How To Optimize Your Images for Improved Search Engine Optimization

In my last post on search engine optimization I covered the subject of SEO and Page Titles.

If you missed it, it’s worth reading. This is the link to the post and opens to a new page:

Search Engine Optimization: Why Page Titles Matter

Adding an image to your blog post can encourage people to read your post.

But they can also be used to help improve your search engine ranking…if added correctly!

Unfortunately, Google cannot crawl images like they can text, which means you have to tell Google what your image represents.

The second unfortunate thing is most blog owners are unsure of how to add their images for best SEO results.

The Search Engine Optimization Steps To Take For Images

These are the steps to follow:

1.    The actual file name of the image.

One way Google can tell what your image represents is via its file name.

If you have written a blog post and your targeted keyword phrase is ‘healthy food’ then you want to add an image whose file name is “healthy-food.jpg” (or.png).

Don’t use an image called ‘my-latest-photo.jpg’!

2.    The ‘Alt’ tag

When you upload an image via the WordPress dashboard, you have the opportunity to add the ‘alt tag’.

The ‘alt tag’ is also used by Google to try and know what your image represents.

You want the ‘alt tag’ to describe the content of the image. So in our case, ‘healthy food apple’ could be appropriate.

By ensuring your image file name and ‘alt tag’ represent your targeted keyword phrase, Google has a much better chance of understanding what your blog post is about.



Do you follow these rules when adding images to your blog posts?

24 Responses to How To Optimize Your Images for Improved Search Engine Optimization

  1. Steve October 28, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    I use images all the time as they seem to hook the reader. However as a non technical business operator I welcome these guidelines. Pictures paint a thousand words so getting it viewed it essential.

    I will follow the guidelines but I suspect I will be contacting you for coaching on this one. Thanks Andrew.

    • Andrew October 29, 2013 at 8:13 am #


      Many non technical business operators are the same as you. You are not alone!

      Coaching? Anytime!


  2. James Dazouloute October 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    Great share! I never quite understood how to optimize images when posting them on my Blog. Now I understand that I must name them according to where I want to post them. Thanks

    • Andrew October 29, 2013 at 8:14 am #

      Great, James.

      I’m glad the post helps and good luck.


  3. Mark Ford October 29, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    Hi Andrew

    A really important point raised here.

    Optimising images is probably one of the most basic SEO techniques going but also likely to be the one least used.

    • Andrew October 29, 2013 at 8:14 am #

      Yes, Mark…very basic but important and can make that difference between page 2 and page 1 in your ranking.


  4. Ajay October 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Yes! Alt tag matters while we are optimizing a post for Search traffic. It helps the Search engine know what the post is about and ranks the post if it is of good quality.

  5. Kuldeep November 1, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    Good advice! I’m curious if anyone has seen results from adding metadata to images or video files.

    If you right-click an image and open the properties, with most formats you can add a bunch of information to an image.

    This is another one of those things that is very hard or impossible to test, but could very well be used to determine the content of an image. I try to do things that Just Make Sense, even if it isn’t proven to be a factor….

  6. Ken November 3, 2013 at 3:02 am #

    Great tip. I think most people underestimate the impact of descriptive alt tags on their images.

    I like to give my images a descriptive filename name also. I’m not sure of the SEO impact of image name though. Have you seen a direct impact of image name on SEO?


    • Andrew November 5, 2013 at 7:01 am #


      I’ve not seen a direct impact of image name on SEO but if we are to believe Mr. Google , it does help.


  7. Erin November 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    I regularly give my images a relevant name and alt tag but is there a way that you can have a link from your image to your website if someone uses it from Google Images? I know people are meant to give credit to where they found the images but that doesn’t always happen.

    • Andrew November 5, 2013 at 7:02 am #


      Unfortunately I don’t think you can do that…well at least I’m not aware of a way.


  8. Arlene H. November 20, 2013 at 6:03 am #

    When I started blogging and working online I didn’t know that images can be also optimized until I read an article at ezine. This is really helpful to all newbies and till learning!

  9. saras November 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    A very nice article for beginners. I think this article will help people like me who joined this “world of blogging”.
    thanks for such a nice article.

  10. Chetan Gupta December 13, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Thanks for sharing this post with us. Optimizing blog post images are most important, it helps to increase search engine ranking by which a blog can get good amount of search traffic which is very good for any blog. This is really an informative post and I enjoyed this reading.

  11. Tracy Hallam January 27, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

    Thank you for this Blog Andrew as others have mentioned many of us were unaware of being able to do this but now with you sharing this we are now able to implement this in to our own blogs and helping our ranking get higher.

  12. Ninn January 29, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    I’d like to ask you whether this alt option also works for Blogspot? and is there any other way to optimize images that I post in Blogspot so that they will appear in Google search engine? I have renamed my landscape images into something like yogyakarta_indonesia_landscape_photography_DSC574 but it does not seem to help much.

    thank you,

    • Andrew February 11, 2014 at 5:28 am #


      I’m sure it does also work for Blogspot.

      Why keep ‘DSC574’ in the image name?


      • Ninn February 11, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

        thank you very much for the reply 🙂 I actually couldn’t find any alt option on blogspot but somehow, when I used Bing SEO analyzer, it said that 7 of my images were missing alt tag. Is there any solution for this?

        and yes, I keep the original file name (example: DSC574) after the landscape tags to differ one image to another. I do that to avoid replacing an image with a new one accidentally since I’m very careless. I wonder if placing the original file name affects Google search engine in reading my images?

        thank you,

        • Andrew February 12, 2014 at 9:21 am #


          I’m not an expert on Blogspot – so not sure if you can do what you’d like to.


  13. Abhishek Tavasalkar February 7, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    I mostly use the focus keyword in images on my articles. I usually use the slug to name images for example if my focus word is ‘we build your blog’ I mostly use image name as ‘how-can-we-build-your-blog-image1’ and just add image2 image3 and so on to the slug. So am I doing right or wrong. Please do help me… Would really help if I got reply from you.

    • Andrew February 11, 2014 at 5:30 am #


      That sounds like a good approach but I would just use ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ rather than ‘image1′, image2’, ‘image3’


  14. Nitesh from February 21, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Great post bro. I also optimize my images by using alt tags and captions. These help allot and give user a complete information about the image,

  15. Sudipto April 21, 2014 at 4:12 am #

    Hey Andrew,
    Great content and Yes, image also play important role as it also helps in attracting readers towards or blog and drives traffic. For image optimization, we have to follow these basic. This post gonna help many newbies.

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