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SEO for Images – How to Make Your Images and Graphics Rank

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Google steadily revolutionises not only their text search, but also their image search on the internet. In this post, we will show you how you can optimise your images for Google to get more traffic for your blog.

What is pictured?

First of all, we want to point out that the Google image search should not be underestimated. Since Google introduced the reverse image search, it now compares what is pictured in the image to other images on the internet. If, for example, you do a reverse search of an image which shows a Macbook, you will get lots of other pictures with Macbooks on them, even though they are optimised for different keywords.

This means that it is, in fact, important to choose an image for your blog post that is relevant for the content and the keywords used for the text. For informative articles, Google will probably regard an infographic as relevant and helpful.


As mentioned above, you should take care about the keywords you use for your images as well as for your text. The image should be relevant for your blog post. On top of that, it is helpful if the content pictured on the image reflects the keywords.


This part is essential for the Google image search. A little experiment can show you how crucial the filename is for Google: if you put in IMG 355 you will find lots of different images that were taken off of a camera and uploaded directly to the internet without changing them. Therefore, the filename should contain the keyword, the shorter the better. If the filename is long, the most important keywords will lose their significance.

In Lightroom, it is very easy to change the filename when exporting an image. It is even better if there is one image that is optimised for the important keyword more than the others. An option here would be to provide the first image in the article with the main keyword and use the secondary keywords for the other images.

Attention! You should always connect the keywords with a hyphen instead of an underscore, as words connected with an underscore count as one word.

The Alt Text

The alt text is super important when it comes to SEO for images. Here you are meant to describe what is pictured in an image, e.g. for when the image cannot be displayed correctly. You should also try to use the keywords, preferably embedded in a sentence.


The title is regarded to be a little less important than the filename. It is especially important to keep this short and don’t overuse keywords (max. 3).


EXIF data is the data that contains background information which is put in by the camera. This can give information about the copyright or camera model. In programs like Photoshop, you can change that data. Matt Cuffs does not regard this factor to be too relevant for an image’s SEO though.

The Context

As mentioned above, content and images go hand in hand for Google. A relevant image has a positive effect on your article’s SEO and the context of the image will affect the ranking.

Image Dimensions

The image dimensions are important when it comes to image SEO. The longest side should not exceed 300 px.


The image aspect ratio should be ideally 4:3 in landscape for image SEO.

Image Size

Image size is important because large images need a long time to load, therefore, you should try to keep the size as small as possible. This applies to your whole SEO strategy on your blog and not just for your images. A great tool to resize your images while keeping the great quality is tinypic.

Image Resolution

The resolution for image SEO is important too. It should be 72 dpi. The resolution of, for example, just a thumbnail image would not be sufficient.

Image Location (URL)

As in all SEO goals, the URL does have a big impact. By making general folders and more specific subfolders/image names, you will help Google to know what is actually seen in your image. In WordPress, the normal folder structure would be by year and month. This plugin will help you to introduce a new folder structure to your image inventory that will help you to reach your SEO goals.

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Any questions? Reach us through academy@blogfoster.com and we will get back to you.