When it comes to SEO, the main objective of all our efforts is to rank the website for the potential search terms and increase the number of visitors to the target website organically from Google Search & other mediums.
What is featured image in SEO?
Featured image is the primary image which is used to narrate the theme about a particular blog content or a web page. If we are publishing a blog using the WordPress CMS, then by default we have the option to upload the featured image for each blog post or page that we are publishing.
In other words, featured images will be displayed as a preview when the blog links are shared in social media’s or in other networks as like shown in the below image.
So this is just an example how the featured image will be displayed in the social media platforms and in the other networks when you share the blog link.
What is featured image in Paid Campaigns?
The word paid campaigns may relate to many sources like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Display Ads, YouTube Advertising and many more. Here we are going to see about the Facebook & Instagram ads as we are speaking about the featured image.
Facebook Advertising allows us to run ads in different formats like image ads, carousel ads, video ads and many more. In the image ads, we will be using a banner or well-designed image to promote our business products/services. Here the image or banner which we use in the advertising campaign is called as featured image. Below is an example for the same,
Above image is just an example of the carousel ad in Facebook. In this, we can see couple of images which speaks about hosting. So this is the featured image with respect to the paid campaigns.
What is Click Through Rate (CTR)?
In simple words, Click Through Rate is the ratio of the number of users who click on our website link when compared to the number of users who viewed our link. So if we have higher click through rate, then it means that maximum number of users who see our website link are likely to be clicking on the link and landing on our web page.
Click Through Rate is one of the main terminology which is shown in the Google Analytics platforms to track the number of users who are clicking on our website link when compared to our website impressions in Google Search.
Now you may have the question like, how featured image have an impact on the Click Through Rate (CTR)?
Yes, featured image have a massive impact in the determining the Click Through Rate (CTR) of an post or webpage. Let’s see how featured image adds value to the blog.
How featured image impacts the Click Through Rate (CTR) in Social Media’s?
Normally when we go to the social media platforms like Facebook. Obviously, we will be following tons of pages related to entertainment, technology, sports and many more. So in each page that we follow, there will lots of resources shared each day in the form of images, videos or blog links.
When we take the blog links, as a normal user we tend to click the blog link and decide to read the blog only if the blog featured image is compelling. Even though if the blog has fruitful content, the users like us will not be tempted to click on the link and read the blog if the featured image displayed in the preview is not convincing.
Let’s take one more example, One of the most popular and reliable web hosting company called SeekaHost has like more than 19k followers to their page. So as web hosting company SeekaHost utilizes its follower’s base in a proper way. That is the blogs which are published in SeekaHost are shared regularly in the Facebook Page with custom designed featured images. This ideally improves the Click Through Rate of SeekaHost from the social media platforms.
How featured image impacts the Click Through Rate (CTR) in Paid Campaigns?
As we all know Facebook & Instagram stands top in the list of the most used social media platforms around the world. So to get more reach for the business online, We cant find any better place than Facebook & Instagram to promote our business. By using the Facebook Ads, we can able to drive tons of visitors to our website from the social media’s.
Here you can think, How featured image plays a role here?
Yes, when we run any paid campaigns in the platforms like Facebook or Instagram. We need to setup the featured image for the ad. Whether it can be a video ad or image ad or carousel ad. Featured image is must and we need to update for all kind of ad copies.
As our main goal of the paid campaigns is to make the users click on our ad and land on our website. So having the well-designed featured images like in the below image will help us get more clicks for our ads from the social media.
This will help us get more Click Through Rate (CTR) and the end of the day we will get more traffic to our website from the paid campaigns.
Above image shows the ad copy of ClickDo, an SEO Agency in London. This is an video ad with a well-designed featured image which conveys the exact message to the user who is viewing the ad. This is how the featured image should be designed in a better way to improve the Click Through Rate (CTR) and increase the conversion rate as well.
How the featured image should be?
While designing the featured image to our blog, we should keep some points in mind while designing the image. Here let’s see the smart things to be followed to design the best featured image for blogs & paid campaigns like Facebook Ads.
