Ranking high in search engines like Google is a great way to find new customers for your business. It’s also very difficult to do. Traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become very competitive, and it can be a daunting challenge for those who don’t have a technical background.
The good news is that Google is now much more than just SEO, and there are many ways for jewelry artists to leverage their creativity into a successful search engine strategy. To decide on the right approach for your business, let’s first talk about Universal Search.
First, go to Google. Notice the black bar at the top with all the links like Maps, YouTube, and News? They’re called "verticals," and they’re essentially separate search engines providing different kinds of results. If you click on the right-most button (More) you’ll see that there are many ways to use Google to find what you’re looking for. Google realized that no one was really using these options, so a few years ago they announced Universal Search. They took information from these different verticals and inserted it into their regular search results.
Here’s what it looks like. This image is a search result for "mokumé gane." The red boxes are from AdWords, which are sold in an auction-style marketplace. The orange box contains videos from YouTube. The yellow box is a link to image search. That equals 10 links to other verticals…four more than the six regular links on the page.
What you may not know is that each of these verticals has its own algorithm. In other words, they each have their own set of rules on how to rank results, many of which are easier to navigate than regular SEO. In this post we’ll discuss just one, Google Images.
Google Images was introduced way back in 2001, but it is still often underappreciated as a traffic generator. Jewelry is a visual medium, and people searching for jewelry will often click on pictures rather than links. Either way, they’re still getting to your website! Here are a few tips on how to get your images ranking in Google.
- Use your own images. Google doesn’t like duplicates of images it found elsewhere on the web. Even if you are selling product that you didn’t make, take your own photo in a way differentiates it from what is already out there.
- Take high-quality, eye-catching photos. Jewelry can be difficult to photograph, but there are resources out there to help. Take some time to learn about your camera, lighting, composition, etc. Check out the "Six Things to Remember when Photographing Jewelry" post right here on the studio. Better photos draw the eye on a cluttered search engine page, but try to keep the image size as small as possible.
- Tell Google what the image is about. This is very important but often overlooked. Google’s "spiders" don’t have eyes, so they have no idea what your photo actually looks like, so you have to tell Google what it is. Google has a variety of ways to do this, but the easiest to control are the filename, alt-text, and image title tag. Let’s use the image to the right as an example (I apologize in advance, but I have to throw a little html your way). Here’s an example of how you might construct:
<img src="image040813b.jpg" title="Pearl Earrings" alt="Pearl Earrings">
There’s not much for Google to work with there. This is better:
<img src="silver-onyx-freshwater-pearl-earrings.jpg" title="Sterling Silver Earrings with Onyx and Freshwater Pearls" alt="Rio Grande’s Little Black Strand earrings feature sterling silver ear wire with onyx beads and white and gray freshwater cultured pearls">
See how much more Google has to work with? It only took a couple of extra minutes to tell Google what the image is about, giving those spiders so much more to scan. Be sure to use keywords that your customers would use to find your products.
- Give the image value on your site. Google looks at how your site values the image. Is it on a page of the same topic? Do you discuss the image on that page? Do you link to it? These are all signs of an important image.
- Promote your photos in social media. By pinning your photo to Pinterest, posting it on Facebook or tweeting about it on Twitter, you are providing Google with additional input. If it gets liked, shared, repinned or retweeted, Google sees it as an additional indicator of quality.
Optimizing your images is a good way to get more traffic from search engines, but don’t expect to get a flood of traffic right away. It often takes time for Google to develop trust and start assigning authority to your website. This can take months (even years), so expect to see slow growth in rankings and traffic over time.
And don’t forget the other verticals! Google is so dynamic that your approach to search engines can be as unique and artistic as your jewelry. Explore the options and find out what works best for you.Comment on this article
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