Working within the wedding industry we get asked quite a lot how to go about getting images ranked in Google Image Search. Google Image search is a similar beast to the Google search, the only difference is that there are other factors that you need to take into consideration before you can expect to get any form of ranking. These are not totally guaranteed to get you a ranking that brings you millions of visitors, however image search along with good search rankings can long term bring you a steady stream of visits, especially if you are targeting what we like to call low hanging fruit keyphrases.
So what do you need to do in order to get better ranked in Google Images?
Here goes…Make sure Your Images are Unique!
If you are in a group of images that are all the same then how are you going to stand out from the crowd? Unique images are important for ranking, if you are targeting a venue then make sure that you have images that show the venue in the style of your own photography or work. Don’t ever steal anyone elses photos, it is childish and basic theft! Get permission to use peoples work if you are going to use it! In many cases in the wedding industry photographers are very forth coming when it comes to their images as long as they are credited with the image and not just have their image thrown up on a website. Make sure you give the photographer credit!
Name Your Images Properly
Website designers are lazy beasts (sorry guys but it is true) when it comes to images on a website they get sent the images and they upload them to the website as they are. This means if your images have been taken straight from an iphone your image is most likely called 2016-01-21-11.30.46.jpg which if you want to get found for that date and time isn’t a bad thing, however lets be serious here. Let’s think that image is of St Mary’s Church in Kingswinford, a much more fitting name for this image file would be st-marys-church-kingswinford.jpg. This simply helps the search engines identify what an image is without having to delve deep into the code of the website. Make sure you name your images properly, before sending them to your web designer if possible! (Not this isn’t St Mary’s Church in Kingswinford, it is Modena Italy, this is at this time a stock photo due to me not having an image of St Mary’s Church!) Use hyphens when naming your images to ensure that your words are separated by spaces in code terms.
Add In Proper Alt Tags (Alternative Text if you are using WordPress)
Normally by the time us SEO’s get to a website the alt tag code around images looks like <img src=’http://www.website.com/st-marys-church-kingswinford.jpg’ alt=”” height=150px width=150px/> Notice the alt=””? Well this bit is where the description of the image has been totally left blank and has no description to tell the search engines what it is. A better example of this is<img src=’http://www.website.com/st-marys-church-kingswinford.jpg’ alt=”St Mary’s Church Kingswinford” height=150px width=150px/> If you are using WordPress then your Image Settings will probably look a little something like the below now:
So what makes a good alt tag?
- The alt tag needs to be descriptive of the image. Don’t stuff keyphrases in it just doesn’t help. Make it descriptive of the image if you are looking to get the images ranked.
- Alt tags should be between 4 and 6 words to make sure that you are not overdoing it.
- Keep your 4-6 words to a maximum of 125 characters to ensure that you are within a sensible length and not flooding information into a tag that isn’t designed to have it.
Keep to these three simple rules for your Alt Tags and you will be getting better exposure in the search engines.
As with Alt Tags You Also Need To Make Sure You Have Good Title Tags
“Oh my god…..how many tags are there?” I hear you cry…. well lots but with images they all do something different. An Alt Tag tells the search engines what an image is, a Title Tag on an image is what the user of the website sees when they hover over the image and once you have filled it out in WordPress your image information will now look like the below:
The code on that (please don’t glaze over this is just for reference) <img title=”St Mary’s Church Kingswinford” src=”http://www.Yourwebsite.co.uk/st-marys-church-kingswinford.jpeg” alt=”St Marys Church Kingswinford” /> As you can see in the code you now have an image title and an alt tag which both point out what the image is, the title of the image is separated by hyphens which Google see as a space in code terms (just in case you didn’t get that the first time).
If you have setup your website with Yoast SEO then you will have your sitemap for your website automatically generated, if you are looking to get your images ranked then we advise that you have an Image Sitemap for your website. If you are Using WordPress then this is extremely simple, search for Advanced Image Sitemap and install the plugin that we have linked to. Once you have installed the plugin then get the url of your Image sitemap (probably http://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap-images.xml) and submit that to Google Webmaster Tools as a sitemap and your images will be indexed in the Google Search Index.
Be descriptive with your image names, alt tags, title tags and page descriptions but don’t be silly with the length. If you are naming images with around 250 characters then chances are you are not doing yourself any favours. If you keep it simple you will see the benefits. This doesn’t work overnight and there are not absolute guarantees that you will get ranked at the top of Google images but this is what we like to call best practice when it comes to adding images to your site.
We hope that this has helped you in your quest to get more images ranked in Google Image Search. If you have found this article useful then please share the love by posting it out on social media and telling your friends, we would love to help more people understand and get better ranked through the information that we share. Also if you liked this then don’t forget to follow us on social media and make sure that you don’t miss out on future posts to help your online efforts.