- Fix the size
- Have less content
- Use brand oriented color
- Have brand mentions
- Image optimization
Fix the size
When it comes to the featured images, the size of the featured image may vary from place to place. For instance, if we are using it for the Facebook Ad (Single Image Ad), then the size of the featured image will be 1200 x 628 pixels. At the same time, if we are planning to use the featured image for the Carousel Ads, then the size will be 600 x 600 pixels. So the size of the featured image will differ from place to place. If we are planning to use for a normal WordPress blog, then the size of the featured image will be 1200 x 628 pixels.
So before designing the featured image, we should make sure about the size based on the place where we are going to use.
Have less content
Featured images should be designed in a way to make the users to click on the blog link or ad and visit our website. Hence don’t use more words in the featured image. Just use minimum number of words in the featured image and keep the content more crisp. So it will trigger the users to click on the link and visit the website.
When it comes to Facebook Ads, there is an ad policy according to which we can’t use the featured images in the ads with more than 20% of text in it. We can check the text ratio of our images by using the image overlay tool https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay which is introduced by Facebook.
Checkout the featured images in the Dinesh Kumar VM blog about SEO & Digital Marketing, so we can understand how to perfectly use the catchy words in the content. So the concept is simple, we should keep the content more specific in the featured images.
Use brand oriented color
Featured image is all about designing with more colors and flat images. So when it comes to choosing a color for the featured image, we should always have the core color of the brand in mind and should use the same in the featured images.
Because color speaks about the brand ideally. So we should ensure that we are using only the colors which is related to the particular brand. For example, If we take, SeekaHost University blog, we can see the featured images are designed to correlate with the brand and the content which is published.
Have brand mentions
In case of Facebook Ads, we are promoting with the ads to get more reach for the brand. So we should try to have the brand mentions in the featured image like brand name and logo. If we check the Fernando Raymond’s Blog, we can see the featured images has the appropriate brand mentions either in the form of brand name or logo or URL.
So when we are designing the featured image, we should have the brand mentions in the image either in any one of the form which is listed below like,
- Brand Logo
- Brand Name
- Website URL
- Contact Details
Having these details about our brand will help the users to easily recognize about the brand. We need not have all the above mentioned data in the featured images. Alternatively, we can use any one of the data and help the users identify about our brand.
Its good to have the brand logo in the featured images. So it will help us increase the brand reach and will let the viewers to recognize as well.
So far in this blog, we have seen how to improve the featured image with regards to look and the appearance. Now we are going to look about the image optimization which is good for SEO.
When we speak about the On Page SEO, there are lots of factors will come like Title tag, Meta description, URL slug, Image optimization, etc. So, Image optimization is one of main factors in the On Page SEO. We need to look into two factors mainly when we speak about image optimization, they are
- Image Size Optimization
- Meta Data Optimization
When we create featured images using Photoshop or any other tool, usually the size of the image will be very high like 2 MB or more. Uploading the heavier images to the website will effect the site loading speed. Hence, we should compress the images without effecting its quality before uploading it to the blog. Ideally we need to optimize the file size of the featured image before using it in the website.
Meta data optimization in the images is renaming the images based on the target keyword and adding the meta data to the image as like mentioned in the below image.
The data mentioned in the above image belongs to the featured image of the blog titled “What is a domain name?”, So the image data is optimized to support the target keyword. These optimization will help in better rankings.
No matter what, we should make sure that we use the custom designed images in websites/blogs and also for promotions like Facebook Ads.
Coming to the end, being an business owner or website owner if you are reading this blog, you should make sure that the featured images and other promotional images are designed in the best way to improve the Click Through Rate (CTR) and help in more conversions. If you are looking to optimize the business website to improve the rankings in search engines like Google, then you can hire the best SEO Consultant in London like Fernando Raymond from ClickDo. As a business people, you can find all the digital marketing services under one roof at ClickDo Ltd as there are dedicated in house teams available for Web Design, SEO, Google Ads, Remarketing, etc.