Visual Content vs. SEO, What Is the Battle About?
These days, visual content continues to gain more online market share by the minute. It’s actually reported that over a billion (!) images are shared daily.
Taking a look at Tumblr, we can surely see the trend in action. Around 75 percent of posts on the platform are image posts, and what’s more, 90 percent of those contain no text or hashtags.
While this trend is an interesting thing for marketers and other business people to start looking into, it only means trouble in camp Google. In the past, Google didn’t have to worry that much about building a ranking for images, videos or other visual content. While Google Image Search has been with us for quite a while, it wasn’t being used that much as an SEO tool.
These days, however, things are changing. Google needs to learn how to work with images and visual content and somehow include them in their main ranking mechanism. But that’s on Google. So what about us – marketers?
1. Describe the Use Case, Not the Features
Google’s job is to figure out what visual content to display when the user inputs a certain phrase. To make sure that your content gets shown as one of the results, you need to focus on the way it relates to the user’s problems, as opposed to focusing on the individual characteristics.
In other words, context is everything when it comes to images. In your description, you need to present the right context, which Google is able to then pick up and use when building their index.
2. Pay Attention to How Your Audience Describes the Visuals You’re Sharing
The way the user sees a certain product or tool is not always the same way the marketer sees it when building the campaign.
Whenever someone shares the product you’re promoting to their followers, they might have a different opinion regarding why the thing is something worth paying attention to.
For example, a product originally advertised as a “sandwich maker,” can easily become a “dorm-room necessity.” By noticing those sort of shifts and including them in your own marketing materials, you can help Google make a connection between your content and the phrases used by real people.
3. Create Your Visuals in a Way That They Reflect the Use Cases
This is the moment to take the two previous points and use them to create better visuals.
Instead of delivering a sort of stock appearance of a given product, try introducing custom visuals that present the product right in the middle of a particular use case, which (1) relates to the user’s problems, challenges or desires, and (2) presents the most common usage scenario shown by the users themselves (like in the “dorm necessity” example).