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Good morning, Internet fans. Ryan Perry, Simple Biz Support. Today is Thursday, July 30th. Therefore, it is Internet Marketing Thursday and I have Virginie Dorn back from vacation. Good morning, Virginie.
Virginie Dorn: Hello, Ryan. How are you doing today?
RP: I’m doing good. I hope you had a great vacation.
VD: It was fantastic. I mean, I could get used to it. I could be on vacation all the time, I think.
RP: I think they call that retirement.
VD: Yes. I’m ready for it sometimes but no… It was fabulous. I went to South Lake Tahoe, which is beautiful and only a few hours from our location, as you know. Lovely.
RP: Very good. Today we are going to… Excuse me. We’re going to talk about Google search and specifically how to get images ranked on Google search because we all know that you can get your website ranked, but a lot of people don’t always think about the images that are in their website and how they can get those ranked on Google also. It’s just another opportunity to be found.
VD: Yes. The Google search… The Google image library, also known as Google image search, is a great way to increase traffic on your website and this is especially true if you’re in the retail business, if you sell products. People might be looking for a certain type of Nike shoes and they might end up in the Google image library to look for the image. Now those images you see in that Google image search, they actually all come with a link back to the website where the image comes from. So, this is how you increase traffic to your website, not just the regular textual searches but also the image searches. Now, to be indexed in Google, you have to do the work on your website. It’s not something you can submit to Google and say, “Hey, please index all my images.” They want you to do a bit of homework, but it’s not that complicated and the optimization value can be great for your website traffic.
RP: Okay. Now, when you say “homework,” I think the most common issue that people have is that, when they upload images, especially if they get photography from somewhere else, typically it’s in a filename like “001” and then dot, whatever the extension is. And “001” by itself really doesn’t clearly express what that image is about and unfortunately Google doesn’t have the capabilities of being able to decipher what that image is.
VD: Very true. So, that’s one of the first steps that Google expects you to do as in terms of homework for your images, is naming your images appropriately to what they represent. Again just… Google might be made of thousands of employees, but nobody’s looking at your website. It’s actually an automated software program which we call search engine, but it doesn’t have an understanding of a landscape or pair of shoes or someone’s space. It just sees image names and code. So naming an image “cool blue hat” instead of “001” gives an indication to Google, “Oh, maybe it’s about a blue hat and maybe it’s cool.” So that’s the one… I mean that’s the bare minimum you need to do is name your image properly before you upload them on to your website. Now, if we can continue the… Then the next step would be to use the alt tag. Again, we’ve talked about those. Those are the alternative tags to lead to your visitor, the invisible tag. It’s almost like an alternative name or title to your image, but every contact management system out there will allow you to change that alt tag. Most people leave it blank, but if you do that, Google is like, “Well, maybe it is not a cool blue hat.” But if… The title could be “This is the coolest blue hat in the world,” which again support the image name. Now, Google has again more details about what the meaning of an image is.
VD: Those are your alt tag. If I may continue, the third thing will be the title tag. A lot of people know them as mouse over tag, is when you go to a website you mouse over with your mouse on the image and it gives you a little bit of a title. So that again is something Google pays very much attention to, and what you want to do between the image name, the alt tag and the title tag is to have them very similar but not quite identical. So, just don’t copy and paste the image name in the alt tag and the title tag. That’s kind of repetitive. That’s called keyword stuffing. What you want is a slight variation of the image name in the alt tag and then a slight variation of the title tag… Of the alt tag in the title tag.
RP: Right. Now, to me that sounds like a lot of work, which is what it is, especially if you… Like you said, if you’re selling products, you may have 100 SKUs or 1,000 SKUs or 10,000 SKUs, but the reality is how do you separate yourself from your competitors. If everybody is doing the same lazy thing, uploading file 001, 002, and then that’s it, they’re not adding any information, it may seem like a lot of work. But the reality is… I don’t know what the number is, but I always default kind of to the 2%. There’s 2% of the population typically doesn’t do things, not very positively. They’re typically not good people. When it comes to business, typically it’s the 2% that actually go above and beyond and take the extra step and extra measure, and those are the people that are rewarded.
VD: Indeed, just do the homework. That’s one of my favorite things to say. It’s not brain surgery to optimize your images you just have to do the homework. In some situation based on the type of website you have you might be able, for instance, if you have a shopping cart, to automate the creation of the name and automate the creation of the “Alt” and “Title” tag. So that’s something you can talk to your webmaster. So if you enter a new product called “Red Shoes”, it might be a way to automatically create a variation for the “Alt” and a variation for the “Title” tag. So talk to your webmaster about it. So those are the first three things Google expects you to do.
