Image Optimization: Separate yourself from the pack with image SEO
February 12, 2015 - SEO
In my experience, everyone wants SEO traffic and search engine visibility, but most companies don’t want to invest the time to do SEO correctly.
For the most part, companies relegate SEO to an afterthought. I’m surprised how often site redesigns are planned and executed without input from SEO. And even when SEO is a part of the process, most of the time it’s at a very basic level of optimization.
They do just enough to check SEO off their to do list and that usually means all the SEO that is done is adding the SEO keyword to the site’s Meta Titles, Meta Descriptions and page copy.
As far as on-page attributes are concerned, those are the most important. If your team is REALLY on a tight deadline, then the Title, Description and page copy usually will get your foot in the door with Google and the other search engines. It’s something.
Obviously, doing the minimum won’t get you to the coveted #1 much less the first page of Google if you’re a especially competitive space. The good news is that you can take your SEO to the next level with very little stress and effort.
Image SEO: Take your SEO to the Next Level
Image SEO isn’t given a lot of love, but it’s one of the few core on-page attributes that in my opinion, really matter. I believe image SEO is forgotten because though images are visual, you can’t see how it affects SEO like one does with a title tag or page content.
Image optimization (along with internal linking and URL) come right below the big three of on-page attributes in terms of importance. Image SEO is especially important if you have a site that features a lot of unique images.
And the best part? It’s easy. Image SEO involves optimizing the image file name and image alt text.
If you’re a dog person, then let your file name and alt tag say it loud and proud. The image filename for the above is “dog-person.jpg” and the image alt tag is “I’m a dog person”. See? That was easy. Now optimize the images on the top 10 pages of your site. Then the next 10. Then the next 10.
You’ll see when both image attributes are done well, your optimized images can separate you from the pack. That pack is likely just getting their foot in the door with titles, descriptions and copy. Not only will image SEO impact your visibility, but images can be a great secondary traffic driver for a site. I’ve seen it drive as much as 40% of a site’s overall organic traffic.
So forget micro formats, co-occurence or whatever SEO factor that’s the flavor of the month – get your basics done first.