Image SEO – Helping Search Engines Get The Picture

pile of photographs expressing the need for image SEO

Just as most technology has, image SEO has advanced in recent years. Google is constantly refining and fine tuning its algorithms. With this, image SEO has become more challenging than simply adding alt tags and file names. This can leave you confused as to what and how to add images to your site. This quick guide will help you with these questions and more.  

What is Image SEO? 

First, let’s break down image SEO into two parts. Image refers to any sort of graphic or picture that can enhance content. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is a process that takes your content, in this case image content, and makes it more appealing to search engines and readers.  

The Importance of Image SEO 

Content can be greatly improved by images, charts and graphics. With good imagery, content becomes shareable, linkable and helps convert percentages. Images also help your content stand out in a great way. They can help enhance your content and help readers get to the end of your articles. So how do you optimize your image SEO? Read on to find some quick tips on optimizing image SEO.  

What’s in a Name? 

You should name your image files with Google in mind. The names should be clues as to what the subject matter of the image is. The more descriptive you can be in the name, the better. For example, naming an image man-holding-fish.jpg would optimize much better than IMG007.jpg.  


  • Include descriptive text 
  • Include descriptive titles 
  • Include descriptive captions 
  • Include descriptive filenames 

Do Not 

  • Import images from Microsoft Word 
  • Use several key words in each image title 

Image Alt Text 

Alt text and alt tags are the same thing. They describe an image. However, the only time these alt text, or alt tags, are visible is when viewing the HTML source of a page. They have 2 main purposes. The first is to help visually impaired readers. Screen-reading tools read the tags to describe the images. The second purpose is for search engines to better understand the website.  

There are tools that can help automate the alt text process. They will also automatically add captions to your images. 

Alt Text Optimization 

The best advice for alt text is to describe the picture. It’s that simple. Be specific and accurate with your descriptions. For example, if your image is a specific product with a set product number, it would be a good idea to include those details in the alt text.  

Source Credit 

Picture source credit can be useful to your readers. This is especially true if your image is for decorative purposes.  

Size Matters 

While adding images to your site is ideal, you need to keep in mind the file size of the images. If your image sizes are too large, the loading time of the website will increase. You do not want to sacrifice fast load time for high resolution images when a smaller file size can work just as well.  

Image Sitemap  

An image sitemap can help your site communicate with Google. When visitors perform a Google image search, Google brings up all relevant images. There are even Google image extensions that you can use in your sitemaps to give Google even more information on the images on your site.  

Information to Include in Sitemap

  • Subject matter 
  • Image type 
  • Caption 
  • Geographical information 
  • Title  
  • License 

Getting Started with Image SEO  

GreenStar Marketing is here to help your company optimize your image SEO. We specialize in telecommunications companies, so you can rest assured your marketing dollars are being well spent with a company in the know.  

We can take all the stress of something new (assuming you’ve never done image SEO) and take care of it for you! Contact us today to get started with a company that knows your industry and wants to see you to succeed! 

Lori Bowman

Lori Bowman

Lori left her teaching career at the end of the 2020/2021 school year to join the GreenStar marketing team. She has a background not only in education but also in public relations and business management & marketing.
pile of photographs expressing the need for image SEO
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