ESM Digital's Higher Ed Marketing Blog

How To Drive Prospective Students To Your Site Through Google Image Search

When prospective students are interested in a college or online degree program they conduct online searches first. This is why you need to invest in digital marketing efforts like SEO and Paid Search to give your school the best chance to be found in search results. But did you know that, according to Jumpshot, one-third of all US searches performed on Google are conducted within Google Image search?1 Your prospects could be searching for your school through images.

How do you make sure your future students find you in Google Image searches? Optimize!

Here are the ranking factors you can optimize to make your images most visible to Google.

Image Optimization: Ranking Factors

File Name
The file name of an image is the unique name you give a file when you save it on your computer or mobile device. When uploading images to a computer, there is usually a default file name that looks something like DC3235467883. The optimized file name should be a short descriptive tag that accurately describes the image. Also, be mindful of the webpage where you’ll add the image. The file name should reflect the message on that webpage. Hyphens will ensure Google can read every word.

Example:
master-students-boston-campus

Image Alt Attribute
Also referred to as an alt tag, the image alt attribute is used by screen readers to describe the image to the visually impaired and it helps Google understand the contents of the image. Similar to naming an image, be mindful of the content of the webpage where the image will live when writing your alt tag. It can be the same as your file name, but it’s best to take the opportunity to provide more detail about the image for Google.

Example:
BU business students studying

Image Caption
A caption should always accompany images you post on your website. Rand Fishkin of Moz said that this can almost be more important than an image alt tag.

Example:
Master of Business Management students study outside of our Questrom Building in Boston.

Page Text
Google chooses images that live on webpages with relevant supporting text. If you have a picture of a panda on a recipe for chocolate chip brownies then that panda will have trouble showing in image search results. So if you have an image of Master of Business Management students make sure to add it to a webpage about the program.

Page Title
Similar to page text, the title of the webpage where the image lives should be descriptive, clear, and relate to the contents of the image.

Page URL
It’s SEO best practice to create descriptive URLs that reflect the content on their webpages. For example, an appropriate URL slug (the unique pathway that follows your domain in a web address) for our example would be /academics/degree-programs/master-business-management.

Dimension & Size
Google prefers images that are square/rectangular and medium sized. These images are most useful to searchers because they’re easy to see and share.

Optimizing your images for search may be easier said than done. If you would like some help reaching your prospective students through Google Image search, contact us to learn more about our SEO services.

~Cindy Allen

 

1https://moz.com/blog/seo-photos-visuals-graphics-whiteboard-friday