9 SEO tips for better Google Image search

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 15, 2018

Previously, the image SEO’s purpose is to lead users back to the website. The search engines created an image section to collect all images associated with the search to generate web traffic. The reality is users viewed the image only. Google, Bing, Yahoo, MSN, DuckDuckGo, and similar search engines created an image search tab to harbor photos, which bypasses image browsing on websites. Now, companies and individuals use image SEO to rank high in image results.

1. A descriptive image filename garners more clicks than generic image filenames. For example, generic image filenames are ‘image12345’ and ‘store’. Image12345 and store don’t describe the photo’s meaning. Better descriptions are girlinbikini and menshatstore. However, no one can read that filename, so separate the words using hyphens. Present file names like this: girl-in-bikini and mens-hat-store.

2. The alt tag interprets the image in detail. With a 100-character limit, images benefit from a one or two sentence description that separates the image from similar images. Alt tags activate when the image doesn’t load up properly in search engines and when visually impaired people activate it. Add a keyword in the alt tag because there’s more space to do so.

3. For most people, the image caption will explain the photo’s meaning in detail. Located beneath the image, the caption allows one, two, or three supplemental sentences to differentiate one image from another. Captions add depth Add keywords in the image caption to attract more users to the image.

4. The title text appears after the mouse hovers over an image. When the mouse hovers on top of the image, wait a few seconds and a box with writing appears. The title text sets the tone for what the image represents. Add a keyword in the title text too.

5. The image URL is the page where users can view the photo separately. The image URL should be as unique, easy to read, and relevant to the image. Add a keyword within the URL to improve SEO. An example of a good URL is www.image.com/girl-in-bikini-beach. An example of a bad URL is www.image.com/04-jtfe-40/9032rujp=f0efg.

6. File size is the file’s weight. Gauge image weight by viewing the MB, GB, and KB format. KB (kilobytes) is the smallest and GB (gigabyte) is the biggest. Lightweight images load quickly yet lose quality because of the smaller size. Stunning photos load slower because it’s heavier. The best images are lightweight and appealing, so if possible, shrink images in kilobytes.

7. To achieve the lightweight and appealing combination, change the image file type. Types accepted online are .gif, .jpg, .png, and .bmp. PNG is the highest quality with the largest file size, followed by BMP, JPEG/JPG, and GIF being the smallest. Since most GIF’s associate with animated photos, shrink files to JPEG/JPG instead.

8. Most websites contain a sitemap for search engines to index pages easily. An image sitemap does the same thing. It gathers images from the website so search engines can index the page for user searches. An image sitemap increases SEO visibility and ranking.

9. Constantly seeing blank spaces instead of an image on every website is frustrating to mobile, tablet, and app users. A responsive image that loads beautifully on laptops, mobile phones, and tablets are the best solution. A responsive image will load quickly and self-resize so the results remain stunning on a 15″” laptop, a 10″” tablet, and a 5.5″” smartphone.

Search engines automatically pull images from around the web and gather them in one spot. While it takes time, it’s possible the image could rank among the top images in image search using these suggestions alone. From there, measure image results to determine which images are engaging and which fall flat using analytics.