In the digital marketing world, SEO is utilised to optimise and grow your site’s performance. But while it mostly focuses on content, keywords, and links, there’s another aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked: visuals. 

A picture is worth a thousand words, and although words are indeed at the core of SEO, images, videos and graphics can provide your marketing strategy with the boost it needs. Especially considering how short the attention span of most audiences is! A visual can help grab their interest so that they then invest the time and energy to take in the rest. 

But how exactly does visual content impact your SEO? And how do you best utilise visuals to meet your goals? Let’s get right into it!

The benefits of visual SEO:

As we’ve already said, using visuals in your SEO strategies can boost performance and visibility, helping grab your audience’s attention. But there are other benefits to consider too:

  • Better user experience:

A page with visual content is usually easier to navigate and understand, making it all the more appealing to users. It can help lower the effort they have to put in to fully digest the information, enhancing their experience and encouraging them to remain for longer or return. 

It also helps maximise and reinforce the message of your content, further optimising the desired results. 

  • Keep traffic engaged:

Visuals can often entice the audience to engage with the content a little longer, and if there’s a stat Google values when ranking pages, it’s how much time visitors spend there. Visuals can encourage this in many ways. For example, if you place a 2-minute video within your text that captures their interest, that’s two minutes they’ll be spending on the page, regardless of whether they read the rest of the content or not. 

  • Direct your audience:

The use of visuals can subtly direct your audience to different parts or sections of your content, giving you a little more control over how they consume it, and how they engage with it. This can work wonders for enhancing your calls to action, and for encouraging actionable results. 

  • Google’s machine sees value in them:

Although it’s not fully established yet, Google is trying to improve its visual understanding by learning how to read images on pages. After all, with so many sites utilising visual content, it makes sense that it would want to understand what they represent and what value they add. 

The benefit here is that if Google is interested in visual content, utilising it is likely to boost your rankings in the near future. 

How to use graphics, images and videos in content: 

Using visual content in your SEO isn’t hard, it’s all about figuring out which types work best for you and matching it to the overall cohesion of your strategy. But in case you need some quick guidance, here are our top tips:

  • Make sure they add value:

When inserting an image, graphic, video, or any other form of visual, they must add something to the story. Having one for the sake of having one not only risks frustrating your audience but can also detract from the content, causing your message to fall unnoticed. 

Instead, make sure that every visual conveys information in some way, even if it’s minor!

  • Optimise every visual:

For the visuals to work, they must be optimised. Ensure your images, videos and graphics are formatted correctly, and that they work as desired within the page. You should double-check any potential errors or issues in site performance and should avoid them slowing down the page, as this can harm your rankings for Google. 

  • Utilise the visuals across other marketing mediums:

Since you’re already using up resources to create the visuals, you might as well get as much use out of them as possible. Graphics, images and videos can easily be shared across other digital marketing channels and mediums, such as social media, which can in turn help point other target audiences and consumers to the original content. 

  • Take trends into account: 

Trends also matter for written content, but when it comes to visuals, they’re essential. Keep up to date with the latest trends and consumer preferences, both for style and the type of visuals. Don’t be scared to jump onto the bandwagon when it comes to memes, gifs, short videos, and more!

In summary, visual SEO shouldn’t be overlooked by digital marketers, as it can hugely boost performance and visibility. It can enhance user experience, improving traffic engagement, and it also provides you with more control over how the content is being consumed. 

Many types of visuals can be implemented within SEO content, but what matters is that you make sure they add value and that they are optimised appropriately for your site. And of course, as with most things in marketing, it’s important to stay up to date with all the latest trends! 

For more digital marketing tips and insights, check out our It Works Blog. Alternatively, to find out how we can help you with your strategies, get in touch today!