When we talk about SEO, the conversation tends to focus on text, but images are equally important. They not only add dimension to your primary content but, when properly optimized, can also drive traffic to your website from Google Images. As critical as it is to select relevant, high quality images that are not mammoth in size, successful image optimization ultimately hinges upon search engine bots being able to identify and process your images. The following five tips will make your images easy to find by bots and people alike.
- Alt text is the text that appears when an image cannot be displayed for whatever reason. Search engine crawlers also use the information in alt text to index images. It should accurately and succinctly describe the image, preferably incorporating important keywords. While there is no clearly defined character limit for alt text, some experts recommend keeping it to140 characters or less, which is also the character limit for a tweet. Done well, alt text will enable someone to visualize your image clearly.
- The image title attribute is similar to alt text, but rather than provide alternative information when an image is not displayed, it provides additional information when someone hovers the mouse over a graphic. Since Google has confirmed that alt text carries the most weight, people tend to put less thought into their image titles, but it is still an opportunity for you to reinforce what an image is about and help your audience understand its role.
- File names are frequently neglected, but they operate much like alt text. If you have ever performed an image search, you have seen generic file names that contain mostly numbers and do not provide much information. While search engines are not dependent upon file names, they will use the information they contain to identify and categorize images. While it will be significantly shorter, an image’s file name should be descriptive and echo what is contained in your alt text. It may not provide as strong of a signal to crawlers, but every little bit helps.
- Surrounding text can be divided into two categories: captions and primary content. They are important because they provide valuable context for your images. Not everyone captions their images, but they should. A traditional caption clearly labels your graphic elements and reinforces your alt text. As for your primary content, the assumption is that any photographs or illustrations directly relate to it. The images and text should form a reciprocal relationship that boosts the rank of both.
- Multiple images on the same page should have a clear relationship to one another. Like your surrounding text, graphics provide context, and it is important you are selective about your images. You also need to consider relevancy and quality just as you would with your written content. Most importantly, do not overload a page with excessive graphics. Not only will that degrade the overall content of your page, but also it could effect your load time, which will adversely affect your page rank.
By taking these basic steps to optimize your graphic content, you ensure that Google Images will be able to properly index your site’s visual elements and increase its visibility as a whole.
Successful image optimization will add dimension to your site and drive traffic to it from Google Images. These five steps will help bots properly index your graphic elements and have a marked benefit for SEO. Learn more at Wpromote.com