Does Image Search Traffic Convert?

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Interesting thread on DigitalPoint this morning about the influx in traffic from images indexed in Google Images and other image search engines, and how they can attract a decent amount of traffic.

In some circumstances, a well optimized image file with a keyword rich filename, alt tag and title (if it is hyperlinked) can show up fairly high in image search results with little effort.

I’ve got some animal pictures that get thousands of visitors every day (make no money though, just kids looking) from being number 1-3 in google images.

I just checked and the pictures don’t even have alt text or title, although the filename is the name of the animal, so I guess that might be pretty important.
The other common factor is that the pictures are quite large – more than 350*350, which I think helps. I believe the surrounding text is as important as the picture itself.

The members do however, debate on the quality of such traffic, stating that the image search traffic does not convert quite well.

I have added a bodybuilder book. As the cover looked quite ugly I purchased the rights to a another (real image) with a body builder couple and that’s what I have called the image “Body builder couple”…and hey, more than 400 unique visitors per day SEO …nothing …but as already mentioned: non-paying traffic …so I have added some bodybuilder banners on top and a popup… I’ve to wait and see if I can moneytize on this traffic

Other members are using AdSense and CPM ads to try and make money off of the image traffic. I think this should be judged on a case by case scenario.

  • People looking for animal images are probably children or normal Internet users doing research or leisure searching.
  • Optimizing for the images of a (please forgive me) exotic dancer or celebrity sex video will bring in the potential of tons of traffic, which can be driven to affiliate programs.. but the competition is huge.
  • Optimize for ‘smoked turkeys’ or a company name and you may see your images served at the very top of Google organic results, being that Google Universal Search serves images first on some occasions.

But does image traffic generally convert? If you’ve had any experience here, please feel free to share with the readers.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • SearchEnginesWeb

    Yes, in some cases there was a moderate conversion.

    It appears that images that are fashion related and gadget related do relatively better.

    But it is important that the page the searchers arrive on – after clicking on the image – be compelling enough to keep those visitors and interest them in further browsing the site.

  • Patrick Altoft

    I run a script so that when somebody arrives from Google Images and right clicks an image to hotlink it a popup box appears and gives them the hotlink code to include a link back to my site.

    It works very well.

  • seo bristol

    The Surf, Ski, Skate areas do OK from images. I’ve equated it to younger searchers looking for images more.
    And Patrick, I’ve always thought your script is a superb way to derive maximum seo benefit from images.

  • Melanie Phung

    I work on sites in the “gadget space” and we get a ton of image search traffic. In fact, Google Image Search sends more traffic to our catalogue than MSN/Live regular search traffic, but image search converts like poo-poo. Conversion is _ridiculously_ low; much lower than I would have expected for traffic that’s searching for images of specific product model names.

  • Alphane Moon

    I have one site about animals and half of the traffic is from Google Image Search. I don’t know if it “converts”, because I don’t sell anything.

  • Wayne Smallman

    I’m doing pretty well for: “IBM logo”, which is a featured image in an article from a while ago (click my name for the article), although I have seen some people stick around and view some related articles, but not too many.

    So I think it does depend on the images being searched for…

  • CarstenCumbrowski

    I have a lonely Lamborghini picture that drives constantly traffic to a site of mine that has nothing to do with cars or subjects related to it.

    If you know a dealership that has an affiliate program or any other idea how to monetize THAT kind of traffic, I might be able to find out if the traffic converts or not 🙂

    I could image that the traffic would convert a bit, if you rank for a product name with an image and have a site that provides next to a great picture also other good information about the product and a good sales copy to take the customer by the hand and escort him to the checkout lane.

    I am sure that this kind of traffic is harder to convert, no matter how you look at it. Although there people who play with the idea to buy a product they heard about, but want to see how it looks like first, is the intent of the majority of people who do image searches not commercial in nature.

    I doubt that many people search for “buy XYZ” when they do an image search 🙂

  • Website Promotion Service

    Image search is not as popular as organic search. But I think any source of traffic to a site is good. It is up to your sales copy that determines the conversion rate.

  • Leapfrogg

    I agree with Website Promotion Service, many of our clients see a good amount of traffic from images. Provided the images on their sites are relevant to their business or product offering (which really should be the case) there is no reason that good relevant copy on the image page can’t convert a reasonable amount of visitors.

  • Utah SEO

    It’s best to run a JavaScript that removes the topframe of any referring site (like Google images,, etc.) so they can actually land on your site.

    if (parent.frames.length
    > 0) top.location.replace(document.location);

  • Simlock verwijderen

    Not at all. It is how you optimize it and on which conversion keyword the are coming inside.

  • CBR

    I’ve heard it’s mostly people looking for images they can lift for their sites or whatever project they are working on. I don’t see great conversion from it but then again I don’t get huge amounts of it.

  • Exi

    buy google image traffic!
    Iсq 274-37-5997

  • Content Writer

    I get hundreds of uniques for a very popular search term but from Image search.
    However I am very disappointed with the revenue result.
    I am tryng hard to convert them but the Image results are not that beneficial. Thanks to my server who is able to handle high bandwidth but truth is such results consume too much of the site bandwidth.
    My last months bandwidth used for a high traffic site solely from image search was 1.5 gb!!!
    Revenue : $8 just enough for my hosting costs 🙁

  • hegabya

    i wiill be thanks for that

  • joseph

    i have soccer wallpapers site and half the traffic from image search.they convert very bad less than 1% adsense ctr

  • Ask Questions

    I get a lot of traffic for terms like yamaha fz 16 and children allergies which rank # 1 on G images.
    I am not sure how to monetize this traffic. perhaps using a poppup cpa offer may help.