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Driving Traffic to Your Site – How to Leverage Google Images

Traffic is any blogger’s or Internet marketer’s dream. It gives our online business the juice to thrive in the very competitive atmosphere of the World Wide Web, particularly post Google Panda update. I’ve followed every SEO recommendation on how to generate traffic and did some experiments of my own.

My blog used to have an average of 50 to 80 visitors per day. I would make sure that articles have a good percentage of keywords. I would also publish articles in directories with backlinks to my blog. One day, I posted a photo with keyword-optimized filename and tag with no clear idea how it would benefit my site.

A few weeks later, while checking my stats, I noticed that I got the most visitors for the post with the photo in it. Another telling discovery: The traffic for that photo came from Google Images. Since then, I took the time to study how else I can drive traffic to my site using images.

In this article, I will share with you what I have learned about images and how they can be used to drive traffic to your site.

It’s in the Numbers

According to Ben Ling, Google’s Director of Search Products, Google Images holds over 10 billion indexed images. That makes it the largest image-based search engine in the world. About a billion of these are viewed every day. The image search engine is typically used for personal browsing purposes so most bloggers and Internet marketers tend to overlook its uses for driving traffic to websites. However, when used properly, images can give your online business a boost in profits.

Niches that would benefit most particularly from Google Images-optimized websites are those that are product-driven (such as a shoe store or a plastic surgery site) or topics that require visuals (such as recipe site or gardening site). But then any other website can have as much traffic potential from optimized images.

Making the Most Out of Google Images

Just like any search engine, Google Images depend on search phrases known as keywords to come up with a list of relevant sites. As such, optimizing images is also important. Here are three important factors to consider:

  • Filenames. Digital cameras automatically assign a gibberish filename to every photo. Rename the file into something that describes the image. If it’s about a cat meowing, then I would use a filename like “cat-meowing.jpg” or “meowing-cat.jpg”. Keep the file name short, simple, relevant, and succinct.
  • Alt texts.  Alt texts describe to search engines what’ on the images since they cannot read or view photos; they rely on text to decode information. Alt texts can also offer information to the visually impaired or challenged Internet users; screen readers can read to them the description. As with filenames, alt texts should content relevant keywords. Keep them short and to the point. When it comes to alt text, the rule of the thumb is to add one to images that are relevant to your site only. Images that are added for decorative purposes don’t need alt texts.

Capturing Internet Users’ Attention

Humans are immediately drawn to beautiful pictures. We want something that clearly conveys a message and easy on the eyes. Outsourcing the work to a professional photographer guarantees great images. If you’re a little short on the budget or you prefer taking photos yourself, a digital camera is all that’s needed. If the photos come out short of perfect, consider retouching using PhotoShop. There are guides and video tutorials on PhotoShop for developing image retouching skills.

In Sum… 

The more optimized images you have on your site, the better your chances of getting more Google Images users to your site.

So take your camera out and let loose your creative side. Take as many photos as your schedule allows, integrate your artwork into your web pages, then apply the optimization techniques above.

Give it a few weeks. If you want to make sure it works, check your traffic referral stats. Is Google Images there?

About the Author

James Martell is a successful Internet entrepreneur. Since 1999, he and his wife Arlene have been providing lessons to individuals who want to become successful, too. His teachings are available in eBook and podcast forms. He also offers live online affiliate marketing training and webinars.  He lives with his wife and children in a seaside suburb on Canada’s west coast.

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