Google Images Updates Impact the World of Ecommerce
Turns out, Google Images is used for more than looking up your favorite meme or searching for that dog picture you saw one time and just need to see again. Google Images is extremely important to ecommerce, to the point where Google is now making adjustments to better serve the industry.
Below is the need-to-know about Google Images’ updates and what you can do to optimize your business’ visual content.
What’s going on?
Due to legal issues with Getty Images, Google Images is tossing the “view image” button and is going to say see-ya to the “search by image” button.
What does this mean for me?
Now, not only do potential viewers get to see the new suitcase you’re selling, but they’ll probably go a step further and visit your website to buy it. Instead of choosing to simply see the picture of your product, Google is only providing the “Visit Site” option, which will hopefully increase traffic to your site and sales of your products. This, obviously, is the dream for those in the ecommerce business.
How can I optimize this?
There are different ways to optimize images, from the format of the image to the description you give it. Below are six ways to optimize your images for the new age of Google Images and ecommerce.
- Bigger Isn’t Always Better
That super-large photo file looks beautiful—once it loads. Your audience, both loyal and potential, doesn’t have time to wait around for images to load, no matter how breathtaking they may be. Compressing images increases the speed of your site, something very important to Google.
Find the proper balance of quality and speed. Be sure your site loads just as fast on any device—phone, tablet, laptop—and make sure your images can keep up.
- UGC and Authenticity
You can’t get more authentic than User-Generated Content. Authenticity creates trust, and trust leads to conversions. By utilizing user’s images, you are easing any buyer’s anxiety your customers may have, thus making your site buyer-friendly and a haven for online shopping.
- What’s in a Name?
When you search through your images, you probably see a lot of similarly named files with tons of unrecognizable numbers. If you can’t sort it out, neither can search engine crawlers. Be sure to change file names to something descriptive of the image, and it’ll make life easier for you and search engines. Naming should carry over to your images’ HTML’s too.
- No Alternative for Alt Text
Just in case your image doesn’t load, it’s good to have descriptive alt text in place to let your visitor know what he or she is missing. Simply describing an image of a suitcase as “black suitcase travel luggage” won’t make your image stand out, but a description such as “ballistic nylon black suitcase expandable zipper” very well may.
Plus, Google uses this information to understand image context, so regardless of how confident you are in your images loading it’s important to be kind to Google.
- JPEG vs. PNG
JPEG’s hold their own by maintaining some quality even when really compressed, making this the usual go-to for SEO images. PNG’s are great because no matter how many times you resave your image, it won’t loose quality. PNG’s are also good for logos because they can handle transparency. Just be careful, since a PNG-24 file can be pretty large to accommodate the 256-color palette (refer to number one for why that’s potentially problematic).
Google shopping is the ecommerce of the future, so make sure you are using the right image format (which can vary!) to maximize your ecommerce business.
- Original Photography (or At Least Use Canva)
Using the same picture everyone else is using will not make your site stand out. Yes, stock images are incredibly convenient and budget-friendly, but are you willing to sacrifice SEO to avoid having a photo shoot? If the answer is yes, there are ways to spruce up stock images. Using a site like Canva to add text or shapes to stock images will help take your stock photo from drab to fab.
Images can be tricky to optimize, but starting with these six tips you can greatly improve your image SEO. Whether you’re in the beginning stages of image SEO or are looking to optimize your current arsenal to accommodate Google Image Search’s updates, Kraus Marketing can help. Contact us today to learn how our SEO professionals can help drive traffic to your site.