Optimize Your Images for Search Engines: Don’t Get Missed Out In Image Search!

glamorous woman - attention grabbing

Did I get your attention?

Using images in blog posts are cool. Images are catchy.

They catch the attention of the reader quickly at a glance, and faster than your content itself.

Tell me, where did your eyes go when you landed on this page?

On the image to the left, right?

Yup, images are attention grabbers, even if they’re not relevant to the topic of the blog post – just like this one above!

Images can be thought provoking, funny or naughty and can engage hook your readers easily without much effort.

Or they can be totally unrelated to the post, yet can be simply used to grab reader’s attention.

Once the blogger (I) has managed to fix my reader’s (you) eyes, 30% of the work is already done. I can make my readers read the first sentence of my blog post! YAY!

Using images in blog posts is in general good for the content you are delivering.

Do you know that images play a major role in search engine optimization of your blog or website?

By optimizing your images for search engines you could rank well also in image searches; that is you could get a significant amount of traffic from image searches.

Lets see how you can do it.

Image title

Give a relevant, descriptive title and file name to the image. Don’t be too descriptive though.

You may use a one vital keyword and not much.

Further always check if you have changed the file name of the image file before you upload it.

If you leave it unchanged, it might be the default name given by your camera or the image processing software- it might be something like DSC0078… this is seriously doing nothing for search engines.

You waste a good opportunity to get noticed!

Alt attribute

Your ‘alt’ tag is the place where you can really do some good feed for the search engines.

Describe the picture elaborately by using relevant keywords.

Don’t stuff it with keywords – that would be keyword vomiting.

Also in order to use keywords, don’t just put irrelevant keywords that are not at all related to the image and the topic.

Your image will appear in search engine results for image search and if people search for bicycles and find your image of chocolates, that would be irrelevant and annoying!

Be honest and avoid misleading terms or keywords.

If you are using WordPress, you can download the free plugin ‘SEO Friendly Images‘ that automatically puts in the appropriate alt tags for your images.

Image format and size

Use the commonly accepted formats when uploading image files – jpg, png and gif are recommended.

While it is true that highly quality, glossy and eye catching effects of the images are cool, such effects come with mega size; your site’s loading time may get a big hit if you upload such images.

Quality is important, but also is the size. Reduce image sizes before using them in your blog.

Tip: WP Smush.it is a WordPress plugin that automatically reduces the size image files you upload (you can also run it once to reduce the size of all the already uploaded images)

Use the ‘save for the web’ option always if you are saving from Photoshop or other image processing software.

Images in Flickr are easily findable through searches, thus giving your images a wider stage. Make sure you search at http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/ to make sure the images come with a Creative Commons license.

Tip: If you are using your own images, upload them to Flickr and leave your blog address in the description and in your profile. If your image gets popular that will drive traffic to your blog.
The famous LMAO bitch please

Distraction :P

Final word of caution: Using images is good but do not use too many of them. You could distract your readers from the content.

List of useful WordPress plugins for images

SEO Friendly Images – Automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes for SEO purposes.

Max image size control – Avoid too large and poor layout of displayed images. This plugin helps you to set maximum size for images.

Faster image insert – You don’t have to wait for the thickbox to upload your images. This plugin puts a meta box besides your main editor and makes things easier for you.

WP Image Tagger – Tags can be added to posts and pages for enhanced accessibility but this option is not for images. This plugin comes to your rescue.

Hotlinked Image Catcher – Protects your images from being stolen and forbids them from displaying elsewhere, thus saving you bandwidth.

Watermark reloaded – Automatically adds a watermark to uploaded images.


You spend a lot of time and effort in crafting your blog post, right? Why not present it in an attractive manner with one or two images?

So if you’re a blogger who doesn’t use images at all, I’m surprised; given that Pinterest is generating a lot of IM interest. Get started with decorating your blog posts with nice images.

Your content deserves a nice presentation – give it that treatment.

Now, if you’re using images, why don’t you use it effectively to boost your visibility in search engines?

Remember, image search results not in 10 but a LOT more results than that. Why not use it for your advantage?

I’m sure none of the tips I mentioned above are going to take hours to implement. Don’t miss out.

And if you found this post useful, please share it in your social circle. I’d appreciate that; thank you!

Cheap Stock Images

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  1. Martin says

    Hi, thanks for sharing.
    Some notes:
    1. I can not confirm search engines (esp. Google) prefer hyphen (-). In some tests we did google does not made any difference between “-“, or “_” or ” ” (space, %20). But: its the best to use the hyphen (-) for people. It’s the best method to read the filename.

    2. The alt-text isn’t so important for search engines as well. The alt-text is very important for people that can see and use screen-readers. The alt-text is important, but not the most important.

    3. I thinl you forgot the main thing: use your keywords in the text “near” your image. E.g. describe it below the image. This is the most important signal for google to connect image and text information to find out what the picture might show.

    Best wishes,

    • Ameenah says

      This was a great article – I’m in the process of better optimizing the images used on my own website, so stumbling here was super helpful. Thanks Jane, and thank you Martin for the additional tips! The third tip, using a keyword “near” your image within the page/post is something I need to remind myself to do.

