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Do your images rank well in search results?

Do your images rank well in search results?

A Marketing article written by

The amount of times that I have presented at an SEO Seminar and been asked about images and how to optimise them on a website is staggering. What still amazes me is how people think that they should just add keywords to their images and that they will be found if they do! My answer to this is to think about the user and how they use search engines to find the content they are looking for.

For example if I am searching for a particular recipe (having been a chef in my previous life), I would enter the dishes name, then refine my search from there. Being a recipe, I would most likely be drawn to one that looked good to me, so I would choose to perform an image search for it. The same would apply if I was searching for a car part or maybe a type of boat, as an image would give me the initial information I was looking for, and from there I would click the image to visit the website. If I search like this for certain products and services then surely other people must do the same. So it makes no sense to fill the <alt> tag with keywords - it should contain a sentence that is specific to the image and actually explains the image, for example - Beef stew and a red wine sauce with garlic mash, actually sells the image!

This can go way past just recipes and Google is very obviously using images more often. If you look at search results for images you will notice more and more, that detailed desriptions are being used. Why? Because it is working! Just think about real estate, restaurants, internal decor, blinds, BBQ's and the list just goes on.

So what does all this mean, well the Google bot is Definitely looking at the filename and the <alt> tag but it is also looking at the page as a whole including the title, heading tags, keywords, links and anchor text. So next time you think you are optimising your web pages, think more about the images - as search results are all about providing the user with the information that they actually search for!