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  How Can You Optimize Photos for Search Engines?

Posted by Kevinjcull on March 14, 2013

Image Optimizations For Search Engines

Many people optimize their websites for search engines, but fail to optimize the photos or images included in their pages. Optimizing your content, page titles, meta tags, etc. is important, but it’s also essential to optimize your photos for additional traffic. In years past, when a user searched for something such as “golden retriever,” the search engine results mostly included articles, website pages, or other content. Today, key in the same search term and you will find images on the search listings page. This is why it is important that you consider image optimization as part of your SEO strategy.

Here are a few tips for optimizing your photos:

  • Consider the file name. Your image file name should be descriptive, but you want to avoid using a generic name such as “goldenretriever.jpg.” because it’s too competitive and will be hard to compete for. Something like “adorablegoldenretriever.jpg” is not so generic and easier to rank.
  • Build links to your photos. You know using keyword-rich anchor text is important when ranking your website’s pages, but did you know you can build links to your photos? Image optimisation is much like page optimisation when it comes to anchor text, so vary the keywords you use in linking to your photos.
  • Exchangeable image file format, or EXIF for short. Sounds a bit complicated, but EXIF makes is possible to embed various types of meta data to the actual image, so in essence this data goes wherever the image itself goes. More detailed than the alternate or “alt” tag, EXIF carries a substantial amount of data – but you don’t really need the boring details. What you DO need is to know that you can modify it and add your website name along with a detailed description of your photo.
  • Alt tags.This is the one most people have heard of, but incredibly so many still fail to use it. It is critical that you use alt tags to describe your images; if you do not, search engines cannot read them! An effective alt tag does not consist of just keywords, but should be keyword rich. Describe the image, such as we were speaking of above in ‘adorable golden retriever’ or something to that effect. Keep it brief and concise. An alt tag will look like this:
    Alt=”Adorable golden retriever”
    This will result in a full image code which appears as:
    < img src=”” alt=”image optimisation” />

There are some other things you can do to optimize your photos for search engines, such as including long descriptions and considering image file size, but the above tips will help you get on your way to photos that are properly optimized for increased traffic.

Hope you find these ideas helpful! Keep image optimization in mind when performing SEO, and make your photos more search engine friendly.

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