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Get Visual: Driving Traffic with Google Images

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You work hard at creating helpful content for your site visitors. You do your keyword research, monitor your industry, and provide timely information. Your visitors love your stuff!

That’s terrific. But what if you could drive even more visitors — targeted visitors — with the same content, without really doing any extra work?

If you’re creating good content, then surely you’re using images and videos with it … right? If you simply optimize the use of your images, you could tap into a whole new world of search traffic: image search.

So how do you do that?

Image Type
When you’re choosing which image to use, look at what kind of file type it is.

You want to choose JPG images. For some reason, they just seem to perform better with image search and end up ranking higher. One reason may be that JPGs are readable by any kind of browser a user might be searching with.

Or it may be that it’s easier to compress the size of JPG images. You don’t want tiny images; you want them to be clear and represent the idea behind them. But large images increase load time, which is never good.

Using and Choosing Keywords
The first thing you want to do is give each photo a clear, easy-to-read, and relevant title. Don’t use gibberish that tells the search engine nothing about the image.

For example, don’t stick with AG133NOV.jpg. This might help you with organizing which file is where, but it will do you NO favors in terms of image search or SEO.

Next is the Alt tag. Fill this in with relevant (but brief) information and keywords to help search engines understand what is contained in the image. Someone who is visually impaired may visit, and this tag will tell them what’s in the image too. (They use special browsing equipment that reads text for them.)

Lastly, put the description to good use. This isn’t completely necessary, but it doesn’t hurt. Here you can elaborate a bit more about what’s depicted in the image.

Be Original
Whether you Photoshop unique, creative images for your blog or you take photos of your products, you want your images to be unique. It’s also been shown that using multiple images will usually help them rank better, as long as you follow all the rules for each image.

Tip: With the new Google Trends, you can research a wealth of information about any search term.

This can help with image search, too. When you go to Google Trends, enter your search term and click Explore. As soon as you do, a whole lot of things load on the screen. Click on “Web Search” to the left (see below).

Screenshot of Google Trends

A menu will open to the right. Click on “Image Search.” That will open a chart of how many times people have searched for that term with image search. (Note: this number isn’t exact; it’s relative to searches as a whole.) You can also see other related search terms being searched for on image search.

Okay, so now you have the basics of driving more traffic just by optimizing your images. But if you want to get the most out of this, there’s still more you can do.

Fix The iFrame Roadblock
When people click on an image in Google Images, they’re taken to a special page that features just your image. They don’t necessarily come to your page and see all the glorious content you’ve worked so hard to put together.

The image actually shows in an iframe and visitors have to keep clicking to get to your real page, which some of them won’t necessarily do. So let’s fix that, shall we?

There’s a good chance you’re running WordPress on your site. If so, you’re lucky: that makes things very simple. You just need to install a new plugin. Either of these should work:

 

After you install and activate one of these, users will be redirected from that iFrame page to your actual page.

If you aren’t using WordPress, you’ll need to copy and paste some code into your site. Place the following code into either the header or footer locations in your site’s code. If you’re putting it in your header, look for

/head

Type it in just before that. If you’re in the footer, do the same thing. Look for

/footer

and put it just before that. Here is the code to copy and paste in:

[message_box title=”” color=”red”]

<script type=”text/javascript”>
<!–
if (parent.frames.length > 0) { parent.location.href = location.href; }
–>
</script>

[/message_box]

Once you start receiving this new, free traffic, you’ll want to monitor the traffic. After a few months, you can analyze which types of images are bringing the most traffic, and what kind of keywords do the most business, and you’ll know where to focus more of your energy.

Here are a couple of places that have guides to help you do just that:

http://www.sebastienpage.com/2009/05/06/google-analytics-trick-see-the-full-referring-url/

http://jrom.net/google-images-in-google-analytics

 

Conclusion
Always look for new opportunities to bring in traffic. As the saying goes, “Never put all your eggs in one basket.” You never know what kind of new business you might be missing out on.

Taking advantage of Google Images within the content you’ve already created is one of the many ways you can do just that. Contact us if you want to expand your reach or you need help with implementing any of the above.

avatar

Veronica

Veronica has been writing online since 2007. She enjoys helping clients with copywriting and content needs, as well helping with SEO campaigns. Her experience ranges from helping small websites succeed with SEO and internet marketing campaigns to writing for Planet Green (Discovery Channel).

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