Image SEO: Optimize Photos for Search

Image SEO: Optimize Photos for Search

Image SEO helps your product photos and website images rank well on image search engines like Google. If your photos don’t show up in an image search, you’re probably missing some simple Image SEO.

The following tips are easy to implement and will help with your site SEO overall.

Use Descriptive File Names

Image SEO starts with the file name. You want Google to know what your image is about without even looking at it so use good keyphrases in file names.

For a real estate listing in Petoskey, instead of using the default file name your camera assigns (DSC1234.jpg), your file name should be more descriptive:


For Image SEO, it’s important to use relevant keywords in your file names that match up with how people search.

Optimize Your “Alt” Tags

There are times when an image is not available to a website visitor because they turned off images in their web browser or they are using a screen reader due to a visual impairment. The “alt” text tells them what’s in the image they can’t see.

The “alt” attribute also adds SEO value to your website. Add relevant keywords to the images on your website to rank better in the search engines.

When you upload an image, fill in the “alt” field with similar keywords in the image file name you created.

Using “alt” attributes is one of the best ways for your product photos to show up in a Google image search, too.

Use the Right Photo Format

For images, the right format depends on the kind of image and how you plan to use it.

JPEG: Photos for best color and clarity with a relatively small file size.

PNG: Logos and when you need to preserve background transparency.

XML Image Sitemaps

Adding images to your XML sitemaps helps Google index your images. It’s a simple step to include for better image SEO.

If you do the extra work and you optimize your images for SEO, Google will reward you with positive results in relevant searches.