Images on websites have significantly increased recently with the popularity of Pinterest and uses of infographics on websites and social media sites like Facebook and Google+. Wherever your images may be, it is very important that they are optimized for Google Image Search, which will also help your search engine rankings.
Recently, Google offered image search tips on their Webmaster Blog that offers several tips and suggestions to website owners and SEO agencies with optimizing images so that they can be found in Google’s Image Search.
How to Optimize Images for SEO
Google mentioned that it can identify and index images as BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, and SVG files. Google cannot find your image unless it is one of the listed image file types.
Once Google has identified this image file type, it then looks at the title and the websites content (text) on the page that the image is located on. Other things Google’s algorithm looks at are anchor texts that point to the image. You may want to consider adding descriptive title and captions for your images if the page/post allows for it.
Another very popular method in ranking images is to use alt text tags in a way that humans can understand, not just Google. It’s also important to make it relevant to what the subject of the page is about. Avoid keyword stuffing with alt tags as you could get penalized for after Google’s Penguin update.
Google Image Filename
Google also recommends saving the file name of the image that you are uploading to be relevant to the keyword(s) that you are trying to optimize for. For example, if you are trying to help achieve rankings for “local bump”, you would save the file as local-bump.jpg, not the default IMG123456.jpg that most cameras save files as. This is a very important one that we see overlooked quite a bit.
Google mentions that the file size doesn’t matter in regards to ranking your image in Google Image Search.
Other tips are to use high quality images and to submit an Image Sitemap, which tells Google about your website’s new images.
What other tips do you have in optimizing your images for SEO?