Category: Chapter 3 – Be Found on Image Search
We devoted Chapter Three to winning with Google Image Search.
* Hint: It’s much easier to win than competing on a regular Google Search…
We’re not a huge fan of stock images, because… well, uhmm, they look stock. Searchers want to see the real deal and a stock photo screams POSER!
Remember to always use best practices when using an image on your website. Reduce file size, use keywords separated by hyphens for your file name, and always include an ALT tag. Our image below has the file name of: google-image-search-stock-photography.jpg
Here is an interesting article on stock images and how they could affect your ranking on #GoogleImageSearch https://www.searchenginejournal.com/stock-photography-and-seo/373153/amp/
Bing Adds New Shopping Details to Image Search
This is great news and highlights the importance of getting your images ranked high on the Image Search Engines from Google and Bing.
More and more people are using image search as a way to find products and services. Plus, most of your competitors have not figured this out. Optimizing your images for your keywords so that Google (and Bing) can rank them makes it easier to win with competitive industries or products. The fact that Google (and Bing) have dedicated an entire search engine to this should be an indication of its importance!
Below is an image of Greg’s iPhone Stand which usually ranks #1 on images searches. Notice the little shopping cart icon at the bottom of the image. Click it to make it bigger.
Bing has launched a feature that adds more data to product images, including competitive pricing for the same item sold at different stores, reviews and ratings and store availability.
It’s referred to as “Places to Buy Beta” showing the store availability of the product. In the example above it links to where Greg sells his iPhone Stands on Amazon.
This is a Beta test while Bing is rolling out a new image search feature.
Users can simply find the new “Places to Buy Beta” by clicking on the shopping cart option under the image.
As Covered in Chapter 3 – Overall Highlights of Image Search
Tips for Editing Images for Google Image Search
Sometimes we get lucky and can use the picture right out of the camera. Often times though an image will need a little editing to make it pop.
We use Photoshop, and with their new monthly cloud based fee program, it’s not that expensive. There are many lower cost and free alternatives. With photo editing software you can:
- Crop the image
- Adjust the physical dimensions of the image
- Adjust the file size of the image (smaller = faster load time)
- Adjust the resolution of the image
- Adjust the brightness, contrast, exposure, and color balance
- Add effects
A few simple tips on taking great pictures, editing them, and the latest recommendations for photo editing software.
We’re a big fan of Photoshop and it’s the market leader. However, you must now subscribe to Adobe’s Creative Cloud based service to access the Photoshop program for a monthly fee. You can get the whole suite of Adobe products for a “packaged price” or just subscribe to each platform (like Photoshop) piecemeal.
Copyright Free Images
Caution, consult an attorney if you have any question about your ability to use anyone else’s property. Better safe than sorry.
Do you need some high quality, copyright free content in the form of images and video?
Copyright Free Google Image Search
You can do an advanced search on Google Image Search to show copyright free images. After you search for your keywords, the images are displayed. Click on Search Tools –>Usage Right –>Labels for reuse
See the screenshot example below.
As mentioned before, restriction apply and consult an attorney.
Copyright Free Government Owned Content
Bokeh – Blur Image Backgrounds
Blurring the background (Bokeh) is a great way to bring focus to the subject, especially when the background is ugly or distracting. Pronounced BOH-Kə or BOH-kay
A blurred background can make it appear that the subject is isolated from the background. It is also visually appealing for us to see a photograph with a soft, smooth and silky background.
Notice how the image below of the author’s iPhone stand helps the viewer concentrate on the iPhone stand and creates a sense of depth and dimension. The diffused blur helps to “highlight” the subject, not detract from it.
Using this Bokeh effect with lights or other highly reflective objects softens bright objects into soft, diffused orbs of glowing light. Bokeh can also add softness to an otherwise harshly lit photograph.
Image Dimensions Improve SEO
When uploading images to your website, you can specify a width and height for them. A web browser will begin to display a page even before images are downloaded, provided that it knows the dimensions. Specifying these dimensions can speed up page loading and improve the user experience, all of which Google loves! Without image dimensions, when the browser runs into an image, the browser has to pause loading the page, load the image, then continue loading the page.
Below is a screenshot of of the image dimensions entered in the HTML code on a WordPress image placement.
FYI – WordPress uses widgets to place items like images on the side columns of the website.
Google Wants to Help You Optimize Your Images
Click on Google Images Best Practices and learn how to optimize your images from Google itself.
As outlined in chapter 3 following Google’s guidelines will increase the odds that your images will get top ranking on Google Image Search.
Below is a great video from Google on properly optimizing images.
The video from Google below explains the importance of ALT tags
Screen Reader Test for SEO
We know that Google likes websites that are friendly to disabled persons and allow accessibility for all. Proof of this can be found in how they treat the ALT tag on images. We think it’s pretty cool too, and as website designers we have an obligation to allow access for all.
In chapter 3 we learned that Googles uses the words you put in the ALT tag to rank your images on Google Image Search. ALT tags are how screen readers play the description of an image through the speakers of a visually impaired user. They simply speak the words you put in the ALT tag.
We would like to take this concept a step further with our SEO Screen Reader Project. Let’s use a screen reader to test our website for SEO. If the screen reader can pick up and play our keywords through a speaker then Google can easily find them too. Keep an eye on this project as we develop it.