How to Drive More Traffic Using Google Image Search. How much traffic does Google Images get? 10.1 of all Google traffic is for images.google.com. Optimizing images is similar to optimizing pages on your site for Google. That means people could link to the stock image site instead of yours. It sounds complicated, but LSI keywords are simply keywords that are related to your focus keyword. When I search “content SEO,” here’s what I get: But when I search “content optimization,” I see different images: Even though the two keywords are synonymous, Image Search has unique results for each one. It ensures that the people finding your images are people who will be interested in going to your site and looking at your content. Watermarking your images can bring in even more traffic than simply optimizing your image and making sure it only appears on your site. Keep in mind that watermarking your images will help people find your site no matter where the image is shared.
Images are the unsung heroes of traffic generation.
We all know that keywords, SEO, and great content can lead to more traffic.
But there are so many useful methods of getting traffic. Why use only a handful?
If you take a look through my blog, you’ll see I’ve explored some underrated strategies for increasing traffic.
You don’t have to use the same old strategies over and over again.
Today, I want to give you something fresh — an SEO strategy you may have never thought of — let alone used!
I’m talking about using Google Image Search to drive more visitors to your website.
Most online content is a balance of text and images.
Text gets a lot of attention, and it’s definitely important.
But images are important too.
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that images are also content. In fact, images are an essential part of any content marketing effort.
And if people are searching for written content, it makes sense they’ll also look for visual content.
That’s where Google Image search comes into play.
How much traffic does Google Images get? How much does it generate?
It’s hard to get at big, raw numbers.
Why? Because, Nate Smith, former Product Manager on Google images said this: “This is not a publicly disclosed statistic.”
Okay, but does that mean we know nothing?
I was able to find out a few things while trolling Quora for information.
- 10.1 of all Google traffic is for images.google.com. Since 55% is for google.com, and 24.7% is for mail.google.com, that shows you how big of a traffic chunk images are receiving.
- Daily pageviews of Google Images is greater than 1 billion! That tidbit comes from Benjamin Ling, Director of Search Products at Google. And get this. That number is seven years old! If we were to plot the growth of that number corresponding to the relative growth of Google over time, we could safely assume it’s way higher today.
- Google Images has indexed over 10 billion images. In 2010! Again, over the past seven years, the number of indexed images has probably mushroomed.
Basically, we’re dealing with some huge numbers.
And let’s not forget that ordinary ol’ search results often bring up image results. Many searches have an image intent, so Google serves up something like this.
My point is this. Google Image search is an untapped mother lode of potential traffic for your website.
And, until today, you’ve probably done zilch to tap into it.
That’s about to change.
You can hack Google Image search to bring in more visitors to your website.
I’ll show you exactly how to do it.
Optimizing your images for Google
Before we talk about getting more traffic with your images, we have to talk about how to optimize them.
If you’re familiar with SEO basics, you’ve probably already got this.
Optimizing images is similar to optimizing pages on your site for Google.
In fact, images rank much like sites do.
Just like the text version of Google search, there are different positions, and some are better than others.
The very first image is equivalent to being in position 1 on page 1 of the SERPs.
However, Image Search is more densely populated with results. There are roughly 4 or 5 images on each row.
And, from the perspective of visual perception psychology, people tend to have a different response to image results over text results.
Notice that each image SERP is super long. I’m talking about hundreds of images for the average keyword!
It seems like the page goes on forever.
It does eventually come to an end, but you have to scroll down pretty far to see it:
This naturally leads to the average user sifting through a lot of images.
Does that mean image SEO is worthless? Certainly, someone could find your image even if it’s not a top result, right?
There’s a good chance your image could get lost in the SERPs if you don’t optimize it.
So how exactly do you optimize your images?
You have to use image SEO.
I’ve written about image optimization before, but I’ll cover it in brief here.
First, edit your file names. This is a small but overlooked part of image SEO.
Most cameras will default to a naming scheme that’s not user-friendly (or search engine friendly). A lot of picture files, for example, are automatically titled something like DSC_0001.jpg.
You want to rename your files to reflect the contents.
For example, this image of me has the file name “widget-about-2.png.”
It’s in the about widget, so I titled the file accordingly. (The 2 means there was a previous version of the photo.)
Second, always modify your image’s alt tags. Alt tags are bits of metadata that tell search engines what your images are.
Editing alt tags is a double whammy. You help search engines index and rank your image better, and you get a tiny SEO improvement from it.
The perfect alt tag description is short and keyword rich.
Since the purpose of alt tags is to help visually impaired users, you need to create alt tags that serve that purpose.
Each alt tag should be an accurate description of the image. Don’t try to take advantage of search engines by with keyword stuffing.
Back to that image of me:
It’s right above my about section, so the alt text is simply “About Neil Patel,” just like the text on the page.
See how simple it is?
There’s nothing complicated here at all.
It’s straightforward and to the point. That’s what all your alt tags should look like.
Third, compress your images.
Ideally, you want your images to be as large as possible yet take up as little storage space as possible.
That seems like a contradiction, but you can actually achieve this thanks to compression.
Now let’s explore some ways to use Image Search for extra traffic.
Create your own unique images
I’m not afraid to say it: Stock photography sucks.
Okay, not all stock photography is awful, but if you’re consistently using stock photos, you’re doing your site a disservice.
Most stock images lack personality, and they certainly don’t reflect your brand. That’s why they’re stock, after all.
Original images will beat out stock images any day of the week.
Don’t believe me? Take a quick test!
Below are two similar images. Which one do you think is a stock photo?
You can almost always tell when a site has gone the extra mile to create original media that’s part of its brand.
That’s just one of many reasons to create your own images.
Let me throw in a quick caveat.
Sometimes, you just have to use stock images. Maybe you don’t have the resources to create custom images.
And that’s totally okay!