Link building is an essential component of any comprehensive digital marketing campaign. Link building is one of the most effective ways of improving a website’s SEO score and, therefore, its overall visibility. But, link building is also one of the most difficult aspects of digital marketing. In the earliest days of the internet, and of search engines, link building was the most abused method of artificially inflating a website’s SEO score. As a result, there are now safeguards in place to prevent websites from simply spamming links to their pages across the internet.
The measures that are in place are designed to ensure that the only links that count towards a website’s SEO ranking come from real, organic content. If you want your domain to have authority, and be worth more as a source, you need to be generating high-quality links to and from your website. If you want your website to show up on the first SERP (search engine results page), which is where you need to be to generate the most traffic, you’re going to need a strategy for generating high-quality links.
The potential of high-quality images, especially original images, to rapidly improve a website’s SEO score is something that has long been neglected by many webmasters and businesses. If images are used in the right way, they are one of the most effective ways that you can generate high-quality links. The problem is, too many website owners who write great content don’t understand what makes an image popular.
Gather Original Images
If you want to utilize images to their fullest potential, you want to be using original images. If you have so far not been generating your own images, whether through photography or digital design software, doing so will open up new worlds of possibilities for your designs.
Not only do images help to break up text on your website, they also make pages look more attractive. Many websites include numerous original images as part of their design anyway, so incorporating them into your link-building strategy seems like an obvious move. Fortunately, Google makes this easy by doing a lot of the work automatically.
Every image has a whole bunch of information associated with it. As well as the obvious things, like a file name and type, it includes a lot of information about that image’s creation. This information often includes the specific camera model, as well as the settings that were used to take the image. Images that were taken with, or in some cases made on, a smartphone may also include GPS coordinates.
Google uses this metadata to automatically generate unique links to your website. This means that if your images are shared on social media, for example, it will count as a rise in your organic traffic. Needless to say, high-quality images are going to be more attractive to a high-quality website, and that means generating more high-quality links for your website.
You can find high-quality stock images online, but these won’t have the same impact as original images. There are a number of studies that back up this claim; you can read about one of them here.
Infographics have become very popular over the last few years for a number of reasons, including the widespread availability of data to anyone who wants it. The internet has always been a goldmine of information if you know where to look, but not everyone wants to read an entire article to get an answer to their questions. Some people want their information presented in an easily digestible format. For this purpose, the infographic is perfect.
Given the climate we live in today, and especially regarding the proliferation of fake news and propaganda disguised as facts, it is easy to see the power of a format that can quickly and efficiently communicate information. There are studies indicating that infographics are significantly more effective for learning and retention than most other common formats online.
If you are a social media user, you will likely already know just how widely-shared this type of image is. Infographics are useful in a huge range of contexts that creating even a single popular infographic can generate high-quality links for you on an unprecedented scale, especially if it goes viral on social media.
Representing data on a map offers many of the same advantages as the infographic does. It makes it easy to understand data at a glance, while still making it possible to communicate or reinforce complex ideas. For example, a news article discussing the impact of conflict and displaced populations may well make reference to a number of places the reader hasn’t heard of. By showing these places on an accompanying map, the impact of the article is increased.
Maps are an effective way of reaching an international audience and of broadening the appeal of content on your website. In order to generate numerous high-quality links using images, the images you use should have a wide appeal. A good way of killing two birds with one stone and increasing the number of potential inks you might generate is to write an article for your website about a current news event and include with it a map of your own design. If this map illustrates the story you have covered in an effective way, there is a good chance that other websites will also have a use for it.
Making a map to represent data isn’t as easy as putting together an infographic. While maps are potentially a very effective way of generating high-quality links, they aren’t something that can easily be churned out in a hurry.
Quotes are another thing that you regularly see on widely-shared images. Anyone who has spent any amount of time on social media will have come across an often misattributed, quote from a celebrity imposed over an image of them. This format is hugely popular and ludicrously simple to make. If you hit upon the right quote, and you can find a half-decent accompanying image, it’s not difficult to create an image that will appeal to millions.
Get Your Images Out There
Once you have a collection of high-quality images, be they photographs or pieces you’ve created from scratch or even a blend of the two, you then need them to be shared as far and wide as possible. In order to give your image the best chance of achieving this, there are a number of things you can do.
First and foremost, if you’re a social media user, take advantage of it! You should at least create social media profiles for your website or business. You can then use your social media channels to share the images that you think have the best chance of being shared again. If an image catches on, it will generate high-quality links on a scale that no other technique can match.
If you invest in your ability to create original, high-quality images, there is no limit to the number of links you can generate. If you are going to be relying mainly on photos, it is important that you take your choice of camera seriously. Equally, if you are making your own infographics, you don’t want to develop a reputation for inaccuracy. It is important that you vet your data sources. As far as the ability to generate high-quality links, think about the quality of your final image as being directly correlated with the number of links it will earn you.