The Importance of Search in Visual Content Marketing

Visual Content Marketing An email to a colleague began an unexpected journey.  I began searching for a quote source and ended up writing a blog post on the importance of search in visual content marketing.

The role of images in Content Marketing is to bring visitors to your site.  Why include images? Because content which features relevant images gets more page views.  The next question is – how will those visitors find your website?   In many cases, the answer is via a search engine. Organic search still accounts for more than 50% of website traffic while social media only accounts for 5%   That’s why it’s important to make sure the relevant images you’re using are optimized for search.

The importance of optimizing images for search in a visual content marketing campaign.

I paraphrased a quote I remembered from an episode of Scrubs in the email.  I wasn’t sure if my colleague was familiar with the show, so I tried to provide context.  This began an unexpected journey.

I searched for the quote and was presented with a list of sites.  The first site had hundreds – perhaps thousands – of quotes in text format.  The site was pages and page of text and there wasn’t a global search feature.  I didn’t want to dig through dozens of pages of text so I moved on.

The next result was a blog featuring animated gif images.  The images were ugly and because the quote text was hidden inside the images, it was impossible to search for a particular quote.  I moved on down the list.

I then clicked on the third link.  While the page only listed less than a dozen quotes from this particular television character, the images featuring the quotes caught my eye.  I kept reading as I scrolled down the page.  Each quote was contained within an image but unlike the last site, these images drew me in.  As a result, I quickly found myself at the bottom of the page.  When I got to the bottom of the page, I visited other pages.  I also wanted to share these images with others.

That’s called “visitor engagement” which is a huge win for this site.

Visual content marketing objective achievement unlocked!

(Crowds cheer and throw confetti.)

I then picked up my cell phone to share the images. I had two choices.

  1. I could try to type out the incredibly complex url or
  2. I could search for the images on my phone.

I chose the latter.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the images I wanted to share when I searched using my cell phone.

That’s when I noticed there were zero shares using the social media share buttons.  Something is amiss here. I started looking for answers.

No Image Optimization = 0 Social Shares.

Long story short -the site isn’t optimized for search.  Even worse, the images aren’t optimized for search.  Yes -that’s a thing.   Optimizing images for search should be a priority for visual content marketing campaigns.

The search engines can’t “read” the text inside an image. If the search engines can’t read it, they can’t index it. It’s just that simple.

Remember, search drives over 50% of traffic online.  Without the search engines, luck plays a huge role in whether or not your visual content marketing will succeed. Do you really want to give luck such a HUGE role in your content visibility ?