Image SEO is exciting because this isn’t a topic that a lot of SEO’s cover in-depth. That it’s one of those things where you don’t hear much about it but images are awesome!
Image are super important they drive traffic if executed properly.
I’ll actually show you some numbers from one of my client’s sites that gets a decent amount of Image search traffic.
You know the images show in the google search result in many different ways:-
1) Google Web Results
2) On Google Images
3) Shopping Tab
4) Google Discover
- In featured snippets and on the side (Google Web Results)
Many a time when we search any topic or keyword we see these image boxes on the beginning or the side of the SERP.
2. In image search(People search on Google Images), there’s a whole tab for images searches on almost all search engines.
I don’t know about you all but I use this Google Images search all the time, I recently bought furniture and I’m all about to see the images of furniture and stuff so I’m forever on this images tab to have to look at products and taking some inspiration for my infographic on the websites.
3. Shopping Tab
For shopping at least according to one of the google studies 50 % of shoppers used images.
I’m also using this as well more for the shopping comparison but I was definitely wanted to see the products and how they’re going to look kind of within my home.
There’s some really cool stuff out there by the way a lot of these apps now have this AR feature so you can kind of put it and see how it’s going to look. It’s really interesting.
Google Search Console Screenshot
Search type: Images
Last 6 Month Data
So this image is actually from our google search console for our client. Now it’s 16.3k visitors in six months about 3000 a month.
We’ve only just applied best practices for image SEO point of view and driving a bunch of traffic for the theme.
4. Google Discover
Images also show in google discover which is like a news feed and also in youtube in search results you actually have like video results tab within google that also shows images for videos.
And even in youtube (Now it’s a huge search engine in itself) you know it actually it drives a ton of traffic and visibility for a brand.
Images really help us stand out in the search results as a brand.
So I hope you get a good idea about the images. How images drive traffic to our website and increase brand visibility.
To achieve that what do you need to do as far as optimizing images you want to show in these places you want them to drive traffic.
Now we’re going to talking about how do you rank higher in google images!
Image SEO Best Practices
Text around the images
The most important thing is the kind of page that images on. There’s going to be a lot of different signals for search engines to use to determine kind of what the image is about.
One of the things is like relevant text around the images you know you’re talking about something and you provide an image and the caption, for instance, is really a good example of that it’s literally saying this is what this image is about.
Content of the Image
The image below
Google actually labels the images for indexing.
So we’ve got a different label for this image as is it a food, is it specifically a fruit, is it specifically a Banana or Apple.
And all this taken into account they’re using Visual Recognition to determine what is actually inside these images.
From my past experience put text within the images and you can overlay the text on an image but don’t include it in the actual image itself.
Image File Name
When you are saving any image you want to make sure that it’s relevant.
Images name with some random number that’s not giving any kind of signal, what’s the context, what’s within that image.
I’m not saying it’s a major ranking factor but it’s probably something you want to do going forward also help you keep it organized.
Don’t Stuff Keyword
You don’t want to stuff keywords into the name of the images you pretty much just want to call it as what it’s in the image.
Don’t stuff different variations of the keyword. That’s not gonna help you in fact it’s probably gonna hurt you. Don’t over-optimise it.
So just try to name what’s in the image don’t be spammy (A bunch of different variations of keywords).
Most search engines use image names when you don’t have alt text.
So they actually read out what you named the image.
So if you’ve titled your image as pizza slice search engine gonna read pizza slice,
If you titled it as IMG_19642, well that’s not going to help someone with visually impaired know exactly what that image is.
Alt Text SEO Best Practices
Use Alt Attribute
What is alt text for images?
The alt text is something the users don’t see but the search engines can use this. ‘Alt text’ is a contraction of ‘alternative text’
The purpose of it is to describe what is actually in that image.
<img src=”puppy.gif” alt=”Puppies dancing”/>
Alt Text describes an image on a web page.
Alt text best practices
There’s a lot of debate on best Image SEO practices
This are mine SEO practices because many could make counterpoints, other people will have different opinions etc.
- Be concise
If you are giving the alt tag to the image don’t go over 16 words at least if you describing the images. If you are describing the paragraphs for images I think search engines don’t read that much (I know it’s a weird random fact).
- Be accurate in describing the image. Don’t add keyword for irrelevant images.
Sometimes people want to add keywords for every single image I would say don’t do that if it’s not relevant if it doesn’t really add value to the page if it’s not the same as what the page is talking about.
- Don’t stuff keyword
- Don’t use for images used for spacing or generic design images.
- Don’t use alt attributes on background images
Background images on the website, they’re not images that can actually be labelled so as SEO sometimes I get requests can you add a keyword in alt text to this and I’m like no.
