Tag Archives: SEO

How to Optimize Your Images For Search Engine Traffic

6 Apr

Filenames

This is one of the most basic elements of image optimization. If you have an image of blue widgets, I would name your image “blue-widgets.jpg” or “blue-widgets.gif”. You can use other formats like PNG, but I have gotten better results with “jpg” and “gif” files. You can use other characters like underscore as word delimiters, but I get better results with hyphens. You can run the words together if they are separate in other factors. I have found stemming plays a role (ie widget vs widgets), but you can get around it using other factors. I haven’t seen capitalization play a role, but I prefer to use all lower case because I usually use Apache servers and case sensitivity matters. If you are going to have multiple images of the same object-type, I suggest adding a “-1″, “-2″ onto the end.

Now, before the hate mail or hate tweets start, it is entirely possible to have an image rank without the keywords being in the file nameIF there are enough other factors in place. However, you should ask yourself why would you give up a chance to give a search engine a signal about what an image is about? If you work on a large ecommerce platform or other large database application, chances are good that your gold diamond earrings will have an image file name like “GDX347294.jpg” that corresponds to the item’s SKU or other internal classifier. So, yes, you will have to sacrifice the keyword for business reasons.

ALT Text

Let’s get the basic information out of the way: ALT text was designed for screen readers or visually-impaired people to know what they weren’t seeing. Your goal is to use it to satisfy the screen readers while being keyword focused enough for the search engines and without being a keyword stuffing spammer. Here’s an example of ALT text variations:

Keyword stuffed: discount hotel room paris france

ALT text only: Eiffel Tower

SEO optimized: Eiffel Tower from Louvre Bons Enfants hotel room

Striving to find a balance between pleasing the search engines and text readers can be a juggling act. If you are risky with some of your other SEO techniques, I’d play this on the safe side.

Headings and Bold Text

If image optimization for a particular image is important, I really like to optimize the image with bold or a heading tag of the term I’m chasing right above the image. I’ve found this really helps give a strong signal to the engines

Oceanus Statue from Trevi Fountain

Image Captions

Image captions like the one to the right are another way I really like to give the search engines a good nudge in the direction I want them to go. Try to place the search term you are trying to optimize for at the front of the caption.

Image size

I’ve found that if you keep your images a reasonable size you generally do better with image optimization. That’s not to say really big or really small images won’t rank, just that images that are larger than 100×100 and smaller than 1200×1200 work best. Using a thumbnail that links to a larger picture can be helpful.

Image Traffic

So what can you expect from image traffic? Like all things, it depends on what you are chasing, but I have one image that ranks on the first page for a single word term that brings in hundreds of views for me every month. The page has adsense on it and, over a single year, it brings in several hundred dollars worth of revenue. It’s something to think about before you write off image optimization.

Images Traffic Data

So what are the takeaways from this post:

  • Try to name your images with your keywords if possible, using the hyphen as a delimiter.
  • Shorter names are better than longer. Avoid using more than 4 words if possible.
  • Keep your ALT text keyword focused without being stuffed or spammy.
  • If possible use headings or bold tags above or directly next to the image.
  • Use captions if at all possible and keep the keywords closer to the front of the caption.
  • Keep the images a reasonable size. They should be large enough for people to see but small enough to fit on a screen.
  • If you own the image, encourage people to reuse your image in exchange for a link.
  • Try to find a way to monetize image traffic with CPM advertising, adsense, or affiliate links.

Originally published at Graywolf’s SEO Blog

10 Online Strategies for Your Next Product Launch

29 Mar

1. Traditional Methods


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Even though new media seems to get all the glory, traditional television, print or radio media outreach remains an effective way to expose a never-before-seen product to the masses. Be sure to clearly spell out the elements of your product that make it newsworthy. How is it different from your existing products? How is it different from other similar products? What benefits does it provide to the consumer? You can also go a step further and subscribe to Help a Reporter Out, ProfNet and NewsBasis. These are great resources for connecting with journalists who are looking for experts and story ideas.

Don’t discount other proven methods like advertising, trade shows, speaking opportunities, promotional events and direct mail. Ignoring them can lead to wasted opportunities. If you invest the time to truly understand the demographics and behaviors of the people you’re hoping to reach, you’ll know if these traditional methods are worth your time and investment.


2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


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Before you begin your online efforts to market your new product, you must have a “home base,” which ideally is a search-friendly website or blog. When launching a product, to aid both potential customers and contribute to optimized search engine performance, consider creating a product-specific landing page that features photos, descriptions and/or video. Make sure this page is appropriately coded for search, complete with keyword-rich copy, title tags, header text, a unique URL and meta information that succinctly describes your new product. Make sure this page is visible and easily accessible from your home page, at least for its initial release.

To build your online content library, consider enhancing your traditional media outreach efforts and social media news presence by distributing your product press release using paid services with both text-only and multimedia options, such as PR Newswire, PRWeb and PitchEngine. If you’re looking for a less expensive route, Free Press Release and PR Log allow you to share news for free.


3. E-mail Marketing


E-mail marketing is a fantastic way to provide specialized content to people with whom you’ve already built relationships. Consider offering a pre-order for your new product, exclusive only to e-mail recipients. Or, offer a sneak peek at the new product before it’s released to the public. This will help to nurture and reward your existing relationships and continue building on the trust you’ve already earned.

