A good percentage of searches on Google are from keywords, but there is also a big percentage that comes from people searching Google images and you want to take advantage of that as a product driven business. People are buying your product based on how it looks and for this reason, investing in the image SEO for your Shopify store is essential.
Below are 6 ways you can optimize your images to help you sell more.
1. Add text
Adding text to your product images will help you to boost clicks since you are giving more details about your image.
Here are some ways to include text in your images:
- Pricing information
- Anything unique that sets your product apart
- Any special pricing or offers
The key takeaway is to not only consider the page the images will be showing up in on your website but which images will be appearing in image searches. How will it stand out and how will it entice the user to visit your page.
3. Image SEO needs to be strong
There are certain SEO guidelines to follow for any image you want to rank high in search results. Here they are and they apply to every image on your website.
- Include keywords in your image filename
- No keyword stuffing in the image filename
- Make the filename easy – You want the search engines to catch every word so stay away from using use hyphens and other characters in between words. Make certain not to have spaces in your filename as they will read illegible.
- Avoid using odd naming – Stick to using descriptive words that people would use in an image search.
The same protocol applies here that you used for your image filenames. You do want to use a variation of your image filename though. You also want a solid URL architecture for your image URLs. A standard folder like /photos/ is fine but you also want to create sub-folders so that you give the search engines more detail. For your different images you can try something like /photos/shorts/women’s. You get the picture. This will help you pop up in more relevant search results.
The image alt attribute is used by screen readers for people who are visually impaired. It is also used as a substitute image if for some reason the browser can’t show the original image. Use descriptive keywords and stay away from keyword stuffing.
People will abandon your site if it does not load in 3 seconds or less. For this reason, it is important that you compress your images to keep the load time down. Be sure to never upload an image that is larger than the maximum size it will display at. Anything larger will slow your site, take up space and harm your SEO efforts.
Here are some best practices
- Try to us JPG for most images
- Use GIFs for simpler images that don’t have too many colors
- Typically, PNG is only used for images that need to be printed
Your site is mobile-friendly
With most people using the internet from their smartphone, you must have a responsive website design. This means your site is designed to adjust itself to the device it is being viewed on. If your site is not designed with this in mind, people will abandon it. Not to mention it is an important ranking factor with the search engines.
In addition to making sure your images are done properly, you also want to add detailed and accurate descriptions of your products, if not, you may find people abandoning your store. You can help improve this problem is by using something like Exit Offers. This app provides you with a pop-up that will display a special promotion to the visitor if they begin to navigate away from your store. An offer like a percentage discount or will usually get someone to make a purchase.
4. Optimize thumbnail images
E-commerce sites will typically use thumbnail images on category pages since they don’t take up much space. With that being said, they can have an effect on your page load speed. Luckily, Shopify takes care of thumbnail optimization for you. For those that don’t use Shopify yet, here are some tips.
- Make the thumbnail file sizes as small as possible (quality is not so much of an issue with this). All your thumbnail images together will have a cumulative impact on your page load time.
- Make sure you vary the alt attribute text so that it is not the same as any larger version you would use of the same image. You do not want the thumbnail being used instead of the larger image.
5. Use image sitemaps
An Image sitemap is basically a file that contains a map of all of your site’s content. It tells Google all about the images on your site. Once your sitemap is up, submit it and reference it from within your parent sitemap.
6. Try to use unique images
When it comes to product images, most e-commerce sites use the images provided by the manufacturer. If you are selling tons of different products, this makes sense. Nevertheless, Google usually will not display duplicate images in their search results. The way to get around this is by using unique product images on your product pages. This may not be feasible for every product page, especially if you have a large site, but it is worth it to include at least some unique images. This can be for your higher performing pages.
If you can, take the time to make sure your image is different than what is coming up in image search results. Keep in mind that with image results as opposed to core search results, users will usually scroll past the first page. This is good for any business that does not find itself on the first page.
Many businesses in the e-commerce space have not taken the time to invest in image SEO. Although image search has its limitations in comparison to core searches, it definitely offers benefits. The above tips will help you make sure your images are optimized and in turn you will see improvements in your revenue and rankings.