Google Image Search Gets You Business

Google image search can give your photography website a significant boost. Because image search results use a different algorithm than organic search, you can potentially rank well in image searches for your keywords, even if you’re not doing so well in the organic results. This was the case with our studio. Long before Lin and Jirsa started ranking for organic Google searches, we were receiving targeted traffic from Google Image Searches.

While search engines are making progress, they are still not able to decipher the contents of an image without clues. For example, Google doesn’t know that a picture of a newborn is actually a newborn unless you give it hints.

image-seo
Example of Image Result in Google Images

These image seo hints are the following:

1. The name of the image
2. The alt text and title tag
3. The surrounding text.
4. The URL of page containing the image
5. The Text in a H1, H2, H3, or H4 tag

Image SEO Infographic

Image SEO Infographic
Image SEO Infographic

Importance of Image Name for Image SEO

Let’s first start with naming of images. Your image name should be your keyword separated by dashes. So, to continue with our example of Jennifer in San
Francisco, if she wants to target the Fairmont hotel as a wedding venue, she might choose the following name: “fairmont-san-francisco-wedding.jpg.”
However, it is important to not name all images the same. For example, if there are 5 images in the blog post, the image names should NOT be the following:

• “fairmont-san-francisco-wedding-1.jpg”
• “fairmont-san-francisco-wedding-2.jpg”
• “fairmont-san-francisco-wedding-3.jpg”
• “fairmont-san-francisco-wedding-4.jpg”

Instead, be sure to do the following:

• Use variations of your keyword
• Change the order of the words used
• Include additional related words

Here is a sample of what to do instead:

• “fairmont-san-francisco-weddingphotography.jpg”
• “bride-fairmont-sf-wedding.jpg”
• “fairmont-bay-area -wedding-photographer.jpg”
• “wedding-ceremony-at-fairmont-sanfrancisco.jpg”

Title and Alt Text for Image SEO

The title and alt text of an image are defined in the code surrounding the image. In the following example, the words after the “title=” is the title of the image and the words after “alt=” is the alt text.

<img title=””bride” src=””http://www.domainname.com/fairmont-san-francisco-bride.jpg”” alt=””bride” />

If you’re not familiar with HTML, do not worry. In content management systems like WordPress and Squarespace, the title and the alt text of an image can be assigned when you are inserting an image into a post, as you see in the following image:

image seo results
Location of Title, Caption, Alt Text and Description in WordPress

While the illustration is a WordPress example, most content management systems have a similar system. If it doesn’t, then it’s certainly time to consider a different platform. We’ll get into the best content management systems in later chapters.

For the Title and Alt Text, insert a short description of the image consisting of around five words or so. A good rule of thumb is to not deviate much, if at all, from your image name since you have already considered your target keywords while naming your images. So using our example, a picture of a bride at the Fairmont might be:

<img src=”http://www.domainname.com/fairmont-san-francisco-bride.jpg” title=”bride
at the fairmont san francisco” alt=”bride at the fairmont san francisco”>

Surrounding Text for Image SEO

Surrounding text also helps Google determine the contents of an image. So Instead of clumping your text together in the introduction of your post and then clumping your images together for the rest of the post, try intermingling your text and your images. Ideally, you would include keyworded text between all images.

Importance of Using Captions for Image SEO

A great way to insert text in between your images is to use captions. Captions are the text that appears directly after an image. In many content management systems, you can add captions when you insert your images. In the eyes of Google, captions are no different than any other text. So by simply describing the images within the captions with keywords, you will help your page and your images rank for those keywords.

Avoiding Large File Sizes in Image SEO

An additional factor worth mentioning is that images with large file sizes will not likely rank in image search. It simply isn’t feasible for image search engines to show full resolution images in their search results. While there hasn’t been any specific documentation for recommended file sizes, be sure you are not uploading full- sized, print resolution images

Instead, use web-resolution files (72dpi); and be sure to limit the dimensions to your exact display width (most likely 600px to 1000px wide depending on your website). This will not only help you rank better in image search results, but it will also help your overall site speed, which is another SEO factor that we’ll touch upon later.

Consider the Multisite Approach for Better Image SEO

Creating multiple websites is discussed in detail in the bonus chapters. If you search within Google’s image database (images.google.com) for any search query, you’ll notice that the top results are usually from a variety of domains. In fact, you’ll rarely find search queries that are completely dominated by images from a single domain. So how do you get more of your images into these results? One way is to distribute your images across more domains, whether they are your own sites that you create yourself, sites owned by others like related vendors, or other sites that show images like Flickr or Yelp. We will review this in more detail in our bonus chapter on using a multi-site strategy.

XML Image Sitemaps for Image SEO

You can help Google discover your images with an XML Image Sitemap. This critical tool is covered in detail in later chapters so be sure to follow the steps when you get to the topic.

Image SEO Conclusion

If you continue to create great content centered around a targeted group of keywords and drive quality, relevant links to your site, your site has a good chance of climbing the rankings, regardless of which website builder or CMS you are using. For more SEO information, see the Photography SEO and Web Marketing Ebook by SLR Lounge

CHAPTER 1.01 – INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 2: 1.02 – SEO BASICS & KEYWORD STRATEGY

CHAPTER 3 1.03 – CREATING CONTENT

CHAPTER 4: 1.04 – SITE STRUCTURE

Chapter 5: 1.05 – ACCESSIBILITY, SPEED, AND DUPLICATE CONTENT

Chapter 6: 2.01 – LINK BASICS

Chapter 7: 2.02 – LINK VALUE FACTORS

Chapter 8: 2.03 – NOFOLLOW, RELATED LINKS, & ANCHOR TEXT

Chapter 9: 2.04 – LINK BUILDING STRATEGIES

Chapter 10: 3.01 – THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Chapter 11: 3.02 – MAXIMIZING SPECIFIC SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS

Chapter 12: 3.03 – MASTER LOCAL SEARCH

Chapter 13: 4.01 – Initial Decisions

Chapter 14: 4.02 – WORDPRESS AND Squarespace

Chapter 15: 4.03 – GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Chapter 16: PAID DIRECTORIES

ACCESS TO INDUSTRY-LEADING EDUCATION

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