Search Engines

Optimize every image for SEO

Optimize every image, every time. Make this a rule for your website. You’d be surprised how much image optimization can influence SEO – not only for regular search engine queries, but especially for image-only searches. To date, Google has not formally released any image or optical character recognition (OCR). That means there are only a few ways it can query images.

  1. File name
  2. Alt text
  3. Page content

Optimizing images for SEOTake this picture, for example. I’ve left the file name unedited for better attribution to the artist on Pexels.com. But if you were using it on your website, you could consider the context, placement, and keywords you are attempting to rank for. It might make sense to rename it with one of these methodologies:

  • Literally what is in the image: stethoscope-pen-appointment-book.jpg
  • What it might be used for: making-medical-appointments.jpg
  • What keywords you are targeting: doctors-without-borders.jpg

Use dashes in place of spaces. If you make it a habit every time to stay disciplined and choose a descriptive file name for every image, your site will be higher quality overall.

Alt text can be a bit more free form, but follows the same methodologies. You set it in the image tag like <img src=”stethoscope-pen-appointment-book.jpg” alt=”Stethoscope and pen on top of an appointment book”> Alt text is good for both SEO and site readers for the visually impaired. In our example, additional alt text examples might be “Making medical appointments,” or “Doctors Without Borders taking appointments.”

The rest is based on the content of the page. Keep images relevant, and supporting the central theme of your page. That will help your images rank giving you another stream of organic traffic to discover your message – both image searches and knowledge tiles!