Earlier this year, Google updated its mobile interface to make search results more visual. The result is that certain searches yield a grid-like layout that displays photos from various websites.
For example, if you search for “hand tattoos” or “throw blankets” on mobile, the results look like this (right).
This is one of many small changes Google has made over the years. The Google that was popular a decade ago is nothing like the search engine that exists today. This can be both good and bad news for small businesses.
- It’s good because Google’s changes make it easier for businesses to connect with their customers.
- It’s bad because it can be difficult to keep up with the frequent changes. This is especially the case for small businesses that may not have a huge marketing budget or department to keep up with new advances in SEO.
With Google’s recent updates changing how we view everyday search results, how can small businesses keep up?
We think the answer lies in getting more visual.
Agorapulse, a social media automation platform, did a study comparing 3 types of social media posts. The first was visual posts, the second was text-only, and the third included a photo with text incorporated.
Visual posts outperformed both.
The increasing popularity of visual content makes it imperative for small businesses to include them in their marketing strategies.
In this blog post, we will discuss how small companies can create more visual content and optimize it for search engines. By using these free resources and strategies, small business owners can stay up-to-date with visual trends and continue to rank high on search engine results pages.
Canva is one of the best free resources small business owners can use to create free visual content. It allows you to create website graphics, social media images, advertisements, and more.
Not only is it free to sign up, but they also provide free templates for people to use. Don’t worry if you don’t have a natural eye for graphic design. Just choose a template, drag and drop your images, and you’re ready to download.
Images from Canva can also be repurposed for social media. Their custom size option lets you create images of any dimension, meaning you can just copy and paste your designs into the desired format.
Pexel, Unsplash, or Pixabay
In addition to your own original product pictures, you can incorporate stock photos into your content to give users more content.
These 3 websites offer free stock photos that can be used on websites or in blog posts. They have images relating to almost every subject which makes it easy to find material to support your existing content.
Users may better understand and engage with written content if they have the right images to break up otherwise lengthy paragraphs. Stock photos are also a great way to ensure you’re not pushing products too much.
Best Practices For Optimizing Visual Content
Now that you’ve created your visual content, it’s time to optimize it for SEO. This can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with keyword research. But there are a few small things you can do to optimize your images for search engines.
By correctly naming your photos, Google will better understand your site’s images. This can be done by renaming each file after you download it to your computer.
Another way to describe your photos is by giving them an alt tag. Alt tags are another way for search engines to scan content. They’re primarily for screen readers to understand what’s on a webpage. Since it’s a factor Google considers when choosing what to include in search results, this is a great place to include descriptions and keywords related to your products.
For example, our clients at My Custom Closet have a blog post that ranks well for the keyword “long closet ideas.” This post includes original photos of closets they’ve designed.
We’ve helped them tag each of these photos with relevant keywords, such as “narrow closet.” This contributes to whether or not Google deems them relevant in a search result.
It’s important to note that they also have other blogs that rank well that incorporate stock imagery. Alt tags can be added to stock photos too.
In tagging these images like this, each blog becomes more relevant to Google and My Custom Closet is more likely to appear at the top of related search results. They’re just one example of what it looks for a small business to incorporate free, SEO-friendly content into an existing website.
Getting More Visual
Visual content is more popular than ever before. People are more likely to consume and engage with content that contains images, videos, or infographics. As a small business owner, you can take advantage of this by creating more visual content for your website.
By using these free resources, you can stay digitally relevant and optimize your business’ website and navigate Google’s changing landscape in the future. Not only will this help you appear in Google’s search results, but it will also help you increase website traffic and overall audience engagement.
If you need help getting started, contact our team at Sweet Rose Studios. We’ll work with you to maximize the SEO potential of your website, so it can reach your audience when they need you the most.