Guess how many images get uploaded on to the internet every minute?
There is no exact figure but I believe Facebook alone accounts for 208,300 photos every minute! (information from “www.popphoto.com”) This can perhaps give you an idea of how many pictures are there on the internet and at what rate this is increasing everyday.
What does this mean for Search engine optimization?
It means that the competition today is immense. Marketers and search engine optimizers will find it more and more difficult to get their images up ahead of their competition.
Image search has evolved rapidly and is now very popular, a lot of people search for images, and to cater to that many search engines are providing image search results.
Some of the basic things that we already know or have used for optimizing our websites are applicable for images as well. Images are typically used along with the content. The advantages of using images are it removes the monotony of reading, and it effectively communicates what you wish to communicate. Since a lot of people today are searching for images, it makes sense to make the content rich by providing meaningful images. One thing to remember is that the relevance of Images should go beyond the page content . If someone came across the image only, will they be able to make any sense out of it?
Will they understand what is being said through the image?
The fact is, images should be able to “speak for themselves” !
It is important that marketers realize the importance of images since that is going to be one of the means by which people will reach your site, and get to know you.
You might be interested in some of the basic and very effective tips on image optimization in my earlier post here: SEO optimize your images -Top 5 best practices for SEO optimizing your images
The areas that marketers and SEOs need to focus upon, in order to optimize images for effective results are:
1. Image size:
Image size needs to be optimized so that it does not take unnecessarily long for your image to download. People will lose interest if you make them wait for your images to get downloaded, they will move on to another image.
2. Naming the image (file name):
File names that are most effective are the ones that use the keywords in a meaningful way. For instance if you image is about “Sunrise in Seattle” then the preferably name is: “sunrise-in-Seattle”.
By default, if you have a blog, whenever you upload images, it will by default, ask you to provide a Caption for your image. This is useful because it is like providing a title for your image. Focus on providing an attractive and relevant caption.
4. Alt Text:
One of the basic SEO elements; Alt text or alternative texts are one of the best practices of web page designing. It is user friendly; if for some reason your image does not download, the alt text provides the information regarding the image. Providing relevant and somewhat descriptive alt text is helpful.
Here is a list of some of the most popular image search engines. You might want to ensure that your images are optimized well enough to rank decently on these image search engines. All of these image search engines function in pretty much the same way, you need to type in the keyword and it will fetch you images based on popularity and on the search engine algorithm:
Faganfinder is a sort of meta search engine, it shows you results from different search engines, so you can search for images from all search engines from Faganfinder instead of going to all these search engines individually.
There is another very popular image search engine called “Tineye“. It works very differently from the others, I will take up “Tineye” separately in my next post since it happens to be a very helpful tool for most marketers.
Not only are more and more images getting uploaded on the internet, overtime image searches have increased. Search engine optimizers need to ensure that their images are optimized and useful for visitors so that they do not lose out on relevant traffic from image searches.