Web Page Title and Meta Description
As I mentioned there are many On-Page factors that are used to rank in image search.
Title tag and meta description are one of them.
This is basically saying like if my page title and meta description is relevant and my image is relevant to this one thing “SEO for Beginners” then probably that image is relevant like if it’s on a page about a topic then an image that is also about that topic and probably a relevant result so this is a pretty strong signal for search engines.
If you want to increase your CTR check this
This are basically code snippets that allow for specific search features. They’re typically pulled for JSON-LD. This is more technical. There’s a lot of plugins and stuff that’ll help you. Check this guide provided by Google
These things are important because they basically can get you additional search results.
Structured Data – More information that gives you more targeted traffic
- Recipe markup to the recipe page
- Product markup for product pages
- Video markup to pages with video
- HowTo Schema for the blog page
- Q&A Page Schema, etc.
If you use any social networks for sharing your content, make sure you correctly implement social markup and validate using the various platforms’ respective testing tools:
- Facebook: Open Graph + Validation Tool
- LinkedIn: Open Graph
- Twitter: Cards + Validation Tool
- Pinterest: Rich Pins + Validation Tool
- Instagram: Open Graph
Now let’s talk about a few technical options
Tecnical Part of Image Seo
Does Google crawl images?
Image index is not the same as an index for pages for google like there’s its own crawler, it’s own index.
The images there aren’t really seen by normal Googlebot when it’s crawling in fact they don’t actually render the images. When they’re crawling to get the content of web pages.
So it’s got its own crawler that does its own thing.
Images index– Not the same as the index for pages
Has its own crawler.
User agent: Googlebot-Images/1.0
There’s a few reasons that’s important one of those we talked about:-
Don’t change file locations.
If you change the file location it’s basically a completely different image and that’s going to cause a problem because if you’ve used the same images for instance on multiple pages it’s got links to it or any number of other signals.
Does Changing Image File Name Affect SEO?
Changing file names is risky and I recommend against that typically but do change your file names going forward if you can.
If you change that and you don’t redirect things like take the older one and basically point it to the new location then it’s not going to consolidate properly your images aren’t going to rank as well as they should have.
Don’t disallow crawling of images
You don’t want to disallow the crawling of images. If google can’t crawl your images they can’t see the images with the Googlebot images.
So they can’t index them they can’t give you a special SERP feature.
Create an image sitemap.
So you want Google to find your images the easiest way to do that is to create an image sitemap
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9" xmlns:image="http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-image/1.1"> <url> <loc>http://example.com/sample1.html</loc> <image:image> <image:loc>http://example.com/image.jpg</image:loc> </image:image> <image:image> <image:loc>http://example.com/photo.jpg</image:loc> </image:image> </url> <url> <loc>http://example.com/sample2.html</loc> <image:image> <image:loc>http://example.com/picture.jpg</image:loc> <image:caption>A funny picture of a cat eating cabbage</image:caption> <image:geo_location>Lyon, France</image:geo_location> <image:title>Cat vs Cabbage</image:title> <image:license>http://example.com/image-license</image:license> </image:image> </url> </urlset>
Basically, it is a list of pages and images on the website and this means their crawlers can just go in and say like look I’ve got these images of the page and get them index.
Get the full detailed guide on Image Sitemaps
Now when it’s come to SEO,
Links are one of the important ranking factors.
Building link with images
Images are the best way to acquire links.
One of the easiest ways to do this if you have custom images is to allow people to use your images with attribution (Creative Common Licensing ).
So if you have custom images this is amazing because it means if you’re willing to let other people use your images then you can get some really good link that way.
It’s generally a site would be better off creating their own images but due to Time, Resources, etc. If there’s a relevant image on another site has that you can use then will it happens new sites owner do this all the time.
So if you can make awesome images and provide value for them they’re providing a link and value back to you.
There are a lot of different types of images that attract links to your website
What kind of images attract links?
- Product photos
Infographics are now the most common way.
Any kind of data-driven thing and attract more links than infographics.
I’ve seen very amazing link building campaigns where they basically overlay certain data with like world map or a top goal scorer or the USA States like these people like baking and this people don’t like baking.
These kinds of things always did really well.
I always saw things with – Any kind of custom data(Graphs, maps etc) or data in general typically get cited and embedded on other websites.
It’s kind of the same with product photos, graphs etc. that you’re making them useful. People will use this thing and they will basically link back to you
If Image SEO is done properly then it can bring traffic to your website.
If you have any suggestions do let me know in the comments below.
If you want to dive deeper into the Google Search Console Data
Check out our article on How to use Regex Expression in Google Search Console