach of 1.4 million generated through Google image search. Awesome!
Optimizing Your Images
Here are some important things to keep in mind when you’re uploading your images to your content.
First, when saving images, it’s important to use a relevant name to your content and where the image will be posted. If you’re writing content on “content marketing”, then when adding an image, save it using the following “content-marketing.jpg”. That’s just an example and you can switch around the relevant name and file format. Next,
Include alt-text when you’ve finished uploading your image to your blog. Many blogging platforms have an “alt-text” field that you can fill out once you’ve uploaded your image. This is necessary because if a browser cannot load the image, your “alt-text” will be displayed instead. It’s a great way to tell users and search engines what was displayed in that place.
Because page load time is a ranking factor within Google, it’s important to reduce the image size. A simple WordPress plug-in will do the trick and it can be configured to automatically compress images when uploaded. This will ensure load time remains stable and Google responds to it correctly by indexing and listing it within their search.
In general, make sure the image is relevant to your content and helps add value to your content. No point in adding an image that is completely different than the written text of your content.
Usually, once the images have been uploaded, you have to wait until Google re-indexes your website and pages. To help, you might want to keep updating your website as a frequent publishing schedule has been proven to bring the spiders back to your blog. There is a cool way to track image traffic from within Google Analytics and I’ll post a quick link to a tutorial below on how to set this up. Just like content data, it’s important to analyze what’s working and what needs to be tweaked going forward. Your goal is to ensure images get indexed and displayed in Google image search. Once they’ve been optimized and correctly displayed, they can serve as an awesome traffic source for years.
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