If you want to boost your Google rank, then in this article, you are going to learn a few chops about visual SEO strategies that you can integrate into your plan. Long gone are the days when a chunk of text with overstuffed keywords was allowed to rank high in Google. SEO has evolved, although SEO strategies are still not that simple.
Now, visual SEO strategies are becoming popular. SEO agencies that leverage infographics, Data visualization, SEO videos, SEO image optimization, and other visual SEO content are doing better than ever.
What Is Visual Content?
Visual SEO content is any SEO content that appeals to the user’s visual senses. According to link-assistant.com, back in 2017, Google Lens and Pinterest Lens were launched. Around the same time, the ASOS Style Match application was brought to life. Differing in the offered functionality, those apps had a major common feature.
They allowed users to snap or upload an image of an object and get info about it or recommendations on similar objects. And that proved beneficial. In just a year Pinterest Lens celebrated 600+ million searches a month. By 2019, people have addressed more than a billion queries to Google Lens. ASOS profited by offering items from their product stock similar to users’ queries.
In the long run, all those apps played a bet on visual search. Eventually, it appeared to be something people have long anticipated. Bing, Amazon, eBay, and dozens of smaller companies joined the club bringing consumers’ experience to a new level. So probably, it’s high time to keep an eye on visual search.
Infographics and Data Visualizations
These are the most popular form of visual content. An infographic is a graphical representation of information or data, such as statistics or maps. Data visualizations created with a data visualization tool refer to the use of visual representations of abstract data and help to understand raw data for better decision-making.
Some of the most insightful & widely known Data Visualization charts/graphs are the Pareto chart (for better analysis), the Likert Scale (for survey analysis), the Data flow diagram (to understand data flow), and the comparison chart (for A/B testing).
The use of videos has exploded in SEO. SEO professionals know that users love videos and rank websites higher that have good videos. However, SEO experts know how to make even better videos with the right keywords in the right SEO tags to boost SEO rankings.
Image Ranking is a crucial part of visual SEO. SEO experts know how to embed helpful keywords within the images’ metadata to rank high when searching for specific topics or ideas.
Memes are popular with virtually all age groups. They are also linked to higher SEO rankings because they make users want to click on the link in search results, even if they do not know what data or information is contained within them.
Why You Should Incorporate Visual Content In Your SEO Strategy
People have a more positive emotional reaction to visual information than to text. About 50% of our brain is devoted to visual processing. This means that users’ brains process visual data much faster and better than text. To boost user behavior, SEO professionals must take advantage of visual SEO.
Visual content is the easiest type of SEO content for a reader to digest. Users do not have to read through long blocks of text to get the information they need from visual SEO content. Your conversion rate will increase when you start using infographics and video marketing in your SEO strategy.
Technically, visual SEO content is highly shareable. People love to share visual information via the web and social media. After all, humans are fiercely social creatures and can’t get enough of sharing data and information.
Memes, infographics, Data Visualizations, and images are far easier for users to bookmark than text-based pages. Users can easily save images and blog posts containing infographics to Pinterest, for example. This means that the chances of users returning to your site are much higher once they bookmark a page containing an infographic or a video.
Visual SEO Strategies That Can Boost Your Google Ranking
As a matter of fact, Gartner predicted that by 2021 early adopter brands would increase revenue by 30% having redesigned their websites to support voice and visual search. While it’s not likely that visual search will push the text-based search out completely, its share will definitely grow. What’s more, visual search is becoming a significant part of the consumer’s journey.
Thus, companies that want to be ahead of the competition should already take a closer look at visual search, examine it’s possible business benefits, and make use of it. Therefore, we can simply say that, in a wider meaning, visual search is a technology that allows looking for information using an image as a query.
It also allows for returning visual search results to text-based queries. But in fact, there are three widely used visual search variations today. There are several types of visual SEO strategies that you can use to impact your rankings. Here are the most popular visual SEO strategies that will help you stand out from the rest of the crowd:
1. Understand Your Audience
Before composing a post, make sure you know the audience to which it will be directed. The type of visual content your audience usually consumes, what they like and dislike about the topic, and how they prefer to receive information need consideration before you create or disseminate any type of visual content.
