Today I’m going to cover some basic ways you can optimize your photos for Google and other search engines.
So here are some SEO tips for images:
Images are important to SEO and should not be ignored. Since Google sees your website for what’s written, it is important that you make every element of your site readable to those Google bots. If you have a post about Gucci shoes and your image is IMG-482674, Google has no idea what that image is about. You want to include some keywords in that image name. So maybe name it “Gucci shoes image” or “Gucci shoes”
In addition to the image file name being related, you also want to optimize the “alt” tags of the images.
So your image tag for our Gucci example above would look something like this:
<img src=”Gucci-shoes.jpg” alt=”My Gucci Shoes” />
It’s just one more place where you can show the search engines that the image is indeed relevant to the content. Also, whatever you put in the “alt” tag will show up when someone hovers over the image. Search engines only read 150 characters (including spaces) of “alt” tags, so try and keep it under 150. As with all titles and tags, search engines put the greatest emphasis on the words closest to the beginning of the tag/title, so put the keywords at the front!
Tone down the image size. Load time matters in the SEO world, so you want to do everything you can to decrease the time it takes your site to load. If you’re uploading full images and re-sizing them once they are uploaded, you are still asking your web-host to load that entire file every time that page is loaded. Even if the original file is 3200 x 2000 pixels but you’re only showing 640 x 400. Save a new file that is the exact dimensions of the image that you are displaying. Of course, there are times where you want your readers to be able to click images to make them larger, but if you can help it, don’t upload images that are excessively large. Eliminating unnecessary image loading will take you a long way in improving your site load time.
Make your images beautiful and intriguing. There is no direct correlation to nice looking images and SEO, but bounce rate does have an impact on SEO. The more appealing your images are, the more likely a visitor is going to read more of you content, thus reducing your bounce rate and helping your SEO. You might also want to consider using captions to gather interest using images as well.
Make sure your photos link to what you want! If you host your photos in Photobucket or something like that, either delete the link tag so the image is not clickable, or make it link to somewhere within your site. The last place you want to be sending a first time reader of your site is to your photobucket account! If you must lead them away from your site with your image link, at least consider making it an affiliate link to a store that sells the coat you’re wearing in the pic.
Once these things become a habit, it will literally take an extra 5-10 seconds per image to optimize them for SEO. It’ll be well worth your time.