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This post was sponsored by Shutterstock. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.
High-quality media is a major component of your on-page SEO strategy.
When you’re a small or medium business owner (SMB), the quality of your visual content can make a major difference in how your target audience perceives your products and services.
In 2023, high-quality images, graphics, and other next-generation media are the on-page SEO keys to helping you:
- Improve search engine results page (SERP) rankings.
- Rank for competitive keywords in short-form video SERPs.
- Build organic backlinks.
To make these marketing goals possible, the two easiest things you can do for your SEO strategy right now are:
- Step away from using stock images in blog articles and social media posts. Focus on creating or generating unique images for your site.
- Double down on implementing SEO best practices to help your content get seen.
Let’s discover how the right media backed by a strong SEO strategy can help elevate your brand and maximize your ROI.
1. Create Content That Automatically Generates Backlink Opportunities
Backlinks are essential to helping search engines determine the quality of your website and where it should rank on SERPs.
High-quality backlinks can help you soar to the top of Google.
But before we uncover how small teams can build backlinks faster, let’s take a crash course on how backlinks can improve your SEO and help your business grow.
How Backlinks Help Improve SEO & SERP Rankings
Backlinks are a vital part of your overall SEO strategy because of the role they play in your site’s discoverability.
They indicate your site’s popularity with users, and they signal to Google that your content is valuable and worth linking to.
Think of it as a vote of confidence; the more high-quality backlinks you have, the better your website performs on SERPs.
When it comes to link building, your goal is to have multiple trusted resources vouch for your website.
So, how do you easily convince reputable, related websites to link to yours?
How do you tell Google that your site is trustworthy?
By building backlinks.
If you’re a small team, it’s best to create content that builds links organically.
The Key To Building Organic Backlinks
To get the strongest backlinks, make sure you’re creating content that’s unique, up-to-date, and more accurate than your competitors.
Accurate, unique content is very valuable to high-reputation websites.
Backlinks make it easy to cite statistics, source claims, or even add context – so by providing relevant information within your niche, you’re establishing your site as authoritative, which helps to generate more inbound links.
What Content Is Best For Organic Link Building?
The best content for building organic backlinks is infographics.
Visual content, such as an infographic, tends to perform well for marketers because it is more digestible and shareable.
Why? Because infographics are 50% easier to read than a full blog – readers will share them faster.
Nearly 41% of marketers reported that original graphics (e.g., infographics and illustrations) help them reach their marketing goals.
So, start creating your infographics now.
Best Practices To Design An SEO Infographic
Whether you want to create an informational, comparison, statistical, timeline, or other powerful types of infographic, you should follow these best practices:
- Start with a defined audience.
- Determine your infographic style.
- Create a wireframe of your vision.
- Determine your main success metric.
- Create an engaging headline and compelling pitch.
- Make it easy to find and share your infographic.
Ready to create your infographic?
2. Invest In Videos & Images For Competitive Keywords
More and more users are turning to visual search to find what they’re looking for.
Video search is becoming more common as well. Video results are appearing more prominently on SERPs, particularly on mobile searches.
Social media search is also making an impact, with many users utilizing TikTok and YouTube search bars to find visual product reviews, in-depth tutorials, and more.
By adding video to your content strategy, you can give your site a competitive edge, as searchers will have more opportunities to come across your content.
How To Connect Images To Competitive Keyword SERPs
Competitive keyword research is an important first step in any successful SEO strategy. Keyword research helps you connect to your customer needs by helping you understand their needs and search intent.
Aim for relevant words, queries, and phrases with high search volume to rank better and attract more traffic.
But how do you know which keywords you should be aiming for?
How do you know which images will perform best for each campaign?
If you’re looking to create winning content without all the guesswork, Predict by Shutterstock is the tool you need.
“[Predict] uses AI to recommend creative assets that are predicted to perform, so you’ve got instant intel on the right images, the right templates, and the right colors to build the perfect design – instantly.”
