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The Hidden Opportunity for E-commerce Websites in Google Images

The Hidden Opportunity for E-commerce Websites in Google Images


Around three-quarters of U.S. internet users regularly or always search for visual content prior to making a purchase, according to eMarketer; only 3 percent never do.

When it comes to shopping online, product images create a positive experience for potential customers.

Many experts share that featuring multiple professional images for a product helps reduce customer uncertainty, resulting in improved conversion and lower return rates.

Google Images search share is approximately 26 percent of overall search, according to Jumpshot and Moz.

Optimized product images can drive new customer acquisition for e-commerce websites.

A recent Google Images change is an opportunity to acquire new quality traffic.

Google Images: What Changed?

Google partnered with Getty Images to create a new search results experience for Google Images users.

As result of this partnership, Google announced two major changes to image search that change how Google displays indexed images and refers traffic to publishers.

Moving forward, Google is removing the option to “View Image” and replacing it with “Visit Site”, theoretically shifting traffic from Google Search to publisher sites, as evidenced by Google’s Danny Sullivan in the following tweet:

Today we’re launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they’re on. pic.twitter.com/n76KUj4ioD

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018

E-commerce marketing professionals have a tremendous opportunity to create a new or improved channel for customer acquisition through Google Image Search.

Here are three ways to optimize your product images and get them indexed in Google search for high-quality traffic with purchase intent.

1. Nail the Basics of Image Optimization

Descriptive file names are key to getting your product images found.

Also, you’ll want to add optimized alternate text. Image alt attributes are a must for e-commerce websites in case an image doesn’t load.

Google also uses the alt text to understand image context which has been confirmed by the Google webmaster team.

A great example is how MVMT Watches names their product images.

As shown in the below example of MVMT watches, if someone searches for “gunmetal watch”, MVMT owns the first organic result in Google Images search, largely due to proper use of naming and image alt text.

For more help with the basics of image optimization, see 14 Important Image SEO Tips You Need to Know.

2. Leverage Your Customers for Authentic Images

Harness the power of user-generated content to increase trust and conversions. Add customer images throughout your e-commerce website.

Encourage your customers to post their images (with your products) to platforms like Facebook and Instagram, then repurpose that content on your product and checkout pages.

Follow brand leaders like Vanity Planet, which encourages customer engagement and shares their UGC throughout the shopper journey:

3. Compress Your Images

Last but not least, ensure that your images load fast and are optimized for speed.

There are many tools, such as TinyPNG, that help you compress your website images.

Also, most hosting platforms offer CDN services for fast delivery.

An optimized file size improves your odds for indexing in Google Images.


Properly followed and executed, these three image search tactics can give your e-commerce website a boost in traffic and sales.

More Image Optimization Resources:

Image Credits

Featured Image: Google Images screenshot taken by Executive Editor, March 2018

All other screenshots taken by author, February 2018


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