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37 – Using your images to improve your rankings

We all know that blog posts with images look better and especially when you are creating reviews of products. Being able to show the user the various elements of the product helps to let them understand it in more detail but how you upload these images can have a huge impact on your search rankings.

Image file name

When you take a photo on your phone or camera your images are generally given a file name with numbers in it. Something like image346 but this doesn’t mean anything to search engines. Either before or after you upload your images (depending on how you upload them to the site) you should take the time to ensure that the file name is appropriate to the image. This could be something as simple as productnamebox.jpg or productname.jpg you can add hyphens or similar if you want to.

Image title

Your image title can be added when you upload the image. This is usually the same as your file name but with spaces between the words. This is something that Google reads and will help it to support your content SEO as well as show up in image search which can bring more visitors to your site.

Alt text

Your alt text should be a description of the image as this is used by screen readers and is for user accessibility. However, google also reads this so ensuring that your images not only describe what is in them but also contain the product name and any keywords will help with rankings.

Image placement

Ensure that where you are placing the images within the content relates to the content around it. There is no point having an image showing the battery compartment of a toy if the text around it doesnt talk about the battery compartment. It may seem like common sense but Google looks at how your images fit within you content. This also means you should not put images in for no reason.

Image use

Google specifically say that your visual content should be relevant to the topic of the page and they should only be used where they add original value. This means that you should be wary of using a lot of stock images or images provided by an outside source. These images are not original content and even if you change the file name etc Google can still read the image metadata and see that this image is not of original origin. Obviously a few stock images here and there are ok but don’t make it a habit and try to ensure the image matches the content as much as you can and make sure you change the file name, title and alt text to also match your content.

If you do all of this as you upload the images then it will soon become routine. If you have a lot of images that you need to optimise then you can look at updating image information based on the content title using the information I shared in the Easy SEO Improvements blog post.

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