Nowadays, images are just as valuable as text content since they help you to understand each piece of your text better. But that’s not all! In addition to having a direct emotional impact, images have a unique ability to attract links. You might have noticed that most websites feature images on their pages to encourage image link building. Why is this?
It is because images have a unique way of engaging people and making content more interesting than plain text alone. They contain much more information than words, show more details, provide more meaning, and help people understand what’s being discussed. Another reason is that they offer a tremendous opportunity to provide extra added value as they build credibility with social sharers.
However, not all images will attract high-quality links. Furthermore, most images won’t attract links at all. Therefore, you have to know how to optimize your images for link building before submitting them to the World Wide Web. Let’s immerse ourselves in this topic a little bit more!
Image SEO Best Practices: How to Create Image Backlinks
1. Create Images That Others Want to Embed
The power of an image comes from its ability to convey information quickly. When we place an image on our website, we are essentially inviting others to share it on their websites. The holy grail for encouraging image link building is to create an image that others naturally want to use. If your image is on-trend and provides helpful information about a relevant topic, it will likely attract backlinks.
To make the most out of your image link-building strategy, use Google Trends to determine if you’re on the right track.
The tool tells you what people are searching for and which terms are trending. Simply enter a keyword and Google will show you the hottest related queries and help you see how popular they are in search. Next, you should find interesting data about the topic. Create an image from the data and share it on your website. Once you have generated an image that other people may want to embed, you’ll be able to encourage image link building. But, first and foremost, let’s highlight the most common types of images that tend to gain backlinks:
Infographics are visual content that combines attractive pictures, data analysis, statistics, and exciting ideas in a single picture. An infographic requires a lot of thought, however, and is not usually intended to be a standalone piece of content. Instead, it should be used as an original way to supplement on-page content or provide additional value that readers will appreciate.
Graphs are popular for image link building because they tend to be evergreen content. There will always be people who need a graph of some sort in their articles, and if you’re the one that creates it for them, you’ll have a chance at getting a link back.
- Product Photos
Every customer considers product photos as a significant part of the eCommerce business because they allow you to see what you’re buying. Every product that can be purchased online should be depicted in photos. This gives customers visual stimulation and gives them more information about the product. However, the main disadvantage of product photos is that people often steal them from their websites. Therefore, keeping track of your images and ensuring you’re credited as their source is wise.
The easiest way to encourage image link building is to leverage maps. While people are busy navigating mobile devices, desktop users are accessing maps more than ever. For a travel blogger or someone who has a website about getting from point A to point B, having a map optimized with relevant alt text can make the difference between being linked to or not. Additionally, maps can increase visibility and influence search ranking.
2. Make Your Pictures Visible and Easy for Image Link Building
Finding the right keywords to target with your images makes them visible and easy to link. You can use a Keyword Planner for this purpose. Google’s Keyword Planner is a free tool to help you discover new keyword ideas, see their search volume, and analyze their competition.
Alt Description and Title
When opting for the right keywords, think about the alt description and title behind each image. These elements accurately describe what the image depicts and thus help search engines understand the content of your images.
However, avoid using too many keywords as it can lead to undesirable side effects such as your page not ranking well for those terms or even penalization by Google.
Search engines use the anchor text displayed in your link to determine how relevant the page is for search terms. The goal of anchor text is to make it easy for web crawlers and search engines to understand what your pages are about. Therefore, when writing anchor text, ensure your website is accurately represented by carefully selecting descriptive words and avoiding spammy keywords that aren’t relevant to your site’s content.
Embed codes are tiny code snippets that you can provide to bloggers and other content creators to make it easier for them to link images and videos in their posts.
You can even generate embed codes for different sizes of your images, enlarging or reducing them with the help of an image resizer so that your images load properly on mobile devices. Embed code generator tool will help you create a rich image code with links, titles, and descriptions so your post can be easily shared. Simply fill out all the necessary fields and generate your embed code.
