Recently we’ve been working within our own analytics data and talking to businesses about how they use visitor information, and it’s come to our attention that images and image searches have become a place of serious misunderstanding in the online marketing and content marketing world. Below are three different thoughts on images and marketing.
- Ignore Image Search Data
There is some value to image searches, as we discussed in a previous article. But most image search data is useless. Our website gets hundreds of hits a day for some of our images and they rarely, if ever, convert. For many, image search data is incredibly misleading. Companies see that they have received a 200% increase in hits and presume that their marketing efforts are working, only to find that most of those hits come from Google Image search.
Remember, images can bring in valuable hits and potential clients. But for the purposes of analyzing your marketing efforts, try to do your best to exclude image search data from the results, lest you convince yourself your website should be converting better than is realistic.
- Images Can Be Their Own Marketing
That said, image searches can be their own marketing tools. For example, many companies have looked to infographics as a way of marketing their business. Well designed infographics can quickly become viral and are often shared with those related to the industry. This may provide you with essentially free marketing, all because of a high quality image.
But be warned that infographics by reputable companies can be prohibitively expensive (some as much as $5000), and may not provide you with the hits you expect. Like many things online, going viral is 10% skill, 30% marketing and 60% luck. Those are statistics I made up to illustrate a point, but you get the idea.
- Choose Carefully Considered Unique Images
Finally, if you do want to improve the look of your website and improve your image search, you need to make sure that you’re carefully considering each image before you post it and only using images that are unique – or at least rare online. Google Image Search doesn’t display numerous versions of the same image, so if you want to show up in an image search you need to make sure that your image is unique in some way.
Similarly, while an image can be attractive to the eye of the visitor, a poorly chosen image will add nothing to your site in terms of hits or time on page. Don’t choose an image for no reason. Make sure any image you choose has a purpose.
Images and Content Marketing
Images are absolutely a valuable and interesting part of content marketing, and you should read the linked article above for tips on how to improve your hits with unique images. But images are also widely misunderstood. Be careful about assuming more out of your images than you should, and don’t forget that content is still the best way to get your images noticed.