Lately people have been putting much effort into figuring out how to take advantage of the anticipated growth in things such as voice search. However, most overlook a much easier search medium: Google Image search.
According to an analysis of Jumpshot and Moz data, Google is the second highest used search platform behind Google.com and it is searched more than the other top 10 web properties put together.
Google Image Searches are Important
According to data from Jumpshot and Moz, Google Images accounts for a considerable number of searches, much more than YouTube, Google Maps, Amazon and Facebook combined. Searches in Google Images are made more than 10 times as often as any search on Bing or Yahoo, and they 40 times the searches on Facebook.
Since search ranking is often neglected and because there are so many more results presented on image search results pages, Google Images can help a local business or its products and services get found.
Below are some tips to make sure your images are optimized to take advantage of search queries performed in Google Images:
Tips on Optimizing Images for Google Image Searches
- Make sure that your images are of good quality and are appealing. That might seem obvious, but there are many poor quality photos on the internet. Product descriptions and images are are crucial for consumer decision-making. Cnsumers extrapolate the quality of an image to that of the product or service. So better pictures boost clicks which will boost ranking of that image.
- While overly large image file size hurts page load time, reducing the file size does not mean you have to sacrifice quality. There are ways to strip out unnecessary data and many online tools that can help optimize images for your website. Try JPEGMini, PunyPNG or Kraken.io.
While Google doesn’t take the same liberties in cropping images in search results that they do with Google profile pics, it’s still important to understand how the image will look in search results. Images that don’t fit the more standard image ratios, such as 16:9 or 4:3, tend to be resized to fit those dimensions. Also, images such as large group pics that lose any valuable detail when reduced to thumbnail size will likely fail to draw attention or clicks. Image subjects that are too small display poorly in thumbnails
Metadata, labels and descriptors are all used by Google for indexing purposes, so they’re important in identifying for Google what your image is and the context in which it is used. Better indexing means better ranking in search results. Things to customize when uploading an image:
- Image file name: File name is the most basic description of your image that is searchable. Make the name accurately depict the image.
- Alt tags: Alt tags are HTML attributes used to describe your image and are used in place of the image when it doesn’t render or isn’t displayed. For example, the text would be displayed by a screen reader for the visually impaired, when images are disabled in a browser or when the image can’t be decoded. An alt tag is an alternate display of text in place of the image.
- Captions: Captions are typically the title or description that is displayed with the image.
- Descriptions. Description is a field that allows for a full explanation of the image and that may provide additional details including links. Descriptions are displayed when an image within a post or on a site is clicked on and opened in a separate window.
- Contextual information surrounding the image. Google determines relevance of images to search results by the context of everything else around them including text content, other images, image sitemaps, page title and page URL. So optimize them all for the words that most accurately describe the image.
Images will continue to play a powerful role in helping businesses and their products or services get found. Yet too many businesses fail to optimize images separately from the article, web page or landing page where they are displayed. As a result, they lose valuable opportunities to promote their brand, store, product or service in search results. Spend a little more time in SEO for images and tap into the potential returns that so many overlook.
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