Do the usual SEO best practices that apply to standard searches equally apply to images? We take a look at what to do to help your images rank better in search engine results.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is often seen as a battle against a somewhat-unknowable opponent.
While sticking to a number of longstanding rules has always seemed sensible, between algorithm changes, unknown ranking signals and a collection of small, constant shifts in how results are displayed, it’s clear that getting your content to the top of search results isn’t simply a straightforward case of making sure all the right boxes get ticked.
And when it comes to images, a whole range of other factors apply.
So what can you do to help get your images seen in search engine results? Here are eight key things worth thinking about to help get your images ranking high.
1. Don’t overlook names and alt text
Computer vision and other AI-based tools may be able to analyse an image and recognize the kind of scene and subject featured, but don’t think that this means you can skip the basics when it comes to naming and tagging.
The more information search engines have about your images the better – so if you can make their job easier, you stand a better chance of ranking.
Giving your image a file name that’s relevant to the subject in the image, as well as correct use of alt text to help describe it, will give you an advantage over an image whose subject is more difficult to discern.
It’s also worth remembering that your page title and meta tags are an important part in communicating what a viewer is likely to find when they click on an image. It’s worth optimizing these and checking to see whether search engines are displaying what you expect here, and amending it if not.
2. Craft your page with the user in mind – and this includes images
As people began to understand search engine ranking factors, they started to employ a number of tricks to help get their site noticed.
This included keyword stuffing, buying links, duplicating content from elsewhere, and presenting Google with one page and the user with another.
These and others fall under the term ‘black hat SEO’, and as search engines started to change their algorithms to catch these practices out, they also began to penalize sites that continued to use them.
Given that search engines aim to present users with the best results for their particular query, it’s no surprise that the advice of creating web pages with the user, and not the search engine, in mind has remained throughout years’ worth of ranking-factor changes and algorithm tweaks.
At a basic level, this means creating original, valuable and informative content that answers a particular query. Presenting this in a logical way, and within a logical site structure, is a plus. Responsive design ha