3. Request Attribution of Your Image
The proper attribution is a matter of ethics — it honors the creator and helps others to find them. Unauthorized usage is a major pain point for creators who want to protect the value of their work. There are two main reasons why people don’t always honor the creator:
- People do not know exactly whether it was you who created the image. They find the image online and think it is a public domain or part of some royalty-free collection.
- People do not think it matters. They forget to attribute images or simply do not want to do so since it takes a lot of time and effort to track down the original source.
So, it is clear that when using images from another website, it’s important to attribute them correctly as a sign of respect and gratitude toward the original creator. This can be accomplished by adding a visible watermark or link on a website, in the text content describing an image, or within the code that shows up when you click on an image link. To find images that were used without permission and proper attribution and discover unauthorized pages, use a website backlink checker by SE Ranking. Among all backlinks, you can filter only images and get all the needed information on each backlink itself, its type, trustworthiness, anchor, the target URL, etc.
As an image owner, you can protect yourself from image thieves by including a notice on your images that attributes them to your website, like a watermark. This gives people the information they need to credit you for your work and prevents others from benefiting from it without permission.
4. Ask for Links from Existing Attributions
You can also use Google’s reverse image search to find websites currently using your image. It’s easy to do since it only takes a few minutes to wrap up. Upload or paste the URL of your image into the search bar, and Google will return a list of sites where it thinks your images are being used. Sort them by identifying which images have attribution, which ones have improper attribution, and which ones are used without permissions or backlinks.
If you have found an improper attribution for your image, you have the right to send an email requesting a proper one. But what is improper attribution itself?
Websites that provide images via a file link instead of directly to the page are not properly attributing. Image file links must be removed from the web and replaced with direct links to the pages where they reside.
Links to posts instead of images ensure that the credit for the post, including a particular image, goes to the original author. It also allows you to attract more traffic and get backlinks to your website’s pages, which will help you improve your overall content strategy.
5. Outreach to bloggers to promote images
So you’ve created an image that you think will help someone else. Now the real work begins; let’s take a look at the process of reaching out and emailing bloggers also known as blogger outreach a link to your image that they might want to share. The same process applies to outreach via social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
First, we need to find the right people to reach out to. For instance, you can find people by simply browsing Google News. Once you find them, send them an email with the images attached to it and let them know that it is free for them to use the images on their website with the proper attribution.
6. Submitting to Directory Sites
Another great way to build links with images to your site is by submitting them to directories. There are three types of directories where you can submit your images: paid, free, and niche. Like everything else in SEO, directory submissions have grown more competitive over time, and it’s getting harder to get listed in top-tier directories.
Before launch, you need to research possible directory sites that accept images. Each category has its strengths and weaknesses, so you should consider which ones suit your audience the best. To simplify the whole image link-building project, feel free to outsource this task to a professional white label link building agency like Outreach Monks and continue with your own business.
In short, building links with images is often thought of as much less valuable than text links. To some extent, this is true. However, SEO experts know that these links can serve a purpose. Since many people like to steal appealing images from other sites, sometimes without permission, it would be reasonable to react properly and take the necessary measures to build links with images. This includes finding websites that use your images without permission and backlinks or those with improper attribution and asking for proper attribution.
What is more, you can naturally attract those who would like to build links with your images by creating images on popular topics or reaching out to bloggers to promote your visual content. You can also leverage link building services, guest posting, and niche edits. Whatever method you choose, remember to constantly monitor your image attributions and apply our 5-step guide on how to build links with images mentioned above. Good luck!
What is Image SEO?
Image SEO is the process of optimizing images on your website to get more traffic and visibility.
Why Image SEO is Important?
Image SEO is important to improve user experiences, visibility, and rankings of your content in Google. They offer a tremendous opportunity to provide extra added value as they build credibility with social sharers.
What are Infographics?
Infographics are visual content that combines attractive pictures, data analysis, statistics, and exciting ideas in a single picture.