Optimize Your Photos & Get Better Traffic Through Image SEO

Image SEO is a best practice If You want Your Website To get Found In Search Engines. Here's how it's done.

Image SEO is a best practice If You want Your Website To get Found In Search Engines. Here's how it's done.

Search engine optimization (SEO) of photography and graphic design elements such as website call-to-action buttons is essential if you want your firm to be found online by search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Using proper image SEO will also allow your photography to get found in the increasing popular image search function.  The following list contains the fundamental components of effective image SEO. 

Legal Copyright Ownership

First and foremost, using photography or graphic design elements that you do not own is considered copyright infringement, unless the image is unlicensed. Ensure that any image you post is acquired legally, whether you hire a photographer and purchase the rights or find an image online and request permission. Photographers and graphic designers can take legal action against you if you bypass this crucial step. If you don't have a budget for photography or graphic design, consider searching Creative Commons and its partner platform Flickr for rights free images. Stock companies like Veer, Corbis, and Getty Images may suffice but keep in mind, using your images of your own work is almost always better than using stock photography to promote your built environment business. 

Choose Images Wisely

Most people look at the picture on the front page of a newspaper before they read the heading above it. Your website and blog are no different. Choosing the right picture can add depth to an article, and can take it in a new direction. Emulate the way publications like The New Yorker, The Atlantic or Fast Company use images to convey the topic in a visual way. 

Image and Content Keyword Matching

Choosing an image that has subject matter that matches your content and using keywords in the caption is critical to search engine optimization. The image that you choose should be representative of the idea that you wish to convey. Bear in mind that search engines cannot discern the content of an image based on the image alone (yet). They will return hits based on descriptive tags. Ensure that you use a keyword-rich alternative tag on your photograph that matches the keywords you're using in the rest of your article or web page.

Use High-Quality Photography that has gone through Post Production

Once you’ve chosen an image, crop, color correct, dodge and burn and manipulate the contrast until it’s the best expression of the subject matter and conveys the feeling you were hoping to capture. An image that stands out will keep clients engaged on your page for a few more seconds and encourage them to read your content. If you want to be taken seriously do not use Instagram filters and use a camera, not a phone. Leave the taking of high-quality iPhone images to the professionals. It is not as easy as Apple's advertisements would have you believe.

Minimize File Size for Faster-Loading Web Pages

Large, clear images contain more pixels than smaller images, but file size has an impact on the time it takes for your web page to load. Page load speed contributes to Google's choice on whether they feature your web page in the search engine results pages or not. Increased download speed without sacrificing pixels is easy to accomplish with online programs like Jpeg Mini and desktop software like LightRoom, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. We recommend using Photoshop Elements because of its low price and easy to use "Save for Web" setting. 

Lead With Your Image - Place it Above your Written Content

You have a better chance of capturing a reader's attention with an image than with a large block of text. This is especially true online, so if the image is for a blog article, lead with your image. It is also important that the keyword phrases used in your content and your alternative image tags, match. In a blog article as an example, make certain you use the same keyword phrase in the title, as an image caption and alternative tag, as well as in the first sentence of the article. 

Use Keywords in the File Name

Ensure that your file name is descriptive and matches your image subject matter and includes the same keywords you're using in your content. This way, your image and your content work together to gain visibility against less descriptive, less keyword-oriented title tags in the database. Remember, no one ever searched online for DSC29761.jpg.

Don’t Keyword Stuff

Keywords can drive traffic to your website, but too many keywords in a short block of text can lead to congestion if not executed properly. Bear in mind that the website is for the viewer, not the keywords. Including your image alternative tags, captions and body copy, keep your keywords at a 1.5% insertion rate or nine words per six-hundred words of copy.

Using images in your blog posts, on your website and as an added interest in marketing emails is about as important as any marketing initiative. High-quality photographs set you apart from your competitors.


About Michael Conway

I'm the owner and strategist at Means-of-Production. My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one marketing tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition.

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