Optimise your Images for Search

What do these three images have in common? Sites like Pinterest have proven that they’re all incredibly share-able; between them they’ve amassed over 4000 repins and 900 likes.

This demonstrates the incredible ability for an image to become a viral force in your search engine optimisation strategy. Images are just as important as your written content for capturing and engaging your audience. If a good image is the hook used to reel in your audience, then the content is what keeps people around.

Image optimisation is an often over-looked area of SEO, but with the explosion of social media in the past few years, and the increased importance of social signals to search engine algorithms, now more than ever images are vital to increasing your traffic.

Optimising an image for search is incredibly simple to achieve, it simply requires changing your habits and developing some new best practices. Once learned, you’ll never return to your old ways again!

Step One: The first step is to learn to take good pictures. If you’re selling a product, find the best possible way to present it; look to Etsy stores for some artistic and inspiring ways to showcase your items. It helps if you think of a theme for your photos which you can use in different ways to develop your online image and brand.

Step Two: Remember to re-size your images and convert them to .jpg before you upload them. Larger images will slow down browsers and increase bounce-rate as users won’t stick around to wait for them to load.

Step Three: Re-name your images, and be as descriptive as possible. This isn’t the time or place to try to squeeze your company name in, the image will be hosted on your website, or your image sharing account, so no need to worry about users knowing where it came from. Be as descriptive as possible and try to think in keywords; what do people search for?

Step Four: Use the alt text and caption function where possible, and make sure you tag your images effectively if using a site such as WordPress or FlickR.  This will increase the keywords associated with your image and help your images to show up in more SERP’s.

Step Five: Share your images! Use them in blog posts, on social networking sites, and on photo sharing sites. Remember the three images at the start of this post? Social networks like to share cute, funny, tasty looking, interesting, and inspiring images. And since women are the majority of many of the key social networking sites, make sure your images are geared towards them.