Image Optimization: How to Show up in Google Image Results

People are attracted to visual content. There is some instinct that drives people to associate beautiful pictures with good content. Unfortunately, content creators often forget to optimize their images and focus solely on content.

Ask any SEO expert and they will tell you that image optimization can help you increase your search rank, especially for a digital marketing company. So, before uploading an image to your website, take a look at the image’s file name. It, probably, looks something like photo123.jpg or image123.jpg. You should change that.

You want your image file name to be describing the image so it can be easily found by users. Instead of naming your images photo.1.jpg or imagea.jpg, rename them with your post keywords.

Another thing that many people are not aware of is the fact that to rank on image search, you must optimize both, the images and the page elements. Size is also important since it will influence the speed of your website. But, you probably know that already. What you don’t know is that there is more to image optimization than file name and image size.

Keep on reading if you want to learn how to show up in Google Image results.


Perhaps more important than anything, it is vital that you associate an image with content that is relevant to your line of business. If you choose a stunning photo of a dog, and you link it to an article about mathematics, it will be perceived as random and thus, probably dismissed from the top.

Quality Images

The minimum you should be looking to have is 300×300, or ideally 600×600. If you are uploading a graphic, keep in mind that it should be factual, simple and trendy. If you go for photographs, then you should probably try to give some special focal points, angles or tones.

Alternative Text

Another good idea is to describe your images because this is how Google “reads” a picture. To do that, you must include the description in the details of the code. To avoid over-optimization, you should be careful how you describe it so that you do not make it too obvious. Also, you should know that there is no need for hyphens; you can describe it with normal text.  However, if it is the most appropriate option for describing the image, it is better to use them.

It is important to get this part right, since this attribute is used as an accessibility tag, helping blind people, for example, not to access the photo by mistake. One should try to define the image content in 6 or so characters, but you can go up to 125 if needed.

File Names

Although the recognition program of Google is trying to figure out what is in the photo that you are submitting, it is best if you tell what does the picture contain. To do that, you shouldn’t keep the original file name format, but instead, rename it to something readable for Google.

A good way of finding the suitable names for your files is to search through your website analytics and see what are the phrasing patterns used to perform searches, and after you have determined the naming patterns that are most common, you can use that to name your files.

Unique Images

Google has released a statement in which they say that stock photos don’t really impact the web rankings. That can be quite a challenge for retailers, for example, since they usually use the photos sent to them by the manufacturers. Ultimately, the best way to rank is if you use a set of unique photos.

Title Tags

If it helps the visitor, besides the Alt tag you should consider using the title tag as well. By doing this, a visual caption will be created when the visitor is hovering over the picture.

Without a doubt, there are many factors that must be taken into consideration when it comes to optimizing your images. From testing them to strategizing the sizes, you never know which element will help you to rank better. Exploring and testing are the keys to finding the best option for you.

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