Optimizing Images for Search Engines

How to Optimize Pictures for Search Engines

Most miss this step when using pictures in their web pages or blog posts, but it is important to make sure your pictures are optimized for search engines.

Search Engines cannot see pictures. Therefore, they instead read the title and the alt tag of the image.  This is the “behind the scenes” information that most of us hate to go in and enter in the details of the picture.

Here are some tips to Search Engine Optimize your pictures for Search Engines:

Use a filename that describes the image

This is the name of the picture – usually something like DSC010506 when taken from your camera. I recommend renaming the picture when you size it for the web.

Use hyphens to separate words in the image name

Example – gun-carving-image.jpg

Use a descriptive image alt attribute to describe the image

Describe the image for those using browsers that do not show pictures – and the search engines. This is the text that shows up when you “hover” your mouse over the image. Guideline – 2 to 5 words related or similar to the page or post keywords. Do not use a list of keywords – do not keyword “stuff”. Remember, balance between site visitors and search engines. Use naturaly phrases.

Use a descriptive image title to describe the image.

Generally less important than the alt attribute, the image title can be a bit longer and read like a sentence.

Using the guidelines above, the search engines will better understand what your images are about and you might even get your images ranked in google’s image search results (which means traffic for your web site and exposure for you business).

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