If you are serious about growing your business, then you know that SEO is one of the best ways to get to the audience you are targeting. Not only that, but the costs it involves are significantly lower than other digital marketing strategies.
But, optimising your written content isn’t the only way to boost your ranking. The images you create for your brand and share online can also help you build links and get to the top of search engine results.
In this article, we will present an effective and less known method to get backlinks and improve your SEO: using image sharing sites. We will get you through this SEO tactic and explain everything you need to know about it.
But why is it important for SEO to get backlinks? When it comes to off-page SEO, this is the best way to attract visitors to your website and increase the ranking of your website on Google and other search engines. Let’s first understand what a web owner usually does for getting backlinks, then get to the benefits of using image sharing websites for the same purpose.
Different Methods for Getting Backlinks
The main methods for getting backlinks involve publishing written content on other websites so that traffic is redirected from them to your website. The content has to be relevant to the topic of the hosting website because Google and other search engines only take valuable backlinks into account.
The simplest way to find backlink opportunities is to find out what websites are already linking back to you. If these websites have a common audience with your website and the type of content they publish relates to your business in any way, you can suggest a long-term partnership.
If your website doesn’t have a lot of backlinks yet, find out where your competition is getting them from. As a provider of similar services or products, you should be able to get them to publish your content as well.
Another popular way of getting backlinks is to look for broken links from your competition. When a page is moved, deleted or the URL is not working properly, the user gets a 404 error, which is detrimental for SEO and user experience. By finding broken links that used to point to your competitor, but no longer work, you can contact the hosting website and offer to help by replacing the content they lost with a new piece.
Besides submitting written content to get backlinks, you can also use images to improve your SEO. A lot of businesses are using image directories to increase their online presence and get more visitors. Of course, using image sharing works better for certain businesses than for others, but any type of website can create visual content that can work for it. Let’s get into the details of image sharing for SEO.
What Are Image Sharing Sites?
Websites used exclusively for sharing images are well-known for internet users, as they successfully appear in hugely varied search results, whenever people are looking for a visual of their search query.
The reason why image sharing websites are so effective is that visual content surpasses written one in many search queries, and internet users are increasingly relying on image search. Google Image Search and equivalent features of other search engines have raised the quality of visual searches, normalising this for most internet users.
In other words, people use image searches more and more, and you want to be included in the search results.
When you think of image sharing websites, social media platforms are probably the first ones to come to mind. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest focus heavily on visual content, with pictures being the main content on them. Video content is more and more popular, but images remain the domineering form of content.
Unfortunately, social media websites don’t help your SEO directly, as search engines don’t take these links into account. The benefit your SEO gets from social media is indirect, translated into brand visibility and some eCommerce functions that might not be helpful for all businesses.
So, which image sharing businesses help your SEO? If you try to influence your ranking by creating backlinks yourself, you might risk penalties from Google or Bing, as it goes against their policies and good practices. However, websites like Flickr get you high-quality backlinks by having the potential to rank high in Google search results and other search engines. But more on that later in the article.
Why Is It Good for SEO to Share Your Images
SEO is done by improving the way search engines crawl your website, and gaining ranking points by having a performant, interesting website. It’s also done by getting other sources to link back at you, reference your website, and redirect traffic to you.
Images speak more than words, in many cases. They can serve as commercial information, brand image elements, promotional materials,
Examples of Image Sharing Sites
There are plenty of image sharing websites that are helpful for your SEO. From social media platforms to websites providing stock photos, there are plenty of sites allowing you to post image content.
Here are some of the most well-known examples:
- Getty Images
How to Optimise Your Images for SEO
Optimising your images for SEO is something you should practice wherever you upload an image on your website or a third party page. That’s how you can ensure that your images have a high chance of being shown in image search results.
Whenever you submit a photo online, make sure you check all the attributes that make it optimised for SEO:
Title: include keywords in the title, your website’s name, a collection of products, or other elements you want to draw attention to.
Image file name: change your image file name to be relevant to its content.
Tags: using tags for your photos helps people find them when browsing similar pictures.
Descriptions: usually this is where you put the link to your website, as you can include more text. Think of your description as a paid ad, where you have to think of relevant copy, a good call to action as an anchor text and a relevant landing page.
Alt text and image alt tags: these are other elements that will be crawled by search engines, so keep them relevant, concise, and enriched with one or two keywords. Alternative text should always be
Anchor texts: use a call to action, a descriptive phrase with connection to a landing page on your website, a product or service, etc.
To make your photos more visible to the right users and get traffic from them, there are many tricks you can use when submitting your pictures to image sharing websites. For example, on Flickr you can browse for similar photos that are part of public groups, and include your related photo in that group, making it more available.
As you upload more original photos to Flickr and other image directories, use all these methods to make them easy to find, categorise and crawl by search engine crawlers. The more optimised photos you post, the more chances you get to draw valuable traffic to your website.
One of the first rules you should follow when sharing images for SEO is to only use original, high-quality images. There is no compromise to be made, as users want to see clear images, and copyright is important for search engines.
Over to You…
More and more businesses understand the importance of SEO and that they can’t exist in the online world without investing time and effort into it. But, a lot are also missing the opportunities that image SEO can provide.
If you need help building your SEO strategy, we here at Australian Internet Advertising can provide the expertise you need. We’ve worked with countless companies, big and small, and helped them boost their ranking and generate more traffic, more conversions, and more sales.
Get in touch with us now.