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April 2, 2018

Image Link Building 101: How to Gain Authority with Visuals

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If the image is good, it can be worth just as many backlinks.

Visual content has come to dominate the internet landscape over the past several years. When people talk about link building tactics, text inevitably dominates the conversation. That’s because a surprising number of online organizations don’t think about images as an effective pathway to building authority. But alas, by getting other sources to point to visual creations, SERP power can be gained by a site.

No matter if we are discussing product images, custom infographics, or a knock-your-socks-off meme, images can be an epic resource for building powerful new links.

If you are looking for effective new ways to build authority with link building, look no further. Here we will be exploring the basics of image link building and how you can gain a potential boost in the SERPs with your own visual masterpieces.

Create Your Own Images

The only way image link building can be an effective practice for a brand is if they have a pool of unique images that were created by the organization; you can’t build links on what isn’t yours to begin with.

If you can snap photos of your business’s product or service offerings (and let’s be honest – you can), there is no reason you for you to not be creating unique images. You can do the same with employees at work (if applicable), and even ask for user-submitted images. And there’s the added bonus that asking for user-generated content can result in some pretty epic marketing campaigns.

Outside of just mere photographs, your business can also take the time to produce charts, infographics, memes, and a variety of other image-based content.

When creating image content from scratch, however, it is important that you employ a unique and eye-catching design. If you are going to assemble an infographic, be sure to include original research that adds value to the target audience’s life, professional or otherwise. Both factors also ensure that no one else can try to claim ownership over your creative endeavors.

Take some time to really consider how you can make your image stand out among the competition while still aligning with your brand.

Label Images Accordingly

One mistake that many businesses make quite often is that they fail to label their images. This is unacceptable as Google and other search engines require this data to crawl and identify images. To make sure your image is optimized accordingly, sort out the information below:

  • File name: Don’t label your picture of a piece of pizza at your restaurants as “P_1254.jpg.” Instead, change the name to “peperoni-pizza-tonys-restaurant.jpg.”
  • Image size: The size of your image has a massive impact on your site’s load time. If your file size is 2500×1000 pixels and isn’t a giant infographic, consider condensing it to about 250×150.
  • Alt text: Ensure your alt text accurately describes the picture while remaining brief. This info helps search engines identify what your image is.
  • Caption: Relevance is a significant ranking factor for images as well.

For these areas, anytime you can naturally use a keyword, do so. This is how you help in making your own images easily searchable.

Build New Links

There are a variety of ways to build links with images.

The first (and easiest) way is known as image link reclamation. Here, you are claiming links that should have been yours (since folks are using your images).

Start by compiling a database of images you already own: Logos, employees snapshots, product photos, etc. Next, locate websites that are using these assets by uploading the picture to Google Images, TinEye, Image Raider, or a similar reverse lookup tool. Once you have found any sites utilizing your image, reach out to them asking them to link back to your site on the replica.

The next link building strategy is just good ol’ fashioned digital promotion. If you have created an infographic or other valuable image that you think others could gain from, write a blog about it and plaster the infographic and a link to the writing all over social media. Don’t stop there; you can reach out to the long list of infographic submission sites. Not only do these sites help promote your work, but many of them will give you links as well.

Additionally, you can also use your infographic to gain guest posts on other websites. The only difference between this and guest blogging is that you have a ready-made asset to pitch to other website owners. If you get takers through this avenue, some will merely repost your infographic; others will want an original post to accompany it, so be ready to do some writing.

If doing all the research and design work involved with creating an infographic isn’t something that you are interested in, however, you can still gain backlinks with something as simple as a meme. For this tactic to gain flight, you need to create an appealing and humorous meme that blog owners will want to utilize.

Be aware, however, that the success of this tactic relies exclusively on you sense of humor and ability to relate to others. If you don’t have a funny bone in your body, this strategy likely isn’t for you.

In the SEO landscape, images are one of the most neglected and overlooked resources. Many organizations have a search optimization goldmine right on their desktops and don’t even know it. Be sure to optimize your images to the fullest and promote them properly. Doing so could give your business a big boost in the SERPs.

Have you failed to properly optimize your images? Do you think that infographics are still as valuable as they used to be?


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Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile

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