Search engine optimization is the number one factor in getting your page ranked and noticed. This helps to ensure people view your website and that Google and other search engines rank it as a valuable piece of the internet. While most people know about the basics needed to optimize a page many are at a loss as to what to do about images. For a long time many webmasters just left images as they were and didn’t factor them into optimization, but times are changing. Image tags, especially with the advent of image searches, can be useful for SEO purposes, if you know how to use your keywords effectively. Below you will find a few tips and tricks to properly optimizing your images.
The file name does matter. Many people forget how important file names are when trying to optimize an image. The keyword or keywords should always appear in the file name. Rename any and all files to reflect what thepicture is or what the website is associated with. For example, if you are looking to garner attention about the genetics of eye colors a picture of blue eyes should be named “blue_eyes_genetics.jpg”. This will help grab attention and allow your image to come up in image searches. When image file names are left as a simple string of numbers they will come up muchlower in search engines, if at all.
Content Connection and Integration
While it seems like a good idea to stuff websites full of images the images should always have some connection to the website content. If you are writing about dog breeds having pictures of sunrises and cars is not going to help you get visitors. Sure, it will gain you some quick viewers, but if you are looking to engage readers your images should be associated with your content. The image and the content must line up for search engine bots to truly crawl the site accurately. Be sure to keep in line with your content regarding the images you choose to host and you will find your site will quickly rise in the rankings. The goal is not to just gain viewers. It is to engage viewers and keep them coming back for more.
Alt TextAlt text is how search engine bots figure out what your image is about. You should make sure the alt text is a solid description of what the image is about. If you are using an image as a click through to another page you should make sure the alt text describes the page that the image links too. Strong, descriptive alt text helps search engine bots categorize your images correctly and efficiently. The better the descriptor the quicker your images will be appropriately categorized. Alt texts should contain the important information about the image. If it is a logo image the name of the company plus the word Logo will do the trick.
This tip might seem counterintuitive but it is important not to stuff the anchor text or Alt text with keywords. You want to describe the content and optimize it for your users and search engine bots. Overstuffing the file name, or anchor text with keywords will mess up the algorithm and distract search engine bots. The stuffing of keywords will also make for a difficult viewing experience for your readers. Essentially overexerting your keyword power will do the opposite of what search engine optimization is supposed to do.
Less is More
The final trick is another counterintuitive one; keep your images to a minimum unless you are a photography website. Sure, images look great, but the SEO gods only speak text. Alt text, file names and even Meta tags can help your images gain relevancy, but text always reigns supreme in the land of search engine optimization. Simply put your images should be an accoutrement of your site; it should not be the main star. Armed with these tips and tricks most web master should have no problem optimizing their images in such a fashion that it will actually help their page rank. In the past images seemed unimportant to webmasters, but today images are a serious part of the equation that must be considered.
About guest blogger
Cindy Jacobson is an online freelance writer with over 10 years of experience writing for larger
advertisers on the web. Advertisers such as PrBlog, EnGadget, Verizon and many others. She
currently is writing about Att uverse coupon news within the U.S and Canada.