Over 70% of consumers use search engines to find the things they want to buy. This means that, if you don’t rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs), your e-commerce business will not be successful. Whilst most people think about search engine optimization (SEO) when writing content for their web pages, focused image SEO is often overlooked. However, for e-commerce, image SEO is at least as important as your content.
Thinking about SEO can be daunting when starting out in e-commerce. In this post, we will outline 7 simple steps to help beginners improve image SEO for fledgling e-commerce businesses.
1. Keyword optimization
Well-selected keywords are probably the best way to move up SERPs and are as important for your images as your content. You should ensure any images on your website are properly titled with descriptive keywords. Don’t be tempted to use the auto-generated title given to you by your camera. Search engines search file names as well as content when trawling for useful content so don’t miss this image SEO trick!
Choosing the right keywords takes time and will involve doing some keyword research. However, a top tip to remember as a beginner to image SEO is to include long-tail keywords. These are more specific 3 or 4 words phrases that are less likely to be highly competitive when it comes to rankings.
2. Write useful content (and lots of it)
Sometimes people read about SEO and think it is all a game or a trick. However, at its heart is the desire to provide the most suitable answer for a specific question. When we write more useful content, we are more likely to move up the rankings. This doesn’t mean we should ignore keywords when doing this. We just need to think about the sorts of questions our customers will be asking to make sure we are who they find when searching.
Writing an informational blog gives you space to include plenty of keywords (for content and images), provide useful content, and bring people to your site. Content marketing is also more than 5 times as successful at converting clicks into customers as webpages which are starved of this.
3. Use multiple product shots
It is important to provide shots of your products from a variety of angles to improve customer conversion rates. This also gives you a chance to include more keywords relating to your images. However, you should ensure each image uses different keywords to reflect the specific dynamics of each image. Providing a wider range of keywords gives you a greater chance of hitting on the less competitive ones that will get you listed higher on Google images results pages.
4. Provide an image sitemap
This can sound scary for beginners to image SEO. However, if you don’t know what your site looks like, how can anyone else know how to use it effectively? Useful tools are provided by sites like YOAST which show you how to create sitemaps suitable for search engines. Generally, search engines prefer it when your pages are organized in a structured way. For e-commerce sites, it is best to keep things simple and keep structures no more than 3 levels deep. This is better for navigation by users and will improve SEO rankings as well.
Providing an image sitemap does not mean your images will definitely be indexed, but it helps search engines know that your page might be of a decent standard.
5. Mobile matters
Whilst responsive design websites (sites that adapt to the screen they are viewed on) are the way to go, you should prioritize mobile viewing when it comes to e-commerce. There are far higher conversion rates for mobile customers when it comes to e-commerce in comparison to desktop users. This means that if you are going for a single adaptive design, you may wish to ensure it looks best on mobile devices.
6. Make sure your page loads quickly
Images are probably the vital cog in e-commerce that sways a fence-sitter into a buyer. However, used incorrectly, they can quickly slow down your web-page. Just a tenth of a second can be too long for many people. Slow load speeds will see people abandon your site, with less than 2.5 seconds loading time the maximum most people like to hang around before moving on. This has also affected SEO rankings in Google since 2018.
When it comes to image SEO this means:
- choosing the right file types (JPEGs offer the highest quality at the lowest cost in file size);
- optimizing thumbnails (reduced image quality is better than slow page loading speeds), and ;
- using appropriate image dimensions (don’t provide a bigger image than necessary for any shot).
7. Consider using an image hosting site
Image hosting sites make it easier to deliver faster page loading times. They are also designed to keep images organized in a structured way without you having to think about it too much. At img.vision we also have a range of useful tools to help you optimize your images and make it easier to improve your SEO rankings. We offer a free 15 day trial with no need to input bank details to start your trial so you can see how we can help.