Not only is text important when it comes to search engine optimization, the code around our images affects SEO results. If we are not optimizing our images for search engines, it’s likely we’re missing out on significant traffic. Here are several steps we can take to improve search engines results with our images.
Use keywords in the file name.
Just as using keywords in a domain name and in post names, the same is true for images. The filename sandeigobeach.jpg will get much better search engine results than the filename IMG00010-20100918-1543.jpg. Instead of using the default name downloaded from your camera or from istock or other photo stock sites, change the filename to something meaningful before uploading it to your web server.
Use hypens in the file name.
Using hyphens to separate keywords (sandeigo-beach.jpg) gives us better results than using underscores. Studies have shown Google likes hypens over underscores.
Use descriptive alt text.
Search engines can’t ‘read’ images, so they rely on text we assign with the image. One of the best ways to assign text to an image is to use alt text. If you are using WordPress, you are prompted for alt text when inserting an image into a post or a page. The alt text is a short description about the image. Using keywords within the alt text improves SEO. You can also add a description caption for the image.
Make sure content matches images.
Make sure the text nearby the image is relevant to that image. The alt text, filename, and caption all work together to reinforce the content around the image.
Put on SEO-friendly pages.
It is given that we get better search engine results for images when they are placed on pages optimized for search engines.
If you are using WordPress be sure to include an alt text and caption in the image window. If you want to do more with SEO for images, consider the SEO Friendly Images plugin.
If you are a photographer, be sure to check out Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for the Photographer.
What other steps have you taken to optimize your images for search engines?
2 thoughts on “Search Engine Optimization Tips for Images”
Great article. Thanks for sharing. That last link (Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for the Photographer) doesn’t seem to work. I’m keen to give it a read, if I can find it. 🙂
Dean – Thanks for your interest. Sorry about the bad link. I’ve updated it in the post. Here it is: