A picture may be worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t necessarily help your search engine rankings.
Here are 5 questions and answers to help you get the most out of each image on your website.
1. Do I really need to change the filename before I upload an image?
Yes, yes, yes. This is easy if you only have a handful of images in a post. And it’s worth the extra few minutes. Remember that Google prefers hyphens over underscores. As always, be descriptive without cramming keywords. Here is an example. If you you get an image from a stock image site like iStockPhoto.com, you might get an image with a filename like “6593202o3t3hxi7.jpg”. This means nothing to Google or any human. If you are writing a post about the growing use of tablets in the classroom and you have a photo of a tablet, change the filename to “tablet-use-increasing-in-classrooms.jpg”. Almost no one does this properly. Take advantage of this underutilized SEO secret!
2. What is an alt tag?
The alt tag is the most important SEO opportunity for your images. Every content management system gives you the opportunity to describe your image. Take advantage of this is in the same way you did with the filename. Be descriptive, but no keyword stuffing. Here is HTML of an author’s photo with a proper alt tag.
<img src=”http://engage.tmgcustommedia.com/wp-content/uploads/userphoto/29.thumbnail.jpg” alt=”Allison King” width=”75″ height=”100″ />
3. Do image links pass along PageRank?
Yes! Matt Cutts of Google can answer this one:
In other words, make sure you not only change the file name and write a descriptive alt tag, link the image to a relevant post on your site.
4. Does link building apply to images?
Link building applies to anything on the web. Good links help ranking so it’s not a bad idea to point a link directly to an image file. If your site is heavy on images, you may even want to have dedicated pages for each image, which makes it easier to link to them.
5. Does image SEO help my page rank in universal search or does it just help the image rank well in an image search
Chances are you don’t really care if your stock image is ranking well in a dedicated image search. You do, however, want to help your post rank well. A well-rounded approach to the SEO of each page – strong headline and page title, interesting and helpful content, pleasing and optimized images and maybe even a video will help the overall SEO of that page.
Images aren’t all about aesthetics anymore. Images can help your pages rank higher so start optimizing!