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Selecting and Using Images to Improve SEO

Selecting and Using Images to Improve Search Engine Optimization

Images are an important aspect of internet marketing, but, whether they help or hurt your search engine optimization depends on how you select and use them. Below are proven practices that will improve your SEO and increase traffic and business.

Know why you are choosing a specific image. Unless you’re selling photography, using images to clarify or enhance your message is, in general, accomplished using fewer rather than more images.

Select your images carefully. Images can reduce the speed your site downloads or can increase the time it takes customers to navigate your site. Detracting from user experience devalues the usefulness of images as part of your marketing strategy and will ultimately detract from your SEO ranking.

Always include “Alt Text” information. Writing effective alt text ensures your web pages are accessible and gives you more places to add SEO text without being penalized by search engines. Use alt text to describe the picture you’re using instead of incorporating broader concepts or keywords. Good alt text specifically describes the image. If your image is of your product, specifically describe the product. Don’t use a broad description. Alt text can be a tricky tool when you’re using an image as a metaphor or as a symbol for your business. For instance, if you’re using an upward pointing thumb to indicate success, you shouldn’t describe the image as a “thumb-up,” but the sentiment or mood you want to illustrate such as “success.” Alt text helps SEO because it provides words that are easier for search engines to assess than images. Accurately describing your images makes it easier for search engines to consider those images in determining your SEO.

Add title tags to images. You can use them to direct traffic to another website or another page of your website and they help search engines classify your images. If you use an image of clothing, add text to improve SEO based on inclusion of the image. Your clothing image can also be used to direct consumers to a page that provides further information about the article of clothing.

Do not use images to replace meaningful content. For the most part, search engines focus on non-image content to arrive at rankings.

Minimize overusing keywords or other content. Remember, today’s frontier in search engine optimization is weeding out duplicate content. Avoid duplication and overuse when it comes to labeling your images or adding text in title tags or alt text areas.

Images are a significant part of internet marketing but you don’t want to hurt your search engine optimization efforts by using them inappropriately. Use the tips above to choose and tag your images so they benefit your business through improved SEO.

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