Tag Archive | "Image"

New Opportunities for Image SEO: How to Leverage Machine Vision for Strategic Wins

Posted by KristinTynski

Image search results used to give you the option to “view image” without having to navigate to the site the image was hosted on.

When it started in 2013, sites saw a 63% decline in organic traffic from image results.

Why?

Because there was no need to click through when the image could be viewed in full from within the search results.

And then everything changed

In February 2018, Google decided to remove the “view image” button. Now searchers must visit the site hosting that image directly, restoring image results to their former organic search driving power.

According to some recent studies, this change has increased organic image traffic a massive 37%.

Given image results’ return to value, marketers are asking themselves how they can make the most out of this search mechanism.

So what are some new ways we can leverage tools to better understand how to optimize images for ranking?

To explore this, I decided to see if Google’s Vision AI could assist in unearthing hidden information about what matters to image ranking. Specifically, I wondered what Google’s image topic modeling would reveal about the images that rank for individual keyword searches, as well as groups of thematically related keywords aggregated around a specific topic or niche.

Here’s what I did — and what I found.

A deep dive on “hunting gear”

I began by pulling out 10 to 15 top keywords in our niche. For this article, we chose “hunting gear” as a category and pulled high-intent, high-value, high-volume keywords. The keywords we selected were:

  • Bow hunting gear
  • Cheap hunting gear
  • Coyote hunting gear
  • Dans hunting gear
  • Deer hunting gear
  • Discount hunting gear
  • Duck hunting gear
  • Hunting gear
  • Hunting rain gear
  • Sitka hunting gear
  • Turkey hunting gear
  • Upland hunting gear
  • Womens hunting gear

I then pulled the image results for the Top 50 ranking images for each of these keywords, yielding roughly ~650 images to give to Google’s image analysis API. I made sure to make note of the ranking position of each image in our data (this is important for later).

Learning from labels

The first, and perhaps most actionable, analysis the API can be used for is in labeling images. It utilizes state-of-the-art image recognition models to parse each image and return labels for everything within that image it can identify. Most images had between 4 and 10 identifiable objects contained within them. For the “hunting gear” related keywords listed above, this was the distribution of labels:

[full interactive]

At a high level, this gives us plenty of information about Google’s understanding of what images that rank for these terms should depict. A few takeaways:

  • The top ranking images across all 13 of these top keywords have a pretty even distribution across labels.
  • Clothing, and specifically camouflage, are highly represented, with nearly 5% of all images containing camo-style clothing. Now, perhaps this seems obvious, but it’s instructive. Including images in your blog posts related to these hunting keywords with images containing camo gear likely gives you improved likelihood of having one of your images included in top ranking image results.
  • Outdoor labels are also overrepresented: wildlife, trees, plants, animals, etc. Images of hunters in camo, out in the wild, and with animals near them are disproportionately represented.

Looking closer at the distribution labels by keyword category can give use a deeper understanding of how the ranking images differ between similar keywords.

[full interactive]

Here we see:

  • For “turkey hunting gear” and “duck hunting gear,” having birds in your images seems very important, with the other keywords rarely including images with birds.
  • Easy comparisons are possible with the interactive Tableau dashboards, giving you an “at a glance” understanding of what image distributions look like for an individual keyword vs. any other or all others. Below I highlighted just “duck hunting gear,” and you can see similar distribution of the most prevalent labels as the other keywords at the top. However, hugely overrepresented are “water bird,” “duck,” “bird,” “waders,” “hunting dog,” “hunting decoy,” etc., providing ample ideas for great images to include in the body of your content.

[full interactive]

Ranking comparisons

Getting an intuition for the differences in top ranking (images ranking in the first 10 images for a keyword search) vs. bottom ranking (images ranking in the 41st to 50th positions) is also possible.

[full interactive]

Here we can see that some labels seem preferred for top rankings. For instance:

  • Clothing-related labels are much more common amongst the best ranking images.
  • Animal-related labels are less common amongst the best ranking images but more common amongst the lower ranking images.
  • Guns seem significantly more likely to appear in top ranking images.

By investigating trends in labels across your keywords, you can gain many interesting insights into the images most likely to rank for your particular niche. These insights will be different for any set of keywords, but a close examination of the results will yield more than a few actionable insights.

Not surprisingly, there are ways to go even deeper in your analysis with other artificial intelligence APIs. Let’s take a look at how we can further supplement our efforts.

An even deeper analysis for understanding

Deepai.org has an amazing suite of APIs that can be easily accessed to provide additional image labeling capabilities. One such API is “Image Captioning,” which is similar to Google’s image labeling, but instead of providing single labels, it provides descriptive labels, like “the man is holding a gun.”

We ran all of the same images as the Google label detection through this API and got some great additional detail for each image.

