Using Google Image Search to Bring In More Business and Expand Your Reach
Are you looking for the most effective ways to manage your visual presence online? While the majority of prospects searching for resources online are focused on reading the content of a site, there is an increasing shift in online behavior that is making an impact in the travel industry. Many online shoppers are beginning to focus heavily on the visual images connected to a website to draw them as opposed to relying on the text displayed in their online search results.
Your online reputation should be a top priority in your business, and by using Google Images properly, you are choosing one of the best methods of managing your websites online presence and reputation.
Why Google Images?
According to reports from Net Marketshare in 2019, Google ranked yet again at the top as it relates to the best search engines, with a worldwide market share between 81.5% and 92.96%. The Google Images portion of these searches allow online visitors who are visual shoppers the ability to do so easily and accurately for the destinations or niches of their choice. We work and live in an industry that thrives off of the opportunity to showcase the beauty and uniqueness of every location around the globe – Just picture the walls of a travel agency, lined with mesmerizing photos of the most beautiful destinations… Families enjoying a trip together… A couple relaxing against a romantic backdrop… Adventure enthusiasts experiencing the thrill of a lifetime… Whatever the image, these posters showed visitors that their dreams were possible, and excited the potential travelers. Google Images is the new digital version of this – And one that doesn’t come along with the added cost of ordering those large printed posters every few months, that you’re able to post all around town instead of just on your walls!
When someone googles a business or strings together certain keywords describing their travel goals, they can easily choose to see text-based info, or they can choose their results to show only as images with brief captions. It is essential for each business owner to make sure that their website images reflect their business, and that the site is top quality. Just as easily as the properly selected images can draw a potential client to your site, so too can the wrong images damage your online reputation and steer people to someone else’s site.
The last thing you want is for your site to represent you and your business as being out-of-date, cheaply managed, or disreputable. The visual aspects of your site are just as important to maintain as the text, flow, and resources available on your site. The more Google Images you share with others online, the more visitors will see your specific images and connect with your site as a result.
Google Image Search: The Basics
Google Image Search is easy to access and offers business owners a wide variety of helpful images that can bring in more business! When an online visitor enters their chosen keywords or phrases, they’ll bring up hundreds if not thousands of images. This allows them to pick and choose any images that resonate with their travel needs. It’s great as well because once they click on a single image, they’ll be presented with even more images along with the direct link to your site. This removes the friction of having to then search specifically for you – Google has made yet another piece of the puzzle easy for you, and easy for online visitors. The more appealing your images, the more visitors you will find on your site.
How to use Google Image Search
Simply put, this is a fantastic and easy way to get new and additional traffic to your company. Optimizing the images is essential, and there are several techniques that you can use to ensure your business has the best chance of being found ahead of others. The fact that image optimization allows all search engines to recognize and index your images means that you absolutely must do things the right way from step-1.
Search engines rank an image by using a few different factors: One of the most important is how relevant the images are to the site. This means if you’re a travel agent specializing in cruises, images of puppies on a farm probably aren’t the most ideal photos to use to have prospects find you. Adorable, yes, but relevant to your site? Not quite.
Google has a great write-up about these different areas, and some real-life examples of how you can make improvements in their Google Image Best Practices area.
A variety of additional ranking factors should also be taken into consideration when properly optimizing your images:
This is an attribute that you’ll use to provide additional information about your image. For this area you won’t need to go into great detail for optimization, and instead a quick, catchy, short title that properly reflects the image should suffice.
This is a meta tag that should fall between 155 and 160 characters (a tag in HTML) which is used to summarize your description of the website page. Search results will show this to those who are searching online for different content.
Keep in mind that shorter URL structures are generally better for usability, which Google has been very focused on in previous years. Certain studies show that shorter URL’s also have a higher click through ratio than longer ones… People like simple and easy. When they are clearly able to see what the page is about, it makes the decision to proceed that much easier. You should be going through your site and viewing the URL assigned to each page, and updating to ensure they match the content currently on that particular page.
This is a small piece of text that appears under your image. Usually it is used to give additional context to the photo or situation, or to provide source attribution. While they should be short and to the point, they oftentimes will pull in the focus of the reader.
