Maximize your Brand’s SEO through Image Optimization

Maximize your brand's SEO through image optimization

How your brand image impacts SEO performance – and how to optimize your product photos for SERP success

It’s hard to remember life before the internet, but in ancient times (back in the 1990s), marketers relied on word-of-mouth to supplement their paid efforts and foster organic growth. 

Positive word-of-mouth is still one of the most effective tools for building a strong customer base around a product. But ultimately, it has a limited reach and is difficult (if not impossible) to control. Plus, it’s hard to measure and track the results of word-of-mouth.

Enter Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you’ve touched any aspect of e-commerce within the last few decades, you know just how revolutionary SEO has become for marketers due to its powerful ability to drive organic traffic to your brand. 

It does this by helping your store rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) when potential customers search for products or services you offer. Higher rankings can lead to increased visibility, more traffic, and ultimately, more sales. 

Typically, when we think of SEO, we think of website copy — i.e., how does the wording of my website’s landing page impact its ranking in SERPs?

But did you know there’s a visual aspect to SEO, too? 

Unlock the secret to maximizing your brand’s SEO through image optimization, and find out how Nogin could help you. 

Picture-perfect SEO

Current data shows that today’s consumers are wired to gravitate toward high-quality images. 

Adding images to your site can improve recall by up to 65%, and articles with relevant images get 94% more views compared to articles without images. At least half of consumers say high-quality product images are more important than product information, descriptions or even other customers’ reviews. 

It’s hard to comprehend just how powerful Google is. The world’s largest search engine, over 1 billion people currently use its services — and more than 2.4 million searches happen each minute. 

When you have solid SEO, you’re not just edging out your competitors. You’re also tapping into an enormous potential customer base. Did you know that Google Image searches account for 22.6% of all searches?

Without image optimization, you’re missing out on a massive swath of potential customers. 

Using images that are optimized means you have a higher chance of ranking in Google Image search results. This also factors into on-page SEO, which helps search engines understand the content and context of a page, thereby improving your ranking in search results. 

When potential customers click on your website, high-quality content (including images) can improve dwell time – basically, how long they spend viewing your site before returning to other search results to find what they’re looking for. Longer dwell time means they find your content relevant and engaging, which can positively impact SEO by improving user experience, increasing page authority and (ideally) engaging users enough to share your content. 

Putting your best foot forward

There are a number of ways to optimize the visual content on your site for SEO. 

First and foremost, it’s important to have high-quality images. Just like in-person shoppers of a brick-and-mortar store, the first thing customers see when they open your landing page will be their first impression and value judgment of your brand. 

If you don’t have any product images to choose from, AI can be a great tool. But if you’d like to capture brand-new photos, here are a few styles to choose from:

  • White background – The classic Amazon product photo — clean, distraction-free and simple. 
  • Lifestyle photo – Showcase your product in-context of how it would actually be used; i.e. a women’s razor on completely-smooth skin. 
  • Packaging photo – Show how your product will look when it arrives in your customer’s mailbox. If you have especially innovative or design-forward packaging, make sure to show it off on your site. 
  • Detail shot – Highlight specific features and product quality by zooming in.

If you already have a set of great product images to choose from, consider how you might be able to optimize them for SEO. 

Here are five things you can improve to help your brand’s photos rise to the top of SERPs:

1. Use file-naming best practices

When naming image files, use descriptive words like “brown-leather-boots” instead of generic names like “Image01.” Including a relevant keyword can help search engines understand the image content – that being said, you should still avoid long filenames or keyword stuffing (using too many keywords can actually lead to poor SEO since it could be flagged as spam by search engines like Google.) Finally, instead of underscores, use dashes to separate each word, and exclude unnecessary words like “the” or “a.” 

2. Keep an eye on file size and format

Did you know that a two-second delay in page load speed could increase your bounce rate by 103%? Images are the largest contributor to your page size, and thereby, load speed. Prevent potential customers from clicking off of your page prematurely by uploading your images in the smallest file size possible.

If you work with Nogin, you’ll be able to tap into our Nogin Edge Delivery technology, which will increase your page load speed by 59% and – in turn – your conversion rates. Read more about Nogin Edge Delivery here. 

In terms of file type, JPEG is generally the best way to go. A JPEG can be compressed to a significantly smaller size while maintaining decent quality. 

3. The small stuff is big, too – optimize your thumbnails and alt-text

Product thumbnails and alt text are two aspects of SEO that don’t get a lot of air time, but they can be crucial in terms of page load speeds and accessibility for your potential customers.

It’s important to make sure your thumbnails are as small as possible so you don’t inadvertently cause a lag in your page load speeds. 

There are instances where an individual browsing your site might not be able to see images on their browser, or they may be visually impaired. In these cases, having alternative text ensures that no vital information or functionality is lost. 

Not every image needs alt text. It should be used on your most key images to ensure that users are still able to grasp the concept of what you’re trying to display even if they’re unable to view the actual image. 

Keyword stuffing in alt text could damage your SEO, too, so it’s good practice to vary the words you use to describe each image, but keep them specific to the content on your site.

4. Provide an image sitemap

Just like a regular sitemap, an image sitemap gives additional information for the search engine to use while it’s crawling a website. It can also lead search engines to images that might otherwise be difficult to find. You can add your product photos to your existing sitemap, or create one just for images, to work around this. 

Your brand visuals make a huge difference in how potential customers view your brand. When establishing yourself as a voice of authority, not only in your specific niche but in the world of e-commerce, it’s important to have authentic, beautiful visuals that make you stand out — but we know if can feel intimidating to compete with the Amazons of the world. 

If you want to have images that . . . 

  • Accurately represent your brand and its story,
  • Increase your visibility by optimizing for SEO, and 
  • Establish you as a brand leader in your industry 

. . . We can help! Did you know that in addition to our other enterprise-level ecommerce solutions, Nogin offers product photography? Learn more and schedule an introductory convo today.

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