3. Implement Image SEO Best Practices
With an image search tool, use the following advanced filters to help you comply with basic SEO standards:
Now that you know how to find and use the right images, how you format them is equally important.
Your audience and Google care about the quality of images you use and how they appear within the layout of the page.
Search engines reward well-optimized images as well.
6 Image SEO Tips From Google
Here are six image optimization tips from Google:
- Eliminate image cumulative layout shift (CLS).
- Correctly size your images.
- Use the most suitable image file format.
- Compress images appropriately.
- Cache images in the browser.
- Correctly sequence your image downloads.
4. Choose Images That Are Unique To Your Brand
When you have a small team, how do you find images that no one else is using?
In 2023, you can create them!
With Shutterstock’s AI image generator, you can make creative intelligence work for you.
Just write a detailed prompt explaining exactly what you want to create, and the generator will bring your concept to life.
Best Image Generation AI Prompts
Start with this simple combo: Use any noun + any verb + any artistic style. And voilà! You’ll have a unicorn riding a bike in graffiti mural style, in no time!
How To Use An Al Image Generator:
- Imagine anything! Then type it into the search bar. Click Generate.
- Shutterstock.ai generates a few versions for you to choose from.
- Edit the image in Create, if you like. Or just license and download.
Shutterstock.ai‘s leading technology is ethically built, so you can license and safely use AI-generated images, worry-free.
The generator is trained on diverse and inclusive licensed Shutterstock content and even ensures contributors are credited accordingly.
5. Jump On Emerging Search Trends
Always be on the lookout for emerging SEO trends.
Today, short-form video happens to be one of the latest SEO trends to hit.
With the rise of TikTok in recent years, more social media platforms are starting to shift their focus to short, attention-grabbing videos.
Instagram has been emphasizing its Reels feature, and even YouTube – which is usually the destination for long-form videos – has been encouraging users to upload shorter clips, with its Shorts feature.
From this perspective, your strategy should certainly include short-form videos in some capacity.
6. Add Short-Form Video SEO To Your Strategy
Want to get in on using short-form video content in your SEO strategy?
Don’t have the bandwidth to shoot videos for specific keywords?
With Shutterstock’s Flex Subscription, you can use your credits to search for enticing stock footage to suit your brand’s needs.
How To Optimize Video For SEO
Depending on the platform you’re using to upload your videos, you want to make sure you’re maximizing visibility and taking advantage of the search algorithm.
To help your short-form video content get discovered in search, you should:
- Write a powerful caption.
- Create unique, memorable content.
- Use keyword-rich filenames.
- Adjust the aspect ratio/video length to the platform.
- Use proper tagging/hashtags.
- Add an eye-catching thumbnail/cover photo.
7. Improve ROI With Flexible SEO & Content Creation Tools
With a Flex free trial, you’ll not only gain access to Shutterstock’s massive media library, but also their extensive range of tools, templates, and AI-powered technology to help you create engaging content and improve your rankings.
Ready to take your content strategy to the next level and maximize performance? Shutterstock is the ultimate solution to your content creation needs.
Get your free Flex trial in 3 easy steps:
- Select the 10 credits/month annual plan on Shutterstock’s pricing page.
- Enter the offer code TRYFLEX10 at checkout.
- Download images, videos, and music assets for your projects with the bonus of gaining access to an AI image generator and advanced design tools.
With 10 free credits, you can get up to 10 images, or 2 music tracks, or 1 video.
- 1 credit = 1 image.
- 10 credits = 1 video.
- 4 credits = 1 music track.
Plus, get access to Shutterstock’s Creative Flow platform, which features a suite of AI-powered apps to help customize your visuals.
Start Creating High-Performing Content With Shutterstock’s Flex Subscription Now
Quality content creation is the key to an effective SEO strategy, and if you want to take your marketing campaigns to the next level, the flex plan is your unique media solution.
Shutterstock has evolved from a leading stock photography provider to an all-in-one platform for creators.
Now, you can use it to your advantage and start creating the content you need to outrank your competition.
Featured Image: From Shutterstock. Used with permission.