Improve SEO for Images

The importance of images and filenames is overlooked by many people when it comes to improving the SEO of their website. Here are some simple things that anyone can use in order to maximize the image traffic.

1. Use human readable (searchable) filenames

Nobody is going to search for the img_665887.jpg but people might search for wordpress-logo.jpg. Choose a logical file name that reinforces the keywords on the page. Dashes can be used to isolate the keyword, but avoid underscores as a word separator (Google sees dashes as word separators, and underscores as joiners).

2. Utilize the alternate text field (alt attribute)

The words used in an image’s ALT should be its text equivalent. If you see an image of a baby smiling, the spider should see:

<img src="baby-smiling.jpg" alt="Baby Smiling" />

Google’s webmaster guidelines advise the use of alternative text for the images because search engines have the same problem as blind users. They cannot see the images. Do not abuse the use of this attribute, stuffing it with keywords, in order to achieve a certain keyword density, because high keyword density can trigger spam filters, which attracts penalties for your website.

3. Include the images in the Sitemap

Search engines index the images, so make sure important images are included in your sitemap. Either you create special tags for the images to be included in the main sitemap, or you can create a different image sitemap.

4. Optimize your image size. 

Both Google and users appreciate when a site loads fast. Use tools to optimize your images (and buttons) and reduce the image size as much as possible.

5. Beware of Content Delivery Networks

Using a content delivery network for hosting and serving the images, you are most likely to remove the images from your domain and place it on the domain of the content delivery network. So when you receive links to your images, they are actually links to the CDN website. Try and keep your “linkable” images on your own website.

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