Some people use Google to search for images instead of words. This is an awesome opportunity for webmasters to drive some more organic traffic to their pages. Unfortunately, many of them have no idea how to take advantage of Google Image search, so they lose all that additional traffic in favor of their more knowledgeable competitors.
If you have a website with many pictures, it’s definitely worth trying to optimize it for both words and images. When it comes to traditional SEO optimization for various , the main things to do are to include your best keywords in the page title and to make the page content relevant to those keywords. You should avoid repeating the same keywords for too many times, as this might trigger an over-optimization penalty from Google.
In terms of pictures, here are the main optimization elements you need to consider:
1. Title Tags
Title tags are very important, as Google uses them to determine the topic of your photos. Your title tags should contain the most relevant words depicting the image. If your photo is with apples and pears, but you put a title like “Children on the beach”, you aren’t going to get anywhere. Always use relevant titles and try to keep them short and to the point.
2. Alt Tags
Alt tags are also important in search engines optimization. What you put between these tags will be displayed on the website when users hover over an image or when the image can’t be displayed in the browser.
From this point of view, we can say Alt tags are of major importance. They speak volumes about your images, so you should keep them relevant and descriptive, if you want to get ranked well in Google image search.
Captions are the fragments of text displayed under photos with the purpose of telling something to the viewers. The can be longer than Title and Alt tags and they don’t necessarily need to include your main keyword. They re important, though, because of their latent semantic indexing value. They need to be related to the topic of the page.
If you have a very well balanced web page, you are going to rank well in Google for both pictures and words. However, you need to keep in mind that if you try too hard, search engines might detect you are trying to cheat them, so you are going to get a penalty. It’s best to avoid such situations, as it might be impossible to recover, if the penalty is very severe.
One of the most important rules in the optimization for words is to have unique page titles. This means that if your website has 10 pages, each of them should have its name, fully relevant for its content and including the main keyword.
Keywords also need to be unique for each page. Google ranks pages rather than websites. If you have a site about fishing, for instance, you might want to have one page optimized for carp fishing, another one for trout fishing and so on. Each of them needs to bear its own title.
The same rule applies for images on a page. Each of them needs to have its unique title and its unique Alt tag. It’s not productive to have ten photos on a page, all of them called “fishing”. They should have their unique identifiers. It’s the only way search engine spiders can classify all those photos and rank them according to their relevance for certain keywords.
These are the basic rules of SEO for images and text. Follow them closely and the results will soon be there.