In improving your website’s SEO campaign, you want to increase the positive exposure your site has in search engine results. But did you know that using and optimizing images and videos on your website can help you increase your search engine listing presence?
One of your SEO goals is to try to show up prominently in search engine results for search terms related to your website. Major search engines, such as Google and Bing, have integrated their results for a while now, mixing regular web page listings with videos, images, news, and more. These mixed results are often called “blended” or “vertical” listings. So, for example, if someone types in “chocolate chip cookie recipe” into a search engine, the results will not only list websites but also images of cookies, how-to videos, and even perhaps news of food recalls.
Having images, videos, and web pages all show up in search results is certainly beneficial in that you now have more than one way to lead people to your website. How, then, can you try to tap into these verticals? Just as with your website, good optimizing of a well-planned website is probably the best way.
If your website features lots of excellent, rare, or otherwise unique photographs, or if your targeted search terms pull up a lot of images in their results, you may want to consider optimizing for image search. Optimizing the images on your site to show up in relevant search results works best if your images are somehow unique or interesting and not ordinary stock or catalog photos.
In order to best optimize your images, you need to tell the search engines just what your images are about. First, try to make sure that the images you want to optimize are already on pages optimized for the same keywords and phrases; pictures of chocolate chip cookies should be on a page about chocolate chip cookies. It’s also important that captions and text around the images contain those important keywords. You (or your web designer) should also use those same keywords in the file name for the image as well as “
alt” and “
title” tags for the image.
Making a few conscientious choices around your images can help those images display in search engine results for your chosen keywords.
Similar to image search listings, if your website features videos, you’ll probably want them to show up in video search listings, too. You can keep your videos on your website, and you can also upload them to video websites, like YouTube. Both can appear in video search listings.
If your video can’t really stand on its own, then it should probably stay on your own website. Reasons a video couldn’t be on its own include copyright or licensing issues, lack of branding or contact information on the video (remember, you want your video to bring you business!), or lack of context (suggesting that the video needs your website context to make sense). Otherwise, you may be well served by uploading your video to video websites in addition to your own.
Also, as with images, search engines can’t “read” them, so you have to tell a search engine what the video is about in order for them to list your video in the right results. It’s always a good idea to keep the URLs to videos search engine friendly, and it’s also a good idea to put pertinent keywords in the file name. Text around the video and text in links to the video are also helpful. You (or your web designer) can also create media RSS tags and Google video sitemaps to help the search engines know what’s in your video.
Trying to get your website found on search engines seems like it gets more and more difficult with time. There is ever increasing competition, and trying to turn up in relevant results is even more challenging. Now you can leverage the power of images and videos, which may already be on your website, to corner a little more of the valuable space in search engine results!