How to: Get More Traffic to your Site Through Photos

By NJ SEO (743 words)
Posted in On Page SEO on August 1, 2012

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Adding photos to your site is a quick and easy way to bring in more traffic through search engines. This form of content easily overlooked but if optimized effectively your image will pop up on universal search engine results. Unlike uploading pictures from your camera to your PC where picture titles don’t matter; on the web search engine crawlers read your pictures name and descriptions. In order to optimize your photos effectively remember these tips:

Carefully name your photos. As I mentioned, search engine crawlers will go through your site and read your pictures descriptions and tags. It’s important that you take the time to choose the perfect keywords for your photos before uploading to your website. The filename for your photos is a component for SEO so make sure it is understandable to both computers and people. Choose the amount of keywords wisely; describing your photo in just a few words is ideal. The only symbol (#$+%@{}()_[]\!”‘><=) you should be using in your title is the dash (-) or underscore(_). Dashes and underscores are used to separate keywords within your title. Lastly, Google recommends placing all of your web pictures in one folder ( rather than placing them in scattered folders.


  • wrong - FV_00023$ hereornowhere.jpg;
  • right – here-or-nowhere.jpg.

Keep an eye on photo formatting. JPEG (JPG) is the universally accepted format for the web. There are many formats that will just overload your site with unnecessary information that search engines could get lost in. Keep in mind not all formats can be easily seen by viewers as some formats need special software in order for it to be viewed. The size of your image is important too – if it’s too big it will take longer for the site to load and to be crawled by bots. Your images shouldn’t be bigger than the entire screen and should fit your web layout.


  • wrong – cute-cat.png; cute-cat.tiff;
  • right – cute-cat.jpg.
Use alternate text wisely. Alternate text gives the search engine spider something to read when going through your site. A bot is different than humans in that it doesn’t look or actually see what’s on a picture; it needs your keywords to be able to ‘read’ and see it. Here you will use rich keywords to elaborate on the picture. There are a number of cute cats in the world, elaborate why this particular cat is cute. Also, remember that some web users spell cat and cute differently; kute and kat can be a good way to get some attention on your pictures even though they’re spelled incorrectly. Although it’s worth noting that, much of the time, Google automatically displays results for what it thinks you are searching for instead of displaying results for the misspellings. 


  • wrong: alt=“Cute cat”.
  • right: alt=“Cute grey cat with white paws”.

Choose the perfect title.  The title is that little window that pops up when you hover over a photo on a website. These keywords will help visitors understand the idea behind the photo.

  • wrong: it’s not easy to write a good image title.
  • right: title=”Cute gray cat with white paws playing”

Bloggers take note of captions. Blog sites such as WordPress allow you to add captions to your images. Your caption should take into consideration the 5W’s you learned in grammar school; who, what, where, when, and why. Choose the most important keywords first and keep the caption less than 2,000 characters.


Remember to never keyword stuff any content you post on the web and that your images are relevant to your content. Google also suggest submitting a site map for your images to help Google decipher them so they can be searched to their best potential.  Google will also “dispose” of duplicate/similar pictures on the web and allow for only one picture to show up on search results.

Follow these tips and you are guaranteed to get more traffic into your website.  Optimizing your images isn’t as hard as it seems. How do you optimize your images?

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