Mobile Search on Google Gets a Visual Boost – The Buyer’s Journey 13

Mobile search is big. There’s no denying the power of being able to find any answer to any question at your fingertips. Did you know: 3 in 4 smartphone owners turn to mobile search first to address their immediate needs, according to Google in 2017. Mobile search isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and Google has made an excellent quality of life improvement in their latest update.

How Picturesque

Google is increasing the number of thumbnail images present in certain search results. Barry Schwartz on SearchEngineLand has a great picture showing this.

Google Mobile Search result showing soccerballs with more image thumbnails next to links.

Park Ranger also has some excellent charts showing the drastic increase in thumbnails in search results.

Park Ranger found that “mobile Image Thumbnails underwent a data trajectory shift with a 40% display level increase that brought the feature to 67% of mobile page one SERPs. After remaining at its new display levels for four days mobile Image Thumbnails again underwent a shift that increased their display levels to nearly 75%!”

In addition, it seems that the average number of image per SERP has increased from 4 to 5.

A Picture Is Worth…How Many Rankings?

As we discussed in our podcast, there’s no way to know how this change will apply to Google’s search algorithm. However, there is one thing we can confidently say: having a thumbnail image is good. Imagine a scenario where your site is ranked number 2, and a competitor site is ranked number 3. Your competitor also has an image thumbnail while you do not. What is the consumer more likely to click on? Without a doubt, we believe the consumer will click on the link with the image. Visuals have incredible power.

So, what do you do? Make sure your site is properly SEO’d and optimized, and ensure you have images on your site with appropriate alt tags. These are normal best practices for a website that will help boost it’s rankings.

Check out our next episode where we’ll discuss a news article covering the Awareness stage of The Buyer’s Journey.

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