Optimising Your Website For Image Search

by Gary on August 6, 2007 · 4 comments

in SEO

Every major search engine lets you search for images and many times you must have noticed how you end up on a website while searching for an image. If your website has lots of images then your images too can be good source of quality traffic. In this post I’m going to list a few ways to leverage your images for traffic from search engines.

Give Proper Names To Your Images

It’s always better to name an image as “web-design-services.gif” than “image3098.gif” because the name helps the search engines index it for the search term. Use all your primary keywords as the names of your image, but try to keep everything contextual. Don’t name an image as “rose.jpg” if it shows a crocodile (unless of course the croc’s name is Rose).

Use Appropriate Text In The Alt Attributes

The alt attribute of the IMG tag has been in use for a long time. It makes a good anchor text if you use your images as links. A great way of using your keywords in the alt attribute is:

<a href=”web-design-services.php”><img src=”/img/web-design-services.gif” alt=”Web Design Services” /></a>

It’s not necessary that you only use the ALT attribute when you use an image as a hyperlink; you can use the ALT attribute when you use the IMG tag to display an image on your web page.

Use Your Relevant Text Around Your Image

Use your keyword-rich content around your images. This helps the search engines figure out what the image conveys. Of course it goes without saying that don’t mislead the search engines by using all sorts of wrong keywords.

Remove Image Restrictions

Try not to display your images dynamically through JavaScript because then the search engines cannot access them. Also, make sure your robot.txt file is not stopping the crawlers from accessing your images folder because some robot.txt files do that.

So these are a few steps you can take to derive relevant traffic from search engines using images.

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Sujan Patel August 6, 2007 at 9:17 pm

I’ve noticed that the text around the image matters as well. I think its good to place keywords around the image something that can identify the image.

Gary August 6, 2007 at 9:35 pm

Hi Sujan, thanks for your input. That would definately make sense.

SEO Carly August 7, 2007 at 7:48 am

Yes text around the image helps alot, i’ve seen alot of “pic123.jpg” images indexed in Google search purely by surrounding text. Also page title can help too.

Another good idea is to have all your design image elements in their own folder and blocked with robots.txt as you don’t really want this indexed and it also wastes your Imagebot cawl budget.

Also full descriptive image paths are good, such as:


Gary August 7, 2007 at 8:10 am

Good points Carly. In particular I always try and include keywords in both image titles and file names.