Visual search updates and functionalities are popping up all over the place, from retailers, to publishers, and of course, search engines. Does that mean we’re all in the clear in terms of traditional image search optimization strategies? Not quite. At least not anytime soon. It still serves as an effective way for you to generate more exposure for your product images, and by extension, your brand.
There are lots of tips and tricks out there that can help ensure you get the maximum exposure for your images, by ensuring the content itself is clearly illustrated and optimized for speedy delivery. Here are some of the more “evergreen” tips that apply across the board for visual search optimization:
- Use Descriptive Image Names
Don’t just upload the image files as IMG 1234, you have to give them names that describe what they are. Better yet, include relevant keywords. It may initially seem like a hassle, but that’s what helps add additional context for search engines to signal what the image includes. You’re not only uploading the picture for your audience, you’re also uploading it for search engines. So if you’re selling earrings, name the file something like “sterling-silver-blue-topaz-earrings”.
- Add Alt Text
Alt text more accurately describes the image, and should align with the image name itself. Not only does it provide additional context for search engines- it also helps users with visual impairments to understand what’s in front of them. To continue with the previous example, the alt text for the earrings could be something like, “Sterling silver blue topaz fashion hoop earrings for women.”
- Insert Captions
Consider adding captions to describe the photo. Okay, we get it- it doesn’t seem necessary because most of the images are self explanatory. However, that extra bit of effort goes a long way in terms of rankings. The caption could be as simple as, “Limited edition blue topaz earrings, designed by John Doe.” It’ll add more appeal to your images as they appear right under.
- Add Keywords and Tags
Adding keywords and tags not only helps categorize your images, it also helps them achieve greater circulation and present opportunities to request attribution and backlinks to your site. These words can also be implemented into the image title, and alt text.
- Eliminate Clutter in Images
Computer vision algorithms work by recognizing the edges of items in photos. Shapes are recognized after edges are established, and little by little it understands what the object itself is. As such, it’s best for your product images to either have no background at all, or at the very least, a background that isn’t noisy. Ensure that the merchandise is shown clearly, and if possible, make it such that visitors can enlarge or even rotate the image.