A few Cool Image Optimization Tips

By: Brian Horn on: November 25th, 2009 4 Comments

An often-overlooked SEO strategy is image optimization.

Get more visitors from image searches by using text to describe your images.

Its an insane drain on a computer to “read” a picture. Google would have add massive amounts of servers if they wanted to automatically read images.

Just not worth it.

Google even acknowledged this problem, and went so far as to launch an Image labeler game which pairs contestants against each other to describe pictures.

This was interesting to me for about 5 minutes before my ADD kicked in…you may be able to last longer….but I wouldn’t waste your time.

The easiest way is to make your images visible to search engines is to use text to help describe them.

You can:

Employ a filename that describes the image

  1. Use hyphens to separate words in the image name
  2. Name the image something like wilson-tennis-racquet.jpg

Use a explanatory image alt attribute to describe the image

  1. Typically somewhere between 2 to 5 words…but can be longer.
  2. It should incorporate some of your main target keywords
  3. It should not be a long list of stuffed keywords separated by commas. It needs to make sense and describe the image.
  4. Visual impaired vistors will use this to “hear” what the image is…so make sure it makes sense to them too.

Use a descriptive image title to describe the image

  1. This is generally less important than the alt attribute
  2. It can be a bit longer in nature, and can read like a sentence
  3. Use descriptive text near the image – You can do this through the use of a heading and/or a caption (WordPress’s caption feature accomplishes this beautifully)
  4. Use descriptive link anchor text referencing the image
  5. If you link to the image use your keywords in the anchor text of the link

Each of these techniques helps search engines better understand what the image is about…and in turn what type of products and information searchers can find on your site.

Here is an HTML source code view of what a descriptive image presentation may look like for a picture of a scuba regulator:

<img title=””Picture” src=””oceanic-delta-scuba-regulator.gif”” alt=””Oceanic” width=””100”” height=””100”” />

It’s also worth pointing out that some search engines may treat the image alt attribute like anchor text if the image exists within a HTML link. For the following image code wrapped up in a link, the alt text of My Keywords would act as the link anchor text.

<a href=””page.html””><img title=””Picture” src=””my-keywords.gif”” alt=””My” width=””100”” height=””100”” /></a>

Pretty basic stuff…but can help you rank your image at the top of Google’s Image Search and give your site an overall SEO boost as well.

…and remember if you’re not on page 1 of Google…your business is invisible.


Brian Horn, of HornDog Search Marketing, is recognized by many as the "Glazer-Kennedy Secret Weapon", because of his role in helping not only Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer with search engine optimization and social media, but also many of the top Information Marketers in the world. Brian shares SEO tips for small businesses over at at his blog, BeOnPage1Blog.com.

4 Responses

  1. Rob Anspach says:

    … although not a big fan of html or website coding for that matter – this is a big help when it comes to knowing how to key in on images and maximize image searches on google.


  2. Charles says:

    An often-overlooked SEO strategy is image optimization.
    will start to implement this Brian

  3. A really great technique for even more search ranking would be to host your images not on your own server, but on Flickr. Then you will have the title, description and tags that are heavily indexed by search engines because it’s Flickr all being linked to your website.

    Most blog/cms systems will let you use a link instead of uploading images, so it’s an easy and effective way to help the search engines understand more about your images and improve you rankings.

    Hope that helps!

  4. seo facebook says:

    Usually I don’t read article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice post.

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