What Is the Best Way To Optimize for Animated Images?
Search engine optimization (SEO) using animated images brings many positive benefits to your content, such as improved engagement and relatability. Unlike still images, moving ones have the advantage of delivering better context. However, SEO agency experts believe both types have their place in content.
Optimization is also essential to maximize the uplifting effects of animated images. Otherwise, you risk hurting SEO.
This guide provides concise coverage of using animated images, including:
- The context for using animated images
- Steps to optimize your animated images
- The best way to approach image optimization
Ready to learn how best to use animation for your SEO?!
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Animated Images: When To Use Them and Why
An animated image is a short looping video, typically in the Graphical Interchange Format (GIF). It is commonly used to communicate, such as in the GIF of Nick Jonas giving a shy wave hello. You can turn nearly anything into an animated image with services such as Giphy.
For the most part, it consists of famous mainstream media phenomena, but original ones also exist. If you want to sum up the definition of animated images in one sentence, think of the saying, “A picture paints a thousand words.”
Needless to say, animated images make your content more engaging, which is good for SEO ranking. They show that you keep up with the times and appeal to users with relatable emotions and experiences. However, you must be strategic to achieve your desired results.
Like everything else content- and SEO-related, animated images follow trends. That means not all of them send the right message, and they can be taken out of context. Recycling content from an old trend means you are out-of-date, and misusing a new one may make your audience feel that you are trying too hard.
Animated images often come from popular culture, but that does not mean you need teenagers to run your image library. It only means you need to approach using it with a well-made, clever strategy. After all, you can make original, branded animated images for your website.
Apart from inserts in blogs, animated images help make fantastic social media posts. They also liven up your email marketing strategy, particularly your seasonal and greeting messages. Diversifying your content through media is a great way to show off your brand’s personality.
How To Optimize Animated Images
The first step to optimizing your animated images is to pick ones that contextually make sense for your brand and content – and for the audience you’re using them for. Imagine a hospital blog writing an article on cancer awareness and deciding to use the Homer Simpson fading into a hedge GIF. It would be, like the GIF, awkward and insensitive, to say the least.
A more appropriate animated image would be one about cancer awareness or even a neutral one showing support or encouragement. Your choice of animated image must match the content’s tone and subject matter. Missteps can result in wasted effort and in offending users.
Once you have an image in mind, follow the standard image SEO best practices to ensure it boosts rather than hinders your content. Another step to consider is modifying the loop so it does not slow down your page too much. You can easily do that with editing tools.
To make the process easier to follow, use this checklist when uploading animated images:
- Does this animated image suit my brand, content, and audience?
- Have I modified the image’s loop to speed up my web page?
- Did I optimize an image’s dimensions to keep my page fast?
- Did I write unique and relevant alt tags and captions?
- Does the file have an appropriate name similar to its alt tag?
Depending on how you add your animated image, it may not be possible to give it a unique name or limit its loop. This applies to embedded files and files added from integrated apps such as Giphy. Original files work best, especially for better fit and context.
Have an SEO Agency Curate Your Animated Images
Given what you’ve read so far, it might seem like using animated images is more trouble than it is worth. However, the benefits are real and plentiful. First, media such as images, photos, videos, infographics, and animated images add to your online visibility through image search results.
Like videos, animated images have great potential for backlinks, shares, and mentions from users on social media. This is especially true if your images are unique and original because they hold exceptional value for your users. Creative use of images also builds your online brand.
The numerous SEO and marketing aspects involved make content like this intimidating to the unfamiliar. Hiring an SEO agency to help you find, create, or use animated images is among the best approaches to optimization. Aligning your content with your brand is important in SEO, and using animation is no different.
Here are three ways you benefit from hiring an SEO agency to curate your images.
1. Build Your Brand With Animated Images
Like any other medium, an animated image contributes to your business's online branding. Consistent use of original content makes your brand recognizable among the sea of posts people encounter. This is especially true on social media, where engaging content is a must.
An SEO agency can assist in discovering what works best for your business’s image and set to work on making it a reality.
2. Craft Effective Marketing Emails
Besides brand building, animated images serve an all-around purpose. You can use them for social media marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) ad marketing, and especially email marketing. The latter is an underrated mode of reaching customers, but it can work wonders when done right.
Similar to the previous point, you benefit from an SEO agency’s expertise in email marketing best practices to build and maintain customer relationships.
3. Find Images That Speak to Your Audience
Media is a form of communication vital to building rapport with customers. Showing how well you understand your target audience solidifies their positive image of your business. Think of how Wendy’s social media team successfully used Twitter banter to improve branding.
SEO agency experts want to help you serve your audience better, and keeping up with trends is part of that.
Whether you call them animated images, GIFs, or videos, one thing remains true—moving images are valuable content. They keep users on your page longer and raise engagement. In addition, they are just as flexible as other media and fit into any digital marketing strategy.
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