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 missing simple Image SEO.
What is Image SEO?
Image SEO is how you optimize your images for search engines using:
- Proper file-naming protocol
- Relevant “alt” tag text
- The right photo format for web use
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.
Use Hyphens Between Words
As you’re creating images for your website, you need to put some thought into naming your image files. This is a big part of Image SEO!
Search engines use hyphens as markers between words. This helps them read each word separately. That means you need to use hyphens (-) to separate the words in your file name.
- Correct: abuzz-creative-web-design-photo.jpg
- Incorrect: abuzzcreativewebdesignphoto.jpg
Notice how the second example is just one word. This word does not make sense to a search engine.
When the search engine reads the first example, they see “abuzz-creative-web-design-photo” as “abuzz creative web design photo” with spaces.
Your file name should have keywords that are relevant to what’s in your photo or graphic.
Do Not Use Underscores in File Names
Search engines don’t recognize underscores as markers between words.
A search engine would see “abuzz_creative_web_design_photo.jpg” as “abuzzcreativewebdesignphoto” which doesn’t mean anything.
This format won’t help your web page SEO.
Do not use underscores (_) between words. Use hyphens (-) instead.
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.
And Finally – 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.
Help a search engine like Google in its discovery process of your content by making sure your images are also optimized for inclusion in Google Images.