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Top Google Ranking? We can do better! Part III: Image and Video Optimization

Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category Google Search Engine Optimization

image-optimizationThis is the third part of our series on Universal search. In case you missed it, the first post was on optimizing meta descriptions, double results and sitelinks. In the second post we discussed how to optimize for local search and Google news.

Today we're going to explore two more opportunities to get your website on Google's front page: images and videos.

Image Search Optimization

Besides ranking in Google Image Search, images are also blended into general search results on a wide array of keywords. They offer a tempting opportunity for every search marketer not only because they grab one's attention and stand out from the crowd, but also because in many cases it's easier to rank in the image results block then in the general SERPs.

Just to give you a taste of the traffic generating potential behind image optimization let's take look at Google's search results for jewelry.

image-search-resultsAccording to Google AdWords Keyword Tool, the keyword [jewelry] enjoys around 3,350,000 searches monthly (on exact match). The cut-throat competition makes it extremely hard to compete for a spot in the general listings, however there's a relatively easy way to get on the front page.

As you can see in the above screenshot Google displays a block of 5 pictures in the 4th position. Given that images speak louder then words these listings should magnet a fairly good amount of clicks. Let's see how you can use image optimization to grab some extra traffic for your site.

Image Optimization Tips

  • Format – the format of the image matters and in that respect .jpg and .png perform best
  • File name – make sure to pick a descriptive filename, make it something like keyword.jpg or keyword1-keyword2.png, not 485382.jpg
  • Alt tag & description – employing your keywords in the alt tags and descriptions is a good idea, but don't try to squeeze in as many keywords as possible. Simply describe the image and use your main keyword where appropriate
  • Page Relevancy – the page should be relevant to the image. If you want your image to rank for say ipod, the page should be about ipod as well.
  • Location on page – putting the image higher on the page increases its ranking potential.
  • Context – the words surrounding your image are really important. Make sure that the text on the page that stands before and right after the image has your targeted keywords.
  • Freshness – if you're striving to rank for the queries where Google tends to inject fresh results (news & real-time results), you can try re-uploading your images to get the 'fresh result advantage'. Only do this if you don't rank with your image yet, because when you re-upload the image it will have to be re-indexed by search engines which will take some time.

Video Optimization

Video optimization presents another way to get your website on the front page. Just like images, videos are often blended into the general SERPs in the Video Results block.


Let's take a look at the things you can do to increase the ranking potential of your video.

  • File Name, Title & Description – like with image optimization same rules apply here: optimize the filename, title and description of your video using your targeted keywords. Keep in mind that the title of your video pretty much determines whether it will get watched. Try to come up with catchy, enticing title that will spark interest and don't make keywords your top priority.
  • Transcripts – search engines can't read the content of your video, so they don't really know what it's all about. Make a transcript of your video and put it on the same page.  
  • Links – build links to your video from other videos and webpages; provide an easy way for other people to embed your video on their websites.
  • Syndication – upload your video to various video sharing sites such as YouTube, Google Video, DailyMotion, Vimeo, etc. to get more views and more links. Invite people to visit your site in the video.  
  • Encourage reviews, ratings – when you distribute your video, be sure to encourage users to rate your video and leave comments, the best way to do it is to make a great video of course. Still when you ask for it you're more likely to get it anyway.
  • Optimize onpage – do all the onpage optimization you usually do, make sure the page is relevant to the video. Put some textual content on it. If you don't make the transcript of you video, include a short summary.

Following these simple tips will increase your chances to hit the front page of search results with video and image content. If you have more tips to share, feel free to do so in the comments. We'd love to hear from you.

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