As an entrepreneur, there are a million things to think about to help keep your business firing on all cylinders.
However, if you’re an ecommerce entrepreneur, then that list will double as you have to assess all the various apps, tools, and platforms out there that you can use to turbocharge your business.
The trouble with this is that the sheer volume of options out there becomes overwhelming.
Once you’ve got to grips with things like social media, advertising, and ecommerce software, the next challenge is finding new strategies that’ll make a big impact on your business.
So, if we told you there was a tool readily available that you could use to increase high-quality traffic, online sales and brand awareness… and that this tool is 100% free, you’d be interested, right?
We thought so!
That’s why today, we’re going to show you how powerful Google Images can be for your ecommerce business.
The Marketing Opportunity is Huge
It’s no secret…
…Google is a powerhouse!
Heck, Google is so ubiquitous that the verb to “Google” something was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006.
You will be using Google every day as a search engine, and as an ecommerce owner, you might even be using their ad platform to promote your business. But, have you thought about Google Images as a marketing tool to reach new customers?
No?… well you probably should.
Google Images is a huge part of how Google powers the internet.
If that doesn’t sound like a lot of traffic, then consider this:
Google gets 5.6 billion searches every day.
Now, that 10% adds up to more than 560 million people searching for images on a daily basis.
For comparison purposes, Google’s search engine gets a 55% share of their overall traffic, while their Gmail product gets 24.7%. Google Image is their 3rd most popular product – but one of the most important services for you and your business.
If we look at Google Images in a wider context, we can see that of all the internet searches conducted in the United States, Google Images account for an incredible 27% of them!
As a standalone statistic, it’s fascinating to understand the sheer volume in Google Image Search.
But, when you consider the fact that Google Images is being searched 10X more than YouTube, Amazon, Facebook, or Google Maps, then it’s clear to see that the incredible marketing opportunity that is available.
By 2010 the number of images indexed had grown to in excess of 10 billion – with more than 300 million images being uploaded to the internet every day. To confirm just how popular Google Images is, back in 2010 Benjamin Ling – Google’s Director of Search Products – shared that they were getting more than 1 billion page views a day!
Imagine how much extra traffic you could be generating by leveraging Google’s Image Search platform.
Images Are Part of the Buying Decision
Optimizing your images for Google Image Search could result in attracting a lot more traffic to your website and less cart abandonment.
But, does more traffic equal more sales?
You bet it does!
Not only do people who click on images of your products tend to have more buying intent – as they’re further down the customer journey – but they also use images to help inform their overall purchase decision for products or services.
In fact, research shows that when it comes to local searches – typically associated with restaurants, services, and other ‘brick and mortar’ businesses – 60% of consumers are more willing to consider search results that include images of the business.
On top of that, 23% of the same survey group revealed that the are more likely to contact a business that used an image in their search engine listing.
When it comes to ecommerce, the importance of images in the overall buying decision is even more important.
Research carried out in France shows that 78% of consumers searched for images or photos of a product before purchasing either “often” or “sometimes”.
What the data shows is searching for product images is favored over the more traditional buying-focused activities like consumer reviews, expert opinions, and reading forums, and blogs when it comes to supporting a buying decision.
Therefore, if you correctly optimize your product photos for Google Images then you will be in a strong position to capitalize on a wave of buyer intent that has the potential to boost ecommerce revenue.
Images Are the Present AND the Future of Search
Not only can images help to influence people to buy your products online, but they are integral to the entire search process.
Research has shown that when images appear in Google’s main search engine results, they’re clicked, on average, 3% of the time. That’s 3% of 5.6 billion daily searches!
For Google ‘Universal Search’ media (Images, Maps, and Video) specifically, users in Germany displayed an overwhelming preference (91%) to click on images over anything else.
So, it’s important to make sure that your product listings are optimized to appear if you want to take advantage of all that potential free traffic.
This strong user preference for image-based search results is just the start.
In fact, in due course, search is predicted to become increasingly visual.
Research originally conducted by ViSenze found that an astonishing 62% of millennials want – and would be comfortable using – image-based visual search, which is close to double the number who are interested in using tools like Augmented Reality or Live Chat.
This surge in interest in visual-based search is down to tools like Google Lens, which has already been used over 1 billion times as part of Google’s Android smartphone ecosystem – a platform that boasts more than 2.3 billion users worldwide.
Images Are Your Competitive Advantage
Google Images is a hugely powerful marketing tool as we’ve already established. Not only does it give you the option to drive more traffic to your website, but having your images listed there will help you to influence consumers’ buying decisions.
Images will continue to be a big part of the way people use internet search, and it is predicted that they will become integral to the entire search experience in the coming years.
On top of this, research from Econsultancy found that images already appeared in 34% of all search results.
So, with all this evidence to support the importance of images as a traffic generation and persuasion tool, why do so many entrepreneurs overlook the potential of optimizing their images to appear in Google Images?
A study conducted on a cross-section of websites worldwide found that when analyzing for the most common search engine optimization (SEO) errors, image related issues such as missing alt attributes and duplicated title tags, were right at the top of the list for more than 40% of websites.
In fact, of the 19 common critical SEO issues discovered during the research project, several of them are applicable to image optimization, and are affecting a majority of the websites reviewed.
This means that by including alt attributes, focusing on title tags, and making sure image links are correct, you are in a greater position than your competitors to take advantage of all the benefits that Google Images has to offer.
If you have an ecommerce business, then you really need to pay attention to the power and potential of Google Images.
Not only can it help in broad terms to drive more traffic to your website and improve brand awareness of your business – thanks to it’s billions of daily page views.
But, on top of those huge marketing opportunities, it can bring more tangible benefits too, including:
- Influencing the buying decision of potential customers
- Positioning you at the epicenter of how users want to search both now and, in the future,
- Setting you apart from your competitors and gaining a market advantage over them
So, now is the time to start thinking about how you can leverage Google Image Search as an effective marketing tool that’ll transform your ecommerce business.
Steven Macdonald is a digital marketer based in Tallinn, Estonia. His agency, Kingspoint, works with both ecommerce and SaaS businesses across Europe. You can connect with Steven on LinkedIn and Twitter.