Optimising For Google Image Search - why bother?

“A picture is worth a thousand words”; an old English adage that reminds of us how images can convey complex information and multiple ideas simply and effectively. We have already looked at how infographics are becoming essential to your content marketing strategy because of their simplicity, and a well-taken image can be just as effective.

We know the strategies we need to implement to make sure our written content is optimised for search engines, but what about images? We tend to think about SEO in terms of keywords and text, and of course, a lot of it is about this. However, images have a huge role to play and are often underutilised. How do we make sure they are been seen on Google? Here, we look at why you should be optimising for Google image search and how to go about it.

Why should you be optimising for Google image search?

optimising for Google image search

Think about it; if you visited a website and it was just a page of text with no images to break it up, would it hold your interest? Probably not. There is also a good chance that you wouldn’t trust it, either. Research has shown that 80 per cent of people are more likely to read content that has at least one image, and 64 per cent are more likely to remember it afterwards.

Google algorithms are clever. They pay attention to visitor behaviour, using metrics such as the bounce rate and time spent on a page. If the bounce rate is high and the time spent is low, they are going to be pushed further down the page.

The actual image itself can also improve the SEO of a page. While visitors see just an image, Google crawlers see all the text information that you put in on the backend.

How do you optimise your images for Google image search?

OPTIMISE YOUR IMAGES

Fortunately, optimising your images is pretty straightforward. Here are some tips to give you a helping hand:

Use good quality images – and make sure that they are relevant:

Blurry, poor quality and irrelevant images are a huge turn off to readers, which is going to affect your behavioural metrics. It also doesn’t give people the best impression of your business. Make sure you use high-quality images – but also make sure they are royalty-free!

Customise the filename: 

Before you add an image to your site, spend some time organising it and renaming the file. Make sure the filename is relevant to the page that you are putting it on and includes one of your keywords. Visitors generally won’t see the filename, but it tells the search engines a little more about what your page is about.

Use alt tags: 

Again, something that visitors don’t always see but crawlers do. This shows up in place of the image if there is a problem loading it. Make sure that you include your primary keyword. However, the primary benefit for this isn’t to help SEO, but to make your website more accessible to visually impaired users. Screen readers will read the alt tags out so that they can understand what the picture is of – which is why a highly descriptive tag is essential. 

As you can see, while it is important to incorporate SEO into your written content, it is equally as important to optimise your images too.