Even though the World Wide Web is rapidly becoming all about visual stories, in the world of digital marketing, Google still rules. Everyone wants to become someone on the Net which has grown into a huge wasteland with over a billion websites.
Over the years, Google’s search algorithms have changed, affecting the possibilities for SEO manipulation and page ranking. Still, one thing remained the same – high rankings always drive more traffic and increase business. This just means that the job of SEO is never really finished.
The following tips on visual storytelling strategies offer insight into ways you can boost your SEO and make your business more successful.
Create appealing visual content
Regardless of how often web search engines update their algorithms, high-quality, engaging content will always be the main goal of forward-thinking digital marketing campaigns. Websites that offer users what they’re searching for will always be more popular, and as such, always rank higher in searches.
Nowadays, web content that’s most likely to attract Internet users is undoubtedly visual storytelling. According to research, it takes only 8 seconds for a user to decide whether content is worth their attention before abandoning it. Since our brains are designed to absorb images, vivid imagery is an effective mode of communication.
Naturally, creating a successful visual story isn’t a simple task-it takes true design art to produce an effective graphic message – it’s the art of change and commitment used to improve the material side of life and translate it into an engaging presentation that captivates audiences.
Choose visuals that boost sharing
Social media has undoubtedly revolutionized digital marketing and the ways contemporary brands communicate with their consumers. Sharing visual material is now one of the most effective methods used by companies to engage their customers. An excellent example of a brand using visual storytelling on social media is National Geographic.
A magazine founded in back 1888 has become the most effective publisher in the social media world garnering an impressive 40 million engagements across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter simply because of captivating stories and extensive video material of exotic locations across the globe.
Building your base of social-media following might be a slow process, but strategically attracting users is imperative for success. Make sure you are consistent in posting post shareable content, including relevant articles, helpful tips and open inquiries that engage users in discussion.
Another great way to optimize social content is by using hashtags. These allow you to tag words or phrases within an overall post. For instance, you want to appear in searches for Super Bowl ads – tag your post with #SuperBowl2021 and #SuperBowlAds. Your post will start appearing in searches on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and LinkedIn, as well as in Google searches for the tagged phrase.
Make a visual presentation
The video has become the undisputed king of the digital landscape. In 2014, video material accounted for 64% of all internet traffic which rose to 80% by 2019. Around $7.77 billion was invested in online video marketing in 2015, and that budget doubled by 2019.
The popularity of videos lies in their effectiveness to communicate a message and inspire audiences to action. In terms of search rankings, there was no significant impact but the rise in video popularity moved the minds behind Google to include it in their search algorithm. Video is now recognised as evidence of quality content, and its presence on the Web continues to increase its ranking.
YouTube, owned by Google, has become the world’s second-largest search engine so if you decide to post video content there, it will automatically increase overall search rankings. You can additionally optimize the search by adding keyword labels that offer important info for search engines so they can identify the primary focus and target audience. However, bear in mind that the keywords used for search optimization on Google vary from those frequently searched on YouTube.
Repost & repurpose
The lifeblood of modern SEO is the constant updates. Each new post offers an extra hub for search engines to visit and the more they visit a site, the better chances are for higher rankings. Studies show that companies that published 16 or more posts monthly had 3.5 times more traffic.
However, this is very time consuming and it takes a lot of creative energy to come up with new material all the time – then you resort to reposting and repurposing. Repack your old material and post in a different form – text-based material can be repurposed in a podcast interview, infographics or video presentation. Each of these can then be shared multiple times through different social media platforms.
Master the technical hacks
Any experienced digital marketer will confirm that you can produce a superior visual presentation, share it all over the Internet and reuse it in every market, but all will be in vain if Google’s web bots don’t recognise what it’s about. If you optimize a website’s underlying code, it will tell the bots what users can expect from your video.
Metadata factors within the HTML code enable the web bots to decode visual content. Elements important in HTML optimization include tags such as title tags, alt tags, description tags, header tags and URLs. These tags are vital for search optimization but you must also carefully pick the specific keywords and keyword phrases because, after all, every Google search starts with a keyword search.
In the digital world of today, audiences prefer to consume content that’s easily digestible and user-friendly. This is where visual content helps in satisfying your audience and staying relevant in the overflow of web content. Text-based content will always be an integral part of digital marketing but it’s the visual content that is now taking the lead in all SEO efforts.
**About the Author: Jennifer Hahn Masterson is a senior content strategist, holding a bachelor’s degree in visual design. She is always doing her best to help her clients find their place in the ever-so-competitive business arena, insisting on long-term sustainability rather than on some questionable get-rich-fast scheme. You can check her out on LinkedIn.