SEO is my life; it’s how I earn a living, and because of this, I need to constantly adjust and adapt to Google’s ever-changing game plan. A good example of this would be image optimization for ranking. I’ve come across countless webmasters who have argued that image optimization is for the most part an unnecessary waste of time. After all, how often do people use Google image search?
Google currently processes roughly 40,000 searches every second or if you like big numbers, that’s around 3.5 billion searches per day or 1.2 trillion per year. At present, Google “image searches” only account for approximately 1% of those searches, so why bother with image optimization for ranking?
I’m sure you may have noticed by now that quite often when you do a Google search, you see a few relevant images displayed near the top of the page. This is typically referred to as “blended search” and believe me; images that show up in search results have an incredibly high click-through rate. Of course this is to be expected because like most SEO specialists will tell you, people LOVE pictures.
Unfortunately, getting your images to show on the front page of Google search is virtually impossible. I’ve tried every trick in the book, and I have failed. The only time I have ever managed to pull this off was when I was handed the job of optimizing a well established “high authority” tourism related website.
Okay, so why optimize your images in the first place then? The reason why I advocate image optimization is not because I expect my images to make it onto page one in Google’s search results. I optimize images because in the world of SEO, even the small things count. It is all the small, seemingly unimportant things that come together in the end to give you better search engine rankings. In short, image optimization is simply a component of sound SEO practices.
Optimizing Website Images
Google cannot read images in the same way it does with text. As a result, you can use alt tags to describe an image and to further optimize a page for a given keyword or keyword phrase, without having to worry about being penalized for keyword spamming.
So how exactly should you go about optimizing your images? Okay, let’s say I have a screenshot image showing how much traffic my site gets. In this case, my alt tag could for example be:
Alt=”SEO Services that Drive Massive Traffic”
If I use the above example, then the full image code would be:
<img src=”http://www.domain.com/imagename.jpg” alt=”SEO Services that Drive Massive Traffic”/>
Naming Your Image
As you no doubt know, there are billions, if not trillions of images out there in cyberspace, and your image will be competing with them. This is something you need to keep in mind when you name your image files. You want to include your keyword or keyword phrase, but you also want to add something that will help it to stand out.
In the above example I could simply have called my image “SEO Services” or “Website Traffic” but instead I added something to immediately show that it has to do with services which are designed to increase website traffic.
Using Rich Snippets to Increase Click-Through Rate
In short, rich snippets essentially allow you to tag a picture to your website. For Example, if you want people to see a picture of you when they do a Google search for your company, you can tag a good photo of yourself to your site.