Doing SEO for Google Image Search
Google is one of the most popular search engines out there today, so it's very important that your page is optimized for Google. This means you'll get ranked higher on the engine's list of returned results, which in turn means you get more traffic. However, there's another Google search out there that many people forget about: Google Image Search. Getting your images ranked highly is just as important as getting your page ranked up there, especially since it can result in extra traffic to your site. But how do you go about doing Google Image SEO?
When Google's image spider crawls along your website, it starts indexing all of the images it finds in a way that's similar to how web sites are indexed. The image spider doesn't visit your page as often, however, which means your new images won't be indexed right away. Sometimes, it can actually be four or five months before a Google image spider gets to your site again. This means it can be quite a while before new images are added to Google's image catalogue.
If you want to make your images irresistible to Google Image Search, you need to be certain you have ALT text on every one of them. ALT text has been around since the early days of HTML, and it's the text that appears if the image doesn't load. This way, the visitor to the site at least has an idea of what image should be there. You want to try to work in several of your site's keywords into the ALT text, including the name of your business, what the image is, and where you're located if possible. Think of things people might put into Image Search that would logically lead to your image, but at the same time, make sure your ALT text is actually readable and not just a list of keywords.
Remember to give your file name a bit of a description, too. It does actually help to name it something related to the image and not a generic name like picture003. It's a small thing, but it can help.
Include captions to give your readers more of an idea of what the image is and to help Google figure out how to classify your image. The more text near to and related to your image, the better it will be categorized in Google's database, and that can translate directly into a better ranking.
The entire website can also help contribute to your image ranking. Google will look at your page's keywords and other features on the site and use them as part of the equation that determines where your images rank.
Overall, remember good keyword practices when working on your ALT text, captions, and other image-related text. Just because something is a picture doesn't mean you don't have to use good SEO practices. In fact, it's even more important that you write good text because the image spider can't actually see your image-all it has to go on is the text you write.
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