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When Images are Worth More than a Thousand Words

Instagram logo circleA picture is worth a thousand words, yeah? But, how much are a thousand words worth? If you’re in online marketing, and if you’re reading this then you probably are, you know the value of words. You know the value of keywords, the value of punchy words in calls to action, and the value of every single character when you’re limited to 60 or 140.

Now, imagine how much more an image is worth online?

Pinterest and Instagram

You’ve definitely heard of these two image-sharing sites, unless you’ve been trekking around the North Pole. You may not have used them, but you’ve undoubtedly seen pins of food, fashion, and fun destinations, and you’ve seen the sepia-tinged photos that feign an artistic streak.

Those who haven’t used them still wonder what all the fuss is about, while those who use them can’t understand those who don’t. Like many hardcore drugs, it doesn’t take long to get addicted. Basically, once is all it takes for people to get hooked. Then they prowl the web, looking for suitable images to be shared, and they prowl the sites themselves, looking for inspiration and, of courses, images to be shared.

These days, sharing is the buzzword in social media marketing. It’s not enough to get likes, friends and followers. You need shares to really stand out and help you capture your target market.

This meandering path leads us to what Pinterest and Instagram can do for SEO, and businesses.

The wonder of it all

First of all, can they do anything for SEO? After all, aren’t the links nofollow?

The answer is, yes, they can aid SEO, even though the links don’t work quite the way SEOs would like. You may have to throw out some old SEO ways of thinking, but hold on tightly to tried and trusted methods, because they will work. And when they do, they’ll bring you targeted traffic and increase you conversion rate.

Five tips to optimise the hell out of your Pinterest and Instagram images:

1. Think about your image titles. Use relevant keywords and brand names if possible. Don’t waste opportunities with titles like, ‘Cute puppy1’. This extends to your descriptions and your board names.

2. Edit pins to add links (PinnableBusiness.com, via Panorama.net). This can only be done after you’ve uploaded the image.

3. Stop thinking of hashtags as Twitter-specific. Hashtags have sneaked into many different media platforms and Pinterest and Instagram are no different. Once again, ensure that you name your hashtag appropriately (Malhar Barai – Social Media Today).

4. Make the content on your website easily shareable. Use the social media buttons.

5. Follow people with the same interests and engage with them.

Finally, a bonus tip:

6. Don’t upload rubbish. Don’t think, ‘oh well, I suppose this will do.’ If you think it ‘will do’ then you can do better.

Image sharing is growing in popularity. What’s more, it’s one social media trend that a lot of businesses are embracing, because it’s simple. You can squeeze more value out of your images by using some basic SEO principles. You’ll see that images are worth much more than a thousand words.


Image credit: Anne Taylor, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr

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