Perform a search on Google these days and you may see something peculiar. Alongside the typical Web page results, Google is starting to include images and video clips. This is part of a new trend: “blended” or “universal” search. And by taking advantage of it, you can raise your website’s search engine rankings.

For example, I did a recent search for “Glen Hansard.” The results had several images and videos of the singer/songwriter, including footage of his acceptance speech for his (well-deserved) “best song” Oscar for the movie Once.

What does this mean for you and your business? More chances to have your website content ranking high in Google, of course! And, as you know, the more often your website comes up in an organic search, the better your chances of attracting traffic to it.

Here are two ways to take advantage of universal search:

  1. If you have a lot of images on your site, be sure to use keyword-rich file names and appropriate alt tags. (Alt tags are in the source code of your website. They are used specifically for images.)
  2. If you are uploading video content to YouTube or Google Video, label them with keyword-rich titles and tags. (The text that appears next to your YouTube video in the search results is the title and description you write when you submit the video to YouTube.)

Optimizing your videos and images this way will have your business ranking with these eye-catching new results in no time!

[Ed Note: Alexis Siemon is ETR’s resident Search Engine Marketing Specialist. For step-by-step instructions on starting your own Internet business, get ETR’s Magic Button program.]

After graduating from Florida State University in 1997, Alexis got started in the golden age of the Internet marketing industry working agency-side where she performed everything from search engine optimization (SEO) to web analytics to media buying for several clients. She then took her expertise client-side managing SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) efforts, as well as other print and interactive marketing initiatives for companies in the financial and software industries.