SEO Optimization for Images: Making Images More Searchable

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Nature photographer Suzi Eszterhas once complained that if she saw a bird she had never seen before, the Internet couldn’t help her to identify it. Surely an image of a given species would exist somewhere online, but how to find it without a name? This is the essential problem of images. Like an old ear worm that you only know by a bar or two- if you can’t quote a lyric, the guy at the record store probably can’t help you.

When it comes to marketing, the problem is transversed. Search engine optimization is based on text, not images. So how do we make the images we use more searchable? Fortunately, there are workable ways to optimize images for SEO. But they only work if you know what they are, and practice them.

 

Original Images Only Please

Google’s SEO ranking software and professional content rank setters favor originality. It’s partly to fight back against plagiarism, but also to keep Google search results fresh and useful. That means if you’re going to use images- and you should- they should be original. Everyone with a website should also be an amateur photographer. Get a decent camera, learn some of the basics of photography and start making stunning original images.

 

Create an Image Sitemap

Search engines can’t help you unless you give them some text to go by. An image sitemap is a list of the images on your page. Give your original images original, relevant titles. This will give the search engines the foothold they need to rank your imagery appropriately. You’re also going to need to use a little bit of coding. It’s not complex, and you can probably find a guide if you’re not a programmer. You can either create a sitemap that is image specific or simply add image information to the sitemap you have already.

 

Size your Images Appropriately

Different pieces of typographical landscape require different image sizes. No one can tell you what size is best unless they’ve seen and understood the purpose of your website. One thing that should be obvious is, your images should be sized correctly for the level of pixel resolution. If it doesn’t look fuzzy, you’re probably alright. Where it gets tricky is matching image size with resolution within the space available. There are plenty of tools available to help you resize images. The best advice is to not expect to get it right on the first try and be ready to discard your first attempts.

 

Label the Image in an Accurate & SEO Friendly Way

Like the problem with the strange bird, if there’s no text- or the wrong text- people who are looking for your content will be unlikely to find it. If you’re an artist or photographer, you may be inclined to name a piece in a way that’s not easily searchable. That’s partly what your sitemap is for, but you’re also going to want to tag the image in a way that will bring people right to it.

 

Make Your Images Sharable

The power of online advertising is all about sharing. Look for social media platforms you can use to boost images, link them to your website, and watch the clicks come rolling in. The best thing about that is you get instant metrics on how much people like your images. If you’re an artist or photographer- that instant crowd feedback is a big asset to your craft.

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