Have You Tried the Stock Photo Library Link Building Method?
If your business is publishing photos, then you could be taking advantage of the stock photo library link building method to improve search rankings.
As a business owner with a website, you know how important images are for your brand. They are part of your overall marketing strategy, help with SEO if optimized right, encourage social media sharing, help you make your blog posts more interesting and keep the reader on your site for longer, and connect with your audience as visuals do that better than words.
But what if you could take this to the next level and use images for link building purposes?
You can create image link opportunities, get backlinks and increase referral traffic with your very own stock photo library.
Here are the steps you should take to do that:
1. Make sure you or your client already have a good amount of images.
What we’re trying to achieve here doesn’t require you to start taking pictures, hire designers or spend hours online creating your own images. Instead, you’ll utilize the visual content you or your client already have.
2. Put them in a library without a watermark.
Free stock photo sites are quite popular as people and businesses are using royalty free images for almost anything they do online.
A site can’t exist without visuals, and online users only want to visit the platforms publishing professional content that looks great. Well, for that you need quality images.
And to earn many backlinks naturally, you’ll give people exactly that.
Gather your photos and put them in a library. Don’t add a watermark. They’re free to use and that’s what will entice people to download them and use them on their site.
3. Upload them to a site with Creative Commons license.
The next step is to choose a place to upload them to.
I can suggest Flickr.
Make sure it makes images available under the Creative Commons (CC) license. It allows anyone to use your photos as long as they link back to the original source.
The CC license helps the photos get indexed into even more image databases and found by specialized search bots.
“This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.”
4. Look for your images.
But what happens when someone uses one of your pictures without giving you credit? And how can you track if everyone’s following the rules when your images get thousands of downloads?
There are 2 easy ways to do this.
a) Use Manual Google Reverse Image Lookup. Upload your image and you’ll get results for similar ones, websites that are using your image, and other sizes of it.
b) The other popular option is Tineye – a reverse image search engine. There’s also a browser extension.
With both tools, you can either upload the image or enter its URL.
5. Ask people using them to give you credit.
It’s time for manual outreach.
Get the contact information of anyone using one of your images without credit, reach out to them, remind them of the license your images are under and ask for a backlink to your website. Most will do it right away.
This approach might remind you of another well-known link building method – finding mentions of your brand and contacting people asking them to include the link. It works the same way, but with images. If your name or content are out there, you deserve credit.
Many people miss out on link opportunities because they don’t take this extra step.
When emailing people, make sure you aren’t rude or directly asking for a link. Instead, thank them for using your image and keep in mind they most probably left out the credit part because they aren’t aware of the CC license. So include a link to a page with more information. This way they will take you seriously and will gladly link back to your site.
6. Automate your image search.
Repeating that process over and over again might be time-consuming.
It’s much smarter to automate it so you can focus your time on more productive activities.
We aren’t talking about hiring a virtual assistant but using a tool made specially for image theft – Pixsy. It allows you to take control of your pictures by seeing where and how they are being used online.
You should never stop focusing on on-page and off-page SEO, but optimizing your images right is just as important. Invest in your marketing efforts and improve your brand visibility by making the most out of your link-worthy images. In addition, you’ll get referral traffic and credit for your work.
Don’t forget that having a Stock Photo Library is a passive Link Building method and you cannot expect many links from it. In my opinion 3-4 links per month is a good result.
Use your time and resources for publishing guest posts to get more relevant links. Backlinks are still important and they will be in the top 3 SEO ranking factors at least a couple more years.