In this article, we’ll take a look at how images are a major ranking factor in determining the popularity of web pages. With so many different ways to optimize your images for SEO, you can take control of your content marketing and make sure that your site or blog is getting all the attention it deserves!
It’s important that you optimize your images for SEO in order to rank better in search engines. This means making sure the captions, titles, and metadata (including file name) are optimized appropriately for the content of the image. Another way to optimize images is by using alt text.
Alt text is an important part of SEO because it can tell Google and other search engines what an image is about so they know when and why to show it in a SERP. Use a keyword-heavy caption and make sure you’re including keywords in the title and alt text.
Images should also be sized appropriately so they are easy to view on any screen size or device. There are plenty of shortcuts that you can use like this one to determine the size of an image:
You can also use a responsive image solution to make sure your images are sized appropriately for any screen.
If you want more information on how to optimize images for SEO, we’ve created a tutorial on that exact topic!
Optimize your images for SEO with appropriate file names, captions, and alt text.
The alt text, or alternative text, is the information we use to describe an image in a web page for blind users. Today I’ll show you some tips and tricks for making sure your images are easily found by Google Image Search [ALT TAG: Google search ].
The first step in optimizing your images for SEO is choosing a good file name. Now this isn’t a quick and easy process with Google Image Search. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to keep things simple by adding the file type at the end of your image name. For example:
So if I have a jpg file called ThanksgivingPartyBlowoutSale.jpg , then my image name will be: ThanksgivingPartyBlowoutSale.jpg
For the more established websites, you can get a little bit fancier with your file name and add some keywords to it. For example:
The basic premise for naming images is that you want to optimize an image for search rather than just using the generic image name like img_1234.jpg . This can be accomplished by adding your important keywords in the file name.
Now alt tags are very important for optimizing images for search and I’d like to share some tips with you on how to include alt text without going overboard.
The first tip is that you shouldn’t repeat the same keywords unnecessarily when writing alt tags. For example:
This is a recipe for disaster because you’re repeating the same keywords over and over again. Instead, it’s better to use short yet precise phrases that capture your image’s content. For example:
In this case, we used two different terms: pumpkin pie and autumn . Both of these keywords are highly relevant to our article topic, but we didn’t overdo it with keywords.
So let’s go back to the Thanksgiving party blowout sale for a second and visualize how we’d optimize an image in this particular case:
The first step is to come up with a good file name, which will be ThanksgivingPartyBlowoutSale .jpg . To further describe the image, we would then write the alt tag as something like: Thanksgiving party blowout sale [INSERTED PHRASE TO DESCRIBE IMAGE]. This is because we don’t want to use too many keywords and overdo it. So this is how one might go about optimizing an image with alt text for SEO purposes.
Now that we’ve learned how to optimize our images for search, let’s talk about captions.
Captions aren’t something that a lot of people know about or use, but they can really help your image get in front of the right audience and rank better on Google Image Search .
The first step is to come up with a good file name, which I talked about earlier. For captions, I would recommend writing a brief description (no more than 160 characters) of the image. This is a good way to draw in your readers and encourage them to click through.
In this example, we’re using the phrase from our file name and pulling in keywords like Thanksgiving , sale , and party .
In this case, we’re pulling in the phrase from our file name again and using words like “official rules” to describe the image. This is a great example of how captions can be used as metadata for better optimization.
This last one is just an example of what not to do. Don’t repeat the main keywords more than once and don’t make the caption too long. I’d say that all captions should be under 10 words.
Now let’s talk about alt text and why it’s important to optimize your images for search .
Alt tags can really help boost your image ranking in Google Image Search , but you have to write them correctly or else you’ll be wasting your time.
Let’s say that you’re using a stock photo, and if you were, there are 3 important things to know about it:
The image license is public domain The model release is available for the model in the image Most images have a labeled watermark on them
If the above three points are true, then there are two rules you should follow:
The first is to not even bother optimizing your image if the above three points aren’t true. Simply leave it as-is and let Google index it for you. The second rule is to make sure that the alt tags are optimized correctly, meaning they have keywords in them. Let’s use this example:
In this case, you would come up with a good file name (I’ll use ThanksgivingPartyBlowoutSaleForAdults.jpg for the purpose of the example). Then, to describe what’s going on in the image, you’d optimize your alt tag and write it as something like: “Our huge Thanksgiving party blowout sale for adults is underway! Don’t miss out on the best deals of your life!”
This is essentially using keywords from your file name and sentence in a way that makes sense, and it would look something like this:
There are many different ways to optimize an image for SEO purposes. In fact, I’ve only scratched the surface here.
Don’t forget to optimize the captions, though. That’s a huge part of what I do when optimizing my images for search engine rankings .
Keep in mind that beautiful pictures are often shared far and wide on social media, so you might want to consider using those images as well if they’re relevant to your content. If you’d like to see more examples of how I optimize my images for search, then you can check out this post from a few months back and this one as well.
If you have any questions about image SEO or optimizing your site’s content for search, then just leave them in the comments below!
Google knows when to show your images in the SERPs by reading the alt text you include, so make sure it’s SEO-friendly!
Google has been using image search results for a while. For example, if you’re searching for “puppy,” you may see an image of a puppy and links to other images of puppies . Google is now showing images in the search results more often. They’re working to improve your experience with visual content and understanding what’s shown on your screen. Google may show an image of a product, food item or other entity next to the link to that page.