  2. Bryan P. Hollis says

    Hi Jane,
    Great post. So many overlook the opportunity to take advantage of “milking” the value of images and getting them properly SEOed. You did a fine job of walking others through the process to maximize image benefits to their site.

  3. Sahil says

    Images do work as a second source of traffic if they are well optimized. I personally use smushit.com to compress large size. It just works like a charm…! Also you forgot to mention the importance of image captions which helps google to know what your image is about. Anyways, thanks for such a great write up and for the plugins resources.

  4. Stella | eBook Traffic TipsStella | eBook Traffic Tips says

    Thanks for these excellent tips, Jane. I’m not familiar with most of these plugins you mentioned but have found a few I want to try.

  5. SwarupSwarup says

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for this great tips. My personal suggestion is using too many plugin can slow down your blog.
    You suggest Hotlinked Image Catcher to Protects your images from being stolen and forbids them from displaying elsewhere.
    But you can do this from your cPanel (Hotlink Protection) No need to use this plugin.

    Thank You

  6. Khaja moinKhaja moin says

    Excellent as always!
    Another thing which I noticed is placing attractive image at the beginning of the post helps more.


  7. AdityaAditya says

    Images reflect what you are and what you are trying to show much more easily than the text.It can tell the whole story behind the bars.And having them in the blog can attract more and more visitors or first time readers if they are displayed properly.

    Images are getting importance in SERPs also.One can get traffic from images if they are showing up in the SERPs.

  8. AditiAditi says

    Hi Jane,
    This is absolutely true that images are the attention grabbers. So, they must be related to the content as the first thing that a visitor gets the first impression of your post is the image. So, using appropriate image is definitely necessary. I like the alt tag attribute that you have suggested. Thanks for the share!!

  9. JoeJoe says

    Hey Jane,

    This is really good information. Up until recently I would not do much of the above mentioned. But as of late i have followed some of these tips and have seen a small jump in traffic. I tried googleing some of my keywords and then hit the image tab and there are several of my photos on that first page. I can attest that your tips do work.


  10. Kenny FabreKenny Fabre says


    images can drive alot of traffic, I know this from personal experience but seo optimizing the image is equally important, and its a setup to get more traffic and rank really high in google images

  11. Alex says

    Great post Jane, truly an evergreen piece of content as you have outlined the why the how and then of course given us some great tools and plugins we can use to help.

    Loving the new blog – great URL and the look and feel is spot on!
    You’ve really come a long way since I was last active 😉

  12. NawazNawaz says

    Optimization of image is very necessary part of the site optimization. Now my SEO work has completed because of this post.

  13. Bryan HollisBryan Hollis says

    Hi Jane, Your blog is looking very nice too. I have missed you posting at BI. The site quality has increased since I moderate new members personally. Anyhow, you must be busy working or in school. Whatever is keeping you busy, I wish you the best success. Talk soon, Bryan

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Hey Bryan :) Thanks for spotting the increase in quality. I’m working from home yet not officially resigned from my day job. Got a year to complete the present research project. Looking forward to the freedom :)

  14. Ivan Aliku says

    Using images I have come to find is one of the most important thing that need to be added to any blog post. From research, I got to find out that a lot of people just scan through information online. Using images that are interesting can lure your visitors to wanting to read more from your blog. Also, people ignore optimizing their images putting their SEO effort at minima. I watched a video about how images got optimized and how images are been searched for on Google (http://youtu.be/KHkKAA7-NjE). Sorry for putting a link within this comment Jane :). So if you’ve not been using images, I think you need to do a rethink. Thanks for this post.

  15. dipadipa says

    Very rightly said. I write content for a weddings website and the editors have specifically asked me to include a great deal of pictures-more than the article itself. Thanks for the tips given here. I will definitely utilize them.

  16. abhishekabhishek says

    Images surely make a lot of impact on the readers and using them in the right manner can be very helpful to make readers interested. Image optimization offers a lot of benefits. Thanks for this useful info.

  17. Althea YoungAlthea Young says

    Images are really important when it comes to optimization of search engines and I agree to that. Thanks a lot for sharing this information Jane it really helps me a lot!

  18. SamuelSamuel says

    Images can be used to get some traffic from the search engines.

    I do get some traffic that way.

    Just have to optimize the image correctly.

  19. Kamran ul hassanKamran ul hassan says


    Great topic you share Jane Sheeba, Image Optimize is a great way to get traffic from search engine and it is consider in on page optimization, which help the website in image search plus give more boost to the website. I agree with Jane Sheeba 100%. keep it up


  20. Chaitanya says

    Awesome tips Jane. You have covered almost all the key points and tips for image optimization. I can say this post is a “complete guide of image optimization for search engines”.
    Keep up the good work.

  21. Henry SmithHenry Smith says

    Besides good quality content, which is indeed very important, image is also very important. Good images can also help to bring in more traffic to your website. However, there are certain things you have to keep in mind while dealing with images. Since Google does not recognize images, it is important to use texts below the image to describe it properly.

  22. Kingsley AguKingsley Agu says

    Wonderful and insightful post!!!

    I think I’ll stop implementing that right away. I’ve been taking the image optimization a little bit casually. Thanks for this wonderful article.

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