BY MICHAEL ORRISON | BUSINESS INSIGHTS ANALYST

Many search engine optimization industry experts have made the connection between optimizing images and improved Organic Search performance. Updating Title Tags, Alt Tags and Image Filenames are a few of the recommendations to best optimize images on a website for better search engine rankings and performance. But, with any SEO tactic, the question is – what kind of impact does it have on performance and what is the best way to measure performance? In this article, we will explore those two questions around optimizing images on a website.

THE TEST

FOR A RECENT TEST ON ONE OF OUR SITES, GCOMMERCE WANTED TO MEASURE THE IMPACT IN ORGANIC TRAFFIC BEFORE AND AFTER OPTIMIZING IMAGE ELEMENTS.

We selected one of our partner websites that has an incredible venue for hosting weddings at their hotel. Considering that 6 of the 10 most popular dates to get engaged last year were in December, we decided that optimizing pages associated with their wedding venue would be a great test for the end of the year.

THE SEO TACTICS USED

We updated the Image Filenames, Title Tags and Alt tags on all photos hosted on the Hotel Wedding pages on the client’s website.



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Something to note: Depending on the format of your website and CMS, updating image filenames on your site could be difficult. It is always best to consult with your website developer or designer to ensure that modifying filenames are not going to create broken images or links on your website. Luckily, some of the incredibly savvy web developers at GCommerce created a custom Plugin for our WordPress websites to be able to accurately update Image Filenames in real time on the site. We utilized this plugin in order to seamlessly integrate our desired filenames.

REPORTING & ANALYSIS

Image elements on our partner website were updated on December 6th, 2017. Other authors have done an excellent job talking about the difficulties of measuring the impacts of tests on Organic Search. While focusing on Rankings can be difficult due to the differences by user in which search results are displayed, we can use Google Search Console, SEM Rush and Google Analytics to measure any changes in traffic and visibility on Wedding pages through Organic Search.

WHAT WERE THE RESULTS?

To measure impact, we analyzed overall Pageviews, Unique Pageviews and Entrances through the Organic Search Channel in Google Analytics. The results show increases in all KPIs in comparing to the previous period, prior to when image elements were updated. The changes resulted in more Impressions and Clicks while the Average Position in the SERPs remained flat as measured by Google Search Console.



GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE RESULTS

TIME 1 CLICKS TIME 2 CLICKS % CHANGE TIME 1 IMP. TIME 2 IMP. % CHANGE TIME 1 POSITION TIME 2 POSITION
777 745 4% 133,131 126,449 5% 39.73 39.73
*Time 1 = 12/7/17-1/8/18
*Time 2 = 11/4/17-12/6/17



GOOGLE ANALYTICS RESULTS

The goal and measure for success is to drive more qualified traffic and wedding business for our client. By driving increased traffic to these pages, we are more likely to engage potential customers to contact our client hotel about hosting a wedding on the property.



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NEXT STEPS?

Moving forward, we will continue to optimize this hotel’s website for search engines with the goal of driving increased qualified traffic to help our clients achieve success. Image optimization is a key element in helping to establish visibility for website content in the SERP in order to drive organic traffic and conversions.

Reach out to GCommerce today if you’d like any additional information about optimizing images or your website for increased performance online.