Here’s how to boost your image SEO, even if you’re using stock photos.
So your webpage has finally reached that point. You’ve got it up and running, optimized language, used all the right links, maybe you’ve even started your page’s blog. You’ve covered all the basics of SEO and still aren’t ranking? What gives?
Turns out, it probably has something to do with your on-site images. Image SEO is a hugely important part of getting your page top ranking status in all the little coves that search engines provide. Digital image SEO is hugely important for your business. No matter what it is you’re selling.
Visual searches are quickly becoming the most sought after way for consumers to find what they’re looking for. Whether you’re selling on Amazon, hope to engage the Pinterest crowd, or want your site to be accessed by the millions that use google image search for their results. According to 2018 Jumpshot data, over 20% of searches on google are done via image search alone. It’s likely that this number will only continue to increase in coming years. So how do you get an image to rank on a search engine? Well, for starters, don’t worry about your images.
Image SEO: The Blind Leading the Blind
While it’s important to have good quality images that are relevant to what you’re talking about, they’re not what is actually most important from an SEO perspective. A little confusing right?
When trying to understand SEO from a ground up perspective, especially as someone who might be newer to the concept; or as someone hoping to secure top google results on their own, SEO can often feel confusing at the least. Digging through page after page of techniques and tips generally results in a myriad of open tabs- as you attempt to navigate industry specific jargon and convoluted instructions.
Image SEO is no stranger to this wildly frustrating format. However, one simple idea may offer you a clearer picture of how to achieve better image results: build your website images for blind clients. Sure, this might sound counterintuitive, but most of the techniques used to get your pictures better ranking and the best SEO, are those that also create a better website experience for the blind.
Using things like alt-text, context, image sizing and metadata can not only enhance pages for the visually impaired, but also function as your website’s way of taking analytic bots by the hand. Carefully explaining to them what each image represents. The better your photos are explained, the higher they will rank in a google image search- bringing your entire webpage to a new and curious audience.
Image SEO: What You Don’t See Matters
Creating original images can be time consuming, and even expensive. If you’re like most small business owners, that don’t necessarily have the budget for photographers or digital artists, but still need unique imagery for your site- just remove the background. Altering stock images can help your business to create singularly recognizable and distinctive images without emptying your bank account.
Taking an image from a stock image site, particularly one of the many free stock image sites, and changing it slightly to fit your brand and your page also helps to make it more individually recognizable to search engines. This will not only help make your site more interesting to prospective customers, but it can also help you rank better on an image search by having a different image from the rest (the majority are used from image from a stock image site) and enhancing the CTR (click-trough rate).
Alt text, file names, meta data, and surrounding text will all contribute heavily to the SEO of your image. This means that it can either help you out, or hurt your rank depending on the text you use. Which becomes just as important as the image you see. Alt-text is what will show up, should your image not load properly, or should someone have their browser set to not show images.
This text is super helpful for the visually impaired and will help add relevancy to your page. Ensuring that your file and image names are super descriptive as well will further boost your SEO, both for your page and the image itself. Meta data, like geotags, are another great way to sneak in some helpful SEO and get your images to the top of the pile. Don’t forget to contextualize your images as well, surrounding them with text that helps to describe the image or keep it in perspective with what’s happening on your site.
Bearing these useful little hints in mind, there are a number of applications and plug-ins that can help you successfully remove background or add useful alt text. Don’t be afraid to play around with them and get your site, and every image on it, to the people who are looking for it
About the author
Sarah, SEO Copywriter of Unik SEO, is a trained nurse, but with a real passion for words, Sarah left the US for Europe and career to embrace writing. Her love of psychology, mental health and biology, combined with a deep interest in politics, technology and travel, provides endless inspiration to create any content that falls into her lap.