SEO for pictures


SEO for Pictures

Lord kitchener in the famous poster

Pictures can be used to push YOU up the rankings.

Using pictures to optimise your website

When the World Wide Web was created, pictures were something of a burden. They were relatively large and slow dial-up connections meant that the page download speed was seriously effected. Consequently, you rarely saw a visually inspiring website and word heavy sites became the norm. The main search engines couldn’t evaluate pictures, so they were deemed useless for SEO.

The introduction of broadband allowed designers to use pictures more freely, but they were still regarded as a waste in terms of SEO. Competition between the search engines encouraged Google to introduce the “Universal Search” in 2007. Known by most as the blended search, it combines the search results to show websites, news feeds, blogs, videos and pictures. After four years, blended serach is still often overlooked. This can be an opportunity to place pictures on the front page of a search even if your website cannot get such pagerank.

How do you effect SEO for pictures?

daffodils in a wood

I am not a number. I am a daffodil. | Ian Britton

Pictures can be optimised for SEO just like websites. Firstly, you need to  ensure that the file name describes the picture. After all, no spider is going to know what it is if it is just called a string of digits. If your picture is a flower than call it by that name. That gives the spiders a chance.

Using ALT attributes for Pictures

Alt attributes were established to help with accessibility and were designed to help those who have browsers that don’t enable pictures or for people with visual impairment. However, they can also be use to help SEO. Always keep your SEO keywords in mind when you are filling in the ALT attributes box. The two won’t be mutually exclusive, will they?

Again, think keywords when you are filling in the description box. This box allows you the most space, so feel free to give a full, keyworded explanation. Here you can also include some relevant connections. For example, if you are placing a picture of Barack Obama, you could mention that he is a Twitter superstar, bringing together two highly searched entities.

Barack Obama and wife, Michelle.

Barack Obama, Twitter superstar. | Lawrence Jackson

Captions and copy

Ideally, the caption should be accurate and fulfil your keyword requirements. Having the picture surrounded by relevant copy is also helpful.

Putting your picture on a separate page

By far the best possible thing for SEO would be to have the picture on its own page. That way the entire page can be optimised. This can be achieved by creating a link for it out of the original page. If you do this, make sure that the link has a good description. Instead of ” click here” use “to see Barack obama, Twitter superstar, click here.”

Remember that web users are becoming more visual. Use pictures to their full potential and you can gain advantage over your competitors.


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