Image Optimization Best Practices
A commonly overlooked iota in the world of search engine optimization is image optimization. Seriously, who cares about whether an image is optimized or not? A rapidly growing trend with search engine behavior is Google and Bing’s image search feature. For internet retailers struggling to climb the ladder in organic search ranking, this secret weapon can throw a wrench in your competitor’s gears. Most consumers want to see a product before they buy it, and most distributors show the same exact product image on all websites carrying the product. Consumers will often turn to the image search to find other images of the product. Keeping this in mind, having several different images of each product and having them optimized will surely catch the consumer’s attention.
Image Optimization Keyword Strategy:
Selecting the proper keyword to target for image optimization requires several elements to become a successful campaign. The most important factor is to make sure the keyword matches the meta data and content of the page. Including a product name, brand, and model number is also very important during the keyword selection process. The keyword will be used in the filename, caption, and ALT tag. As with any SEO campaign – always remember to avoid keyword cramming. Images are subordinate to the same basic guidelines as content optimization.
Image Filename Optimization:
Setting up optimized image filenames can be tricky. Including a keyword related to the product while keeping the name short and sweet can prove to be a challenge at times. Assuming you have optimized meta titles on the product pages, use one of the keyword phrases from the meta title as the filename. Be sure to include the brand and model number along with the file name. If the filename gets too lengthy, you’ll need to cut some of the words out. Instead of separating the words in the filename with spaces or underscores, use hyphens. For example: “chicago-search-engine-optimization.jpg”. The image search will discount the hyphens, and read it as “chicago search engine optimization.”
Image Caption Optimization:
Search engine spiders read the text surrounding images to help determine relevance to the targeted keyword. With that in mind, writing a brief caption using keywords will make the images perform better in an image search. Include the product name, brand, and model number. Also be sure to include a keyword or two. Captions will help readers put a “name to the face” with your products. Images also help catch the reader’s eye, so they are more likely to read captions before the body content on the page.
Image ALT Tag Optimization:
Hover over any image on this page. What do you notice popping up by the cursor? That little manila-colored box is called the ALT tag. This is another way to implant keywords into images. Keep the tags brief and descriptive – no more than 50 characters. Be sure to incorporate keywords into the tags. Adding in product names and model numbers will also help the images perform better. If possible, try to describe the image in a few words.
Image Link Optimization:
Now that the image is fully optimized, it’s time to turn it into a moneymaker. Turn all the images into image links. For product images, point the image to the order form. Set up service-related images to link to the contact form. If it’s just a general image, link it to a page with general information. Optimizing and linking images can be the key to conversion optimization.