SEO | Images & Media Files

How to SEO Images

How to Optimize Images for Search Engine Rankings

Photos can generate loads of search engine traffic from the Google image-based search engines.

Image Alt Text

Although Google is working on “image recognition” & “auto – caption,” currently, search engine spiders cannot recognize “the subject matter of an picture.”  Instead, they rely on the “Alt Text.”  Therefore web dersigners help Google understand each of your images by placing a  text description within the alt text of each picture.

Use your keyword phrase in one or two instances of “ALT text” on the page. Google recommends using less than 10-15 words to describe the image.

Image File Size

People are not going to wait long  before they leave a website that is loading pics slowly. Therefore, increase your webpage load time by making your image file sizes as small as possible yet view-able on desktops & mobile devices.

Study’s have shown that internet users expect a site to load in under two seconds & consumers are willing to visit a competitor’s website instead of dealing with a slow loading webpage.

  • A bounce rate over 70% is considered a high bounce rate [bad].
  • Bounce rates under 50% [good].
  • Bounce rates as low as 40% or 30% [excellent].

Use Adobe Photoshop,  Gimp, PicMonkey, Pixlr, FotoFlexer or any other Image Optimizer to adjust photo sizes.   [A large, quality picture should be around 70kb and a picture image at around 20 – 30kb].

Image File Name

Before you upload your images to a website page, pick a descriptive & keyword targeted file name –  it will boost your Google Image Search Engine rankings.  High ranking photos nearly always have the keyword you searched for in their file name.

If you want to see SEO Image Optimizing in action, just click here and view the top ten Google Images for the keyword term ‘African American Yoga Teacher’ [notice the website name “” ].

Image Captions

Although there seems to be no direct relation between image captions & Google search engine rankings,; Captions are the most well-read pieces of content on your website, Image Captions can lower your bounce rate.

Image File Format

How to choose the right image format?

Choose the file type  that keeps your image detail & image colors while reducing it’s size & increasing it’s load time .

JPEG Images [Joint Photographic Group] are  the standard image file choice of the Worldwide Internet.  JPG was originally designed for the storage of images.They are able to be compressed considerably, which results in quality images with small file sizes

GIF Images [Graphics Interface Format] are of lower quality  than JPEGs. It is ideal for images with maximum of 256 colors. The GIF image file is used for more simple images such as icons, avatars,  ads, cartoons and animated images.

PNG Images  [The Portable Network Graphics Format]  preserves all the image detail & colors [making it the “higher quality” choice]. The size reduction is less than GIF or JPG.  PNG files will not degrade over time with re-saves like JPEGs and they support the use of a transparent background.  However because of it’s robustness, file sizes can be 3 times larger than JPEG.


SEO Consultant – Yoga Teacher – Event Manager – Road Cyclist – Marathon Runner