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Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

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A captivating headline will draw you in.

A good opening line – a hook – will entice you to keep reading.

And a well-placed, eye-catching visual will keep you focused and will be remembered long after the words you read have been forgotten.

Not only will images captivate your audience, but using visual content is also a practical approach to link building.

A Skyword study showed that “Content containing related images performed better across all content categories.”

And Google is continually “working to include more imagery and videos in Search,” changing the way information is presented on a results page.

This means that you need to change the way you present your website’s information to Google and other search engines.

So, you know that visual content is a valid link building strategy, but how can you make it work?

7 Types of Visual Content Used to Build Links

First, it’s important to understand the different kinds of visual content out there.

Here’s a quick run-down of some of the key types of visual content you can use to build links to your site:

1. Infographics

Some people think infographics are overused; some people swear by them.

Using eye-catching infographics with useful information that readers can understand is still a great way to earn some links though, whether you love ’em or hate ’em.

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

2. Good Usage of Logos

Yes, your brand’s logo is visual content!

It’s already in multiple places on your site, and it may show up on other websites if you’ve ever written a guest post, been featured, or contributed to a community page.

Keep track of the places your logo shows up on the web, and make sure it’s linked back to your site.

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

3. Product Photos or a Brand Photoshoot

If you’re an ecommerce site or you have an online shop, use your product images for link building.

Always use high-quality, original photos, and ensure that all steps have been taken to optimize each image for SEO (more on that later).

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

Don’t have products to take photos of?

Try a brand photoshoot from a professional photographer, where it’s you working at your computer.

If you’re an author, show off your books in the photo shoot, too.

You can use your brand photos in so many ways.

For example, I’ve even used one of mine in my own Search Engine Journal author header.

sej header julia mccoy

sej header julia mccoy

4. Company or Employee Photos

Yep! Even the photos from your last company retreat or the employee photos on your team page can be used for link building.

Again, make sure these images are high-quality, and please – spell your employees’ names right!

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

5. Statistical Charts, Graphs & Maps

Also known as data visualization, charts, graphs, and maps are a great way to generate links.

You can even pull these from leading statistics or research.

Make sure the information displayed is useful and easy for readers to understand.

Even without creating an original chart, graph, or map, you can run a report from a third-party site, take a screenshot of the results, and share it as an image in your content.

Remember to share the source of the report if you go this route, but the image itself – the screenshot – can be attributed to you.

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

6. Memes & GIFs

Memes and GIFs aren’t going anywhere.

If you aren’t using them in your content already, it might be time to try.

Use them tastefully and use them well, because people love to share a good meme, which will mean plenty of inbound links for you.

To make things really fun and original, you can generate your own memes for free at Meme Generator.

7. Creative Stock Photos

Another type of visual content that is often overused (and sometimes wrongly used), stock photos can still be useful for link building when done right.

Just don’t use any stock photo.

Choose a high-quality, tasteful photo that’s relevant to your message and adds to the content.

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

3 Ways to Optimize Your Images for SEO

OK. You’ve got some ideas for images.

Now, let’s talk about optimizing those images for SEO so that you can get the full benefits of your visual content.

1. Add Captions

Adding descriptive captions to your images is often overlooked, but surprisingly, “captions get 16 percent more readership than text,” according to the PRSA.

An image caption differs from the image’s file name or alt text. It is the text that appears below the image, briefly explaining the picture.

Many relevant images are understood without captions, but that isn’t always the case.

Captions add additional context to an image, helping both readers and search engines process the information on your page.

2. Optimize Image File Names

Creating keyword-rich file names for images is vital to SEO optimization.

Your image’s file name helps describe the image to search engines.

File names should be short, relevant descriptions of the image, and should include primary and secondary keywords.

3. Include Alt Text

Alt text is the text that appears in place of an image when an image can’t be rendered, for whatever reason.

Image alt text should be similar to your image’s file name: a short, relevant description of the image, including keywords.

Adding alt text to your images can boost your site’s rankings by associating your images – and therefore, your site – with the keywords and descriptions used.

Reverse Image Search

Sometimes your image will be shared on another site without a link back to your site, or with the wrong link.

