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Optimizing Images for Better Search Result

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Optimizing images for better search engine 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.

File name is crucial in image SEO

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.

Entering Alt text for image on WordPress

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.

Related

  • http://www.wordpressithemes.com Wordpress Themes

    Well explained about image SEO optimization!

    The same time Image size also matters, which helps to load website even more fast. WP Smush.it – Reduce image file sizes and improve performance using the Smush.it API within WordPress. Its recommended by Yahoo. You don’t have to do anything, every image you add to a page or post will be automatically run through
    Smush.it behind the scenes.:-)

    You can download it from here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-smushit/

    • http://colorlabsproject.com/blog Anita Pravitasari

      Hi @WPiThemes:disqus 
      Yes, you are right. I can’t believe I didn’t include it in the article!

      Load time is a factor in search ranking, although it is a small one. Site speed will affect only when competing pages have high relevancy scores and other ranking factors are very close.

      But I believe that site speed could negatively hurt you if your page takes an excruciatingly painful amount of time to load. So it doesn’t hurt to keep your image size to the minimum.

      I’ve never use Smush.it before. Will definitely look into it later. 

      Thanks again for mentioning it!

  • http://www.wordpressithemes.com Wordpress Themes

    Well explained about image SEO optimization!

    The same time Image size also matters, which helps to load website even more fast. WP Smush.it – Reduce image file sizes and improve performance using the Smush.it API within WordPress. Its recommended by Yahoo. You don’t have to do anything, every image you add to a page or post will be automatically run through
    Smush.it behind the scenes.:-)

    You can download it from here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-smushit/

    • http://colorlabsproject.com/blog Anita Pravitasari

      Hi @WPiThemes:disqus 
      Yes, you are right. I can’t believe I didn’t include it in the article!

      Load time is a factor in search ranking, although it is a small one. Site speed will affect only when competing pages have high relevancy scores and other ranking factors are very close.

      But I believe that site speed could negatively hurt you if your page takes an excruciatingly painful amount of time to load. So it doesn’t hurt to keep your image size to the minimum.

      I’ve never use Smush.it before. Will definitely look into it later. 

      Thanks again for mentioning it!

  • http://twitter.com/satryaWp Satrya Bima

    You can try this plugin
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-image/ 
    ” automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes for SEO purposes”

    More simple :D

    • http://colorlabsproject.com/blog Anita Pravitasari

      Hi, @twitter-78042517:disqus .

      Thanks so much for the suggestion. The SEO Friendly Images plugin is useful. I’ve used it once and was very pleased with the result.

      You should of course be writing good titles and alt tags for each and every image whenever you can. However, using this plugin is a great solution to people who often forget to include alt tag to every image or just don’t have the time for that. But keep in mind that if you have multiple images in your post they are going to have the same tags, since the plugin works based on the image’s File Name and the post’s title.

      Still anything reasonably descriptive is better than having blank tags. :D

  • http://twitter.com/satryaWp Satrya Bima

    You can try this plugin
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-image/ 
    ” automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes for SEO purposes”

    More simple :D

    • http://colorlabsproject.com/blog Anita Pravitasari

      Hi, @twitter-78042517:disqus .

      Thanks so much for the suggestion. The SEO Friendly Images plugin is useful. I’ve used it once and was very pleased with the result.

      You should of course be writing good titles and alt tags for each and every image whenever you can. However, using this plugin is a great solution to people who often forget to include alt tag to every image or just don’t have the time for that. But keep in mind that if you have multiple images in your post they are going to have the same tags, since the plugin works based on the image’s File Name and the post’s title.

      Still anything reasonably descriptive is better than having blank tags. :D

  • Rosy

    Hi,this article is very nice and the
    information in this SEO
    Optimization is
    very good.Thanks for providing this information
     

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