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How to be noticed

Not only is visual content vital to grab customers’ attention, it’s becoming increasingly important to win over search engine crawler bots.

More than 4m blogposts are published every day. That’s 28m a week and 120m every month. All on top of your efforts to woo customers through simple social media messages. No wonder it sometimes feels impossible to stand out from the crowd and get in front of your audience.

The trick is to connect in meaningful and memorable ways and for most of us that means visual content as opposed to mere words.

Claudia O’Shea, Head of Digital Content at Kantar Analytics, tells us that photographs, illustrations, videos and infographics are up to 650% more engaging than text alone. What’s more, 80-85% of our perception is mediated through vision.

So it’s safe to assume that visuals are fairly important when it comes to engaging audiences.

“Search engines are constantly evolving to make our search experience seamless and intuitive,” she says, “and already Google has started to incorporate more visuals into their search results pages.

“In fact, Google’s latest algorithm update is set to favour ‘helpful content’ that really leads to a positive user experience, so there are many reasons why visuals can have a positive impact on content rankings and performance.”

Added value

Alternative formats are essential for good accessibility scores and better user experience. Adding images signals to Google that your content is more appealing than a words-only polemic about immune health.

According to Search Engine Watch, Google prioritises content with visuals especially whewn it comes to rich snippets. If you want to rank on Google’s Discover page, which shows users content related to their interests based on their web and app activity, your content must have visuals.

Better engagement

A study by Moz showed that higher dwell time correlates with better rankings. Also, Google’s AI algorithm RankBrain is likely to analyse and prioritise content based on user experience measured by engagement and time on-page.

Creating engaging and useful visual content can entice more users to link to your content or share it on social media, thus strengthening your backlink profile and increasing traffic to your site via social channels. It’s just a matter of time before Google’s algorithm will comprehend and interpret visuals with the same level of accuracy that it currently reads text.

Make a plan

What does this mean for your content and SEO strategy? O’Shea says the simplest strategy is to tell compelling stories that get noticed – by search engines as well as your customers.

“Your content needs bespoke, impactful visuals,” she says. “Not only do these visuals need to be engaging, inspiring and creative, but it’s also vital that they are informed by human interests, passions, and behaviours.”

You need to know what your audience wants. What are they searching for? You can find this out through Google (or other search engine) analytics and keyword finders but nothing beats your own understanding of your customers’ needs and aspirations.

Website performance

Your website may rank well with high-quality content yet have below-average page experience. To truly maximise results, both high-quality content and good page experience are necessary. Test your webpage to find out how it stacks up against Google’s measure of user experience at ‘Kantar Core Web Vitals check’.

Use ‘alt text’ to describe an image to search engines and visually impaired web visitors – this is vital for accessibility, optimisation, and compliance with Priority 1 WCAG standards.

In a search landscape that is constantly evolving, traditional SEO techniques are no longer enough. Combining unique creative production capabilities with technical SEO science is the only way to craft compelling, engaging and informative digital content that consumers want to see.

Whether brand, supplier or retailer, identify your target audience and create visuals that answer consumer questions and improve user experience.

Health food retailers, manufacturers and suppliers can search Kantar Digital Content and, for your website or online shop, Kantar Core Web Vitals check.

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