Google released Universal Search a few years ago and has since fine-tuned the search results in order to ensure the accuracy of all listings. Yet even with the fine tuning, Google still pulls results from many areas of vertical search. This is why it is important to diversify a site’s presence on the Internet, especially as it relates to multimedia. While YouTube is great for videos, we are going to focus on using images to achieve better rankings for local businesses and local search.
Image search is one of Google’s most visited properties. For this reason, you should work to optimize each image on your site. Images can be used to enhance your site’s overall SEO value and the visitor’s experience, thus making them crucial to a local search presence.
Using images brings with it many benefits, including:
- Pages that are structured well with excellent written content will definitely benefit from high-quality images that coincide with the subject matter. If your site’s visitors are searching for “Shoes in Chicago,” having pictures of “Shoes in Chicago” will increase your relevancy and value and the search engines will reward you.
- Merely having images increases your chances of ranking in the regular web search results, too.
- Having images means that visitors may linger on your pages more. And the longer visitors stay, the more value your site is perceived to have by the search engines. If people leave quickly, your site must be bad quality, right? It’s this same way of thinking. Images help the search engines see your site as highly valuable.
- Images can help to provide further information to your audience, which can help immensely with conversions. Images also set you apart from competitors, But the most important aspect of images is that they make your business seem more open and trustworthy. The bottom line is that having more images can attract far more people to your business and site.
- Your company’s logo can be used on various directories to enhance user’s perception of your business and site. Soon, those users will associate your logo with quality and trustworthiness.
How To Optimize Your Images For Local Search
Use great looking photos to attract new customers to your business.
To get your site better rankings in local search, here are a few tips that can be added to each image on your page.
Photos Of Your Business: Including photos of the interior and exterior of your business are excellent techniques to add credibility to your sites and listings.
- Photos Of Your Products And Services: Having photos of your products and services, or images of smiling employees providing those products and services, can go a long way towards building trust with your audience.
- Maps And Links to Maps: A local SEO presence should have a map stored somewhere on the domain. But you should always take advantage of third-party map providers that allow for zooming, tracking and more, which all equates to a better experience for your visitors.
- Alt Text: Every one of your images should have alt-text. Don’t keyword stuff but instead add geographic locators to your keywords, including the city, town or even address and zip code.
- Text Captions: Text captions can be longer than alt text and are yet another great opportunity to include your keywords and geographic locators.
- Logo Image: Always add your logo to your website and make sure it is clickable and linked to your homepage with relevant Alt text. You may want to use the business name and the city your business resides in. You will also want to add your logo to the various directories your business lists online. For example, you can add your logo to your Google Maps and Google Places pages, your Yelp page, Yahoo, SuperPages, InfoUSA/DAplus and more.
- Photo Sharing Sites: Don’t forget to add any photos of your business to photo sharing sites like Flickr and Panoramio.
- Photos In Your Email Campaigns: Build even more trust and relevancy with your subscribers by including high quality photos of your business, products or services along with weekly or monthly specials. What a great way to build brand loyalty!
Once you have performed the basic SEO and basic local SEO for your site, you next have to ensure that you are diversifying your signals so that you can rank higher than your competition. If you put these image optimization tips for local SEO into practice, you will not only see higher rankings, but you’ll soon find yourself attracting more customers who are ready to convert.