How to Leverage Google Images to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog or Website

helmet wolverine 385x400 288x300 How to Leverage Google Images to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog or WebsiteI’d like to introduce Sunil to you in this guest post on JosephArchibald.com about how to use Google Images effectively to drive visitors to your website – be it a blog or other type of site. Sunil began his online career by selling eBay products – his first “biggie” sale was of a Wolverine (X-Men) helmet way back in 2002, where he sold it for over $400!

Also be sure to read his bio at the end of the article – he’s managed to gain a huge amount of success online, so he’s surely one we can all learn a whole lot from!

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Many bloggers and internet marketers get so tied up with on-page search engine optimization (SEO) and off page internet marketing that they fail to consider one of the best ways to drive organic traffic to their websites and blogs – the use of the Google Images search engine.

Google Images is the largest image based search engine used today on the internet, and in-spite of using the engine for personal browsing purposes, it slips the mind of many marketers that the engine can be used to drive hoards of traffic to their sites if used appropriately.

Google Images is particularly effective if you have a niche that is heavily driven by a product or topic that readers like to visualize.  For example, one of my niche websites is about the impact of a raw dog food diet on dogs.

For this website, Google Images brings in roughly a sixth of the website’s traffic because readers often want to visualize the impact of this kind of diet on a dog’s fur or teeth.  Others want to see what the food looks like. Similarly, any other topic that brings about the urge to visualize in the reader has just as much traffic potential resulting from images.

I first discovered this way to drive traffic to my website by accident when I happened to check my traffic sources (referrers) one day. When I realized the potential, I went back to the rest of my niche websites and added at least one relevant image to each content page.

Notice the word relevant. This is particularly important today in a post Google Panda update world, where content relevance and congruency matters more than ever before. Even search engines love the use of relevant images on websites. How many times have you seen images displayed in Google search engine listings?

 

Critical Things to Keep in Mind

There are three important things to keep in mind when utilizing images on your site.

First, ensure that the images contain the appropriate “Alt Tags”.  These tags are your image’s label, or title. It is how search engines will recognize what your image is. Ensure that this tag is relevant to your site, specifically the page on which you plan on posting it. Further, ensure that the actual image file is titled with keywords that are relevant (example: keyword.jpg or keyword-keyword2.jpg).

For example, on my website about raw dog food, if I were to post a picture on the page discussing raw dog food recipes, I will…

1) fill in the Alt Tag with the phrase “raw dog food recipes” somewhere in it, and
2) title the actual image file raw-dog-food-recipes.jpg or something along those lines.

The second important thing to keep in mind is to optimize the images as much as possible prior to uploading them. By optimizing I mean cropping and compressing specifically for webpages. This is an option that is typically available in most image editing programs. Optimizing images ensures fast download speed. You don’t want your SEO initiatives to impede on your site’s upload speed.

Finally, as you will notice on my website, give your visitors an opportunity to opt in to your sales funnel (if you have one). Few things are more unfortunate for an internet marketer than having a brand spanking new visitor come to your website and leave without you having the opportunity to capture their email ID. Notice I have highlighted red colored text above my newsletter opt in? Do what you must to attract visitor attention to your opt in funnel. This should be on every page of your niche site.

If you are not yet leveraging Google Images to drive traffic to your site, try it now, let it soak in for a bit and monitor the results.

Have I missed a critical step that you feel needs to be considered?

If you are already using this on-page SEO strategy to drive organic traffic to your site, tell us about how you use it and what kind of results you are seeing from it?

All the best,
Sunil

 

Sunil owns over a dozen profitable niche websites and is the author of “How to Go from $0 to $1,000 a month in Passive and Residual Income in Under 180 Days All in Your Spare Time”, a FREE report you can download instantly from his Extra Money Blog, where he discusses how to create multiple streams of passive and residual income, entrepreneurship, internet marketing, blogging and personal finance. In 2007, he sold his ecommerce website for $250,000 to a top Ebay Power Seller and since then has sold several niche sites for five figures each. You can read more about him and his work on his blog.

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35 thoughts on “How to Leverage Google Images to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog or Website”

  1. Yes this is very good option to attach a picture related to your product on your blog post or on your website and this is very true thing it will help lots for increase the traffic on your blog post or on your website.

  2. Very interesting!! I can see this working good on a lot of blogs and websites. One question, How do you insure that your images will appear on the first page of google above other website images?

