Blogging Tips / Google Search / Image file formats / Images and Media / Search engine optimization / SEO tips / Tips

Get the Most Out of Image Search

When it comes to bringing search engine traffic to blogs, images  do that. Search terms ie. keywords people type into search engines can result in traffic to your images as well as to your posts. That’s why learning how to optimize images for Google search is an important skill for bloggers to acquire.

Image preparation

All images ought to be optimized and re-sized prior to uploading them into your blog. When you decrease the file size for images before you insert them into your blog, uploads and pages will load faster,  you can fit more images into the same space, and using the correct tools means you will not compromise the quality of the image.

Before you upload your image, optimize and pre-size it, and give it a descriptive file name including a keyword. Stick to letters and numbers only and be sure that the image file type is one of these .jpg/.jpeg .gif .png

Related posts:

Maximum displayed image width
Sidebar width
Images: Optimizing, Pre-Sizing and Resizing
Ten Free Online Image Compression and Optimzation Programs

colorful image collage

photovisi  – colorful image collage

The Google crawler cannot read image scripts and therefore using the Alternate text  ALT attribute (providing a concise text description) will allow you to tell the crawler what the image is referring to. If you want your images to be indexed then give your images the full treatment. While creating a post or page on your WordPress blog, when you insert an image within the post you have an opportunity to complete all these fields:


Without a TITLE tag, no ‘hover text’ will show up when the mouse passes over your image. Hover text is a useful way of letting search engines and  readers know what’s in a picture. Include a keyword in title.

Alternate text

Alternate text (ALT) attribute is for situations when an image cannot be loaded and also assists visually impaired people who use apps to read ALTattribute, so what’s in a picture is known.

According to the W3C recommendations, the ALT attribute specifies an alternate text for user agents that cannot display images, forms or applets. The “title” attribute is a bit different: it “offers advisory information about the element for which it is set.”


Why not be as descriptive as possible? The Description will appear on the permalink page of the image in the Media Library. If your uploaded image is used in a Gallery, the Description will appear on the Attachment page.


When people view images, their eyes naturally drift down and captions  display directly below the image.

Link (URL)

This is the location of your image. Take note that it cannot be modified.

Matt Cutts Discusses the Importance of ALT Tags

Additional SEO tips for image optimization

Out of all the testing we did our JPG images always performed the best, this is probably due to the fact they are the most common and can be read by all browsers. Plus you can easily compress them reducing load time on image heavy pages. We try and stick to between 1KB and 60KB for all our images, anything over 70KB tends to take too long to load and never performs as well.

Related posts found in this blog:
Two SEO videos for Bloggers
5 Google Webmasters Video Tutorials
Basic SEO for Bloggers
Blogging: Learning SEO is worth the effort


21 thoughts on “Get the Most Out of Image Search

  1. It’s ironic, your doing a post on images. On so many blogs, images masquerade as content. Your blog always features real content that’s actually useful!! : )

    Many thanks!

  2. You are psychic – this is exactly what I was working on yesterday. I am almost there getting the correct concepts down. Is it correct to have the following in mind when using images?
    • Title –Making the connection between my image and my post (My cat being playful)
    • Alt – Description relevant to my image (Cat, yarn, play)
    • Description – brief why this image is relevant (My cat being playful as I should be)

  3. Half of my visitors also come from Google Image Search.
    TT, Which online (& free) image optimizer would be good for me? (I asked for online, no download). I used like sites but wasn’t much satisfied.

    • As half of your traffic is coming from image search you have to be doing things right. :) I have editing and added some links to related posts and specifically to image editing programs one can use locally or online. I don’t like to make recommendations. I think we all ought to try the various ones out and choose the one we like to use most.

    • Hi Kathy,
      You’re welcome. I think a lot od bloggers overlook the fact that their images can be traffic generators. Itrust that if you follow the advice here your blog will experience increased traffic from search engines.

    • Hi Dixie,
      Yes these details are easy for bloggers to supply and when we do a good jpb of describing our images properly the reward is increased traffic to our blogs.

  4. timethief,

    I’ve gotten sloppy about getting the most out of images. This is an excellent reminder and contained some points I wasn’t aware of at all. Thank you so much! And, I absolutely LOVE this design. It’s very “cool”!

    • Hi Sandra,
      I have made myself a promise to go through all my over 600 posts slowly and improve the image treatment. I don’t expect mush traffic from images because I choose to use free images and most are thumbnail sized ones.

      Thanks for the feedback on the redesign. When I have more time (ha! ha!) I will make a better graphic for the header. I do like this Twenty Eleven responsive width theme but it does not load as quickly as Inuit Types does. I do tend to be fickle when it comes to themes and I’m always on the look out for another one. It will be interesting to see what the Twenty Twelve theme will look like and which features it will have. :)

      • Yes, I’m eagerly awaiting Twenty Twelve too! I think we’re alike in the theme department. There are so many themes, but very few meet my needs and wishes. Inuit Types is still at the top of the list along with Manifest and Twenty Eleven. I love the way you experiment. I’m enjoying the current look on this time, this space too.

        • Hi Sandra,
          I’m also eager to see new themes. I have been experimenting with themes on both blogs and the ones you neamed are also my favorites. I also like Reddle but the black nav bar and the red drop-downs bug me. I would also like to be able to change the font color on the links from red to another color but we can’t. I’m still not satisfied. lol :D I may never be satisfied.

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