Looking for a simple but smart way to grab some extra search traffic? Most people probably don’t think of it when it comes to optimizing their site, but Google Image Search is a great way to promote and drive traffic to your page.
When it comes to SEO for your site, it’s widely known that you need to use relevant keywords, titles and meta descriptions. Those are the basics. But by making sure you include these four things in your image tags, you can guarantee an increase in search to your site with very little effort on your part.
- Use a descriptive file name for your image. For example, pink-lily-tattoo.jpg is a much better file name than IMG00863.jpg. Google now knows what’s in the image, and can index it accordingly. Keep in mind that Google Image search can look at an image and distinguish ones with that are of a certain color.
- Use the ALT attribute. Using the ALT tag in your image tags is another way to tell Google’s crawlers what’s on your site. ALT=”pink lily tattoo” not only reinforces what’s in the image for the Googlebots, but also shows text on your site in place of the image if it is ever broken or slow to load – a bonus for good user experience.
- Use the TITLE attribute. Including a TITLE=”pink lily tattoo” creates a title that pops up when readers mouse over the image on your site. It’s also, like you’ve surely guessed by now, another way to tell Google about your image.
- Use height and width attributes. Google Image search allows the searcher to find by specific size criteria so telling Google the exact size of your image is not only best practice, but also helps to show your image is unique and not a duplicate of another image with the same name somewhere else.
- Surrounding Text. This is a very important one. Make sure the content surrounding the image helps describe the image and provides search engine with additional useful information to base your image’s rank. This includes captions and the general copy near the image.
- Inbound Links. As with all SEO aspects, inbound links play an important role. Although it could be that you receive inbound links to your images directly, more often it will be links going to the page that has the image embedded in it.
- Publicity/Exposure. Quality exposure can greatly benefit the ranking of your images. Tag your images using social tags like Technorati; add images to your Google Local Business profile (see How to optimize business locally); add images to news articles for syndication in Google news; etc.
Implement these few simple things from now on when it comes to optimizing for Google image search, and when you start to see images.google.com pop up on your traffic sources, you’ll know it’s worked!