There are a couple of tools to help you locate these images, like Google Images and TinEye.

Use these tools, and when you discover your images, contact the publication or blogger that’s using them and request that they link back to your site as the source.

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

Image Link Building: How to Use Visual Content to Earn More Links

Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Links?

Visual content gives your readers a clearer picture (pun intended) of what your message is all about.

As you put your content together, think of which visuals to include to clarify and enhance your message.

Try using different types of visual content as a part of your overall content marketing strategy and watch your link profile grow.

Summary

Timeframe: Include images in your content right away

Results detected: 3-6 months

Average links per month: 5

Tools:

  • Creatives (images, visual content)

Benefits:

  • Improve site rankings and SEO
  • Earn links
  • Enhance text content for readers.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
All screenshots taken by author

Searchenginejournal.com

MARKETING

HubSpot to cut around 7% of workforce by end of Q1

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HubSpot to cut around 7% of workforce by end of Q1

This afternoon, HubSpot announced it would be making cuts in its workforce during Q1 2023. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it put the scale of the cuts at 7%. This would mean losing around 500 employees from its workforce of over 7,000.

The reasons cited were a downward trend in business and a “faster deceleration” than expected following positive growth during the pandemic.

Layoffs follow swift growth. Indeed, the layoffs need to be seen against the background of very rapid growth at the company. The size of the workforce at HubSpot grew over 40% between the end of 2020 and today.

In 2022 it announced a major expansion of its international presence with new operations in Spain and the Netherlands and a plan to expand its Canadian presence in 2023.

Why we care. The current cool down in the martech space, and in tech generally, does need to be seen in the context of startling leaps forward made under pandemic conditions. As the importance of digital marketing and the digital environment in general grew at an unprecedented rate, vendors saw opportunities for growth.

The world is re-adjusting. We may not be seeing a bubble burst, but we are seeing a bubble undergoing some slight but predictable deflation.


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About the author

Kim Davis

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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MARKETING

Advocate | DigitalMarketer

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Advocate | DigitalMarketer

Happy customers love to share their experience, but sometimes they need some encouragement to do so. The cool thing is, once they do, they become even more loyal to your brand.

So, at this stage of the Customer Value Journey, ask people to share their positive experience with your brand by writing a review or sharing a social media post.

Once you get to stage seven, the Customer Value Journey is going to get a whole lot easier for you. This stage is all about learning your customer’s experience, and building up your testimonial database. 

The most important part of this step is asking these four questions. 

What Was Your Life Like Before Finding Our Solutions? What Challenges Were You Facing That Caused You to Consider Us? 

These questions are great not only because it gives you some really good stories, but because it gives you some insight on how you can provide similar prospects with that AHA moment. Understanding the average day of your clients is important in reflecting on your Customer Value Journey, and helps you understand what really set you apart from your competitors.

What Key Features Had the Biggest and/or Fastest Impact?

Not only is this going to get you to really specific stories, you will understand the specific things you provided that gave the biggest impact. The answers to these questions will not only give you great insight and testimonials, it will provide you with ideas for new lead magnets. This part is a new Entry Point Offer goldmine! 

What Has Been the Impact or Results in Your Life or Business Since Using Our Product or Service? 

This is a fairly broad question, and that’s why we put it after the others. You will have already gotten all of the specifics out of the way with #1 & #2. But when you ask this question, this is where you get the most valuable stories. You can use this part as testimonials, as an order form, as a sales page, this part is testimonial gold. 

If You Were Asked to Justify this Purchase to Your Boss or a Friend, What Would You Say? 

This is our favorite question by far. If you had to go back in time and justify this purchase, what would you say? I promise you what we’re going to find is a lot of great ideas for the jobs that your product or service has done. You’ll get a lot of great ideas for your core message canvas. This question is about backfilling all of the assets that you may not have. Here you’re going directly to the customer who are already happy, and using their justifications to help you sell to new customers. 

Hopefully you now understand just how valuable the Advocate stage could be, as well as the key questions you need to ask to get your customers talking. Here’s how it works for our example companies.

When it comes to fashion we all love to show off our outfits. So a good example for Hazel & Hems would be to have customers write reviews for a discount code or points towards their next purchase. 

