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Use Clever Tags on Your Pictures to Leverage Google Images for Traffic

When we think of SEO, we tend to think of written content with good keyword depth and a sprinkling of links, and it is easy to overlook the importance of the graphic components of the page. Using images among your text content is generally going to be good for SEO, and when you tag them appropriately, they can be an extra source of traffic to your website. Search engines are usually thought of as lists of page links, but in fact they are much more complex than that; they can also filter results into specialized types like locations, news or images.

It is easy to overlook Google Images as a potential source of web traffic but graphic elements are a big part of the Internet, and sites like Pinterest are driven by images that derive a lot of their content directly from Google’s image search function1. While most users will be willing to scroll through a few pages of Google Images to find the right one, you still have to tag your images correctly for Google to be able to index them in the place that you want them to be. By choosing the right keywords to tag your images, it is possible to attract a lot of traffic to your website that might not otherwise find you.

Fortunately, Google is quite clear about the right way to tag your images and gives explicit details on the best sort of SEO practices to use with them2. The first thing that should be optimized is the file name, which tells the crawlers a lot about the image. Using your keyword in a descriptive file name like “african_elephant.jpeg” is a much better way to let the crawlers know what the picture is, whereas a file name like “img_0011,” which a camera will attribute to it automatically, will not help the crawlers very much. Another very important tag for the crawlers is the Alt text, which is the caption that will be displayed if, for any reason, the image can’t be displayed. This is the descriptive text that the search engines use to determine the contents of the image, so it is important to use your keywords here. At the same time, stuffing the Alt text with keywords will have a negative effect on SEO, and the key is to use a natural, descriptive phrase that sums up what the image is about.

The context of the image is also a key part in ranking the importance of the image to the overall content, so choosing titles and captions that are related to the textual content is the best SEO for images. If you have linked anchor text to the image in your content, it is best to make sure that it is as descriptive of what the picture is about as possible. Anchor text like “blossoming cherry trees” is going to be more productive than linking to a generic word like “photo.” It is also good to always specify the size of images to reduce download times and to provide the best user experience.

Image tags are an excellent opportunity to use many of the synonyms for your main keyword set as a simple way to broaden the reach of your website. Often, people that aren’t particularly interested in your written content will want to share your images, and this trend can only increase. If you want to make sure that your images are ranking to their fullest potential then you need to curate them and revise their tags so that they are all working for you. Contact Infintech Designs to find out more about how to use the right tags on your images to build good SEO for your website.

References:
1. http://info.rjmetrics.com/blog/bid/52877/Pinterest-Data-Analysis-An-Inside-Look

2. http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=114016&ctx=sibling

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