1 out of every 3 Google searches is for an image. If you’re trying to drive more organic traffic to your website, you can’t afford to forget about your images. This article explains whether you should be concentrating on Google Image search and how you can help your images rank well.
We know the reason most don’t consider Google image search: Google Images used to push users through to your website when images were clicked. Now, Google simply loads your image up and most users won’t click through to your website. This means we can’t measure any impressions or clicks.
So, based on the fact you can’t measure results, should you be spending time working on your organic image rankings? The easiest way to tell is to Google one of your key terms. For example, “London Architecture”. If you see an images section below the adverts, it’s likely users searching for your search terms have been using Google Images.
If you’ve decided that you should work on your organic image rankings, it might be that you start with just a few key images, and then roll it out over all of your images when you get a chance. The good news is that the algorithm for images is simple compared to that of web results.
Below we’ve listed things to consider and work on to help your images rank well. Don’t forget Google can’t see the actual image (although they’re working on this, and some results suggest they can) and mostly relies on your help to distinguish whether the image is relevant.
- Don’t worry about duplicates across your domain, or from other websites. It’s not always the original will rank best, and you won’t be penalised as long as you don’t infringe copyright.
- Make sure the filename is useful and relevant, and describes the image.
- Give the image an ‘alt’ attribute explaining what it is. This will help your web rankings and accessibility scores too, and will be shown in the unlikely event that the image doesn’t load.
- A caption is the most important piece of text. Give the image a useful, relevant and readable caption as this will likely be fed through to the search engine.
- Place the image within relevant content. Google will likely look at the text that surrounds it to see if it’s relevant to the search. Image from galleries tend not to rank very well within Google Images due to the lack of content surrounding them – all it can see is images.
- Make sure it’s sitting on a friendly URL.
- The image must be interesting. Tests show the more impressions and clicks the image gets, it moves up in the ranking. If it’s interesting, it’ll be clicked!
- Keep the image to the aspect ratio of a photo. Google is more likely to rank an image that is around the standard ratio of 4×3.
- Ensure the file size is not incredibly small, or too large – get it just right.
If you need help with the technical side of getting your images to rank better, or you’d like to discuss your overall search engine optimisation strategy, feel free to speak to a member of our team today on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 084 3086.