By Art Unlimited.
You can either watch the video or read the transcript below. Plan to join us live each Wednesday at https://www.facebook.com/ArtUnlimitedUSA/
Google Image Thumbnails
So, the first thing we're going to talk about today is the aspect of image thumbnails that are coming up within Google. The first thing you need to know is, what is an image for a thumbnail? I don't know if you've ever searched something on Google, but when you get to the search results, there's a bunch of links; sometimes there's gonna be a very tiny image in there, and it usually has something to do with that service or something that landing page is about.
Now up until about last year, only 10% of search results were showing these, so it wasn't very important to optimize your website in order to have them. However, Google just went back and did a bunch of research (like they always do) and found out that upwards of 45%--so nearly half!--of searches are coming up with those thumbnails. Now, first of all, you can put keywords inside of this image. It can be something related to your business and it can be branded with your identity, so that's just another way for, when people are looking at a search result, (which doesn’t have much color or personality) you can put a little bit of your business out there.
So, this is especially important when you’re scrolling search results on a mobile device because there's an image that's showing up on the right side of the search results saying "Information about this business" and then there's a picture with it. So that's important because it gives you a little bit more personality within Google searches, right? And we suspect it has a higher click-through rate, based on the fact that Google is doing it. I know I click through when there's more to entertain me! So definitely be looking at the way you can optimize those images to show up and tell Google "this is an image," within the code of your website so that way it'll show up properly.
Oh, and then also make sure that you name your images something relevant, and also use the alt text. The alt text is going to help Google categorize whether or not that image actually relates with the information that's there.
And the plus side about using images, in general, is that Google's getting really good at identifying what's in the image. So, a lot of times, it's scrubbing things and saying "Oh, we're finding this type of thing, like whether it's a dog or a roof or whatever within the image, and those things are even showing up in some of the searches. So, this is an exciting time to have images, and video is becoming more important as well.
New Features in Facebook Mobile Ads Manager!
The next image thing we're really excited about is within Facebook Ads Manager! So Facebook ads are a daunting task for a lot of business professionals, especially if you're running a small or medium-sized business. Even large corporations have a ton of difficulty using Facebook's Ads Manager platform. They've been trying to fix this. If you spent any time in there, Facebook Ads Manager has been updating constantly all year in 2018, and they've been doing a ton of interface updates to make it more user-friendly.
The recent one they just released is for Ads Manager on your mobile phone. And what they've done in here is they've allowed and started adding in some photo editing options for you. Previously if you were on desktop or mobile you could not edit anything; you could only upload an image into Facebook. Now you could put your logo on it, there are templates, there are a few emojis that you can stick on there and some color. So, this is gonna make it easier for small businesses and medium-sized businesses that don't have either the time or the money to pay a graphic designer to create their ad creatives for them—they’ll be able to brand their images! And you should be able to use the mobile version much more easily.
So, it'll make it nicer when you take all these pictures on your phone, and then you pull up your Facebook Ads Manager you can pull them right in from your phone, and that'll be really nice as a small business owner to be able to do that on the go. So definitely be looking at those things. I don't know the full depth of what they'll be rolling out in the future; I'm hoping it'll get more and more detailed as we move on.
Tracking Website Visits from Image Searches
The next thing we're going to talk about is this new referral traffic source that Google has put within Google Image searches. So basically in the past, you have this "Other" category in Google Analytics that talked about the referral traffic, and sometimes you were a little like "Okay, well maybe it's direct traffic, maybe it’s...okay--what's even going on here?” and you didn’t know where those visits were coming from. So, what Google has noted is that this is a new referral source; it's specifically just Google image searches.
So, when people are searching for a specific keyword query and they find images that are from your business within the image search, and that person clicks on the image and goes to your website, it will tell you. So, you'll see how you're showing up more for image searches; you'll be able to see if there's a good opportunity to invest more in that, and see where your customers are coming from.
And this is a common way that actually I end up on websites is, if I don't actually know the exact keyword for what I'm searching for, I might try a couple different ones, and then I will click on the Google image section, and I will run through the images really quickly to make sure that what I'm searching for is what I was intending on searching for. If I see a high-quality image that has a description that says "This is a service that this company offers," there's a good chance that as a user, I'm going to click "Visit website," and go to their website. So as a user, I didn't go to them directly from Google onto their domain, and I didn't get there from social media. That's been a really hard area for Google to track, but no more!
So definitely be looking at this within your referral traffic section of Google Analytics; it's gonna be changing. That's gonna be a huge thing when you're thinking about "Not only are we putting these images on our website to be indexed by Google, but now they're showing up as thumbnails, and now we can use these images that we took on our phone within Facebook ads!"
It's all so exciting that we could use images so much more to engage our customers! And we’d also like to remind you: if you provide a service or you have really great products, you do need to be taking photos, and you should probably invest in having some sort of photo gallery on your website to showcase the work you do.
Well, thanks for joining us today; hope to see you next week for Hump Day Headlines on our Facebook page! If you have any questions about optimizing images, tracking in Google analytics, or anything else in digital marketing, get in touch with us at Art Unlimited!
Video URL: https://youtu.be/D6EXWXwZn0c