If the text on the site is still readable when you scale down to 2x2px, then the alt text is likely not relevant to the image. If you’re using an image as a link, be sure that your alt text isn’t repetitive (i.e., “click here,” etc.).
When writing descriptive alt text for images , make certain to include keywords and phrases within the first 200 characters of your description because Google will only show the first 200 characters or so.
You can modify your images to make sure that they load faster. This is especially important because Google ranks page speed as a top search ranking factor . The alt text can be modified by adding keywords and phrases within the image file name, but view the size of the file before doing this to ensure that you’re not adding too much text. You can also modify the alt text by resizing an image for faster loading.
Other Things to Know About SEO-Optimized Images
The actual size of an image can affect its search ranking power . This is a controversial topic, but if you use images that are no more than 200kb, then it’s true that you’ll likely get higher search rankings. This is a controversial topic because this shouldn’t be the only way to optimize your image, as Google has already stated that they don’t use file size optimization as a ranking factor . However, many SEO professionals have reported success with creating images of slightly larger than 200kb files.
Turn off “save local copy” when uploading to your site . This option will allow the image to load faster, but you’ll need to make sure that this is done on each page. If you’re using WordPress, then check out this information from SEO Help regarding how to disable save local copy in WordPress (you’ll also want to edit the CPT for it if you’re using category pages).
If your images are restricted by a Creative Commons license , then Google won’t be able to use them in their image search results. If this is the case, then it’s best to clarify how your users can use your images by modifying the license information on your page or including an attribute link within the alt text.
Google will sometimes provide a carousel search result page . A carousel is a series of images that load into the image search results. If this happens to you, then it’s best to add some SEO-friendly alt text in case Google doesn’t show all of your images on the initial result. You’ll also want to make sure that all of the images in your carousel have an alt tag.
Google may remove your image from the search engine results if you’re violating their guidelines . You’ll want to watch out for this and make sure that you aren’t publishing something that could be considered offensive or pornographic (this includes merchandise with profanity). If a user submits a complaint that your image is not appropriate, then Google may remove it from their index and show a link to the image instead.
Google has also stated that they’ll be returning ratings of images in search results . If you’re publishing an image on your page and it’s received a large number of reviews, then it might show up with a star rating next to it. This is another reason why it’s important to have a high-quality image on your page if you’re trying to increase the number of reviews that you receive on that image.
If your images are being shared by other sites, then you’ll want to make sure that they show up as the correct sizes and shapes . If you’re not familiar with how to do this, then check out this information from SEO Help.
The largest image should be the one that’s used in the alt text of an image . The alt text isn’t a “keyword-stuffing” opportunity; it’s there to provide users with additional information about your image. If you’re using a slideshow or gallery, then try to label each image with its name and a brief description.
Another thing that you’ll want to look into if you’re using images for SEO is how your content will be affected in the SERPs . Google has recently stated that they “use many factors” when determining which search results are impacted by an image on a page. If you’re publishing a lot of images on your site, then you might want to consider which pages should receive the most exposure.
If you’re using an image as a link , then it’s best to make sure that the alt text is descriptive enough for users to understand what they’ll be clicking on. You’ll also want to keep in mind that if the image is too small, then a user might not be able to click on it anyway. There are many tools out there including SEOQuake and SnappySnippets which will allow you to check how your pages will look in search results when links have been implemented via images.
Google has stated that they’ll be taking image properties into account when they try to determine the relevance of a page in search results . If you’re using an image as your main website header, then this should provide you with more evidence that having good images is important for SEO.
If you’re trying to use an image as the title of a page , then it’s best to place the headline in the image alt text instead of your page’s title. This is something that HubSpot has done in the past and it can help you rank for competitive terms. [image: example image, inserted into middle of text]
One last thing to keep in mind when it comes to images and SEO is how Google will treat your mobile pages . If you’re trying to optimize your page for Google’s mobile products, then you’ll want to make sure that the images are showing as they’re meant to be shown on mobile devices. There was a time when it was said that having an image in your header might actually hurt the rankings of your site, but this is no longer the case. If you’re creating images to be used as your mobile site header, then you shouldn’t have any problems with how they appear in search results.
Think about where you’ll be using the image when optimizing it
Facebook covers vs Twitter cover images vs blog posts etc., all of these need different kinds of optimization to make sure they’re being seen and getting clicks! image of a few images, each listed in an alt tag with descriptive text.
In the context of this article, optimizing your images for SEO means that you’ll want to make sure that they’re as high-quality as possible . If you’re publishing images on your blog or web page, then it’s best to use photographs that contain high-contrast, high-resolution images. This can be very important when it comes to how your videos are shown in search results.
If you’re using vector graphics to create your own images , then make sure that they’re not overly complex . While these types of images are normally smaller in size, if the file sizes are too large then a user might not be able to see what’s being displayed.
If you’re using photographs to create your images , then make sure that they’re of the highest possible quality. It’s also important to have a decent number of unique images on your site or blog, although this can vary depending upon how much time and resources are available for creating unique content.
Images are a major ranking factor in determining the popularity of web pages. With so many different ways to optimize your images for SEO, you can take control of your content marketing and make sure that your site or blog is getting all the attention it deserves!