While vertical search is still in its infancy, the integration of vertical results through Google Universal and Ask 3D are allowing sites to draw more and more visitors from specialty indexes. One of the vertical search indexed that is becoming more and more popular is image search. Unfortunately, many small businesses are overlooking traffic opportunities by not optimizing the images on their sites. Pat B. Doyle has a great post on using images to drive traffic at her blog.

In the post, Pat points out that image search results are now often showing up on the first page of engines like Google and Ask.

Here's a screen shot I took at Google today after a search for the phrase "birthday cake."


You'll note there are three images from the Google image database showing up at the top of the listings. Since I'm hunting for ideas for my son's first birthday cake, I'm far more likely to click on images than on the standard text results. In fact, I'd wager there are quite a few keyword phrases that are likely to send a fair amount of image search traffic.

But how do you optimize your site for image search?

Pat has a few simple tips.

Use descriptive file names for your images.

Use the alt attribute on your images.

Use captions or descriptive text near the image.

She also serves up some great advice on picking the right image and on styling your image using CSS code.

It's a great little tutorial on making sure you get the most impact out of your images and serves as a great reminder that search engine marketing isn't just about those ten text results on Google anymore.

September 27, 2007

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.


Jennifer, Thanks for the mention! I'm glad you liked the article.

Are there any other factors such as minimum image size? Why do only a fraction of search terms bring out photographs... surely only certain niches. I deny Google access to my images because people simply hot link the images and are not interested in the content.

The problem is, that most searchers only look at the images not at the websites where they come from. They only use your traffic but you have no roi.

If you are getting traffic then it is really good for your banner advertisment business. You will get more impression and CTR with high traffic, whether it is coming from image search

Comments closed after 30 days to combat spam.

Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > A Great Primer on Using Images to Drive Traffic