Improved Google Ranking through the Use of Images, Graphics and Videos
Good text content is important for findability on Google but content in other formats must not be overlooked either. Photos and videos, for example, are more important for your website than you probably suspect.
What Do Images Do to Us?
Images affect us more quickly than any words because our eye perceives them immediately. This causes an instant reaction and creates emotions. In addition, infographics, images and videos vividly illustrate things that are difficult to describe. There is truth to the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Also of interest: According to SEJ (Search Enginge Journal) visitors to websites remember only up to 20 percent of what they read but retain up to 80 percent of what they saw as an image or graphic.
Additionally images optically break up blocks of text and even draw attention to specific passages. You’ve surely experienced this for yourself. When there’s a lot of copy you’re more likely to read the section next to or under an image and the caption of course too.
And last but not least, images lead to confidence in the words. If you’re reading a travel account you have more trust in the content if the author includes photos in the article.
7 Reasons for the Inclusion of Images in Websites:
- Immediately grasped
- Instant emotional reaction
- Lasting impression
- Text breaks
- Eye catching
- Trust creating
Text with Images is Shared 3 Times More Often
Noah Kagan reveals in his article „How to Create Viral Content: 10 Insights from 100 Million Articles“, that Facebook posts with a photo are shared three times more often than posts comprising words only. On Twitter reactions double to tweets that include an image.
These facts are also interesting from an SEO viewpoint. Among other factors the Google search engine evaluates the interactions that a website prompts like through backlinks. These so-called social signals are incorporated, among other things, into the assessment criteria that Google uses to rate the relevance of an online presence.
In short, employing images on your website increases the chances that the content will be shared and further distributed across the internet which Google classifies as relevant to the user and therefore as positive.
Find out more on the topic of social signals and their influence on Google rankings in this post.
Don’t Underestimate Image Search
A lot of people still use Google as an image search engine. What does a VW Golf look like again? Search Google Images and have a look. The photos in the search results usually link directly to relevant sales outlets that carry this car.
Caution: Not all Photos are Created Equal
Unfortunately it’s not enough to embellish every item on your site with a stock photo, namely because stock photos can be used by anyone. For this reason you’ll see them over and over again on various sites around the web. So the same is true for image content as it is for text content: Uniqueness counts!
Try your hand with the camera yourself or give it to an employee and take your own photograph of the product you want to feature in your blog, for example. When it’s plain to see that the photos weren’t staged or taken by a professional photographer, this especially increases the credibility of your article. Of course the lighting and focus should still be good, and important details easily recognizable.
Think of the Technical Details
To optimize photos and videos for search engines, they have to be correctly integrated into the code of the respective website. It is extremely important, for example, to assign a meaningful title tag (shows information about the image when a user moves the cursor over the picture, a so-called mouseover). The so-called alt tag (alternative text, a short description of an image that doesn’t load) also shouldn’t be forgotten. In WordPress you can add a detailed image description as well. And last but not least, an informative caption should be assigned to every image. Website visitors enjoy reading them and captions also help Google correctly understand and classify the context of the image within the website content.
When editing and saving images and videos it’s important to preserve optimum quality with the smallest possible file size. Keep in mind that Google, especially with mobile websites, considers fast loading speed as a ranking factor. If photos are several megabytes in size, loading takes as expected way too long.
Tools and Tips
A great tool for quickly decreasing the size of a large image file without loss of quality is: tiny png.
Additional tips and tricks on the subject of images and SEO can be found in the article: Image SEO: Optimizing images for search engines
Don’t Forget Graphics
Besides photos graphics are important content that draws the eye and entices users to forward and share. Especially infographics offer added value for users and are popular with Google for that reason. This can for example be the graphic representation of a statistic or a schematic overview of the production line for your new product.
7 tools to create diagrams and infographics easily
- Excel changes boring tables into terrific diagrams. Just make sure that the graphic representation is comprehensible. Microsoft demonstrates how to make diagrams in this video.
- Onlinecharttool is an easy to understand online solution for creating diagrams at no charge.
- With Pixton you can create comic strips with just a few clicks, to present information in an entertaining manner.
- The online tool Canva allows you to convert process workflows into graphic form. In addition you can put together posters, invitations, Instagram posts and much more in Canva with just a few clicks.
- Graphic word clouds make boring lists into fascinating focal points. Give it a try, for instance at wordclouds.com.
- To incorporate a small presentation in the style of PowerPoint into your website, you can utilize Google Presentations. Under “file” you’ll find the option “publish to the web”. With this command you can very easily embed your presentation in an article, etc.
- Flow charts and mind maps are graphics that users appreciate seeing as well. They are simple to create with visme.
Videos are significant for websites because they increase the average time spent on a site. Copy is often just skimmed while scanning for relevant keywords. With a video however, your visitor spends the two or three minutes to watch it. Because a longer length of stay on a site is a positive ranking factor for Google as well, videos are important.
In addition many processes can be more easily depicted with moving pictures than in a static graphic. Your website visitors will appreciate this and recommend your video. Ideally your video will then also be shown on other sites, thereby bringing you good backlinks.
And finally videos of course also have an entertainment element if they’re well done. Internet users will visit your website more often, just to see what’s new.
More Information on the Subject of Video and SEO
Video as it relates to SEO is a complex topic, for which reason we can’t go into detail here. All the important points are covered though in the article „How videos impact your SEO rankings“ .
Tips for Creating Videos
In this article “20 Pre-Production Tips to Create Successful Video Content” you’ll find a great and easy to understand summary of the most important tips for creating good videos. If you follow these suggestions you’ll create videos that your users love and share online.
Remember! Videos are Not a Magic Bullet
Videos should only be utilized where they make sense for the particular site they’re on and when they offer users additional value. Please don’t clutter your own website with irrelevant and poor-quality videos according to the motto “more is more.” Your users and with them Google too will quickly get wise to this and ignore your site.
There are a few portals on the net that create a video for even the most insignificant thing, which has no relevance whatsoever and only wastes visitors’ time. Users are irritated by this and will think twice before heading to this site again.
Summary of Images, Graphics and Videos from an SEO Perspective
Photos, diagrams or short videos upgrade your website and its products on multiple levels. They ensure:
- Increased length of stay
- High probability of backlinks and recommendations on social networks
- Good comprehension of complex subjects
- Visual relief
- High credibility
- Website makes long-term impression
- High visitor return rate
These are all factors that Google values positively. So always keep the utilization of good photos, graphics and videos in mind when planning your website content.