Two ways of using Google Images for product keyword research

Two ways of using Google Images for product keyword research

27th July 2011

Today I want to share a way to do keyword research, specifically for products you want to sell online. Say you’ve got a new product you want to sell online. You’re going to start a webshop to sell this product and you want the shop to be findable for relevant keywords. But you don’t know how your target audience calls this product.

Normally keyword research would begin with an idea of how your audience searches. But there are other ways to find out how a product is referred to online. This type of keyword research is based on a few new functionalities of Google image search.

Google’s image search has been developing rapidly lately. They’ve changed the interface completely, they’ve added the option of sorting images by subject and now they offer the option to search by image. All these new functionalities make it possible to start using Google images for key word research.

An example

Say, you want to sell this product:

old clock

But you don’t know what your target audience calls this product when they search for it online. There are two ways you can use Google images for keyword research for this product. I’ll explain them step-by-step for this example.

Using sort by subject for keyword research

  1. Go to Google images
  2. Search for the generic term of your product, in this case ‘clocks’, and sort the images by subject:
  3. Find which series represents your product the best way. In this case, this one: 
  4. Click on ‘more like this’:
  5. You now get a list of suggestions based on related searches:
  6. Again sort by subject and find which series best represents your product:
  7. Continue these steps until you get no more new suggestions.

Using search by image for keyword research

  1. Go to Google images
  2. Click on the search by image icon and upload your image:
  3. You now get the following result page:

    This page includes the following elements which can help you with your keyword research:

  • Best guess for this image, which probably is a relevant search term
  • Visually similar images, for which you can check the image name, caption and alternative texts to check how these products are called
  • Pages that include matching images, for which you can check for which terms these pages are optimized

Thanks to the new improved functionalities of Google images, we now have a lot of information about how to call this specific product based on just one image. This can be your starting point for a more extensive research for each of these keywords.


Written By
Jeroen van Eck is a consultant search engine marketing at the online marketing company E-Focus in the Netherlands.
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