Google images are an alternative to standard search. Through this, people can find sites, content, or specific photos using the image results rather than text and links. What makes Google Images unique is the ability to search not only by keywords. Now, you can start a search using an image.
Why Optimize Image SEO?
It produces faster growth in positioning
Google Images provide an advantage by displaying far more search results at just a push of a button in comparison to standard search. Image results reach between 30 to 40 whilst text searches bring around 10 results per page.
Images can generate more traffic to your site or blog
If you can appear faster on the top of the search results whilst displaying your enticing message, naturally traffic on your site or blog will increase.
7 SEO insights for Google Image
We’ve chosen 7 insights to share with you today on improving your image positioning:
1. File name
The file name indicates image content. To optimize the name you should try and be short and descriptive. A generic name like "foto.jpg" does not bring any benefit in search engine optimization.
With a specific name it is easier for the search engine to understand the content and therefore you have more chances of appearing in a more prominent position.
For a good filename:
- Describe the image content
- include the main keyword
- be concise (exclude empty words)
- Use hyphens to separate words
- Avoid special characters
2. Alt Attribute
Today, Google can recognize letters, colors and even faces. Although the technology for image recognition has come a long way, it still has trouble interpreting the contents of images. Because of this we make use of the Alt attribute to describe images.
Alt comes from alternative text, it is what is used by search engines to figure out the image content. It is also the text the browser uses when the images can not be loaded along with the rest of the page content.
A good Alt text will:
- accurately describes the image content
- include the main keyword
- Be concise
3. File size
Ideally the file size is as small as possible. Small file sizes allow images to load quickly. The file size depends on 2 things:
- The dimensions of the image
- quality of the image
This makes the JPEG format ideal for image search engines; it can provide good quality with relatively small files. However, you can also use PNG and GIF if better serve your purposes.
When preparing your images:
- Use JPEG for images and general and photos
- PNG is more suitable for flat images and / or vectors (eg logos)
- for animations GIF is ideal
To capture, crop and resize images use Monosnap. Other free tools to work with images include GIMP and BeFunky.
Before uploading images to the web, it’s recommended that to compress your images as much as possible without compromising quality. To achieve this, use the online tools such as Compressor.io.
Context is key. It is very important that your images are surrounded by text and, in particular, that text is related to the image content. The closer the relationship between the image and the context, the better.
5. Exif Data
Exif or Exchangeable Image File Format, is a specification that allows various types of metadata to be included in the image file. This data takes specific details, such as exposure, aperture, focal length, and even the geographical coordinates included.
Exif data potentially of most interest to you include:
- Image title
- author name and web
If you want to edit and add some data relevant to the image information, PhotoME is a free option.
6. Long Description
A tool often forgotten for images is the long description. Longdesc, as its name suggests, serves to include a longer text than can otherwise be included in the Alt text. Longdesc does not include a textual description but instead a URL of where to find the image. This can be a page specially created to include the description.
7. Sitemap Image
An essential aspect of optimizing images is indexing. Images must be in the search engine index to appear in search, but the search engine does not find your image files it becomes difficult for the engine to register them.
There’s a way to increase the chances that your images are indexed, and this is generating a sitemap specific for images. This file includes the URL of each image, but can also incorporate the title, license and caption.