Great article Donna - I've just pinned it to my 'Entrepreneur Coolness' Pinterest Board!
Image SEO: 7 Strategies to Optimize Your Images for the Search Engines
There are all kinds of ways to optimize your web site for the search engines, but one of the most overlooked methods is image SEO. Here are 7 strategies to enhance your image SEO:
There are all kinds of ways to optimize your web site for the search engines, but one of the most overlooked methods is image SEO. It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but who knew that image seo, or optimizing your images for search engines, might shoot your site to the top of Google, when all else has failed?
Images can generate a TON of traffic from the search engines, so if you want more of this traffic, you need to use image SEO to land this extra traffic. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think… once you know what to do.
Here are 7 strategies to enhance your image SEO:
1. Image related to content. Be sure that you use a small image (for faster loading times) in .jpg format (preferred format for web sites) and that the image is related to the content in which it is displayed. Nothing is worse than seeing an image of a PC on a site about dog training, for example.
2. Keywords in the file name. In the same fashion that keywords in post and page titles are important, the same holds true for image file names. So, rather than something like "dreamstime_xs_19518144.jpg", which was the original name of the image I used to post this article on my blog, I renamed the image "imageseo.jpg," which is the keyword for which I wanted to rank in the search engines.
3. ALT tags. Unlike text content, search engines can't "read" an image. Consequently, search engines use things like ALT tags, captions, and file names to determine what it is "seeing." ALT tags display alternative text instead of an image if a visitor can't view view the images in her browser. If you hover your mouse over an image and you see text, that's the ALT tags. Using keywords in your ALT tags makes your post or page more relevant to the search engines for that keyword.
4. Title and description attributes. Use a keyword-rich descriptive title text and long description for your image to help provide information about the content of images.
5. Anchor text. Anchor text is the hyper-linked text you see when you link to images with text. Make sure that your anchor text describes the image. If you link to an image using “image” or “photo” that isn't keyword rich, it doesn't' give the search engines enough meaningful information on what the image is about.
6. Surrounding content. The content surrounding the image should be related to all of the strategies you have used to optimize the image described above. When everything matches up, it helps search engines confirm that you are not keyword-spamming and that the image is relevant to the page.
7. Keyword-rich captions. Captions don't count as much as alt tags, but they still have the potential to boost your rankings. Use a descriptive and keyword-rich caption with your image so that it makes sense to both the search engines as well as to your visitors.
Bonus: If you use Wordpress to maintain your sites, a cool little plug-in that makes image SEO easier is SEO Friendly Images. http://www.wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-image/
Start using these tips today to boost your traffic and your search engine rankings. Image SEO is a little-used tactic that can help you get page 1 for your preferred keywords.
Learn more about the author, Donna Gunter.
Comment on this article
Posted by Kisane Slaney PhD, Perth, Western Australia Australia |
Apr 29, 2012
Posted by Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, Nashville, Tennessee |
Jun 12, 2012
Great information. I have a question though. Someone told me that the alt text should be an accurate description of what the picture is and that if you try to create something SEO-rich, it crosses over into being a little black hat. Is that true? Also, that Google likes alt text that's very accurate to the picture.
Posted by Steve Smith, Lake Forest, California |
Jun 14, 2012
Great tips and very timely. I just used an online web grader program and scored poorly on many of the areas you write about. Going back and including quality keywords for all my images had a huge effect on search page placement. I went from page 3 to the bottom of page 1 in 2 days!
These kind of articles have real value in my opinion.
Posted by Dr Gabriel Aidra, Portland, Oregon |
Jun 14, 2012
Posted by Donna Gunter, Orange, Texas |
Jun 15, 2012
@Kisane -- Thanks for the mention on Pinterest!
@Pam -- I always give my images the same alt tag as the title of the article and haven't run into any problem. My images always reflect the article I'm writing.
@Steve -- congrats to you!
Posted by Mina M, Kirkland, Washington |
Jul 03, 2012
why would one website show results but the other does not? I have that situation where I have two websites. One of them I run through the link above and received a report while the other website did not have a result but just a mere mention that the seocorcerer have no information for it. any thoughts or ideas specially that both of the sites where done by professional website creating companie?
thank you for your help.
- anchor text
- donna gunter
- get more clients online
- search engine optimization
- image seo
- alt tags