  3. Hey Sam, as Sunil has mentioned, its very important to think it through before you do. A good while back, I found that one of my sites was seeing double its usual traffic – so that was around 700 uniques a day. I figured out that it was due to an image that had found its way onto Goog Images. But I had no idea how to monetize, and building a list on this site was fairly pointless cos it would mean much more work for little gain. Thus the lesson here is to assess thoroughly how the image can be used to gain visitors who are intent on taking some sort of action on your website and not merely browsing an image or two.

    Cheers!

    Joseph

  4. Thanks for the Tweet my dear, and for the feedback!

    Ah, I knew it would be you to find a broken link ;-)

    I believe Sunil only works 4 hours a week online or something like that so we may have to wait a bit before he answer’s Matt’s question.

  5. @ Sam – can’t wait to visit Goa again. I stayed at the Cidade de Goa last time around – the place is Heaven indeed

    @ Matthew – you are absolutely correct – one of my niche sites is a travel site and i get a ton of traffic from google images because people want to see how the buildings and beaches look like. how do you ensure top ranking? great question. the last i researched this it was a combination of a few things:

    a) how you have your image file name titled (keyword must be in it)
    b) how you have your alt tags done
    c) relevancy of the alt tags and image file name to the page the image is on (the webpage has to be optimized for the same keyword for best results)
    d) the overall relevance of the image + page to the entire website

    relevancy has become more of a “big deal” in a post Panda update world

    Joseph makes a great point about assessing overall objectives when selecting an image.

    @ Cristina – thanks. you “got my back”!

  6. Getting traffic to a travel site through Google Images… I was wondering about it not so long ago. It’s good to have an answer now.

    Hey, “The Magician”, we should take note about it ;-)

  7. Yeah Cristina my sweet, I hadn’t even thought about that – I’ll sure have a whole mass of great photos for the travel site, so getting front page on Google Images should be a breeze. So I’ll put into practice what Sunil says and will report back on the results.

  8. Yeah, no doubt about it Matt. Make sure you get a good flash for your camera – I get the impression that food photography is a lot to do with the flash and not just the lens.

  9. Good way to get indexed by google with images, always good to post images along with the content.
    Thanks for sharing a good advice

  10. I have been utilizing Google image search for about a year now. While it does drive traffic I have noticed that that the traffic from Google images doesn’t convert all the well. ( I mostly monetize with Adsense).. One thing I do that this article doesn’t mention is keep an image sitemap that I have listed with Google Webmaster Tools.

    One of my test cases is with a niche news website that is mostly just links to news articles. (kind like Drudge Report). This type of website is difficult to drive traffic to because it is just a simple one page website without much content and the links change daily. So my main method of on-page SEO is with header tags.
    So I mostly use image search to drive the traffic. The idea is that people looking for a certain image in my niche will be interested in the related news links and hopefully click on advertisements.

    Before focusing on Google Image search I was seeing about 30 visitors a day and now I am seeing about 300 hits/day. This increase in traffic has increased my adsense conversions by maybe 2%.

    My goal now is to experiment with my adsense placement to see if I can optimize my conversion rate.

    Anyway, that is my experience with Google Image Search. I also stumbled across this method accidentally after reviewing my search results in Analytics.

    Hope that info helps anyone that is wanting to try this out.
    Sorry I don’t have any information yet of how best to get listed in Google Images, but adding a image site map to Google Webmaster Tools seems to work well.

    Mark

  11. Mark, thanks for being so candid about your experience of using Goog Images to drive traffic and about conversions.

    Fact is, although I’ve not used Goog Images much, I too struggled with conversion, but I would think where there is a will there is a way, and its about putting more thought into the whole process, which is obviously what you’ve done. The idea about using Goog Images for newsworthy content is a great idea! Even though conversions are low on AdSense, it all adds to the bottom line.

    Placement of ads – I remember reading on a blog about a lady who sky-rocketed her AdSense clicks and thus income by re-placing her ads, but fact is, when I tried it on a few of my sites, my income went down. I find by far the best converter is a big rectangle either nested in the top left hand side of the post with my own article text wrapping around the ad, or the rectangle just above the article so it stands out all the more. Sidebar ads I’ve never seen great results with – occasional clicks here and there, but that is of course dependant on seasonality and the amount of advertisers for that particular time of year – the higher the advertiser count, the more chance the sidebar ads will get clicks.

    Its a tough and long ride to the top, but with experimentation and an open mind (and learning what works for others, if they are willing to share) its the way to go!

    Thanks again Mark!

