Everyone in the SEO field knows about link building, but there is a certain amount of arcane knowledge when it comes to getting good image search rankings. If you are a photographer, stock image seller or any other website that makes money through images, ranking in this search is essential. Here are a few tips to help boost your efforts.
First off, images should be optimized for size so that they load quickly, as it can be argued that load time affects the ranking of images and that is the overall website. By reducing the file size the load time will be reduced which can only be a positive in terms of SEO. This is more a consideration for those who have had a CMS web design and who are required to update the content themselves.
Name Your Images
Until image processors are so advanced that they can tell what an image is strictly from the pixels, all images are going to be ranked by name and content. When you upload an image from a digital camera or scanner you are probably going to get a name like dsc0000425.jpeg. All that tells us is that it is an image, but what is the image? In order for an image to be recognised by search engines it must have a name. Is it an image of a beach sunset? Then name it “Beach-Sunset” or “Sunset-at-Beach.” This tells the image search what the image is, so it gets a clearer idea of how to rank your picture.
Optimize the Title Tag
When you hover over an image, you should see a yellow box that has a title in it. This title is used to describe the image, but it is also believed to contribute to SEO which will help the image to rank. As with the image name, search engines look at the image’s title for another clue pertaining to what the image is. Some people believe the title is useless, but for a method than only takes a few seconds to do, there is nothing wrong in writing a few words. Just like with the image name, use something like “Beach Sunset” or “Sunset at Beach.” There is no need for hyphens, as the search engine will know that they are separate words.
There is rarely a website without some copy on it, and just like how search engines look at your keywords to determine what the website is about, it does the same for images. This is why adding only relevant images to your website is exceedingly important. By surrounding your image with relevant copy, Google will be able to gauge the context of it.
According to most SEO experts, this is the most important aspect about ranking an image. The alt text functions as a text-based description of the image, similar to the title, just longer. This text is directly displayed if the person has CSS blocked or if they cannot load images, or if the user has a screen reader. While it may not be seen much, you should optimize the alt text, because it will definitely help you rank an image in the search engines.
By getting into a habit of carrying out the above steps when formatting images and publishing them on the web, you are increasing the likelihood of gaining a higher page rank and having images which actually rank on their own merit in the image search.
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