From 2016 to 2018, image searches grew by 60%, according to Google. Today, more consumers are centering their searches around photos, which is excellent news for a sector centered around aesthetics — like the automotive industry. Image search is a viable way for potential car buyers to locate your dealership online.
So, how does image SEO play into this? And how can it specifically benefit you and your dealership?
What is image SEO?
If you are already familiar with text-based SEO, then you know the mechanics associated with image SEO. This technique involves optimizing your images to show up higher on image search engines like Google images. For example, if someone were to search for “Atlanta Hyundai,” the first image on that image search is ranking first for that keyword.
Why is image SEO important for dealerships?
About 22% of Google searches are for images. Considering there are 8.5 billion Google searches a day—your dealership can take advantage of that hefty amount. Images, in general, are an important factor for SEO, and prioritizing image search can give you a competitive edge.
Since a car’s look is a driving factor for many customers, car images are an excellent way to drive even more traffic to your dealership page. Another benefit is how much photos now factor into non-image searches. Often, when someone does a non-image search on Google, the first thing they see on the search are images — especially if the inquiry is related to a specific product. Therefore, this is a great opportunity to get your dealership in front of potential car buyers in the research phase of their car buying process.
How to benefit from image SEO
SEO can get very technical, so we’ll keep the details as simple as possible here. There are techniques you can use to benefit significantly from image SEO and get your dealership ranking high for potential car buyers with a high intent to buy.
Here are a few ways your dealership can benefit from image SEO:
- Optimizing alt text – Alt text is a description of your image. This step is where you tell search engines what the image is. If you’ve seen an image that isn’t working, the alt text will show up. A great way to optimize this text is by staying under 125 characters and including relevant keywords in the description.
- Give the image a proper file name – Yes, the file name of your image can factor into image SEO. Always try to name your image accurately. For example, if you are naming an image file of a car, avoid a random IMG file name. Instead, try a naming convention like “red-toyota-camry-2022.jpg.”
- Ensure your image is the right size – Load times play a massive part in regular SEO, and the same goes for Image SEO. Always ensure your size dimensions are within the proper limits of what your website can handle and that it shows up appropriately sized on mobile. If not, it can decrease your load times, putting off viewers. Try to compress the image to ensure the appropriate size.
- Have a sitemap – Creating an image sitemap will allow the search engine to identify any image URLs and add them to the search results.
These are just a few quick things you can do to boost your image SEO. However, there are other tactics you can do that are more technical, like adding structured data or even optimizing how images show up on social media sites. Image SEO is a critical aspect of digital marketing and can set your dealership apart and help potential customers find your offerings.
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