Just as with the label analysis, I broke up the caption distributions and analyzed their distributions by keyword and by overall frequency for all of the selected keywords. Then I compared top and bottom ranking images.

A final interesting finding

Google sometimes ranks YouTube video thumbnails in image search results. Below is an example I found in the hunting gear image searches.

It seems likely that at least some of Google’s understanding of why this thumbnail should rank for hunting gear comes from its image label detection. Though other factors, like having “hunting gear” in the title and coming from the NRA (high topical authority) certainly help, the fact that this thumbnail depicts many of the same labels as other top-ranking images must also play a role.

The lesson here is that the right video thumbnail choice can help that thumbnail to rank for competitive terms, so apply your learnings from doing image search result label and caption analysis to your video SEO strategy!

In the case of either video thumbnails or standard images, don’t overlook the ranking potential of the elements featured — it could make a difference in your SERP positions.

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Seven SEO tips for image link building to generate more traffic

A picture is worth a thousand words. If we talk about digital marketing, a strategically used picture could be worth a thousand links. Links play a pivotal role in the success of your digital marketing and eventually, your brand’s growth strategy and that’s why image-based link building is a key factor for your search engine ranking.

Put simply, link building is getting your website including your blog, articles, and resources linked by other websites. Your images, infographics, and memes, too, can be used for link building and turn your page into a link magnet.

Readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. According to research by Brain, three days after reading or hearing a piece of information, people can remember only 10% of it. However, if the information is presented in an easy to grasp graphic, that percentage goes up to 65%.

And for that reason, 32% of marketers insist that images are the most important type of content in their digital marketing strategy.

Images can increase your website traffic by 12%Social media updates with images get 150% more shares than those without any image.

Want to see your images generating backlinks and generating traffic? Check out the following:

1. Create images that others want to engage with

If you are a digital marketer, you cannot avoid using images. But, creating images that encourage people to take some kind of action – such as to share or to fill up the contact form – requires strategic efforts.

The best way to do that is to create something that your users might be interested in. Share something that revolves around and resolves their pain points.

Keep your images simple and the information in it easy to digest. Some of the most engaged-with images are those that have facts, how-to guides, tips, and quotes.

Shares by content type

Source: Buzzsumo

Be regular with your posting and keep monitoring the behavior of your audience on each of your updates. The ones that get most shares, likes, comments, and downloads are the ones your audience likes to see and the ones you should center on.

2. Use image resources and creation tools

First, you need images to support your articles, blogs, web content, and social media updates. Then, you will need to fine-tune those images to fit into your requirements.

ShutterStock, iStockPhoto, and AdobeStock are some of the top platforms to get high-quality graphics for your updates and articles. If you are looking for high-quality images without stressing your marketing budget, Pexels, Pixabay, StockSnap, and Unsplash are a few places to visit.

For editing and creation, you could use Canva, the best online platform for creating compelling graphics for your texts and social media updates. With their sea of pre-loaded templates, this task becomes a cakewalk. Some other image editing tools are AdobeSpark, Fotor, and Pixlr.

3. Use infographics to make your content easy to digest

Although there is a mention of infographic in the article earlier, the point is vast and important that it gets a separate cover.

In modern digital marketing, the use of infographics allows marketers to increase their text’s readability and drive engagement. Infographics grab more attention. In fact, an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a purely textual article.

About 65% of B2B marketers use infographics for their marketing emails, presentations, and blogs. And 30% of them create infographics on their own.

Creating engaging infographics requires hours and days of research, along with a creative mindset to come up with an interactive, interesting, and unique layout.

You could use tools like Piktochart, Venngage, Visme, and Easel.ly to create infographics like a pro. You can also create infographics with Microsoft PowerPoint.

4. Make your images discoverable

So, now you know how to create graphics for your website and social media. What if people can’t find your image?

No matter how impressive your images are, if no one can find them when they need it most or if no one seeing it, it is of no worth.

To be found on search engines, your images will need to be crawled by crawlers or robots sent by search engines to your website. Since these robots cannot decipher images, you will need to make some alternative arrangements so search engine robots can understand and index your images.

On social media, you will need to follow a completely different strategy in order to make your graphics easy to find by users. On Twitter and LinkedIn, there is an option to add a short description for your images. Pinterest too asks you to add a description to each of your posts.

On Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms including Twitter and LinkedIn, you can increase the visibility of your posts by using the right and trending hashtags.

The easier it is to find your images, the higher is its visibility and engagement.

5. Find out who is using your image

As a marketer, you should know how many websites link to your images and how many are using them without your permission. It is an important metric for your business and digital marketing strategy building.

If you have uploaded an image on the Internet, you cannot actually control it or stop people from using it. But, there are ways to find out who all are using your graphics.

There is no harm if you are given credit or backlink. But if someone unauthorized or without allowance is using your image, it could have an impact on your search engine ranking.

