Optimizing Images for Better Search Result
A picture speaks 1,000 words but does that picture can drive 1,000 visitors to your website?
Images not only improve user experience but, if used correctly, can also be an asset for organic search by helping your page shows up higher in organic search result. By providing an optimized image you are providing search engine with a better understanding of what that page is about. Google also has a section dedicated to searching for images and this can bring traffic to your website or blog.
But, just by having an image won’t bring you any result. Although advances have been made on image searching method, search engine still can’t “see” an image so you have to surround your image with descriptive hints on what it is about.
Image SEO is something that people neglect to do. People either forget to do it, have never thought about it, or don’t see the value in it. Image optimization is a great method to grab targeted traffic and it works for many businesses, and it never hurts to optimize your site.
This article lists 4 most important aspects to concern yourself with when optimizing your image for better search engine result. The best part is they are very easy and if you are using WordPress, they will only take 2 minutes top.
1. Image File Name
Before you even upload the image to WordPress make sure it has a name that describes itself. All file names have to be descriptive and informative. Just like keywords in post urls are important for pages, the same is true for images.
You can proof it yourself. Do an image search on Google and take a look at the top results. You’ll find all the top results have the keyword in their file name.
For example, one of the top results on my recent image search for “colorlabs initiator” (Initiator is one of our WordPress themes) was named “initiator-wordpress-theme-screenshot.jpg”. Separate words with a hyphen since these are treated as spaces in the major search engines.
Keep the file name related to the page content where the image is on and don’t make it too long. I personally always try to keep it no more than 5 words.
2. Alt Text
Alt text is meant to be an alternative information source for search engine or for people who choose to disable image on their browser. Search engines have to rely on alt text, file names and other surrounding text to determine what the content of the image is. The alt text essentially replaces an image so you should describe it well.
With WordPress, you can enter the alt text on the “Alternative text” box that will shows up right after you upload the image or you can enter it later from the Media Gallery.
3. Relevant Page Content
When you are doing an image search for something you will be presented with a lot of results but you will soon realize that some of the images are not visually related to what you are looking for. Yet these images are still showing up, because they have related content surrounding them on the page where they are on.
The content around your image should speak in the same voice with it and able to give the search engine a good idea of what the page is about.
4. Don’t Stuff Keyword Stuff Image
Even though you should have your file name and alt text as descriptive and informative as possible, never stuff it with too many keywords or Google will end up discounting your page rank. Keep them descriptive but short and relevant to your page content.