After your headline or title, perhaps the single most important thing you can do to make sure you get clicked on in the Google search results is to optimize your product images. Yet, most shop owners are still not doing this.
A few months ago I wrote a post on image optimization, explaining that Google image search, not YouTube, was actually the second largest search engine. But the reason for optimizing images in your search strategy goes beyond just image search – it is becoming increasingly important for rich snippets in the overall blended Google search.
Consider this search for “Pakistan Baskets” as an example:
Yes, the YouTube video is still shown, but now there are multiple images appearing on the first page of the Google results, making it much more likely that someone will click on one of these listings. This type of result is known as a blended, or universal search. If you are selling products on your website, it is critical that you optimize your images for getting found as Google is now including these in the search results!
Make sure your product page has several high-quality images of the product and that those images are clearly identified and tagged per Google’s recommendations (see this article: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/guidelines/google-images).
Here are the 3 most important factors to consider:
- Always name your image something that Google can understand. Rather than using a default name like img001.jpg, rename it to “pakistan-basket.jpg.”
- Include Alt tags that describe the image. This is important as Google understands descriptions about images better than it does pixels on a screen. If you want your images to get picked up by Google, make sure you include the Alt-tag.
- Resize the image to be appropriate for the web so as to decrease load times. Do this BEFORE you upload it to your website. Yes, WordPress will resize your images, but you have much more control over image size and quality if you do this before you upload it to your page. Use jpgs for photos and pngs for images with text, such as screen captures and logos.
It amazes me that shop owners still put up images like this:
Not only is the image fuzzy and on a textured background, but it isn’t showing the product in context. Consider this instead, with multiple images, a video showing that the cufflinks actually work, and high resolution on a plain background.
You want your images indexed by Google, just like you want your web pages indexed. Adding structured data makes it possible to have your images displayed in the Google search results as a rich snippet. You can do that with this plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/schema-and-structured-data-for-wp/. For more information from Google about rich snippets, you can visit this article: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/9351707.
Doing all these things will not guarantee that your images will get shown on the first page of Google. But it will insure that Google is able to index your images and better understand your page.