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How Visual Elements Can Jump-Start Your SEO

visual elements seo
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Visual Elements SEO: Visual elements of your blog, just like the written content, can be used to improve your SEO rankings. 

If you give yourself (or your team) some time to figure out a visual elements strategy, you’ll notice the difference in your website data like improved traffic and, therefore, improved business. 

There are a few important aspects you need to work on if you want your visuals to improve your Google’s organic search result rankings. 

  1. Fill out ALL technical details

You can create the most awesome visual elements of your blog, but if you don’t work on the code in them, it will all be for (almost) nothing. 

Google’s search algorithm has to know what your visuals are about to know in which search results to show them. 

So, working on the non-visual part is as important as being creative, compelling, clear, and informative.

Non-visual elements, or on-page SEO checklist, include:

  • Title tags
  • Alt tags
  • URLs

These tags should include keywords but try not to write down generic keywords because your content will be competing with tens of thousands of other visual elements with the same keyword. 

Instead, try to be specific. If you’ve ever tried to find the perfect stock photo on a stock photo platform, you know what we mean. Instead of simply writing in search ‘baseball’, if you need a baseball player hitting a ball, you will write exactly that – ‘baseball player hitting a ball’.

The same is with visual content tags. Try to be specific, but not overly specific, so your content can show up in the search results. 

This is what you need to do in the ‘Alt tag’ part, which is sometimes called ‘Alt text’. So, Alt tag or Alt text isn’t the place where you’ll cram your keywords together. It is a place where you need to describe your photo using the keywords naturally. Also, use descriptive image file names too and avoid generic names like ‘Image2.jpg’.

The ‘Title tag’ works the same as the title tag for the whole page – it is descriptive, needs to be on point (the general recommendation is 60 characters), needs to include the most relevant keywords, and be unique (at least on your website).

You can use the URL to add some new keywords or rephrase the keywords you used previously. 

Video tags work a bit differently. First of all, you shouldn’t upload videos directly to your website because that will slow it down and Google rankings will drop. Instead, upload them on Youtube or some similar platform and then embed them on your website. 

Video content is becoming more and more important for visibility, and even job ads are now published as videos!

Whatever platform you use for videos, check their recommendations for optimization and use them. 

Also, check your image file sizes, so your page doesn’t load for too long. Site speed is another important aspect of your search result rankings, which you can check by using Google’s Page Speed Insights tool

To get the best image quality, use JPG format for photos and PNG format for illustrations, but make sure to compress them for the web whenever it is possible. You can test different image sizes to see if the images are clearly seen in every format (laptop, split-screen, tablet, mobile).

  1. Create quality visuals 

If your visual elements are crappy and unattractive, you already know that they won’t attract visitors or make them stay longer on your website. On the contrary, those illustrations will probably repel visitors from staying on your website for longer than a few seconds. 

That being said, people have different tastes and believe different graphic styles are beautiful. 

You need to decide on the style, based on your brand guidelines and feel, and stick to it.

More importantly, you need to create clear visuals.

Visual content is usually used when you want to show some statistical information, explain a process in an infographic, use icons for different topics or aspects of your story, design a logo, etc.

Those illustrations are primarily there for informational purposes, so they need to convey the message clearly. To check if the essence of the visual element is on point, show it to someone who doesn’t know what is the article topic and ask them to tell you the details about what they see.

Another crucial issue that affects SEO rankings is how much the graphical content correlates with the written content. 

We know that Google likes long-form articles which you can use to include a lot of visual elements and ads, but you shouldn’t do it just because that’s how you think the algorithm works. 

It’s very simple, actually – if you have visuals that add value, offer new information, or explain information better than text, people are more likely to spend their time looking at them, they’ll share the article more often, they’ll engage with it (like, comment, etc.), and all of those things affect your Google rankings.

For example, you can include explainer screenshots of how something (your website, some software,…) should be used, which is, frankly, not very eye-catching. But, that kind of content is very helpful and will be used and looked at by many website visitors. 

We should add that screenshots are only good if they are accompanied by some text that can tie them together and offer additional information. Effective text like that is not easy to write, so

many companies and individuals hire outsiders to do it. There are many professional services

online to offer such writing. TrustMyPaper and other academic writing agencies supply students

with good texts, while SEO content creators can do the same for businesses. You can even order custom images from skilled photographers and retouchers.

On the other hand, if you use some stock photos, for example, related to technology, which doesn’t add value to your article but is connected to it somehow, people are probably only going to scroll through that kind of content. That way, your Google rankings won’ be improved, nor your visuals will come up in search results.  

If you aren’t great with creating awesome eye-catching content, there are a lot of free visual marketing tools online you can find.

SEO text wallpaper
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  1. Find backlink opportunities using reverse image search

When your website is often referred to on other websites with a link, your search engine rankings will be higher. 

So, how can your visual content create new backlinks from other websites to yours?

When you create attractive and informative visuals, it is more likely that they will be shared and even used on other websites without your knowledge and without crediting you. 

To find out if your images, graphs, infographics, or any other graphical elements are being used by another website, you should use Google’s reverse image search. 

You can use reverse image search on image.google.com in three ways:

  1. Click on the photo icon, upload an image from your computer
  2. Drag and drop the image from your computer into the search box
  3. Copy the URL of the image (right-click on the image then select Copy image URL) into the search box

Once you start your search, you’ll find all the websites that shared exactly the same image you uploaded and a lot of websites that have similar photos. 

You need to focus on the websites that included your image in their content without acknowledging you, and send them a friendly email requesting that they include the original source of the image. Ask them to include either the link to your homepage or the link to the page where the image was used on your website.

And that’s how you can build backlinks to your website.

  1.   Infographics without the text that goes along are almost worthless

Even though infographics are a great way to explain complicated phenomena, Google can’t actually read what’s on the image. 

An infographic without the accompanying text can lead to showing up in image search results, but not showing in regular search results. That’s because Google can’t fit your image into a sea of other websites that addressed the same topic, but also wrote about it. 

And even if your infographic is more valuable to the reader than a lousy written article, Google can’t measure the value of an image. 

What you need to do is always include text that is written according to SEO rules. 

The text shouldn’t be there just so Google can recognize it and rank your content higher. You should always have in mind your target audience and different ways to give them new value. That means that the text shouldn’t repeat what is already said on the infographic. It should explain the processes mentioned in the image, go more in-depth, give examples, and, ultimately, expand the topic.

Final thoughts

You already know that images and graphics are important for your SEO position and can maximize your ROI, but now you have some visual content strategies to think about.

Hopefully, we made it more clear on what is important when you want to use your already awesome visual elements to increase your rankings and position. 

Another good practice, that makes a good impression is to have an author box plugin for your blog, that includes the profile image of your content creators.

If you are just beginning to create your content strategy, you are on the right track – research is the basis of distinct and excellent content on your website, so bravo for you!

You should never forget that the most important thing is your target audience and the value and quality you provide to them.

When having that in mind, you’ll be able to create comprehensive, striking, and impressive illustrations that will allure your website visitors to come back.

visual elements seo