Last week we took you into the future with SEO expert Britney Muller to investigate link prospecting in 2021. This week we're going back in time – to 2017 – for their specific advice on an important part of link building: image link building.

Image link building is a delicate art. There are a few different considerations to traditional link building, and to achieve this successfully requires a balance between creativity, curiosity, and the availability of the right tools. Let's dive in!

Image link building

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Video transcription

Hey Moz fans, welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we are going to cover the topic of link link building which is a kind of art. I am so excited to talk to you about this.

Know your link targets

So, first and foremost, you need to know your link targets:

I. Popular industry platforms – top sites

What top platforms or websites do you really want to get a link from? From there, you can then understand who may be influencing these platforms, who is writing the content, who to contact, and what top pages are currently available for those sites. There are a number of tools that you can use to gain insight into this information. Moz's OSE, Open Site Explorer, shows you the top pages. SEMrush has a top page report. SimilarWeb has a popular page report. You can dive into all of that information there, really interesting things.

II. Old popular pictures – update!

You can also start browsing old, popular pictures and then update them. So what are old, popular images in your space that you can potentially revise and update? A really great way to get to grips with some of these is with BuzzSumo's Infographic Filter. Then insert the topic. You type in the industry or topic you want to address, then use the infographics to search if there is anything you might come across.

III. Turn popular content into pictures

You can also just turn popular content into pictures, and I think there are so many ways to do that for new statistics reports and new data that come out. There are tons of great ways to convert these into multiple images and use them on different platforms for link building.

IV. Influencer

Again just understanding who these influencers are.

Do your keyword research

So from here we're going to get into the keyword research part of this whole puzzle, and this is really an understanding of the intent behind people looking for the subject or the product or whatever. What you can do is Rate keywords with link intent. This is a brilliant concept that I heard from Dan Shure's podcast a few weeks ago. Thanks Dan. Basically the idea is that keywords with statistics or facts after the keyword have link intent included in the search query. It's brilliant. These people are looking for something to refer to, to possibly link, to include in a presentation or article, or whatever that may be. It has this basic link intent.

Another thing you want evaluate is only all about pictures. Do your keywords, images, photos, etc. have a good search volume with a few options? How does the search result currently look? You need to evaluate what is currently ranked to understand what works and what doesn't. I used to say at my old agency that I didn't want anyone to write content until they read all 10 search results for the keyword or phrase we were targeting. Why should you do this until you have a full understanding of what this is now and how we can do something better?

Rand also mentioned this really cool tip if you can find some keywords. It is good to judge whether or not the image carousel is displayed for these searches. If so, this is a little glimpse into the search intent that leads to images. That's a good sign that you are on the right track to really optimize for a particular image. There is something to consider.

Deliver value

So from here we will create value. Now we're brainstorming. Hopefully you have some ideas, know where to link from, and need to add value in some way. It could be a …

I. Reference / bookmarks Maybe something people would bookmark that always works.

II. Perspective is really interesting. So some of the nicest data visualizations do this very well as they can simplify a confusing concept or a lot of data. It's a great way to take advantage of pictures and graphics.

III. Printouts still work very well. Moz has the SEO Dev Cheat Sheet that I've seen printed all over the place at various agencies and it's really great to see that it adds value right away.

IV. Curating images. We see this very often on different articles. Maybe the 25 to 50 best images from this fair or event or whatever, this is a great way to use link building and get people excited about curated content.

Gregory Ciotti – I don't know if I'm saying this right – has an incredible article called "Why a Picture Is Really Worth a Thousand Words" and he mentions that he's not afraid to be obvious. I love this because I think that all too often we tend to rethink images and do things in general. Why not just say the obvious and see how it goes? He has great examples.


So from here we will devote ourselves to optimization. If any of you need an image optimization refresher, I highly recommend reading Rand & # 39; s Whiteboard Friday on Image SEO. It covers everything. But some of the basics are yours …


You want to make sure the title of the picture includes your keyword and explain what you want to convey.

Alt text

This was primarily designed for the visually impaired. So you need to watch out for visually impaired screen readers who will read this to people to explain what the picture actually is. So, first and foremost, all you have to do is be helpful and provide information in a descriptive way to describe this image.


The compression is enormous. The page speed is so fast right now. I hear about it all the time. I know you do too. One of the easiest ways to improve page speed is to compress those huge images. There are tons of great free tools out there like Optimizilla that allow you to upload a bunch of large images in bulk and then download them in bulk. That makes it super easy. There are also some desktop programs that will automatically compress pictures that you download or save when you do these kinds of things all the time. This might be worth a look if you're doing this a lot.
You want to host the image. You want it to live on your domain. You want to accommodate that. You can use it on other platforms, but you want some kind of original to be on your website.


The source set attribute gets a little technical. It's super interesting and basically, it's this really incredible image attribute that allows you to set the minimum browser size and the image you want to display for different sizes. Not only can you display different images for different devices in different sizes, but you can also revise them. You can revise the same image and make it better accessible to a mobile user than a tablet, etc. Jon Henshaw has some of the best things in the source pack. Suggest that you check out some of his articles. He does really cool things with it. Look at that.


From here you want to promote your images. You obviously want to share it on popular platforms. You want to go back to some of these things that you may have touched on earlier. When you've updated some piece of content, make them aware of it. When you've turned some really popular content into some visuals, you may want to share it with the person sharing that content. You want to draw on this earlier research with your advertising.

Let the influencers know

Ask people to share it. There's nothing wrong with just asking your network of people to share something you've worked really hard on, and hopefully the other way around, that can work in return, and you're not afraid to share something that's a connection from Got them that they worked really hard on.

Monitor the image SERPs

From here you have to monitor. One of the best ways to do this is to use Google reverse image search. So if you go to Google and click the Pictures tab, there is this little camera icon that you can click and upload pictures to see where else they are on the web. This is a great way to find out who is using your image, where it's stored, whether or not you're getting a backlink. You want to keep track of all of that.

Two other tools I've heard of are Image Raider and TinEye. But I haven't had much experience with either of them. I'd love to hear your comments below if you might have.

Reverse image search with Google works best for me. This is also a great opportunity for someone to get into the market and create a google alert for pictures. I don't think anyone is doing that right now. If you know anyone please let me know in the comments below. But it could be a cool business opportunity, right? I dont know.

So for monitoring purposes, let's say you find that your image is being used on different websites. Now you need to complete some basic tasks to get this link. You would like to request this link to use your image.

This is just a super simple template that I came up with. You can use it. You can change it, do what you want. But it's just:

Hello, (first name).
Thank you for including our picture in your item. Great piece. Just wondering if you could source link on
Many thanks,

So similar. Something short to the point. If you can make it more personal please do. I cannot stress this enough. People will take you much more seriously when they have a nugget of personal information or connections to make.

From there, just stay in that loop. After going through this process, you need to keep promoting your content and continue to monitor, reach, and drive it to maximize your link building efforts.
I hope you liked it. I look forward to hearing all of your comments and thoughts in the comments below. I look forward to seeing you all later. Thank you for participating in this edition of Whiteboard Friday. Many thanks.

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