Image and video SEO optimization is something digital marketers have played around with in the past. But, the future of search optimization demands that those unfamiliar with the strategy get up to speed.
SEO trends are showing that this may be the year Google insides on image and video search as the norm. With visual-heavy social media platforms, faster Internet speeds and users’ desire to engage more with image and video, a change is necessary for any marketing professional not focusing on visual SEO.
Many experts predict that search engines will begin to adjust the way they treat visual images in effort to improve user interaction. This shift may have already taken place, so prepare to give greater attention to all of your brand’s visual assets – particularly to image and video SEO optimization.
Here are some tips for fine-tuning your image and video SEO optimization strategy [or for giving it a complete overhaul if needed].
Image Search Optimization
If you’re developing an article or any other type of digital content, and you’re wondering if you should use images, the answer is an absolute “yes.” Images create a more vivid user experience and they can boost your page’s SEO. They also help a reader better understand your content.
Always Use Images
You’ve surely heard “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, Google may not take this phrase literally, but it’s suggesting that images will spice up your content a great deal.
You don’t have to always add images of people, places or things to your content. Consider data diagrams or charts as visual aids. Any type of image connected to your content, including social media posts, makes copy more appealing and helps you present your topic to the user.
We recommend you use images in every piece of content you write.
Choosing the Right Images
If you can add your own images, do so. Photos of your team, assets and services are ideal because they give the customer a direct connection to your brand. Stock images [here’s a great list of 20 free stock photo websites] can be used if you don’t have access to a professional photographer or can’t include custom photography in your marketing plan.
All images, however, need to connect with your content. They should enhance your copy by focusing on the same topic and ideally expanding on the subject matter. We’ll discuss later how important it is for the subject of your images to correspond with the text surrounding them.
Preparing Your Images for Search
After you’ve found the right image to compliment your content, it’s time to optimize that image for search. There are a few ways you can prepare the image for optimal use on your website.
- Choose an appropriate file name – Image SEO includes choosing appropriate file names, which means each image file name needs to include a relevant keyword. Google should know what your image is about without needing to see it. If you have a picture of Times Square, for instance, you should call the image file TimesSquare.jpg or similar. Don’t let it stand on your site with a file name like IMG_001.jpg or anything of the sort.
- Scale your image for SEO – Image load time is an important aspect of SEO. The faster your website loads, the easier it is for a user to experience the site. Images that are shown small on your website shouldn’t be large files. They’ll create load lag time, especially if you have several of them. Scale all images to the size you will show them on your website.
- Pay attention to alt tags – As mentioned, Google rewards those who use appropriate images within a body of text. Along with file names, alt tags with page-focused keywords tell Google about the images. When properly tagged and placed within content where it makes sense, based on the subject of the surrounding copy, an image can provide depth and prove value to Google. This means higher rankings. Remember that alt tags should accurately describe the image in addition to including keywords. Galileo uses the Yoast Focus Keyword as the alt tag of our website images.
Video SEO Optimization
YouTube has long been the medium of choice for publishing video, but we’re now seeing more video content on various social media platforms and on websites. While putting out video is a great way to dive deeper into your brand and its offerings, you won’t provide greater value for web users if they don’t see your videos. It’s critical you know how to optimize your video content to show up in universal or video search.
What is Video SEO?
Video SEO is a tactic you can use to optimize your video content so that it’s indexed and ranked in the SERPs for your chosen keywords. There are several strategies you can adopt to optimize for video and give your content a better chance to be seen by your target audience.
Getting ranked for universal search has much to do with your efforts at video SEO, but perhaps more to do with the overall authority of your website or channel. Sometimes, your best approach to video optimization might be to concentrate on video rankings instead of universal search rankings.
- Pick the best hosting platform – Choose a hosting platform based on your reasons for wanting your videos to get ranked. Do you want to gain traffic to your website? Are new leads your goal? Maybe you’re trying to build brand awareness or become known as a thought leader. Even though Vimeo and YouTube are great for general brand awareness, but they’re not necessarily going to help you get more traffic to your site.
- Include video transcripts – Inserting video transcripts with your videos lets users enjoy your content without needing to turn the sound on, which can be beneficial in a variety of situations. It also gives you another place to insert keywords. Videos with transcripts are more bot scrapable since there’s additional copy on the page.
- Choose keyword-focused titles and descriptions – Just like any piece of content, videos should have keyword-driven headlines, title tags and meta descriptions. All of these bits of content play a role in overall SEO. Make sure you’re targeting keywords that relate to your page content and that are keywords your target customers are actually searching for.
This is just a small snippet of how to optimize for image and video search. To learn more tips and get started on your image and video SEO campaign, contact Galileo Tech Media.