5 Ways Images Can Improve Your SEO

June 21, 2011 |

Your blog’s images can provide a goldmine of opportunity for increased traffic and better organic search results. Organic search results are defined as the results from a search engine query exclusive of any paid search results (which usually appear atop and to the right of paid search results.)

Many bloggers give little thought to images. They know to drop one in at the top of the blog post to draw in readers, but they skip some very important steps that end up as missed SEO opportunities. Here are 5 ways that you can improve your SEO rankings via your blog’s images.


  1. Use meaningful keywords to name your images with a hyphen delimiter. For example, if I have a Wordless Wednesday photo with a tuxedo cat in it that happens to be a funny photo of the cat in a box, I might name the image cat-tuxedo-box-humor-wordless-wednesday.jpg. The image name is loaded with keywords that will help elevate the image in Google image searches. It also helps bolster your blog in the search engine’s eyes, as it is further proof that the blog is legit and not simply a content farm.

    Don’t go wild on the keywords. Too many will be considered a Black Hat (illegal) practice by search engines. Just pick four or five that are relevant to both the image and your blog.

    Some blogging platforms use numbers or codes to re-name images when they are uploaded to the blog. Turn off this feature. Numeric image names are useless for SEO.

  2. Do not leave the ALT text field blank. Include a short, keyword-rich description.

  3. Caption your images. Blogger doesn’t offer this feature; WordPress does. As with naming your images, captioning your images can improve your blog’s SEO.

  4. Add an image description. This should be a sentence describing an image that is rich in keywords.

  5. Never hotlink images. It’s bad netiquette, it can get you in copyright trouble, and you’re losing a valuable opportunity for SEO. If you’re posting a Flickr images with a Creative Commons license, download the image (and rename it using keywords), and don’t forget to give the owner credit.

So many bloggers fail to seize these SEO opportunities that you can really get a leg up on your competition by following these best practices for naming and describing images.

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Category: The Cat Bloggers' Lounge

About the Author ()

Karen Nichols is a Pet Industry Influencer, Publisher and Multimedia Designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has over 15 years of experience in the Internet Industry as a User Experience Analyst and Interaction Design Consultant. She's blogged professionally for nine years, and is a respected expert in social media, web analytics, online branding and Wordpress design and development. She's a popular speaker at pet industry conferences. In 2013, she won the BlogPaws social media awards for Best Cat Blog and Best video. In 2012, Karen won the Best Blog Design award for SkeezixTheCat.com. She was one of seven finalists in the national Purina Cat Chow Correspondent search in 2010. She has been a spokesperson for Friskies and judge of the 2012 "The Friskies" video contest, and a juror for the Internet Cat Video Festival. Karen is a member of the Cat Writer's Association, Women in the Pet Industry, the IAABC, The Interactive Design Association and the North Bay Multimedia Association.

Comments (2)

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  1. great advice! I use a wordpress plugin called all-in-one SEO too, that makes somethings easier to do…

  2. Ichiro says:

    All in One Seo wasn’t supported for awhile and there is also Ultimate SEO which can help. Of course premium themse like Genesis have their own SEO built in and we are HUGE fans of Genesis and what Brian is doing..maybe I should write about that?