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What is Flickr and Why You Should Be Using It to Help Your SEO

Sep 3, 2015, 07:44 AM | Published under Search Engine Optimization by Michael Hodgdon

You’ve probably heard time and time again how important it is for your website to have rich, engaging, written content. Sure, quality content will definitely make or break your SEO efforts, but the power images have in boosting search engine optimization is often overlooked.

Flickr.com is an image sharing website popular among self-promoting photographers, bloggers and artists alike. Despite Flickr’s presence in the NoFollow club of famous others like Facebook and Instagram, there are still many SEO benefits worth looking into. So, what are these SEO secrets, you may ask?

The Power of Hyperlinked Descriptions

So, the great thing about flickr is the ability to hyperlink within the image description. For SEO, this is good news.  Build a summary hyperlink description that will tempt visitors to learn more about the image via your website.  Try to tie your images in with interesting blog posts.

Let’s say you have the rights to an image of a woman with an umbrella jumping off a two-story building in mid-air. The image comes from a blog post on your website entitled, “5 Ameteur Stunts That Should Have Never Happened.” Talk about a captivating photo to lure in the crowd! The description beneath your photo can simply be an eye-catching hyperlink to entice visitors to follow through to your website.

Increase Search Visibility

Flickr is a very popular photo sharing website whose images often rank well on their own. By choosing keywords properly, your images can rank high in image search and will ultimately increase traffic to your website.

 Pick keywords that aren’t extremely competitive within your market, but make sure they are relevant. There’s nothing worse than searching for a picture of a golden retriever on the internet only to find a picture of something neither gold or dog-like. Relevant pictures will always attract interested visitors, and if the content on your website meets the expectation they get from the picture, you won’t have to worry about a high bounce rate.

Create a Captivating Title and Utilize Tags

An interesting title isn’t just good for catching someone’s attention; it’s also the perfect place to plug in primary keywords.  By selecting the proper keywords, your image can still rank well within searches.
Remember that a NoFollow link doesn’t mean search engines stop indexing the website, it just means the link juice doesn’t flow directly back to your website. Instead, clever, keyword-specific titles raise the rank of the image, and thus increases the chance for people to see the link to your website.

Tags are a good way for Flickr users to break images up into subject-specific groups. Use primary and secondary keywords in your tags to reach out to the right audience. Branded keywords are great to use, and multiple word tags should be separated with quotes. The more the merrier, but as mentioned earlier, keep the tags relevant to the image at hand.

Link, Link, Link  Away

Just because the links you post in image descriptions are NoFollow on Flickr, does not mean they have no weight in increasing organic traffic to your website. The more you post your link, the more likely you are to get people to click on it. Hyperlink your website within the description of every photo, and give visitors a call to action. For example, “check out more gripping stunt photographs here.”

In conclusion, Flickr is an easy-to-use website that can boost SEO efforts with very little effort. A few quality images and keyword-heavy file names/titles will boost traffic naturally through image searches, especially on Yahoo. (Yahoo acquired Flickr in 2005) Any exposure is good exposure, and Flickr is a great place to boost image rank within the website. Just remember to always link your photo to your website within the description.  

About the Author

Mike is the COO at Infront Webworks. An online entrepreneur since 1997, he has owned or run website design / SEO, online marketing and internet advertising companies for over 15 years. Featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Colorado Springs Business Journal and with projects featured in N.Y. Times, L.A. Times, he has a solid track record of successful online undertakings. He has Digital Marketing and Marketing certifications from Cornell University, is a certified Yext Partner, Google Certified in Analytics, Tag Manager, AdWords, Online Display Advertising, Shopping and Video Advertising.

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