2. Create Infographics For Every Post You Write
This is one of the most popular visual SEO strategies out there. Simply create an infographic to accompany every blog post you write. This strategy works exceptionally well when you create infographics based on the title of the blog post you are writing. Utilize data visualization techniques in marketing to help your audience understand your content.
3. Create A ‘Visual’ Version Of Your Archives Page
You should create an archive page that only contains images and visualizations rather than a text-based archive page. SEO content is highly shareable on social media outlets like Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, and Facebook.
4. Incentivize The Sharing Of Your Visual Content
Add sharing buttons to your site, and make sure that they are highly visible. You can do this by placing them at the top of each post or creating a pop-up window that appears every time someone reaches the end of your blog post. This way, you will see increased social media shares, and more people will visit your site.
5. Make It Easy For Visitors To Share Your Visual Content
Allow visitors to easily share images on their social media accounts by clicking or tapping on their devices.
6. Focus On Creating Images with A Storyline
If you want to create compelling images, you will want to keep the storyline of your post in mind while you compose them. If one image does not contain a complete storyline on its own, consider creating more than one image for each post. Doing so will make your site look highly professional.
7. Tell A Story Through Your Images
When composing an image to accompany a blog post, think about the story you want your audience to see. How can you show it? If you cannot find a way to depict that storyline through one image alone, then compose several and string them together into a virtual slideshow using an app such as Slideshows for Instagram.
8. Use Video To Boost Engagement
Videos are essential visual SEO content engagement strategies for any website and are also significant to stand out from the competition. They can increase engagement and drive more social shares than an equivalent number of images would. As one of the visual strategies, video dubbing is used to rank higher in search results. Videos also tend to receive much higher rankings in Google Image searches.
9. Make Your Images As Long As Possible
Longer images have a better chance of appearing higher in a Google search. If you can, make your image so long that it cannot be displayed on a single screen without scrolling down; this will help you rank much higher than shorter images would.
10. Add High-Quality Visuals To The Most Popular Posts On Your Site
If any posts on your site have gotten a lot of traffic, make sure to add high-quality visuals to them. One way you can do this is by creating infographics for these popular posts. Doing so will help ensure that they continue driving traffic to your site long into the future.
How Visual Search Helps Users And Businesses
Visual search technologies are changing users’ search behavior and opening new doors for companies to promote and sell their products. The ability to come up with what a user exactly wants (or very close to it) is what businesses strive for, don’t they?
In fact, the fashion industry was the first to recognize the potential benefits visual search technology can bring. Yet, it’s a great solution for e-commerce in general. That said, below are some key points on how visual search may help both users and businesses:
Remarkably, visual search is sometimes more valuable than text-based search. And way more time-saving. It frees users from trying to guess the right keyword that would describe the desired object and scramble through tons of not-always-relevant results. Just try to google something like “a red flower with lots of petals” — and good luck with finding the one you meant.
Uploading a picture (or snapping it) is much easier and it tells a search engine exactly what to search for. And this works not only with looking for things to buy, though it may look the most obvious. Identifying sights when traveling, getting to know unfamiliar plants, birds, and animals, and finding home decor ideas — the areas of use may be various.
Essentially, the visual search may become a win-win strategy. As more and more consumers would appreciate getting more shoppable content, according to this study, it would be quite unwise not to provide them with it. Here are a couple of the most obvious options a business may benefit from:
- Leveraging user’s inspiration. Buying decision doesn’t usually come out of the thin air. People first get inspired by something. From a great pair of shoes on a passer-by to an interesting piece of furniture seen in a magazine to a wonderful painting in a gallery window. So it’s wise to be ready to offer something very close to their inspiration object from what you have in stock.
- Cross-selling. As visual search algorithms provide results according to their relevance to the initial query, you may always have something from your stock to offer a potential customer. Even if it’s not exactly what the customer wanted, but something similar. Moreover, it may be a great tool for promoting products that complement the customer’s choice. For example, a customer looking for a pair of classic trousers may end up buying the complete look if presented with an image of the trousers combined with a matching shirt and complemented with a bag or shoes that look great together.
