Optimize Your Website for Google Image Search

google image search optimizationWhile many website owners worry about how discoverable they are in traditional search results, there are many additional ways to be discovered online. Google Image Search (and other image-based search engines) can be a valuable source of traffic. Image searches are just that–a way to view images on a ny given topic. Pinterist users and other social media users often comb-through image results for images to share–which can give you added exposure.

Here’s an example of how someone might discover your website in Google Image Search:

Say I’m looking for a picture of someone doing the limbo for a blog article I’m writing–so I go to Google Image Search and type in “Person doing limbo.” Coincidentally, you just happened to have a photo on your website tagged with that same phrase:  “person doing limbo.” Therefore your image comes right up. So I click on your image, land on your site, find out that the person in the photo is you and you just happen to be a tri-state limbo champion. Naturally, I ask you if I can interview you for my blog and use your picture. You agree, the blog is widely circulated, and you get offered a book deal to tell the story of your Limbo life–and all because you tagged your image correctly for Google. Amazing right? It could happen.

Because Google Image Search is not as competitive as traditional search results, if you optimize your images well, you’ll probably see some traffic from it. And it’s not hard to do. You just have to get in the habit.

There are three ways to describe your image for Google.

1. File Name
2. Title Tag
3. Alt. Tag

File Name

Before you upload your image, make sure to name your image using dashes between each word and choose descriptive keywords.

ex: person-doing-limbo.jpg

Title Tag
When you upload or insert an image into a blog post or page you will be given the option to title your image. I recommend using a slightly different conjugation then you used in the file name.

ex: Title: Limbo contest winner

Alt. Tag

The alt tag is an opportunity to describe your image for the sight-impaired. It is also used by Google Image Search. So be sure to enter something descriptive for your alt tag.

ex: Alt: Doing the Limbo

That’s it. Note, it can take a few weeks for Google to index all your images once you have optimized them.

Share your thoughts on image optimization and Google image search in the comments below.