VD: Now, doing some research over the years, Google has indicated when in addition to those three steps it expects to see some textual context surrounding the image, so perhaps some text before, next to it, or after. That talks about the same subject matter as the image. It’s all about the context, and if it makes sense to Google, if you’re talking again about a blue, cool hat, or cool, blue hat, then you have more chances to have this blue hat index in the library.
RP: Alright, that makes sense. The other thing I want to touch on with the “Alt” tag, and I forget if it’s the… I believe it’s the “Alt” tag. I forget if it’s the “Alt” or the “Title” tag though, is for people who are blind, and my step-mother is one of those people. She specifically uses a program called JAWS and the program actually pulls that code out and will tell her what the picture is about.
VD: Yes, this is how you make your website ADA-compliant so visually impaired people can actually read what the image is about. Typically it’s the “Alt” tag they read, but some software do both, or just do the “Title” tag. So, might as well do both so that way you’re ADA-compliant, which give you also bonus points of Google and it also gives you bonus points for the indexation of those images.
RP: Okay. And it makes sense that if you’re going to have an image that you upload and it’s a cool, blue hat and you go through and do your titles and tags correctly,”cool blue hat”, and you place it on a website it should not be about talking about shoes. So, keep your categories the same. If we’re talking about hats, like, Virginie was saying, they want to see some extra text ’cause Google loves texts, surrounding. So the last thing you want to do is say, “We’ve got a hat for sale, buy it”. It needs to have a description that matches what the actual hat is.
VD: Yes. Very true. Now there’s one more thing you can think about is the resolution of the images. Higher end resolution tends to have better indexation. And it’s also in the user and point-of-use, so when they do an image search often times it will go to the search criteria and go for higher resolution. They don’t want to see something, blurry and pixelated. So the higher the resolution, the better chances to be indexed. And if you have the high resolution image, it’s most likely to be indexed in many resolution levels. If you have a very low resolution image, it’s only going to be indexed in the low resolution category search. If that makes any sense.
RP: Okay, now let me ask you ’cause this sounds a little complicated in the sense that typically images that you upload for web only need to be at 72 dpi. Some people go the 96, are you talking about that? Are we talking about the actual file size that it’s a 40 X 40 image versus a 600 X 600 pixel image?
VD: I think it’s the last one. Well, it’s all related. So if you have a 2,500 pixel image by 500 high, typically that size, that file size would be higher. Now I know what happens with WordPress sometimes is, actually oftentimes, each image has different level, so you can upload a very high resolution image and it would have different variation of it. So WordPress will actually downsize it a certain level so that same image can be seen by Google in different resolutions levels and indexed accordingly.
RP: Yeah, I think the only caveat to that would be you want to be careful. You don’t want to go crazy and just take a… If you take a picture with a modern day camera, A] it’s probably going to be saved at 300 dpi, and it could be 25,000 X 25,000 pixels, which is going to be this huge file. That’s going to create other issues for you such as bandwidth uploading could affect ranking those type of things, so don’t maximize and just send a raw image in there. It does need to be reduced and it needs to be relevant to the size or the space that it is going to take up.
VD: Yes, you have to be true to your website. Make sure the image size is what you want it to be on your website. Don’t worry so much about Google when it comes to that. Just make sure you don’t have images when you want to be indexed and have too low of a resolution because then nobody’s going to be interested looking at those. Then again…
RP: I’m sorry, the other thing I was going to say is that and if you’re selling a product, the last thing you want to do is have to be all, “What exactly is that?”. I love on Amazon where you can mouse over and it automatically magnifies it so you can kinda look at the details.
RP: Alright. Perfect. Well tell you what, we’re just about out of time so could you recap… I think there was four different things that you talked about, as far as homework?
VD: Yes. So number one, make sure you name your image properly, according to what the image represents, number two, make sure you make use of the alternative tag, also known as Alt tag, number three, use the title tag which is that mouse over texts and it applies when you mouses over an image, number four you want to put some text, textual content either before after the image and is in context with what the image represent and number five, is make the image good enough of a resolution but it’s… Googlebot is interested in displaying it in its library.
RP: Alright, great. So those are five steps that you can go through to make sure that you’re optimizing your images for your website to increase the chances of them being found in a Google search. Unless you have any last minute comment Virginie, I think we’re going to call this one good.
VD: Yes, it’s all good.
RP: Alright, wonderful. That’s why I love working with you, it’s like everything just, “all good”.
RP: Alright everybody, that’s it for this weeks’ episode of Internet Marketing Thursday, looking forward to another great discussion with Virginie and sharing some excellent information with you all. Hope you have a great week and we’ll see you next time.
VD: Take care.