Additionally, you may set up an e-mail drip campaign that sends messages on a regular schedule at timed intervals to keep your product or service top-of-mind with your customers, and also to keep the sales funnel flowing.


4. Online Advertising


Tools such as Google AdWords (and other pay-per-click services) can boost awareness and funnel parties directly to your product. Online advertising allows you to get in front of a specific audience but with wide reach.

Another option is to do some research to determine the most widely read blogs and sites in your industry and also those frequented by people in your target markets. Advertising is often the main revenue generator on these sites and blogs, so it’s a great way to begin building relationships with the editors and site operators for a chance to get in front of the people who are most inclined to care about your product.

Don’t overlook opportunities to advertise on social networks. Some have predicted that $4 billion will be spent on Facebook advertising alone in 2011. Marketers are already realizing the benefit of getting in front of this giant’s more than 500 million users.

If you choose to pursue any of these options, make sure the ads are clickable and direct all referrals to a targeted landing page on your company’s website. This page should have content specific to the new product, along with information on how and where to purchase it.


5. Social Networks


When your product is ready to go, inform your current customers and brand enthusiasts by updating your existing social networks. Whether you have a presence on one of the well-known platforms and/or another niche social network, craft catered messages for each. But, don’t just post to any of these social networks and walk away. There are many tools available to help you manage multiple social network profiles, keep the information up-to-date and continue to communicate with your connections, while providing the social proof needed for people to buy.

Naturally, these networks are filled with potential for people to share your information. For this reason, make sure you provide valuable content. Try different mediums for discussing your new product, such as videos, podcasts, photos and/or live chats. Many people are now getting their news, or topics of interest, from social networks and e-mail sharing, so this is a perfect place to get your product information in front of an audience that has already been “sold” on your business.


6. Geolocation


If you have a physical location your customers frequent, utilize geolocation tools like Foursquare or Gowalla to further your marketing gusto. By closing the gap between online marketing platforms and a physical store, you are encouraging sales through different channels and fully connecting the buying experience. Offer special deals for your business’ mayors, and promotions for your best customers; this kind of strategy goes a long way in creating a lot of buzz for your new product.


7. Group Buying Sites


dealon image

Groupon, Living Social, Deal On, My Daily Thread and other collective buying sites continue to grow in popularity and offer the opportunity to introduce and incentivize the purchase of your product to an opt-in audience. These sites give you the ability to customize your product offer by market and expand the product’s reach beyond those who are already familiar with your company.


8. Blogger Outreach


Blogging has grown tremendously in the past five years. Even though Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2010 report found that 65% of blogger survey respondents are hobbyists, it’s likely you’ll find several bloggers in your industry who have very active communities and traffic/subscriber numbers that blow traditional media websites out of the water.

Blogger outreach goes hand-in-hand with traditional media outreach when it comes to generating interest for a new product, and the approach and methods used are much the same. Understand the blog, its audience and its content before sharing information about your product. If it makes sense, offer your product for the blogger to review.

When working with bloggers, remember this golden rule: Treat them with the same respect as you would traditional journalists.


9. Social Media Influencers


Using a strategy similar to traditional media outreach, take the time to research, locate and understand the most active social media users in your target markets. These people are at a unique advantage, having earned a large and tuned-in set of viewers, listeners and followers. While the payoff might not be immediate, creating relationships with these highly influential people can lead to valuable long-term opportunities.

While there is no universally accepted way to define and measure influence, using tools like Twitter Grader and Klout will give a good indication of the major players in the social space and in your specific industry or market. You can also take it one step further and narrow your search by category. Tools like Twello allow you to search a directory filtered by self-identified expertise, interests and professions. This can be especially helpful for identifying Twitter users in a subfield that directly relates to your new product.


10. Online Retail Sites


google products image

Invest in partnership opportunities with well-respected online retail sites to improve the availability and credibility of your business and product. Advertising on sites such as Amazon, eBay and Google Product Search will place your product in an environment searched by people that have already identified themselves as inclined to buy.

Amazon, specifically, offers a program called Amazon Advantage that allows sellers to delegate order fulfillment and shipping to Amazon. In addition, these products are eligible for “Free Super Saver Shipping” and are labeled as “shipped and sold by Amazon.com.” This provides buyers with the peace of mind they might not have when buying from an unknown vendor or site.


Get Customer Feedback


get satisfaction image

After your product has launched and your marketing and public relations strategies are underway, use a program like Radian6, Awareness, Netvibes, HootSuite, etc. to monitor your customers’ responses to your new product. This is a prime opportunity to open up the lines of communication with your customers and to show you care about and will listen to their feedback to improve future products.

To include your customers in your company’s product development and initiatives, consider tools such as UserVoice or GetSatisfaction to get an idea of what the people would like to see in the future.


Conclusion


With all of the social media tools available today, companies are truly missing out if they don’t evaluate the opportunities to execute a social/online strategy that complements their traditional marketing and PR programs for a product launch.

While it’s not commonplace for all of these tactics to be used, they should serve as a launching pad for your company to be creative and to choose the best strategy for you.

What experiences do you have with integrating traditional and online methods to make a product launch successful? What opportunities would you add?

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