Home Marketing 8 image SEO best practices to make your content more discoverable

8 image SEO best practices to make your content more discoverable

To consider the importance of visual search in 2021, let’s start with an example.

One day I was searching on Google “how to do a vlookup in Excel”. I skim through a few articles but still feel dissatisfied – I don’t want to read about vlookup, I do see it.

Enter: Power of image.

After clicking “Image”, I quickly found what I needed:

I know I’m not alone. In fact, today, half of all Google searches end up on search results without the user clicking through to see any of the results.

In 2021 and beyond, key marketers began to notice the importance of visuals as a powerful opportunity to reach new audiences on the SERPs.

Also, as HubSpot Marketing Director Kristen Baker told me, “After running an image test on the HubSpot Blog, I found that ranking in Google’s image packages increases impressions and click on our content. “

But … easier said than done, right?

Here, let’s explore what image SEO is and the best practices you’ll want to follow to make your web pages more discoverable in image search results.

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Image SEO best practices

1. Use relevant, accurate alt text for user reach and SEO.

Quick refresh: Alt text is the textual copy that describes an image. For example, if you clicked Popcorn by Pipcorn and checking the page, you will see alternative text that accurately describes the product image as “Popcorn Family Pack Popcorn Pipsnacks LLC”:

Alternative text of popcorn family product pack pipsnacks

Alt-text plays two important roles in SEO.

First, alt text – also known as alt tag, or alternate description – helps search engine crawlers to index your site more efficiently, having a positive impact on Search Results.

Actually, Google status on its Developer page, “You can aid the discovery process by ensuring that your images and website are optimized for Google Images … [and] Increase the likelihood that your content will appear in Google Images search results. “

Second, alt text improves user experience. Alt text can describe images for visually impaired readers and is also useful if the reader is unable to load or view the correct image on their device.

For a complete overview of how to write high quality alt text, see Image Alt Text: What it is, how it is written and why is it important for SEO.

2. Consider using captions to describe images.

Subtitles are often unnecessary if the context of the page can help readers understand what the image is describing – for example, in this blog post I don’t use any captions since I used the text to showcase each of the images I’ve shown.

However, if you have an image-heavy website, consider using captions to help readers understand images in context. For example, above Photographic Catalog of Tom Hull, he annotates his image so viewers can contextualize the location or something, the profile picture:

Photographic Catalog by Tom Hulls

Use good judgment when adding captions, but if you feel it can help readers (and bots) distinguish images better, then it could be a worthwhile addition to a page.

3. Compress images for faster load times.

Image compression is a key component of any good website optimization strategy.


Because, to put it simply, it helps Web pages load faster, provide a better user experience and also help increase your website’s search engine rankings.

To compress your images effectively, try a tool like JPEG compression or Squoosh.

Typically, less than 100 KB is ideal for a good file size.

However, it’s important to note – Google doesn’t consider each image size individually. Instead, it looks at total page size.

So if you have a small image with a slight quality difference, then you can try compressing that image down to 30-50 KB … this gives you more space to keep another image. is larger than 30 KB, especially if the image loses quality after compression.

If you’re still worried about the image quality after compression, take a look How to make sure your images are high resolution.

4. Post the original photo – not just the original photo.

Ultimately, Google (and readers) prioritize original content – that is, if you expect your images to rank on image result pages, it’s important to use standalone images. original, original.

This is especially important if you work for an ecommerce website and you are posting pictures of your products. Many shoppers use images to shop for consumer goods. In reality, 50% of online shoppers say images helped them decide what to buy.

If your image doesn’t accurately represent your product, it gets buried under better, higher quality images from the competition.

Consider using products like Canva to design internal infographics, graphs or animations to help your brand stand out on search results pages and make your images easier to share.

5. Name your file images before uploading them.

Your filename can affect how easy it is for a search engine crawler to interpret your images, so renaming your file will be very helpful. before Upload it to your website.

Instead of keeping the generic name “IMG_0883”, try using relevant keywords to describe what is in the image, similar to your alt text. This can also help ensure your images appear on the image search results page, which will increase traffic to your website.

6. Use responsive images.

Responsive images are important to ensure readers can see your images on any type of device. Your pages are as important these days Optimized for mobile phones to influence search engine rankings, as well as user experience.

If your image is not responsive, the page won’t appear as clearly on mobile as it is on desktop – this negatively affects SEO, as well as the reader’s perception of your brand.

Fortunately, several website hosting services, including HubSpot, automatically make sure your images are responsive.

However, if needed, you can make your images more responsive using quick code. For example, you can add this code to your HTML:


Or this code goes to your CSS:

. quick response {

Width: 100%;

Height: automatic;


7. Utilize images as a backlink opportunity.

Creating high-quality, original, original images is not only great for your own website, but also a great opportunity to earn backlinks when other Web sites use your images for their own pages.

For example, consider the following chart generated by Broadband Search:

Mobile search hit hit rate graph

The image now ranks first on the image search results page for the keyword “how many mobile users search”.

Also, according to Ahrefs, this blog post is over 3,000 backlinks. I’m willing to bet those backlinks are, in part, because other companies want to use the unique graph of Broadband Search for their own content.

If you create high-quality images, other companies may want to feature those images on their own websites – with links back to your business. This means that in the end, images can have a direct impact on the amount of traffic, leads, and customers you receive for your business through your marketing efforts.

8. Add images to an existing sitemap.

Google Suggest to add images to an existing sitemap – or create a separate sitemap just for images – to help search engines discover your images. This is especially useful for images that Google cannot find through crawling, such as images accessed via JavaScript forms.

this is a Sample site map, with two images included:

code to add images to an existing sitemap

Luckily, if you don’t want to manually add images to your sitemap, then you’re in luck – there are tools, such as Angeldigital.Marketing (one of the only free ones available!), which will automatically generate an image sitemap when you enter the URL.

Hopefully you can use these best practices to level up and get new traffic through image search results pages. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words … so just imagine the value of one SEO optimization Picture.




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