Whenever I am doing online consulting with a client, I always like to start with the base of any online marketing plan, the blog. When it comes to the blog, one of the things that so many clients overlook are the details. One detail in particular that gets over looked is the labeling of images. I once wrote a simple post titled: My 4th of July Festivities in Myrtle Beach, SC. What are you doing?!? In the article, I shared a few photos that I took of me cooking some steaks on the grill to celebrate the holiday with the in-laws. For fun, I decided I would label my photos “Best Steaks in Myrtle Beach” Are they the best steaks in Myrtle Beach? I thought they were pretty good and so did my family. However I labeled the photos like this on purpose to prove a point.
In my post, that phrase is used nowhere other than just the labeling of my pictures. I just ran a Google image search and I wasn’t really surprised to find them in the top spaces on Google. I know what many of you are thinking, “Who Cares if your photos rank high in google image search? You are an online consulting company.” Well, if you haven’t paid attention to this before, you may want to now, because there is a tremendous amount of Google Juice involved involved in your image labels. When Google searches your site, they are no longer just looking at the text. They are also reading your images & any text associated with the image to help categorize the web page.
Peter Linsley, a product manager for Google Images did a great video on google images search. He explains why images are important to SEO & also why consumers are using image search. The video gets very technical & geeky, so I will warn you ahead of time. Even though I live this stuff all the time for my online clients that I consult, I didn’t understand it all. Nevertheless, it has a few good points.
Three Reasons to Appeal to Google Image Search for Consumers.
1. Your Blog can get more traffic from properly labeled images than from Twitter & Facebook combined! Yes, I did say that! One of my blogs that I always try to add 2 photos to each post receives twice as much traffic as it does from Twitter & Facebook combined. Whenever I share this with a client I am consulting, they have a hard time believing me. Trust me when I say the first time I saw this stat, it really blew me away and made me go run my analytics again.
2. Images have a very broad exposure. By labeling your photos properly, you are increasing your exposure tremendously. In the example above, if I was searching for the best steaks in Myrtle Beach, I would use the regular Google search, but since I am very much a visual person, and would want to actually see the results instead of just reading about i, I would also look at the images to see actual photos of the steaks.
Before you say it, let me extinguish this complaint: “But this has nothing to do with online consulting, so who cares?” You are correct, this doesn’t have a thing to do with online consulting. But, how many times do you visit a website from Google in search of one thing & end up noticing something else? I always recommend to think with a Walmart Mentality when it comes to your blog. Share more than just your business things. Some personal content can be a good addition. If nothing else, this is extremely important to use when writing posts because it helps to increase your keyword density when writing content.
3. People Search More than Just #1! When someone is doing an image search, they are going to look at more than just #1 on the list. In Fact, many times, they will search through several pages to find the photo that catches their eye. So even if you are not lucky enough to get your photo landed in the #1-5 spots, the importance of labeling the photos is still present because if you have the most visually appealing photo, the consumer will visit your page faster because their eyes will be drawn to your image over another.
290 Million photos Labeled img.
That is right! There are over 290 Million images on Google that have never been labeled properly. That means there is such a huge amount of photographs out there that may be some of the most amazing pieces of art that nobody will ever be able to search. Most blogging platforms make it very easy to label your photos.
Under the Image URL box you will notice the Image Description or Title. You can set these to be whatever you wish. The Image Description/Title is what Google will read & associate with the photo. It is important that you use thought when labeling photos though. Labeling it something funny or silly may not benefit you from a SEO perspective because consumers aren’t going to be searching for that term. But, if you use applicable keywords that consumers are searching, you can really bring additional traffic to your blog.
If you leave these fields empty, both Google & consumers may not know what your pictures mean. Also the search engines cannot find you. Implementing this simple & easy step takes only a few extra seconds while writing your posts, but the benefits from it can be endless. So, if you have been contributing to the 290 million, it is time to stop & contribute some SEO to yourself!