How Can I Use Images to Improve My SEO?

Can your website’s images really help improve your ranking and visibility in search? Absolutely!

On this page, we’ll give you a few crucial image SEO tips that you can use to instantly improve your website and give your search engine optimization a boost. Even if you know a little bit about SEO, keep reading — you might learn something new!

The importance of image alt text

When you add an image to a website, whether you do this through a CMS (content management system) or by hand, there’s an “alt text” attribute that you usually are asked to define. If you don’t fill this out, you are missing one of the most important aspects of image SEO!

Alt text essentially tells visitors to your website, in the case of an image that does not load, what that image contains. So if your image of a red dress doesn’t load, but the alt text says “red dress,” they’ll know what the image contains.

Search engines, of course, can’t see images in the same way you and I can. So they rely on the alt text to determine the contents of an image. In the same way that the “red dress” alt text tells a visitor what your image should be, it tells a search engine what that image actually is. If you use three or four images of red dresses on a single page, a search engine can make an assumption that your page is about red dresses, and should stand a better chance at ranking for that keyword.

Thus, if you don’t fill out the alt text for your images, you’re missing out on an important aspect of SEO. Fill in those descriptions right away!

Filenames are important, too

What you name your images is important as well. Do a Google Images search for something like “image1” or “photo” sometime — you’ll be surprised by how many results you get!

Although you and I don’t see the filenames of the images on websites, search engines do. If your image files are named “red_dress” instead of “photo_1_2014” or “img_2000384,” search engines will be able to better determine what the contents of your images are. Again, you’ll stand a better chance of ranking for that keyword if it’s in your filename (although this certainly isn’t the only ranking factor).

Another thing to consider: if someone is searching Google Images for images of a red dress, your filename will definitely matter here! A file named “photo_1_2014” won’t show up, but “red_dress” will… and someone who views your image may view your website, too!

Reduce your filesizes

Both search engines and website visitors take pages that take a long time to load. One of the most common culprits of this issue is images.

You should reduce the sizes of the images on your website as much as you possibly can. Don’t just resize the image using HTML and assume it will load faster just because it looks smaller — in fact, this still takes a lot of time.

Try using the “Save for Web” option in Photoshop or online image compression tools like Kraken.io to make your image filesizes smaller, but still preserve much of the quality.

These are just three ways that you can improve your site’s SEO and ranking with images. If you’re looking for more tips, check out this free guide: Guide to Image SEO. This marketing guide contains additional ways that you can optimize your images for search and increase your traffic using the power of Google Images.

Have any questions about image SEO or the report you received from us? Feel free to let us know. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have!