We've been properly labelling and tagging our images for years. Some of our websites get most of their visitors from Google Images.
Google Images is the greatest SEO reserve left in the world. Chris Silver Smith of Netconcepts let the cat out of the bag in 2006 and told the whole world about optimising for Google images. But it's hard work optimising images for Google Images and most webmasters still can't be bothered. There's still gold - or at least visitors - in those hills.
As Chris didn't cover the technical details in-depth, here's a step by step guide for optimising your images for Google images.
Most websites publish their images like this:
<img src="https://foliovision.com/images/192a/986943.jpg" alt="image">
Where's the problem? Missing height and width, meaningless directory name, meaningless file name, generic alt tag.
Here's what a properly formatted image should look like:
<img src="https://foliovision.com/images/2007/08/zen-fanless-power-supply-400.jpg" alt="Zen Fanless Power Supply" width="400" height="340" />
For bonus points link that image to a larger version of the same properly labelled image:
<a href="http://foliovision.com/images/2007/08/zen-fanless-power-supply-big.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="https://foliovision.com/images/2007/08/zen-fanless-power-supply-400.jpg" alt="Zen Fanless Power Supply" /></a>
For extra bonus points put that image in a h5 tag with a proper caption, close to if not identical to the alt tag:
<h5><a href="http://foliovision.com/images/2007/08/zen-fanless-power-supply-big.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="https://foliovision.com/images/2007/08/zen-fanless-power-supply-400.jpg" alt="Zen Fanless Power Supply" /></a><br />Fortron PFC ZEN fanless power supply</h5>
If all that sounds like a huge hassle - when you do it for every image - you are absolutely right. It is a huge hassle to optimize for Google images by hand.
Which is why we built the SEO Images (part of Foliopress WYSIWYG) plugin.
With SEO Images, all of the above is happens automatically.
You only need to give the image the correct name (words separated by hyphens) and upload to the correct directory.
Automatically all the rest is added to your image:
- alt tag
- thumbnail (whatever size you prefer)
- link to larger version image
- width and height
If you want a lot of visitors from Google Images, you only need to use SEO Images for a few months and you will have the rankings and the visitors to go with them.
Here are the Google Images result for our example from above, the Zen Power Supply. Of 107,000 images, spots one and two are from Foliovision.com. The large and the small version of that image.
Why a few months? Historically indexing in Google Images is much slower than for the rest of Google.
Chris and Stephen, in the future, please keep our secrets to yourselves!
Also check out Problogger Formatting images for SEO.
Alec has been helping businesses succeed online since 2000. Alec is an SEM expert with a background in advertising, as a former Head of Television for Grey Moscow and Senior Television Producer for Bates, Saatchi and Saatchi Russia.