Make money from Google Image searches with Schema

How many times per day would you sit there and look at images in Google? If you’re like me (or most people in the world) it’s probably quite often. Did you know that you can turn those searches into sales? Well, Here’s how…

So, if you’re running a PPC campaign, boosting the performance of your SEO rankings, and still want to get more sales (I mean, who doesn’t these days), then this is another marketing channel that you need to take advantage of. This is especially true as, at the time of writing, very few people are utilising it.

Getting started

Okay, so first things first, you need to make sure your images are ranking in Google Image Search. Whilst this is no small feat, here are the basics…

  • Ensure that the image in question appears on a landing page that is relevant for the search term you are targeting.
    • For example, if you want to rank an image of a pair of Converse, then put the image on a product page for that specific pair, or on a general Converse page.
  • Add in an “alt” tag that describes the picture in a relevant context.
    • Using the same example, your alt tag could say “white converse chuck II”
      • This helps Google to relate what the image actually shows, allowing it to rank the image for relevant searches.
  • Make sure the file name is descriptive!
    • Don’t just call it ‘DSM0049593’. That file name doesn’t mean anything to anyone! Instead, make the file name descriptive, similar to the alt tag. For example “white-converse-chuck.jpg”.

By making sure you follow these three rules, you can help your image to sit higher (or earlier) in relevant image searches.

Getting the sale

Now, you’ve got the image rankings, so the next step is to get the person searching for it to convert into a sale. This is where things get a little more complicated, but relax, the setup is worth it. So, what do you need? Product schema.

Also known as Rich Snippets/Cards, schema is a type of HTML tagging that can be added to different parts of a web page to let Google (and other search engines) better understand what is on that page. The specific Product schema allows you to define different parts of a page as a product. This can include:

  • Product name
  • Product price
  • Product description
  • Product rating
  • Availability
  • Product images

There are multiple aspects you can assign, but those are the major ones. At the very least, you should be using “name”, “price”, “rating” and “image”. These aspects will help Google relate to what the product is, and show these details within search results.

Would you believe it? That includes image searches!

If you have it all setup correctly, Google will rank the image of that product, and connect it with the other details you have marked with schema. This then leads to that information appearing underneath the image, as shown in the following screenshot.

Pretty cool, right? It’s also great from a user experience perspective – all of the information they need is right there in front of them, from price to reviews and even a product description. They don’t need to do anymore research. So, if they were thinking about purchasing your product, you’ve got a really good chance to push them up the sales funnel, just from giving them the information they need.

It gets better, or at least, it will do.

Currently, Google have a new way to show products within image searches. At the time of writing, this is so far limited to mobile devices, and only to fashion items, but will soon be expanded to a variety of other industry types.

As shown below, the new “Similar Items” section underneath the image will take information from the page the image is on and show a list of links to places that you can buy that product.

And if that wasn’t enough, if there are multiple products within an image, Google will actually be able to pick them up and show each of these items. That means that it becomes far easier for the user to find these products, especially when their inspiration and interest has been piqued by the image itself. Just take a look at the following animation.

As you can see, Google has been able to pick out the pair of Converse, as well as the sunglasses, and if you were to scroll right, the top and jeans also appear. And it keeps getting better! Maybe you’re selling sunglasses, but not the exact ones that the person in the image is wearing… Well, Google actually includes similar alternatives in the list of products, so you’ll still have the chance to get the customer and convert them into a sale.

It’s all pretty enticing, really. Whilst it is limited to mobile devices and the fashion industry at the moment, the fact that Google have stated that it will soon be rolled out to a variety of different industries means that you should be getting ready for it now.

By building in the schema tagging now, you can take advantage of the improved standard search result (schema has demonstrated a 30% increase in visitors), whilst also preparing for the rollout of this awesome little change.

Whilst we know that it may seem a bit technical and scary at first, I cannot recommend it more. If you are worried about it, then feel free to talk to us and we’ll work with you to get the product schema put into your website correctly.

Written by Gareth Torrance

Hello there. I'm Gareth, the Digital Marketing Manager at Brave. With almost a decade of experience in PPC and SEO, I've seen everything from Pandas and Penguins to the horrible time that was Mobilegeddon. As an Adwords Certified Google Specialist, I have lived through almost every major shift in the industry! And that makes me feel old.

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