Image SEO – 4 Tips To Optimize Images To Boost Your Social SEO

Image Optimization for Social SEO Boosting

Optimizing images to boost social SEO

If there is one thing that the phenomenal growth of Pinterest can confirm about the intricacies of human nature, it’s the fact that people freaking love pictures. From charts and infographics, to pop culture memes and lolcats, we humans are very susceptible to the allure of graphics and visuals. And the Web definitely ascertained how we can easily share collections of cute puppy pictures to our Facebook friends in just a blink of an eye.

And that, my friends, is the reason why visual content is rocking in this modern day and age. They are eye-catching and can be easily shared. Content marketers are scrambling to optimize images to make them more share-worthy. This is done both for SEO purposes and for the benefit of their readers.

However,before you happily stick that funny cat picture onto your next blog post, there are some things which you must remember so as to properly optimize your visual content for social sharing.

1. Visual Content Is The Highest Order Of The Day

Images, pictures, charts, symbols, infographics and other forms of visual content can all be potential crowd-drawers. All are equally important, whether it’s a Microsoft Paint sketch or a full-blown Photoshopped production. The question here is this: what can you do, as a content marketer, to make your visual content effective at what its supposed to be doing (i.e. drawing people in and keeping them interested)?

The recipe for an effective piece of visual content calls for the following ingredients:


A good piece of visual content stands out. Do not put quantity over quality. Just because you are uploading hundreds of images on your Pinterest board does not mean that your followers will instantly want to re-pin all of them on their own boards. You will come off as an annoying pest who is desperately craving attention- which is the complete opposite of what you want your visual content to be doing.

There are a lot of businesses on Facebook that use the Timeline’s interface to showcase their creativity. Choosing and creating the perfect cover photo has become something of an art these days. Just take a look at the Facebook pages of Coca-Cola and Intel for example.


A picture doesn’t have to be outlandish to be effective. A well-framed picture that is perfectly taken and is relevant to the topic at hand would work just fine. Be sure that picture’s message is clear and that the picture itself IS clear (i.e. no fuzzy out of focus shots!).

Right tone

A fast paced thought-provoking article would require images that would reflect the intensity of its subject. A slow insightful piece would do well with pictures and graphics that are not that too intense. Visual content should be able to set the right tone and pace for its targeted audience. It should communicate and connect with them.

Tells a story

Even the most yawn-inducing companies can enliven their reputations with a repertoire of interesting visual content. GE (General Electric Company) is currently utilizing Pinterest to showcase pictures of the company’s long and colorful history. Their Pinterest boards demonstrate the power of visual content as a medium for story-telling.

2. Starting A Visual Marketing Campaign

Pictures and images play just a small part in a visual content marketing campaign. Know what’s even more important? It’s the PEOPLE whom you will be communicating to. Having great visuals and flashy graphics mean nothing when you can’t form a connection with your readers. Two factors which can help influence how people will react to your visual marketing campaign are:

User Interface

An intuitive and user-friendly interface will lead people where you want them to be. The best thing to do here is to arrange you visual content in a manner that makes sense. For example, you can group them into categories (works great for Pinterest boards) or present them in a linear fashion (like in infographics).


Have people join in on the fun! In July 2012 GE launched Freshpedition Sweepstakes, a pinboard-making contest on Pinterest. Their followers can take a crack at winning some free appliances by pinning images that are related to a particular day’s theme.
It’s not GE’s first foray into the world of visual content marketing. They’ve also started a photo-sharing contest on Instagram a year before. Using the tag #GEinspiredME, followers can upload photos that expressed how the company managed to inspire their lives. More than 3,000 photos were shared and GE managed to cement its reputation online as a pioneer in visual content marketing.

3. Don’t Forget SEO!

Though we always tell you to put human readers first before search engines, it does not hurt to make a few tweaks here and there to get your visual content off to a good start. Here are some handy pointers:

Stick to JPEG and PNG

These two file formats are the two most commonly used picture formats on the Web.

Sensible file name

Don’t use random letters and numbers (example: Picture001qwfncs.jpg). Name a file with a something that makes sense (example: optimize_visualcontent101.jpg).

Don’t ignore alt text

Alt text is the text that appears whenever a browser fails to load an image. Search engines use this to “read” an image. It’s basically a description that tells what a particular image is all about. Keywords are best placed here.

4. Social Networks Are Still The Best Way To Share Visual Content

Never underestimate the power of social networking. While Pinterest and Instagram are obvious choices for visual content marketing, don’t ignore the potential of other social platforms. At first glance, Twitter may not be a suitable medium for visual content (since it is most text-based), but it becomes virtually unstoppable when paired with Instagram. Facebook, on the other hand, has its scrapbook-like Timeline interface to its advantage. And having finalized its acquisition of Instagram recently, Facebook seems to be bent on turning the website into a visually-driven social community.

About Daniel Tan

Daniel Tan: A veteran Internet Marketer. Founder of SomoThemes, Social Metrics Pro, SEOPressor and XTabApps. Daniel's focus is to simplify marketing with technology, to help marketers reach more people in an organized and effective way.

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