Image Search Optimization is important for visually based businesses like real estate or artists. Optimizing your images may give you an advantage in the world of search over your competition. When website owners think about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) they think about having their website or blog served up in a high position during searches. Visually based businesses need to make sure their images are optimized for search engines so they can gain better results in image search as well as website search.
Here are 3 steps you can take today to get closer to an optimized site for image search:
1. Always populate the alt attribute in the image tag. For example:
<img src=””http://mywebsite.com/img/vacation.jpg”” alt=””John Smith standing on the beach in Miami” />
The alt attribute provides some context about the image for search engines. Make sure to include keywords such as the location, name of the subject, and a description. This allows the search engine to collect images about subjects, places, and common descriptions.
Here are some guidelines for publishing images on websites.
2. Add images to your sitemap. Specifically adding each image to the sitemap alerts search engines to their existence and ads it for consideration for indexing. Leaving the images out of the sitemap leaves to chance that the search engines will find them and add them to their index. Each image on your site should have an entry like the following:
<image:image> <image:loc>http://mywebsite.com/img/vacation.jpg</image:loc> </image:image>If you have a WordPress site there are several plugins that will complete this automatically.
3. Use a separate sitemap for images. If you have a site with many web pages or if you are always adding and removing images consider creating two sitemaps, one for the web pages and one for the images. By separating your images into a standalone sitemap search engines can discover the frequent changes to your images separate from your webpages.
Remember to add a sitemap index file to inform search engines that two site maps exists for your site. Check out Google’s guide for multiple sitemaps for a single site.
Navigate over to Google’s page to learn more about optimizing images for search.
If you need help with your website or want us to review your site so you can find out how to optimize for search checkout our website review today!
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