Search Engine Optimization of Images in Your Blog

When I started blogging a year ago, I was startled to see how easy it was to rank in Google image search. This was the time when I was struggling to get better rankings for my travel site in Google web  search. Something was wonderfully right for me . Most of my images were fetching me the desired traffic to my website when my web search traffic was dismal. Even after a year, whenever I post any image, it gets indexed in Google image search faster and gets good search engine ranking. So what is the thing that I am doing right that others are not doing with their images ? Search Engine Optimization The key ingredient in  my better performance in image search results is actually not a secret, almost anyone with fair bit of experience in blogging must be knowing the importance of search engine optimization. Yet even experienced bloggers tend to ignore to optimize images in their blogs for better Google search results. Situation becomes even grimmer if one is using a platform like Blogger, which is not so image search friendly. Here I am going to reiterate the SEO's "absolute must do" things for a better image search ranking. How You Name Your Images? In the realm of SEO, Shakespeare's philosophy "what is in a name"  does not work. On the contrary it is has everything to do with how you name your images. An image used in your blog should always carry a name which in essence is a complete description of the image. Now consider following image, if we give this image a name like "345245.JPG" , a search engine like Google may completely ignore it if one searches for keyword " google's first logo" or "google logo". This is because search spiders are not programmed to look at an image as we humans do, a web search spider will just fetch an image from its context rather than what an image actually is. One should give this image a fully descriptive name, which can be read and understood by a human being. Possible names can be " google's first logo" or "first google logo" or "first google doodle".
Google's First Logo
Google's First Logo
Now something about naming convention of the files and this is not limited to only images. Once you find the suitable name for your image, lets say " first google logo", replace blank spaces with hyphen (-). So your file should have a name like "first-google-logo.jpg".Never use spaces in your file name, let me stress it again - NEVER. This can lead to a number of problems while dealing with Linux systems etc. There are many webmasters who use a underscore  ( _ ) for replacing white spaces but i prefer hyphen ( - ) as it is supported by most of the search engines. Many bloggers tend to remove white spaces all together and they name their image something like this - "firstgooglelogo.jpg". This should never be done, if you are doing so you are relying on the smartness of search engine's algorithm to figure out exact words from this pile of characters. you should make a practice of using (-) to seperate your words while naming any file. Alt Attribute Within <img> Tag This is probably the single most important thing in  search engine optimization for images. An image with a well populated ALT attribute is more likely to rank better than an image without it.  For those who are not aware of what ALT attribute is all about, think of it as a placeholder for the image. ALT attribute describes what the image is all about thus giving search engines a chance to guess what image visually represents. As an example consider the below given image and try to describe it.

a rough description can be like this " a pirate ship flag with crossed swords and a skull". With this description your <img> anchor tag will look like

<img alt="a pirate ship flag with crossed swords and a skull"  src="http://xeobits.com/image/pirate-ship-flag.jpg">
If you are using a CMS like WordPress, it is pretty easy to provide ALT attribute to any image you upload.  But if you are using a platform like blogger (a blogspot blog), giving ALT attribute to an image is not that easy, in fact there is no direct option for it. For giving ALT attribute in blogger you need to toggle to HTML editing mode first , than you will have to manually insert the ALT attribute as shown in above example.
Toggle HTML mode in blogger to manually insert alt attribute
Toggle HTML mode in blogger to manually insert alt attribute
Image Title: Though its importance in search engine rankings is debatable and Google suggests that it only picks data from ALT attribute for search engine rankings, yet title  is an important attribute for other search engines. Also it gives you a chance to offer your reader some extra information about the images used in your blog. Image Caption: Image captions give the image a contextual meaning. By suitably applying captions to images, you tell search engines about the subject of the image, thus bringing better search results.

Descriptive Text Around The Image: Always try to insert images in between your paragraph closest to the context. If possible try to make sure that keywords surrounding the image are same as ALT text and image title. This greatly enhance the visibility of the image in search engine results. If you are serious about the traffic a search engine can fetch to your blog, never under-estimate the power of image searches. It is estimated that image search has a 15 % of total search volume. This is a great amount. If you can harness your blog for a better image SERP by applying the above SEO methods, you will be surprised by the amount of traffic coming to your blog through image searches.

2 thoughts on “Search Engine Optimization of Images in Your Blog

  1. John Allen Reply

    people are talking that tags or no more in seo games but as i always use appropriate tag in all of my website believe that tag are still alive and will stay on for seo if and only if you use them properly and donot try to trun them into spam

  2. Velix Reply

    Hi
    Thank you for the tips. Very good post.
    I think the Use of an ALT Tag with images is for SEO very important.

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