SEO helps you to raise the search engine results page (SERP) position of your images. If your image is on the first page of Google Images, more people are likely to click on it and visit your site. While it isn’t quite so important as SEO for text, it’s still good to know — especially when you’re working with shareable content like infographics or memes.
The highest ranking images tend to be:
In order for an image to perform well in search, it also needs to be relevant to the page it’s located on. The best images are specific, but they’re also interesting —it’s important to appeal to visitors as well as Googlebots!
If your image is placed in the middle of the page, try to include relevant keywords (ideally the ones you used in the file name) either side of it — within about ten words of the image itself. This lets Google know that the picture is relevant to the other content on the page.
Like a lot of aspects of SEO, this is pretty much common sense. If you post a picture of a Persian cat, you’re probably doing it because it’s relevant to what you’re saying on the page. That, or you uploaded the wrong file.
Last but not least (for on-page optimisation, anyway): the alt attribute. The alt attribute was first designed to stand in for images in situations where they can’t be displayed, but has since been used (and abused) for SEO purposes. Include a simple, keyword-rich phrase that also describes the image. Stuffing the alt attribute with keywords is likely to backfire on you, but providing you’re not trying to trick Google, you shouldn’t have any trouble.
Do you think about SEO when you upload and name your images? Let us know in the comments!