Open Google Image Search, and upload or paste the link of your picture. You shall see a list of similar images being used by others.

A couple of similar tools to locate your images on the World Wide Web are TinEye and ImageRaider. Using both these tools, you can also figure out if your images have been cropped, reversed or flipped.

Once you have found unauthorized use of your images, ask the webmaster or admin of the page to give you credit or remove it from their database.

6. Instagram and Pinterest paid marketing

Social media is an unavoidable practice for a digital marketer. It is an immense boost to your SEO efforts.

To make the most of your high-quality images, you could turn to Instagram and Pinterest – the most happening image sharing platforms – that are also in the list of top 10 most used social networks.

That makes Instagram a very popular and super-active marketing platform. With Instagram marketing, you can connect with your audience across multiple channels. You can also create eye-attracting ads that have high engagement rate and improved ROI.

86% of brands use Instagram and at an average 72% of these brands post at least 1 picture every week. Engagement on Instagram graphics is growing with every passing year and Pinterest is 80% more viral and 3x more effective at generating leads than Twitter. In fact, Pinterest Marketing converts more and faster than any other social media platform. Another plus side about Pinterest is that it has fewer steps from discovery to conversion and it saves marketers a lot of time.

Posting and tracking Instagram and Pinterest activities on a day-to-day basis could be is challenging. So, you could consider using social media management tools. which can ease your day by allowing you to check analytics and schedule your updates.

7. Analyze your competitor’s images

Checking out the activities of competitors has always been a part of traditional marketing strategies. Even in the era of digital and social, you should always be aware of what your competitors are doing.

Follow their feeds anonymously and check out their social media updates and website more often.

Doing so, you can keep yourself updated with the latest marketing trends. This also helps find out the type of content they are leveraging to draw traffic and engagement.

With that, you can take inspiration for your content strategy and gain customer attention through your marketing campaigns. You can even engage with your competitors, sometimes, to draw engagement and attention.

Take an exchange of Tweets between Audi and BMW from last year. BMW tweeted a marketing material using the logo of Audi.

 Image link building example BMW and Audi

 

Taking a note of it, Audi commented with the following:

Image link building example Audi

That simply shows that Audi not only follows BMW but doesn’t hesitate in engaging with their update. BMW, too, didn’t ignore their mention. They came quickly with a hilariously mouth-shutting reply.

It is both an example of keeping an eye on competitor’s activities as well as never letting a chance of engagement slip. Both BMW and Audi are competitors both follow each other on all social networks.

PostPlanner has compiled a list of top brands to follow to take inspiration from for your social media graphics. This list compilation includes brands from different industries. So, no matter what industry you belong to, this list is going to be a great help for you.

There is another way, you can perform competitor analysis. Find free and paid productivity tools based on your budget and requirement. One such tool is a must-have resource for your SEO and SMO teams these days.

I hope these tips help you create outstanding visual graphics for your brand, boost your social and on-site engagement, and generate more traffic to your website. The focus should be on creating pictures that offer users some information they can use. And that is the most important point here.

Moving forward, prepare a list of your on-site images that Google and other search engines have indexed. Make another list pointing out the images that have been used legally by others. They are an authentic backlink for your image and site. Make efforts for the ones used illegally and turn them into an official backlink.

The post Seven SEO tips for image link building to generate more traffic appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Yoast SEO 11.3 lets you add an image of a person to its structured data graph

In its update notes, Yoast reminds us that sites below WordPress 5.2 may no longer be supported.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Search Update, Evergreen GoogleBot, Image Search Features & I/O

This week I covered the monthly Google Webmaster report, so catch up on the past month there. It was Google I/O this week, so a lot of new stuff came out. Google may have done an algorithm update around May 9th…


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Yoast adds image and video Schema with 11.1 update

The enhancements claim to make it easier to provide what search engines need to make sense of your videos.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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Google Image Search Tests New Preview Screen Again

Google is once again testing a new user interface for the image search preview image window. This is similar to previous tests but this one takes the right hand window look and keeps the black background interface versus the white background interface.


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Not just for auto anymore: Google tests giant image search ads in new verticals.

The ads feature a carousel of images.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Search Console, Image Search, Mobile-First, Disavow & Much More

This week, we covered how Google said the old Search Console may sunset in March and specifically which features are going away. Some European Google searchers were seeing…


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Google: Image Schema Or Noscript Tags Are Good For Images

Last October we learned a lot about how Google supports the noscript tag for lazy loaded content, in order to help Google understand the images. Melody Petulla from Merkle asked John Mueller if you need both the noscript tag and image schema for helping Google understand the images. John responded that either one is fine.


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Bug: Google Knowledge Panel Image Goes Missing

It looks like there is a recent bug with the Google knowledge panel images that some are actually missing. It was working fine a couple of hours ago, but right now, the images for many are simply blank. I assume it will be fixed soon.


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