Images and Video for SEO

Images and Videos: More than Pretty Pictures for SEO

No one likes ugly images, photos or a poorly made video. In fact no one wants to read poorly written content or visit an ugly website (blinking text and unicorns anyone?). So to put it bluntly: quality content is what you need at all times.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got 1,000 words on each page with links, images, videos, backlinks, and a pretty banner – if your content is poor so are your search engine results. Remember Google might just be smarter than all of us….

So what does this mean for the images and videos you have on your website? It means you need to pay as much attention to your images and videos as you do your words. High quality images and videos are key in helping you to generate and attract top-quality links and backlinks – this is the kind of thing that Google loves and will help you with your search engine rankings.

Why Images and Videos?

First off, huge kudos for thinking about images and videos. Images and videos work perfectly in this age of two-second attention spans and social media overload. You need to get your website to stand out and for people to want to return to your site over and over again.

This is where images and videos can make a difference. A well-placed image can help a reader get through a longish article or provide the extra context needed to help explain a complex message. Not to mention that people really like to look at pictures – think of how many Facebook likes you get when you post a photo.

A video can take your website content to the next level. Depending on how you decide to use videos (and your website goals), you can create informative videos that allow the user to skip the white paper and just watch a three minute video, you can create videos that use humor to promote your product or service, or you can create videos that show your product or service in action. It’s important to remember that YouTube is the second biggest search engine with 30 million unique visitors per day.

Look At Your Images

Yes, Google does pay attention to the images you’re using on your website. So yes, these images can and will impact your search engine rankings. To help you get the most out of the images on your website, here are some things to think about when embedding and choosing images:

  • Choose an image that makes sense: this might seem obvious but all too often, we see images that really don’t mesh well with the content. Remember, your website visitors don’t want to spend time interpreting your images – they will look at your image quickly and make a snap judgement based on this quick glance. So choose an image that fits your content. If you can’t find such an image, don’t use one. A poor image can do more harm than good.
  • Name it right: just as you pay attention to your website page names, you need to do the same for your images. Don’t save your image as 123tuyw.jpeg. This doesn’t look professional and definitely doesn’t tell your visitors or Google anything about the image. Use purposeful names that tell your visitors and Google what the image is about. Ideally, we should be able to look at the image name and know what the image is about. So, if you have images on your website, one thing you can do right now to improve them is to give the file names an audit and update them to be more descriptive (but remember you don’t want super long image names either). Change 123tuyw.jpeg to 2017widgets.jpeg. This tells me that the image is of your 2017 widgets and this happens to be exactly what I entered in my search engine.
  • Optimize your images: size, scale, format all impact the page loading time. This page loading time can have an impact on your search engine rankings. The faster a page is to load, the easier it is to index and visit.

Oh, and of course the most important thing to think about when it comes to your images: quality, quality, quality.

Let’s Watch Videos

Just thinking about producing or creating videos might make you a bit nervous. But the good news is there are lots of excellent companies who specialize in online video production and as well, there are lots of low-cost courses you or your web team can take to learn how to produce quality videos. Because videos are a little bit different from images, we want you to ask yourself a few questions before you decide to use videos on your website:

  • Why are using a video? Are you trying to promote your brand or service?
  • What tone do you want the video to have? Is this going to be a serious video or are you going to use some humor?
  • Who is going to watch your videos? Do you know if your customer demographic watches videos online?
  • How will you host the videos? Are you going to use YouTube, Vimeo, or your own web server?
  • Do you watch videos? If you don’t normally watch videos for companies, products or services you’re interested in, do you think your customers will?
  • Will users be forced to watch the videos? What if they prefer to download a white paper, read an article or refer to an infographic?

As you can see, these questions about videos really come down to your website goals and your visitor demographic. When you know this information, it is easier to create videos that will provide a real service to your customers. This in turn means that your videos will be watched, helping to increase website traffic and becoming another effective way for you to develop top-quality links and backlinks.

Next Steps

Well, we’ve left you with a lot to think about here in terms of your website. When you know who you’re trying to reach and how best to reach them, you can tailor your website to meet these goals. So think hard about the images and videos you’re thinking of using – will they add value to your website and your visitors? Don’t jam your website with images and videos because you think they’ll help with your search engine results. Use images and video to improve your existing quality content and then you’ll see returns in your search engine rankings.

Have questions about images, videos, SEO, Google, your website or the Super Bowl? Contact us and we’ll help you out. We might not agree on who is going to win the Super Bowl but we can guarantee we’ll help you get your website on top.