How To Use Visual SEO Strategies To Optimize Your Content
All popular search engines allow for searching by image. And as interest in visual search is growing, they increase the image search share. For example, Google already tends to show more images in search results. So, here are some ways companies can leverage all kinds of visual searches.
Good old classic optimization
As I’ve already mentioned, image metasearch is the most used type of visual search today. To increase your visual content visibility in search, the good old image SEO best practices still work very well. The aim of image SEO is and has been to give search engines all the possible information about the content of images. Consider these steps to make sure your visual content appears in search results.
- Add your images to XML image sitemaps. This step will help search engine crawlers easily access the images and increase the likelihood they would appear in search results.
- Name the images right. If you want to feed search engines with the fullest info on what your images are about, name them properly. It means, that an image of kittens should be named something like black-white-kittens.jpg instead of img00999584.jpg. Looks quite logical, doesn’t it?
- Ensure all your images have descriptive titles and alt-tags that contain your target keywords. These tags help search engines better understand the contents of an image, which helps to index them properly.
Checking for empty alt-tags with WebSite Auditor
- Don’t forget the context. Make sure that text that surrounds your images is contextually relevant to them. Using captions is another way to hint at the image content and help search engines understand it.
- Use properly structured data markup. Though it already sounds like a mantra, wrapping your images with the right schema markup helps search engines identify and understand your visual content way better. There’s a wide choice of markups designed for different types of visual content, like for example Product, etc.
- Optimize images. Images are those elements that can to a great extent slow down the load of your website. It’s no good, as we know that site speed is considered to be one of the most important ranking signals. Thus you need to optimize your images, finding the optimal size/quality balance. Google provides quite extensive set of recommendations on how to optimize images.
- Ensure your website pages that contain visual content load fast and are mobile-friendly. This is already a matter of fact, but as site speed matters for its organic visibility, it’s worth repeating. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is great to find out whether your webpages’ performance complies with Google’s standards.
How to check page speed with WebSite Auditor.
Visual applications and search engines are able to identify and decipher different objects in images. However, you may help them do it. You need to ensure the images on your website are easily “readable”. This means the objects are clearly visible, the backgrounds are light, and there’s no clatter in them. All this makes image processing easier for machines, thus helping them define objects more accurately.
Visual search platforms advertising
Being one of the most popular visual search platforms, Pinterest provides businesses with great advertising options that help businesses engage with users right at the moment they search for inspiration. The Catalogue feature allows retailers to create product catalogs and easily promote product pins through Shopping Ads. And this seems to be extremely beneficial, as 90% of weekly Pinners use Pinterest to make purchase decisions, according to this study.
The Topmost Popular Image Search Solutions To Consider
- Google Images is the biggest visual search service launched by Google in 2001. It allows for both textual-based and reverse image searches.
- Bing Images is the visual search engine by Microsoft. It supports textual-based and reverses image searches. It also allows highlighting an object in the image and coming up with image results of what it believes to be similar objects.
- Pinterest is one of the biggest and most popular visual search platforms. It gives inspiration and powers creativity for 250 million monthly users. Each textual query returns thousands of related pins. Moreover, each pin empowers you to search for visually similar results just by clicking a special button or highlighting objects.
- Google Lens is a visual search app that empowers users to search for information literally through their camera lenses. It helps translate texts, read QR codes, find outfits or accessories you liked, explore nearby places, identify plants and animals, and many more.
- Pinterest Lens — a great visual search-powered app that allows users to look for ideas based on things they point their cameras at.
- Bixby Vision — a visual search application by Samsung. It provides a similar Google Lens functionality, giving users a new way of interacting with the world around them. From translating a sign to learning the calories in your lunch to even trying on makeup with AR.
As you can see, above are some of the topmost best examples of different visual search solutions, like search engines and visual search applications that you can utilize in your custom visual search strategy.
All types of visual content have a high probability of going viral on social media. Since people simply love sharing this type of content with others, the chances of someone sharing your visual content are high. This means that more people will see your page and visit it.
So, using visual SEO strategies can help you stand out from your competition in a very effective way. The most important thing to remember is that these strategies are designed to help you get more traffic in a concise amount of time, and they can give your site a significant boost when it comes to organic search engine rankings.