    Joseph

  12. This is kind of off topic a little.

    Are there copyright laws associated with using Google Images though? My problem is where to get the images to begin with.

  13. Hi Wesley, there are some images on Goog Images that are copyright free but the number is so limited that its barely worth the effort even looking. The best source of creative commons (copyright free) images I have found is here…

    http://sxc.hu/

    Go to “Image categeories” tab at the top, and use that to search via general categories. Its pretty decent actually, but not nearly as plentiful as using Goog Images I’m afraid.

    Joseph

  14. Thanks for your feedback on using Goog Images Cristina – and as not a former lawyer, I have learned over the years that its too much of a risk to take to use Goog Images, unless they are marked as copyright free – which some are, but the vast majority are not. I think you can also find free images on those big image sites such as StockPhoto – but again, the best ones and thus the vast majority are not free. Nevertheless, you can buy small images from these larger sites – including DreamsTime.com, for really cheap – I bought 8 really fine images just the other day for a mere $14.99 – as you say in your last blog post Cristina – images are important! If you do a search for DreamsTime in Google, you see a tab right at the top of the search that gives you the option to choose free images from the site.

    Joseph

  15. Hello Sunil and Joseph,

    great post here. I’m looking forward to reading the solution to Matthew’s question.

    By the way, the final link to Sunils blog is broken.

  16. Hi Ron, I’m not so sure there is a solution as such. As Sunil has pointed out, there are ways and means to try to help your image become popular in Goog Images, but at the end of the day, I believe if your image is related to a hot niche, you will probably do all the better. So, for example, if you have an image of some person who is currently starring in a very popular television series, there’s a decent chance that you will get good click through from that image – this is exactly what happened to me.

    I had a Charlaine Harris website (please don’t ask, LOL!) and when True Blood – the series – was at the very top of the tree, one of the images I used was receiving hundreds of hits each day. I had no idea what I was doing, so it came down to the fact that the image was really good, and the popularity of the subject matter was immense. The pic itself got to the first page of Goog Images just because there were so many searches for this specifically, and the pic I was using was very popula in itself.

    Thanks for the feedback on the link Ron – I’ll try to fix that now.

    Jo

  17. @ Mark – that is exactly the same intention I use Google Images for.

    @ Wesley – I am not advocating using images already on Google Images. I am advocating using your own unique images and leveraging the Google image search engine

    @ Cristina – I am with you. NEVER EVER use an image found openly on Google Images

    @ Ron – the solution is Alt tags and relevancy of the tags to the page, and of the page to the overall site theme. See my comments above.

    @ J – Sir – thank you for picking up the slack in my absense

  18. At $400, that’s a good start. It’s indeed possible to optimise images. We must understand that this is a part of basic seo. Sunil, thanks for reminding us!

  19. Thanks for all the great info Joseph and Sunil. I recently stumbled upon how effective this can be when checking out a site that had recently sold on flippa. It was a coupon site and when I ran the keyword through Market Samurai I realized the top 3 results were all pr 0 with really weak stats while everything below it was pr 6 and above and looked very strong. This made no sense to me so I typed the keyword in google and low and behold the first 3 listings were images of coupons (all expired). From the stats provided the image was driving alot of traffic to this site ( which seemed pretty awful by the way). Thanks for having the guest blogger and thanks for covering this often overlooked strategy

    Blake G

  20. That’s a good scenrio you’ve given us here Blake! One way to drive traffic to a site using Goog Images is via images of coupons, and since Goog Images often tend to get very high rankings, no SEO work is actually involved. There surely are ways and means to use Goog Images to drive what is potentially to be “converting” traffic to a website – it just takes some thought about how to get around it.

    Happy honeymoon, sir!

    Joseph

  21. Joseph!

    I’ve just checked out Sunil’s blog after reading this post (I’ve managed to get a load of ideas which I’m going to implement on my own site) and I’ve just lost the best part of a couple of hours of my life. I have to stop reading now and go and cook food, but I’ve bookmarked his blog and downloaded his $0-£1,000 in 180 Days for extra learning.

    Thanks for sharing Joseph, and I hope all is well out in Malaysia :)

    Ben.

  22. Hey Ben, its been a while and I hope you are well! Fine in Malaysia, thanks!

    Good to know that you find Sunil’s blog to be offering the sort of info you are seeking out. He’s a very knowledgeable gent and always willing to help fellow internet marketers.

    Hope you enjoyed your food, and have a great weekend!

    Jo

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