How to Optimize Images to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings
If you have been optimizing your site for search engines, then you understand how important just a little bit of information can be in procuring the top spot in search results. Likewise, optimizing images for search engines is another important aspect of proper SEO – but one that many webmasters neglect. If you have been fretting over how your content is distributed and read by search engines but have been ignoring the same for your site’s images, then you are missing out on potential traffic and better standings with major search engines. The following article outlines several ways in which you can quickly optimize your images for better search engine rankings.
Each image can be coded with a number of attributes that displays basic information about the image to search engine crawlers and page viewers. Having a long description (known as “longdesc”) attribute for each of your images is a great way to further associate search-related keywords with your website. In almost every instance, the images on your site will have something to do with the topics that you cover. By being detailed in these long descriptions and pinging a site‘s details in each image, you can give cues to search engines about what each of your images actually represents. This can ultimately lead to better search rankings.
The age old, trusted method of distributing information about images, alt tags give you the ability to provide a basic, more condensed amount of information about an image than the longdesc attribute allows. In any alt tag, you will want to be short and concrete and use keywords relative to your site all while describing the image in a meaningful way; do not simply attempt to insert as many keywords as possible into the alt tag description as you may end up being penalized for doing so.
Descriptive File Names
When saving your files or upon uploading them to your server, ask yourself: are the filenames descriptive? If not, then you will want to modify this attribute. If you have a picture of a family picnic that you will be using to discuss fun foods to create with the family, then using a file name like “saturdayfamilypicnic.jpg” instead of “picnic.jpg” or “picnicideas.jpg”. This way, search engines can easily categorize and determine the type of image it is scanning whenever they are pinging a site’s contents – which makes it easier to search engines to determine what your site covers and how best it should fit within search results.
Use Local Information
For images and photos taken in a particular place, using local terms in the alt tags, file names and long descriptions can help boost their performance within local search results. If you have a photo of a local park or point of interest, be sure to include the location that the photo was taken – in addition to utilizing EXIF data, search engines will promptly use this information to determine how your image should be classified and this will help your site’s images to be featured prominently in any local, related results.