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Your Reputation in Pictures

     -     Dec 1st, 2014   -     Uncategorized   -     0 Comments

Curating Image Search Results to Build Your Firm’s Brand and Status Online

We’ve all used search engines to help us find information, conduct online research, vet a person, company or institution, or simply to get lost down the rabbit hole of the internet for the sake of entertainment. When using search engines such as Google, there are different ways to conduct your online search. For most users, they’ll simply point and click their mouse in the search textbox, type in the word, words or phrases they would like to search, then click their mouse on the Google search button to generate results.

For those faced with the responsibility to publicize and market a firm, or monitor their company’s reputation online, the fact that there are different categories of search to choose from should be taken into consideration. Each is very important when it comes to marketing, public relations and brand management. For instance, users can opt to search generically using the “web” category, or seek out the latest aggregated headlines of many of the world’s news sources in the “news” category. They can also search millions of videos from across the web by using the “videos” search function, seek out new things to buy by utilizing the “shopping” search category, or generate search results in pictures by selecting the “images” search category.

These are all important categories within search, but let’s focus on some ways marketers and those responsible for brand identity can utilize image search and curate their firm’s image search results for positive outcomes. Here are a few easy tips:

1)      Oversee an Audit- Conduct a quick image search of your firm. Take a good look at the image search results generated and assess what your firm’s brand looks like through pictures. Is your firm being represented well through your image search results? Are the photos you see supporting your service offerings, key values, ideals, corporate culture, philosophy, unique selling proposition or mission statement? If so, great news, you can continue to build on these positive image search results by curating additional images that support these things. If not, it’s time to get to work, and begin building online image assets that best represent your firm positively, and which will be pulled into future search results.

2)      Get Your Images Found– Have strong, compelling or positive imagery you’d like to represent your firm? Consider the ways that search engines such as Google decide on which images to show. To get your images populating within search engines, most experts point out that there three key areas to focus on:

  1. Alt tag– Alt tag is short for alternative tag. An alt tag’s purpose is to tell the user what the image is about and to define it to search engines. That said, whenever you upload a photo, make sure to insert the proper alt tags that describe the image and will help support it being found within image search. For instance, “Yourfirmname Managing Partners.”
  2. Image filename– Your image file name should clearly and plainly describe the image, and in the case of a company, should perhaps use that company moniker in the filename, so the image will pop up in a search for that firm. As there are millions of images out there, you should not use a generic image file name, but instead something a bit more descriptive. For instance “Yourfirmname.jpg” is a great start, but “Yourfirmnamemanagingpartners.jpg” is even stronger.
  3. Supporting text- Remember that Google cannot index text within a photo or image; however an image will rank well in search by adding supporting text. The easy way to do this is to simply utilize the caption feature if available, and add in additional text about the image.  For instance, “Yourfirmname Managing Partners in the Yourfirmname New York office.”

3)      Identify Real Estate to House Your Images- When you have great imagery that represents your firm well, you simply have to think of all of the locations online where they can live and be indexed by search engines. For instance, are their pages within your firm website where an image makes sense to represent your employees, a service line, industries served, idea, sentiment or key value? Plug in images on your firm’s webpages that can represent these things well.

Have a firm blog of your own or submit thought leadership or firm news to an industry blog, business journal, publication or website? Consider these all places to place well optimized imagery that represents your professional staff or firm in a positive manner. These are all pieces of online real estate that search engines will be indexing to find images that match specific search queries.

Also consider that when you have the opportunity to have your professional staff sourced or featured in an article that will be available online, if the writer or reporter requests a headshot, this is an opportunity for that image to be found within a search for your firm name. When asked to provide a photo, use proper alt tags and image filenames to support being found before passing that headshot photo along. Also consider that any photos being taken by the publication will also be indexed by search and could be found when searching your firm name, so make sure to be involved in the photo shoot process whenever possible, to make sure it represents your firm well.

Carefully taking the time to curate your firm’s online identity within image search results is another powerful way to accomplish several things. These include marketing your service offerings, communicating who you are and what you have to offer your clients, as well as supporting your brand identity and reputation and standing in the business space. It may take a bit of extra effort, but the long term results can be incredibly beneficial and support many of your other marketing and public relations efforts.


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