You know that Content is King; however, ranking your images is just as important and your ratings can have a great deal to do with the online traffic that is generated for your business if your images get attention.
One thing that is for certain is that images are, in their own way, just as important as words. They really add a great deal to what you are offering online and they capture people’s attention and entice them to continue reading what you are sharing with them. Of course, the importance of the images depends, to some extent, on your actual business. On the whole, most business stand to increase their online traffic (and ultimately will probably eventually increase their sales) because of images. Some of those professions are:
- Photographers: This is an obvious choice. The images are clearly the majority of what they are selling. However, photographers are constantly running into the danger of people using their images without permission. If they rank their images and their copyrighted material is offered to the public, they are protecting themselves from some of that.
- Websites that are driven by advertising: Those types of websites are very image driven. The more high-quality images you offer online, the more people will pay attention to your business. People generally react differently to images than they do to words. Both are very important and can be extremely powerful; however, the reaction that they invoke from the audience are different from each other.
- Websites that are selling only images: If you happen to have a website that is selling images exclusively, your rankings in the search engines are absolutely critical. Because you don’t have the power of words behind what you are offering, your images must be exceptional in order to be successful.
Leveraging rankings for your images
There are many different ways in which to leverage image searches and to get people to be enticed into choosing your images over the images of your competitors.
Making sure that your images are optimized so that you rank high in the search engines
When it comes to optimizing images, it is very different than optimizing written content. There are several website testing tools that you can use to do just that. Once you have optimized your images for their size, loading times, and the impact that they will have on your server, you need to try to make sure that they are displayed as often as you would like them to be for your business. There are some things that you can do to make sure that this happens.
- Naming your image effectively: Once you have downloaded your images, if you don’t intentionally name them appropriately so that other people can find them, they will end up with a generic, alphabetized name that will not be very effective when it comes to other people’s searches of them. This won’t be very helpful for the search engines to find and rank them well. Of course, you do have control over giving the image a more effective name, which you can link to your URL.
- Alt tags (an alt tag is used in HTML or XHTML documents to specify alternative text): If you add an alt tag to your image, you will be doing two things. First of all, you will be connecting your image to text directly.
- Use a title tag: The title tag is very important for people who are searching for your images. It does impact the search results that you should definitely take advantage of using it. It will undoubtedly enable your visitors to find your images more easily. If you aren’t convinced that it actually does anything, you should use it anyway because it will only help.
- Use page copy: Page copy will help the search engines to establish the relevancy of your images. You should always connect some content (written word) with your images. Even a short caption will suffice. This allows the search engines to put your images into their context.
Images are very important for most businesses. Images can generate a great deal of traffic to your website and you should discount their importance. They have a strong connection to your content and they absolutely enhance what you are offering online. You should try to include them in your overall social media strategy and you will start to see the online traffic increase with high-quality people who have a genuine interest in what you are offering and those people will begin to interact with you on a regular basis. It is very important for you to keep an open mind when it comes to leveraging all that social media has to offer for the continued success of your business.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.