Image SEO Tips

Here are some very simple changes you can make to your images to increase the chances of them helping your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Image File Name

Before you upload an image to your site, make sure you give it a good file name.  Search engines not only crawl the text on a web page, but they also search for keywords in the image file names.  As such, use descriptive, keyword-rich file names.  You don't want to use the generic name that a camera gives to an image such as IMG_6056.jpg. It would be much better to name the file: Famous-Logos-Written-By-Doctors.jpg

Here is the file naming convention we would recommend:

  1. Use key words that pertain to the image
  2. Don't use small/stop words (a, and, the, etc.)
  3. Use dashes/hyphens between words (not underscores)

The more clues that Google has to figure out what content is on your site, the better.

Image Title

In the SOM web system, the image’s file name (e.g.: Famous-Logos-Written-By-Doctors.jpg) will automatically be used as its Title if you do not provide a Title.  It would be better however, to give it a Title that is both descriptive and keyword-rich.  You might want the title to mirror the file name, except without the hyphens (e.g.: Famous Logos Written by Doctors).

 Add Image Screen


The Title will also show up as a tool tip that pops up when someone's cursor hovers over the image.  From the examples below, you can see that the image on the left was given a proper Title.  The image on the right wasn't given a Title so the system assigned it the file name.


both example logos 


Description / Alt Tags

It is good practice to add a description to all images.  The description will appear as Alt Tags in the HTML.

The description / alt-text should be clear, descriptive and concise.  Alt-text is what’s used by screen reader software to describe images to people with visual impairments.  In fact, when it comes to alt-text, write it as if you’re describing it to a person with a visual impairment.  Just like the visually impaired, Google can’t ‘see’ your images, but it can ‘read’ them and what it reads is what you write in the description box.

Also, the description text will display if the image fails to load.

what happens when there's no image


How to Add a Description / Alt Tags to an Image

You have two opportunities to add a description to an image:

  1. When adding an image to the web system.

    Add Image Screen

  2. When adding an image to a page

description when adding image to a page

Image Load Time

If the load time on your site is slower than average, Google is less likely to show your site in the top search results.  Not surprisingly, images are one of the biggest culprits that cause slow load times.  Please crop your images to a reasonable size before you upload them to your web site.

If you don't have photo editing software, such as Photoshop or Microsoft Paint, there are free websites such as Picresize where you can resize your images.