Better yet, follow up with the customers to ask them to share and tag themselves wearing the items in a social media post and providing them with something valuable as a reward.

For Cyrus & Clark Media, hopping on zoom meetings or a streaming service for live talks about them and their business could generate valuable awareness for them, and a live case study for the agency. They can use the questions Ryan provided during this lesson to conduct the interview.



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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

Through deals and coupons, Instacart has saved consumers more than $700 million in 2022. As we dive into 2023, the leading grocery technology company in North America has big plans to help consumers save even more while also helping CPGs generate sales. Instacart recently announced an advertising solution that helps both sellers and consumers called Instacart Promotions. This exciting feature is designed to help drive conversions, boost sales, and generate overall engagement on the app.

Interested in this feature and how it can help your business on Instacart? Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about this ad solution including benefits, how to get started, and more.

 

What are Instacart Promotions?

 

Instacart Promotions is an advertising feature that’s now available to all brand partners, including emerging brands, within their open beta program. Promotions give CPGs the opportunity to offer new deal structures, promotions, and incentives with Instacart Ad campaigns. With this feature in place, consumers will have access to more promotions, coupons, and deals that are tailored to them within the Instacart Marketplace.

“With the launch of our new Instacart Promotions, all of our brand partners now have the ability to set up coupons and promotions that can drive meaningful business results while also passing on more savings opportunities to consumers. We’re proud to continue expanding our portfolio with additional self-service capabilities, ad formats that drive results, and measurement that brands need to understand the true impact of their campaigns on Instacart.”

 

– Ali Miller, VP of Ads Product at Instacart

 

Source: Instacart

 

How Do Instacart Promotions Work?

 

Promotions, now available in Ads Manager, gives consumers the ability to discover more promotions and savings opportunities within the Instacart app. These promotions now show up directly on product item cards before checkout for easy accessibility. Promotions allow advertisers to customize their campaigns to sync with their goals and objectives whether that be driving sales, building baskets, or boosting trials.

Instacart shared a recent example of a brand successfully utilizing Promotions… 

Athletic Brewing, General Mills, Sola Company, and Wells Enterprises (maker of Halo Top) are strengthening campaign performance by pairing Instacart Promotions with ad formats such as Sponsored Product and Display. Instacart Promotions include two new flexible and customizable structures: Coupons (“buy X units, save $Y”) and Stock Up & Save (“Spend $X, Save $Y”). 

According to Instacart, in the coming months, the company “will work to further enhance the new offering with new deal structures such as Free Gifts and Buy One, Get One (“BOGO”). The new deal structures will help brand partners run “Free Sample” programs that can win new customers and serve personalized discounts for different customer segments, such as “new to brand” and “new to category.”  

 

Example of Instacart Promotions

Source: Instacart

 

Instacart Promotions Benefits

 

Deliver Value and Savings to Consumers

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to deliver value and savings that will have consumers coming back for more. With this savings feature, your brand can stand out among the competition and offer a variety of deals to shoppers ie: “Buy X units, Save $Y”.

 

Hot tip: Ensure you are selecting products for your promotion that are well-stocked and widely available.  

 

Tailor Your Campaigns to Specific Objectives

 

With a variety of savings options available, your brand can structure deals to fit specific business goals and objectives. 

 

Hot tip: If you’re looking to drive visibility and awareness, try pairing promotions with Sponsored Product campaigns. 

 

Access Real-Time Performance Insights 

 

The Promotions beta program is live and can be accessed within Instacart Ads Manager. Within Ads Manager, advertisers can access real-time insights to maximize performance and adjust campaigns as needed.

 

Hot tip: Make sure your budget matches your discount and objectives.

 

“As an advertiser, Instacart’s unique offering to self-manage promotions is so exciting! Historically, making adjustments to offer values and other promotion parameters was a more manual process, but now we’ll be able to easily make optimizations in real-time based on redemption performance.”

Emily Choate

Emily Choate, Senior Specialist, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti

 

Interested in Instacart Promotions?

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to reach new customers, build bigger baskets, and drive sales. Interested in testing out the beta program or looking to get started with advertising on the app? Drop us a line – we’d love to help elevate your CPG brand on Instacart.

 

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