The majority of content within a page or post will be created by text fields; however, you will find it appropriate from time to time to include images throughout the body of your page. Common examples are when you need to show an image of what a user will expect (ex. When providing instructions on how to complete a contract, or where someone should click on a particular page), and when writing a lengthy article (this is a great way to break up the content, and add a visual aspect to the information).
As is the case with many things, these oftentimes are best kept short (under 31 characters), but descriptive (5 words or fewer).
Filenames should not start with a space, period, hyphen, or underline. They should always use lowercase letters, and should use hyphens as opposed to spaces or underscores.
The filenames should remain relevant to your image (what does the image show: “flowers” could be more accurately described as “yellow-geranium-on-office-desk”).
This is not an area to stuff in all of your keywords. Adding in every possible word associated with your business will appear as spam to Google. Say yes to putting in your main keyword or two, and no to jamming in every city you’ve ever planned a trip to.
Also known as “alt descriptions”, this is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a website if the image hasn’t loaded on the screen. It helps especially with maintaining an accessible site since screen-reading tools that describe the images to visually impaired readers, and also allows search engines to better crawl and rank your site.
Typically you are able to change or create the alt text by clicking on the image in page builder or when uploading/selecting your image. It’s then automatically written into your pages HTML source code (where you can edit it further if you don’t have an easily editable alt text window).
When choosing what to write, keep in mind that this is another area Google uses to understand how the image relates to the rest of the page, so it needs to make sense. (ex. “XYZ Travel office front door poster cruise promotion” could instead be “Jamaican beach scene detailing first time cruiser discount at XYZ Travel’s office in San Diego California).
Describe the image, and be specific.
Keep this under 125 characters.
Don’t start with “picture of” or “image of”.
Use your keywords sparingly.
When changing your aspect ratio, it’s important to remember that different formats affect the composition and size of your image. If you’re shooting for specific platforms for your content, you need to be aware of the ideal image sharing ratios for that site. You don’t want blurry, cut-off images representing your company.
Image size is what you should consider the dimensions of an image. Unlike aspect ratios, image size will determine an images actual width and height in pixels (or the measurement you are using).
For example, an image that is 1920 x 1080 pixels has an aspect ratio of 16:9, but so too does 1280 x 720 pixels.
How to Attract New Customers
Attracting new clients by using Google Images requires business owners to focus on how they can provide all online visitors with a great experience. Websites that offer frictionless, easy to navigate, great experiences are simply more popular. Every visitor, whether coming in as a prospect or a repeat client, wants to do business with a site that goes that extra mile. Designing their chosen Google Images with a proper balance of focusing on the needs of the client while also keeping in mind how the search engines use the details “behind” the image is one of the most important things a business owner can do in order to capture the attention of the site’s visitors. When executing this properly, great marketing results soon follow.
The Bottom Line
As a business owner, especially as a business owner in the travel industry, you absolutely must review and update your Google Images often, just like you would with the other content present on your site. Almost 25% of online visitors will use Google Images in order to perform an online search, which makes it essential for you to use this marketing method to attract quality new business. Simply add the Google Image Search to your marketing plan for 2020, and you’ll be ahead of the game as this online behavior continues to increase in popularity.
When choosing your images, make certain that they are quality images, properly sized, and that you have the rights to use them. You can do this by using the images you’ve taken, or that your clients/employees have taken so long as you have received proper authorization to be able to use them. Check out some of the resources below that will come in handy as you update and add images to your site!
- Winning the Pinterest Game for Lead Generation
Learn about how Pinterest improves your online image-search efforts.
- Photo Release Template
Did your client take pics that are perfect for your marketing? Use this form to get their permission for your use, so you don’t end up in hot water. No offense, Jacuzzi. We love you.
Heads Up, TIMA Members!
Your membership comes with unlimited access to THOUSANDS of photos you can start using in your marketing right away. Don’t leave this blog post without logging in and gathering the videos you want to use first. And you can make playlists to take someone through an entire journey / itinerary. Give it a whirl!