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Most of the time, when you are optimizing a site for SEO you are think about title tags, descriptions, keyword content and internal/external linking. Your mind is focused on how to improve the site so it shows up higher in search rankings and can sometimes forget about also optimizing you images for search. Considering that Google indexes images and has a search dedicated to just images, I would say this is pretty important and can be a great source of traffic. So let’s not miss out on that!
Here are some ways to optimize images for search engines:
1. The image file name shouldn’t be the letters/numbers given to the picture when it’s downloaded. Instead make sure your image/photo/graphic etc. has a file name using your keywords. However, do not use any more than 4 words in your file name.
Let’s take this image for instance.
A good file name: InternetRetailerConference2012.jpg
Bad file name: DCS54789.jpg
2. Always, Always, Always include Alt Text with images. Make sure your alt text uses keywords and is different from your file name.
Example: Based on the image above. Alt txt=”eCommerce Exhibition in Chicago”
3. If possible add a caption for the image and bold the text. It’s not a proven fact that Google uses this for ranking factors but think of it from a Bounce Rate perspective. Your visitor is likely to see the image but will they stay after seeing the image or bounce off. They are more likely to stay a little longer if you include a caption under the image for them to read.
4. Smaller images take less time to load then larger images so try to keep all files small.
5. Page title, meta description, and the context of the page all play a factor in Images showing up in search and their position in the search so make sure the image you use is relevant to what is being talked about in the page.
6. Make sure images are crisp and not distorted. People like to see details in pictures and if the image isn’t clear people won’t want to look at it.
7. Include images in a separate folder that is accessible to Search engines.
8. Include an Image sitemap with your site.
Now that you’ve read these tips, make sure to check that you’re images have been optimized for search engines.
Do you have other things you do to optimize your images that I didn’t mention?