June '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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34 || P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 6 Kelly "Rags" Ragland is the owner and operator of Rags to Stitches Productions, a holistic advertising specialty company that provides a range of services, from Web design and development to customized ap- parel. Read his blog at INTERNET STRATEGIES B Y K E L LY " R A G S " R A G L A N D W hile many business marketers have a pretty good grasp on staying optimized for the major search engines (Google, Yahoo!, and Bing), an effective strategy that tends to get overlooked is the basic image search. Although this function is popularly utilized for viewing photos of celebrity an- tics, funny snaps of felines, and stock art for design work, savvy internet consumers have discovered that an image search can dra- matically speed up the process of finding a particular item. For example, if an end user wants a specific center console for their pickup truck, a regular search for center consoles will lead to thousands of web pages offering a wide variety of colors, brands, and sizes. Narrowing down the actual product in mind could take hours. However, by entering the same keywords into an image search, one can simply browse pictures of consoles and quickly identify the correct item, conveniently linked to a dedicated web- site. Consider it a shopping catalog of sorts, based on keywords with visual results rather than text. SEARCH OPTIMIZATION While Image Search isn't as integral to an online marketing cam- paign as the routine SEO methods, it shouldn't be neglected when the tasks are so simple to implement. The potential for extra traffic is always welcome. Since all major search engines offer a universal search, well-optimized images can assist in gaining entry into the first page results for highly competitive keywords. Here are a few tips for strong Image Search optimization: 1.) Name pictures with keyword-friendly filenames. If the im- age requires multiple keywords, hyphenate them within the filename for separation. For example, kelly-green-hoodie.jpg will prove much more effective than kellygreenhoodie.jpg. Try not to go overboard and create extremely long filenames–– one to three descriptive keywords for the image and the product presented will keep the search engines (and potential customers) happy. Picture This Image-Based Web Marketing

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