This post is a section of Made @ HubSpot, an indoor thought leadership series through which we extract lessons from experiments conducted by our very own HubSpotters.
Cliché: An image is worth a thousand words.
Fact: HubSpot’s pictures are worth 120 thousand clicks.
Last year, my colleague Karla Cook gave our readers a 3, 000-word peek at the rear of the curtain into a brand new SEO strategy we implemented at the beginning of 2018. That strategy, which was designed to fix a traffic plateau across the weblog, increased our organic traffic by 25% year more than year — to eight million organic pageviews each month. This is about three million new organic views we failed to have at the beginning of 2018.
Where that traffic is originating from is equally exciting.
As I said, our new SEO strategy launched our organic blog traffic to heights it had never been to before. Yet that strategy had one more, somewhat unintended consequence for all of us.
While we increased our total organic traffic by 25% from last year, we increased our image search traffic by … wait for it … 779%. This particular refers to traffic that comes from people that conduct a search in Google, or a similar search engine, and simply click an image result that leads towards the HubSpot Blog.
“Pics or even it didn’t happen, Braden. ” As you wish:
Supply: Google Search Console
Take a look at the royal glowing blue tile in the chart over. Between April 2018 plus April 2019, HubSpot actually increased its organic visitors from 14, 100 natural views per month to 124, 000 organic views per month — a nearly 8X lift.
Our image visitors accounts for just under 2% in our blog’s total monthly organic traffic, which, in the system of things, is not everything significant. But even though the vast majority of our organic traffic still comes from web search (the written blogs themselves), our image traffic’s rate of increase (779%) is vastly disproportionate to that of our overall blog traffic (25%).
Plus let’s be honest, 2% of 6 million is nothing to sneeze at.
But what made the difference, if not just our own new blog-aligned SEO strategy?
Image SEO Best Practices That We Learned
As it turns out, we had a few other tricks up our sleeve along the way that provided our images some extra juice on the search engine results pages (SERPs), all of which are just good best practices in commercial content creation.
one Optimized Alt Text
Within the HubSpot COS, we’ve generally filled in image betagt text fields with textual content that (tries to) describe the image it’s associated with. A year ago, though, we started taking alt text way more significantly.
Rather than automatically fill picture alt text with the image file name — some thing the HubSpot COS conveniently does for you so this industry isn’t left blank — we now optimize each image we embed with the key word the blog post is targeting. Then, we add vocabulary that puts this keyword into context that reflects the image it’s describing.
For example , if we’re embedding the below into a blog post regarding “college courses about SEO, ” our alt text might look something like this:
“Marketing professor displaying college student SEO on her computer screen”
Now, let’s reasonably estimate that one in 3 HubSpot blog posts (33%) have at least one image embedded to them, not including the article’s showcased image. HubSpot publishes (or republishes) approximately 260 blog posts every three months. If we would be to extrapolate this alt text process for 33% of the blog posts, that’s at least 87 images that can potentially catch new organic traffic for all of us every quarter.
And if the regular blog post targets a keyword that receives 3, 500 searches per month — a rough estimate based on the HubSpot Marketing Blog’s editorial work schedule — that’s a landscape of 304, 500 searches each month to which we’re adding more HubSpot content (87 images x 3, 500 searches for each month). In other words, we’re putting ourselves inside hundreds of thousands of Google Image galleries we weren’t ranking in prior to.
Read more about our team’s approach to alt text within this blog post.
2 . Branded Pictures & Templates
At HubSpot, we create a ton of valuable resources for our visitors to download, ultimately which makes them a qualifiable lead for the business. However , there are still a ton more resources our readers want for which we necessarily don’t have a lead generation technique but still garner valuable organic traffic. And these resources appear in image form on numerous SERPs that are important to us.
These resources include inspiring business quotes, resume templates, sample emails, and even picture thumbnails that appear in Google’s featured snippets.
To identify these types of images, the SEO group analyzed where HubSpot was getting most of its picture traffic already, and classified these sources into picture types. Then, we individuals HubSpot UX designer Amanda Chong and the rest of our own creative team to develop unique HubSpot image templates for every image type.
These brand new image templates allowed your blog team to effectively “brand” various images they might not otherwise embed into a post and add alt textual content for each image using the style described above to expose this on the right SERPs. Listed here are couple examples of these top quality images now live on HubSpot content:
3. The Lookup Insights Report
HubSpot’s “Search Insights Report” is a quarterly manifestation of our SEO strategy, delivered directly to the blog group every three months. These reviews consist of more than 200 article topics, all rooted in searches for which we want to display on a SERP, that our authors take up and publish over the course of 90 days.
And although we have obviously made deliberate ways to capture more image traffic over the last year, the radiative effect these reports have on our website traffic can’t be overstated.
For one, as we create these search insights reports each quarter, we’re tapping into topics that are increasingly being present in image form. There’s also data to support this — here’s a five-year trend line showing an increase in Google Image search for all questions related to “marketing”:
Source: Google Trends
Here’s one for all searches related to “sales”:
And, finally, for “customer service”:
Conveniently, these three topics reflect the target markets associated with three of our blog qualities: the Marketing Blog, the Sales Blog, and the Program Blog. But image visitors has gone up across the panel, which means more traffic through image searches has become a byproduct of our new SEO strategy — one that has continuing to grow as we capture more space on SERPs all of us didn’t have before.
Plus, having a document that distills all of our potential content topics, and aligning the content group with this document, has gained us ranking on some of the most competitive search engine real estate we’ve ever seen. It makes sense we’d see a little (alright, a lot) more picture traffic as a result.
It’s simple for marketers to attribute site traffic increases to good SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION, but these results ultimately are not possible without the time, creativeness, and good judgment put in the content itself.