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Picture This! Optimize Your Images For Google Shopping Campaigns

Published: May 2, 2014

Author: Molly Shotwell

Whoever coined the phrase “image isn’t everything” apparently forgot to send the memo to the folks at Google because in the realm of Google Shopping campaigns and other picture-based content, it is actually all about image.
When it comes to online shopping, going on Google is like standing right smack in the middle of a mall. The consumers might have an idea of what they would like to buy, but they are not entirely sure which store they are going to purchase it from. Therefore, image ads suddenly become the digital version of window shopping, and thus it’s imperative that online retailers treat their digital images in a similar way as if they were merchandising a physical storefront.
With the rapidly growing utilization of Google Shopping, here are some tips to take into account when setting up images for those campaigns and website content:
1)    Images should be checked to make sure that they are working correctly. It is also good to make sure they are sized properly and designed for optimal load time. Image load time can help factor into SEO rankings as well. Those Google spiders are punctual creatures, so they can get pretty impatient if you make them wait too long.
2)    Remember that it is in fact a competition for customers, so it’s important to have professional-looking photos of your product with a clear image and description of what the product is. Let’s look at an example:

mullet wigs

Say its Halloween time, and you are looking for that perfect mullet wig you have always dreamed of. So you do a Google search, and here’s what you get:
When looking at these, I notice that image #1 lacks a solid description while image #4 makes the product a little more difficult to see (in my opinion) as the photo doesn’t quite have the definition of the other ones. While these might not be giant differences, they can be enough to turn potential customers away given the competitive landscape. The online consumer is more inclined to trust a site that presents its products in the most clear and definitive manner possible.
3)    Speaking of product titles and descriptions, be sure they are optimized with keywords.
4)    Include alt attribute tags in the HTML code for your images as well. Alt attributes provide a good opportunity to get some extra bang for your keyword buck from an SEO standpoint. Infusing your images with alt tags that provide a keyword rich text can help your SERP rankings and provide an authoritative compliment to your current Google Shopping campaign.
5)    Check the destination URLs affiliated with the image to make sure they are working properly. In some ways, broken links are the equivalent of a potential customer trying to walk into your store and having a difficult time finding the entrance.


6)    Don’t be shy about testing different images. If it’s informal testing just remember what your mom said: you never know until you try!
These are just a few ideas. Any more thoughts on image optimization? Pass them along!

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