Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Google Images: an Easy Source of Traffic for SEO

I was doing a stat report for a website, and have always known that Google Images can send a good amount of traffic, but it always helps to look at the numbers: for the year, Google Images had sent 27,5000 visits to this website, which was a small percentage of their overall traffic sources, but that's 27,500 visits just from including images in a blog post or website page.

A quick and easy way to bring in traffic from Google: use images in your web posts or pages, set their alt attributes, and link them to something if possible. This might get your image, and your website, found in Google Images. What does that mean? It means that if you are going to blog about something, include a picture, fill in its alt attribute, and write your post with your keyword phrases woven in. Let's break down this image recommendation:

1. You want to blog about the super cute rolling shoes that kids roll around on, but you want them for adults. You will create a "post" about this (aka web page, but if it's in blogging software, it's sometimes called a blog post), titling the post something like "Super Cute Heely Roller Shoes for Adults". I did not keyword research that, and guessed, but I do know from my own website stats that "heely roller shoe" is a searched for term.

2. You need a picture of a heely roller shoe. If you are not blogging on your own products, and you need to find the image, especially if it's a product, go to Amazon.com. Do a search for the shoe, right click on the image you want (Mac users: hold down your "ctrl" key next to the space bar and then click), and select Save to Desktop, or something similar. This sucks the image down onto your computer. Most likely, the file name is something like 2349875thiefuodjrw8.jpg, which makes no sense. Rename it to heely-roller-shoe-pink.jpg. This may or may not help in search engines rankings, but it can't hurt. Now you can upload it via your blogging software (Blogger lets you do this, or Flickr) or upload it to your host. Remember, if you are wanting to use an image from a small company, or a content based organization, you should ask permission and state your use of the image before you do this. It's a good idea to offer to link to that company or organization in your citation. Even with Amazon, it's just polite to link to them if you use their image.

2. You will increase the image's chances of getting listed in the first pages of Google Images for the specific keyword term if you fill in the alt attribute. This was created to help the blind know what the image is, so it's really a descriptive term of what the image is. It will not show up on your live website page. In the code, the alt attribute looks like this: alt="descriptive term here"

If you have to go into the code, vs your CMS or blogging software letting you access it a different way, the code for the image and alt attribute would look like this:
<img src="http://www.fashionmista.com/images/heely-roller-shoe-pink.jpg" alt="pink heely roller shoe">
I only bolded it to show you where it is. It won't be bolded in real life.

3. For your copy, get the actual keyword word as close to the image as possible. Google will read the copy on your page and show the image that is closest to it in Google Images.

That should be it! Pay close attention to your website stats to see what is working and not working, making adjustments all of the time. Good website stat programs are Google Analytics and Statcounter. Google Analytics will keep a history of your stats, but Statcounter will only keep it for 100 hits at a time. Each have their benefits, like how Statcounter gives you real time results in a consice way, whereas you have to wait a day before Google's presents the full results.

2 comments:

Patriot said...

I had no idea about the alt image. Thank you for the help!!

Mista said...

Sure thing!