Optimize Your Images So They Hit The Top Of The Search Engine Results!
If you’ve ever performed an image search before, I bet you can recall coming across results that link directly back to an eCommerce store. That’s because the images on your website can be ‘optimized’ to appear on search engines like Google as another way of trafficking potential customers back to your store.
But what does optimization really mean?
Much like hashtags on social media, your product images can be embedded with keywords, which will allow the search engines to display your images based on relevant searches.
Here are the most effective methods for optimizing your product images for search engine visibility.
Name Your Files With Good Descriptions
Unlike humans, search engines cannot view your files and describe them for the people making searches. Rather than uploading your image with automatic names like “IMG_0348.jpg”, or “Image_1.jpg,” describe the item as you’d expect it to be searched.
In the photo above, the subject is a pair of men’s shoes with brown leather; therefore, the filename we elected was “Men’s-Shoes-Brown-Leather.jpg.”
Use Alt Text To Describe Your Images
Also known as alternate text, alt text is additional descriptive words added to the image tag in HTML. Alt text is what helps the search engines understand what the image is all about.
In WordPress the Alt Text can be added immediately after you upload an image, or you can add it later by visiting Media >> Library and clicking on the edit link below the image.
Make sure to avoid irrelevant keywords, spelling mistakes, and using synonyms. You want to be as brief and descriptive as possible, otherwise Google’s algorithm may become confused and rank your images lower.
Provide An Image Sitemap
In addition to your file naming and alt text, an image sitemap will provide the search engines additional information to use when crawling your website for applicable keywords. In general terms, a sitemap is a list that details all of the individual pages on your website.
Providing an image sitemap is rather technical, but can be done with assistance from Google here: Image Sitemap Support.
Last, but certainly not least, every image you upload has the option to be captioned in the media uploader.
While this isn’t the largest factor to improving your Image SEO rankings, image captions are among the most-read pieces of information on your website. Having them increases the likelihood people will spend more time on your site, which is a big consideration for the search engines.
Google specifically mentions metrics like on-page time and user engagement as measurable factors to where they position your website in the SERPs.
The process of image optimization can be carried out fairly quickly, and will greatly extend the reach of the images in your product inventory. Let us know if you have any questions!