What Is My GIF Ranking and Why Does It Matter?

What is a GIF ranking?

A GIF ranking is where your GIF shows up in search results. It’s a lot like your search result ranking on Google. As a business, you want to rank on the first page of Google, within the first ten results, to get seen by your customers. GIFs are similar. You want your GIFs to be organically ranking in the top of search results for popular search terms that are relevant to your brand or campaign objectives. Like Google (and golf) the lower the number the better. A ranking of “2” means your GIF is the 2nd result when a user searches for a specific search term.

Why does it matter?

Over 10 billion GIFs are served each day if you aren’t leveraging GIFs as a marketing channel you’re missing a huge opportunity. GIFs as ads for your brand that don’t feel like ads. They are branded content that is native to messaging apps and social media stories, which Mark Zuckerberg predicts to be the two biggest parts of Facebook’s business in the near future. Having a high ranking GIF for your target search terms will increase the visibility and overall usage of your GIFs. Similar to how a high Google ranking drives more web traffic, your GIF will get more views and will be shared in conversations for relevant search terms. You’ll be giving more consumers a way to use your brand to improve their conversations. 

By understanding where your GIFs rank in search results for your target keywords, you can understand what “keyword real-estate” you own on major GIF platforms. This is a valuable piece of information to know to help you understand if you own keyword real-estate for your branded keywords, which should be priority #1. You don’t want irrelevant content, or even worse, a competitor to show up when a user is searching for your brand.

Another value from understanding where you GIFs rank, is learning what types of content perform best for target keywords. By knowing that a certain GIF has been consistently ranking in the top 5 of search results for a keyword, you can make hypotheses and test creating similar content with the intention to rank for specific keywords. This can help inform your GIF creation process in the future and help you make better-performing GIFs.

How does my rank translate to different messaging apps?

Don’t be surprised if your GIF is ranking in the top 5 for a keyword on GIPHY.com and doesn’t show up in the top 5 for that keyword on every single messaging app you use. Messaging apps have their own personalized GIF feeds, which are often a mix of GIF feeds from GIPHY, Tenor, and Gfycat. These apps sometimes create unique feeds by applying age rating filters or even “weirdness” filters to adjust the type of content that is shown when a user searches for a keyword. This doesn’t mean your ranking on a search engine like GIPHY doesn’t matter, it just means it won’t always be consistent across every app that has a “GIF search” feature. By having a highly ranked GIF on GIPHY or other GIF search engine, your chances of being one of the top results for your target keywords in messaging apps is much higher. This is why your GIF rank is a good benchmark to understand how relevant a GIF search engine deems your GIF and understand what keyword real-estate you own (that your competitors don’t). Overall, your GIF ranking will give you signals to how well your GIF is performing and how useful it is for consumers.

How can I improve my GIF rankings?

For existing GIFs, you can’t improve your ranking for keywords already associated with your GIF. This is because the GIF search engine has already determined the relevancy of your GIF for those keywords. The only way to improve GIF rankings for existing GIFs to add additional keywords you think are relevant to give yourself an opportunity to rank for those new keywords.If you really want to rank for certain keywords, but your current GIFs just aren’t doing it, you’ll need to create new GIFs. The best practice is to analyze the top GIFs for your target keywords and make content that is similar, but still unique and useful in its own way. 

If you are a food or beverage brand, you may want to rank for keywords like “hungry” or “thirsty”. This is because words that are related to human emotions and reactions tend to be the most popular search terms. If your product or brand isn’t directly tied to human emotion, you can create content that will rank for well popular reactions or adjectives that people use to express themselves with GIFs in messaging apps. Some popular search terms like “happy”, “funny”, or “excited” are great opportunities to create entertaining branded content in the form of GIFs that people can use to share in intimate messaging conversations as a tool to improve their communications. 

How can I measure my ranking?

Major GIF search engines don’t provide ways to easily measure or view the ranking of your GIFs. GIFlytics software gives you the ability to better understand your organic GIF rankings, know what keyword real-estate you own, and benchmark yourself against competitors.